Internet Filtering Overview

Last Updated: 27 June 2018 at 09:31

The Church provides internet in meetinghouses for gospel learning and instruction, to support administrative functions, and to further the purposes of the Church. The meetinghouse firewall provides filtering to block inappropriate websites, sites that absorb high levels of bandwidth for non-Church-related use, as well as harmful attacks from malicious users.

The Church’s filtering services and policies are intended to improve the experience of those who use internet services for Church purposes. To accomplish this, local leaders have the ability to select a firewall filtering level in Technology Manager: managed, moderate, or strict. The three filtering levels are defined as follows:

  • Managed: Blocks access to websites and inappropriate content, such as gambling, file sharing, adult content, gaming, entertainment, and some social media sites.

  • Moderate: Blocks all sites included in the Managed policy, described above, and blocks app store downloads and updates. Church-related apps cannot be downloaded or updated with this policy, but the apps are functional if previously downloaded. Implementing this policy may significantly improve internet performance for Church-related purposes compared to only implementing the Managed policy.

  • Strict: Allows access to a more limited set of websites. This includes common family history sites and sites used in missionary work. Church-related apps cannot be downloaded or updated with this policy, but the apps are functional if previously downloaded. Implementing this policy may further improve internet performance compared to implementing the Moderate policy.

By default, meetinghouses are automatically configured to the “Managed” filter level when activated through Technology Manager.

Each of these filtering levels block most inappropriate sites, but occasionally an inappropriate site is not immediately filtered. If a specific website needs to be blocked, a member of the Stake Presidency or Stake Technology Specialist can make a request through the feedback tool.

Note: YouTube is not available through any of the meetinghouse filtering policies, except during certain times of year as approved by the Internet Filtering Committee.

Ongoing Management of Filtering: After the meetinghouse filtering level is selected, Stake Technology Specialists should periodically check to make sure the internet is being filtered properly by going to filter.lds.org. When visiting this site, a "Filtered Content" page or large check mark should appear. If it doesn’t, the technology specialist should make sure the firewall is activated and connected directly to the ISP modem and that the device being used to check the filter isn’t bypassing the firewall.

If a blocked site needs to be unblocked to enable Church purposes, a member of the Stake Presidency or Stake Technology Specialist can submit a request through the feedback tool referenced above.

Stake or district technology specialists may contact the Global Service Center if the Internet filtering does not seem to be working correctly at a meetinghouse.