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Weekly News Round-Up: Parliament, personal information and zero-hours contracts

Parliamentary attempts to access online pornography revealed by FoI request

Nearly 300,000 “attempts to access websites categorised as “pornography” were made from computers within parliament in the past year, official records show.

The figure, which averages more than 800 per day, was released by IT chiefs at the Palace of Westminster in response to a freedom of information request. Read more

The Guardian  | 5th September 2013

Councils sold electoral register data for £250k

Local councils have sold the personal information of individuals to more than 2,700 private companies – including lobbyists, estate agents and fast food outlets – according to new figures.

Data obtained under the Freedom of Information act found at least 307 local councils sold details from the edited electoral register. Read more

Kunal Dutta | The Independent | 2nd September 2013

Universities twice as likely as other employers to use zero-hours contracts

Universities and colleges are more than twice as likely to employ staff on controversial zero-hours contracts as other workplaces, freedom of information requests have found.

More than half of the 145 UK universities and nearly two-thirds of the 275 further education colleges that responded to the requests said they used the contracts, which do not specify working hours and often give limited guarantees on conditions. The FoI requests were made by the University and College Union (UCU). Read more

Sarah Butler | The Guardian | 5th September 2013


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