Internet connection

(Redirected from Internet Connection)

Internet connections have been authorized for several years for official Family History Centers. In February 2008, official communications authorized Internet connections for ward and stake administrative computers.

Authorized connections

Ward and stake administrative computers may connect to broadband Internet connections in the following circumstances:

  • There is an existing CCN (Church Communications Network -- typically in a Family History Center) in the building.
  • The stake is within an area authorized for the Meetinghouse Internet program (currently stakes in the United States and Canada areas) and the stake president has authorized the use of local budget funds for a broadband connection.

Otherwise, Internet connections are not authorized.

Connecting personal computers

For Internet connections in Family History Centers, the following policy applies: "To ensure that Internet filtering safeguards are in place, patrons may connect their personal computers, handheld devices, or other equipment to a center's Internet connection only where approved by priesthood and family history center leadership. The center staff should ensure that any patron-connected computers are connected through the Internet filtering safeguards." [1]

For non-FHC Internet connections, there is currently no written policy. The above FHC policy may give some guidance, but the stake president sets the local policy in this area.

Network requirements

Existing CCNs have a PIX firewall. New installations under the Meetinghouse Internet program must use a Church-managed ASA firewall.

The portions of the network downstream are the responsibility of the stake, specifically the stake technology specialist. Care must be taken to secure the network, and any wireless connections must use WPA or better encryption, but otherwise the architecture of the network is a local decision. Any effects on the building must be approved by the local Facilities Management Group.


There are three filtering levels.

  • General Access: This filtering level is used by FHCs that use a PIX firewall. It is the most permissive of all the filtering, but will block sites with pornography, violence, gambling, etc.
  • LDS Restricted Access: Allows access only to Church-sponsored Web sites (for example,, and Web-mail sites.
  • LDS Extended Access: Blocks known inappropriate material (for example, pornography, weapons information, hate sites, and other known offensive content) but could be more susceptible to misuse.[2]

For FHCs using the PIX firewall, the General Access filtering level is the only option. For Meetinghouse Internet installations using the Cisco ASA firewall, the stake president chooses one of the three levels. Originally, the ASA firewall allowed only the LDS Restricted Access and LDS Extended Access filtering levels, but as of December 2008, the General Access filtering level is also available. The Global Service Center can reconfigure the ASA firewall to use the filtering option chosen by the stake president.

Filtering uses a third-party service called Websense. Websense categorizes each web site, and the Church-managed firewall blocks uncategorized sites, or sites that are not in categories appropriate to the filtering level. Requests for adding or changing the categorization of sites should be sent to[3]


The Church already paid for existing CCNs. In some cases, the Church also added wireless access points (WAPs) to existing CCNs at no cost to local units.

Under the Meetinghouse Internet program, the Church pays for the Church-managed firewall (which must be ordered through

All other hardware, including any cable or DSL modems, switches, routers, cabling, wireless adapters and access points, as well as the installation and ongoing costs of the actual Internet connection, are paid for out of local unit budget funds.


  • The 27 Mar 2005 Policy and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping explicitly prohibited the use of Internet connections for administrative computers.
  • On 1 Jun 2005 the Presiding Bishop's Office sent a letter sent to stake presidents and bishops stating that local units were not permitted to install Internet connections, but stated that the Church would begin installing connections in selected buildings later that year.
  • The Desktop 5.5 Instructions dated 1 Nov 2006 included an Internet Use Policy statement, which caused some people to wonder if the deployment of Desktop 5.5 would enable Internet connections.
  • On 23 Feb 2007 an e-mail message was sent to Stake Technology Specialists to "clarify confusion regarding Church units using the Internet." This letter said that Internet connections would not be authorized unless a unit had an existing CCN connection and had Desktop 5.5 installed.
  • As a result of the 23 Feb 2007 message, some units connected to existing CCNs, but some FM groups disallowed such connections.
  • On 11 Feb 2008, the PBO issued a letter authorizing stake and ward administrative computers to be connected to existing CCNs.
  • On 29 Feb 2008, the PBO issued a letter authorizing stake presidents in the North America Southwest Area to "authorize and fund, out of local unit budgets, broadband Internet connections for meetinghouses within their stakes."
  • On 26 Mar 2008, the PBO issued a letter extending this authorization to stakes in Utah areas.
  • On 8 Aug 2008, the PBO issued a letter extending this authorization to all stakes in the United States and Canada areas.


  2. Meetinghouse Internet Guidelines.
  3. Post on the LDSTech Discussion Forum
This page was last modified on 26 August 2011, at 11:55.

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