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Support for YouTube for Schools Program

So YouTube has launched YouTube for Schools which basically restrict YouTube functionality to just show educational videos when is accessed from a school network (basically redirecting to whenever someone access from a registered school). This program is meant basically for K12 institutions. This article explains the purpose of this YouTube' s program: It sounds like a good alternative since individual youtube videos cannot be unblocked with FortiGate. This currently force us to close all youtube videos to our students, including any valuable educational videos out there. In order to make YouTube for Schools work, the school proxy/firewall/webfilter should add a custom HTTP header to request going to or rewrite the URL to add a parameter as explained here: This allows YouTube to identify the request and redirect it to the educational version of the site. Can Fortigate web filter or web proxy settings support this directly? Or is it not possible at all with Fortigate? I' m running FortiOS 4.0 MR2 on a 310B. I couldn' t find anything in the documentation that allows header modifications.

From what I recall by reading on this forum for a while, Fortinet does not act as a proxy for http requests and therefore doesn' t/can' t write or rewrite headers. However, given the popularity of Youtube and Fortinet' s presence in the edu field, my guess is that they would have to look at this option in order stay competitive. Up to know, Fortinet has had the excuse that Youtube didn' t support edu-friendly interaction out of the box. Now that Google/Youtube has opened the door here, they will need to look at support here. If you need this function now, the only way to achieve it, as far as I can tell, would be to set up a squid proxy and use the wccp protocol to flow traffic to squid. Fortinet' s site describes how to do this. It would require some tinkering and some knowledge of squid. I am hoping someone will post back with a simpler solution, but I am reasonably sure the above is the only immediate fix for the Youtube header issue.

Bill ========== Fortigate 600C 5.0.12, 111C 5.0.2 Logstash 1.4.1

Bill ========== Fortigate 600C 5.0.12, 111C 5.0.2 Logstash 1.4.1
Esteemed Contributor III

Consider the obvious and open a support call asking for a feature request. How else should the Fortinet dev team learn from this? What I don' t understand is your statement that single YT videos could not be allowed if you block YT altogether. There have been numerous posts in the forums about webfiltering YT. Maybe you find more hints there.


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New Contributor

I would hope some developer at Fortinet will at least scan over these forums. This is what support told me when I asked if I can unblock a single youtube video while keeping the rest of the site blocked: " This can' t be done, with youtube it is either all blocked or all unblocked" That' s straight from support. I did a new feature request not so long ago to support " safety mode" of Youtube. It wasn' t obvious to me that this will also need a feature request. Is there a way to track feature requests progress? Sometimes it feels like a futile exercise since there is never feedback.

I created a tech support incident for this late last week, I haven' t heard back from Fortinet yet, figured I' d wait until tomorrow to ask again. I' m not finding a lot of hardware firewalls that can do this, at least not yet on the Google Education/YouTube for Schools forums. Also, I need it more for URL parameter rewrite, not just HTTP header rewrite, apparently there is some type of bug in that the HTTP Header rewrite will still allow embedded YT videos on non sites to play. As soon as I hear back, I' ll post more. I know SonicWall is still working on it too and should have their hardware firewall ready for YT for Schools sometime in January 2012, so I' d guess Fortinet will (hopefully) have their firewalls configured by then too. If they can do the URL parameter rewrite for SafeSearch for Google and Bing I would think (hope) this is similar and not too difficult.

Also, Fortinet support has helped me with blocking YouTube at our district, even with the issue with the kiddies trying to bypass by using https. I' m using Regex expressions and application control to get it locked down, but hopefully YT for Schools will mean I don' t need to do that. If FG tech support doesn' t respond to my online request in a day or two I do the online chat to nudge them along - but I must say I haven' t had to wait for more than a few days for a response when I create an online ticket.
Honored Contributor

" This can' t be done, with youtube it is either all blocked or all unblocked"


Support does not know its own systems?

You can selectively block or not block yt sites using url filter of course.

First allow all yt urls you want by exempting them.

Then block yt

In this order!


Thus this will by a holy load of work if you need many vids or so ;)



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New Contributor III

I received a response from Fortinet - they don' t currently have ability to do this in their OS, and the support tech will contact the developers when they get back from holiday to see if they have any plans to do so. In the meantime, the FG, starting in MR3 (I think) has an option to use an ICAP server. I have a spare Windows server upon which I installed GreasySpoon ( open source, and added a script for HTTP Header and URL rewrite. I created the link to the ICAP server & profile in the FG web gui, assigned it to a policy, and it did set the workstations to YouTube/Education. YT for Schools is still not ideal yet - some content providers have gotten some raunchy videos, thumbnails, and video summary wording into the community. Plus iPads (at least in my environment) are somehow getting around some of the blocks. At this time, YT for Schools is not ready for our K-12 environment, since it doesn' t block enough yet, but hopefully in the next couple months both YT and Fortinet will get this working together better.

I bet if you had zoom sessions with kids gossiping all day about each other they wouldn't complain about anything. Funny they can spend all day on YouTube but headaches occur when they have to learn. And what about all the home schooled kids for years prior to covid have they been sick or mentally upset or suicidal from the computer?

Tutorial: How to create a great YouTube channel for your school my essay


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