September 11, 2002

Mercury News | 09/09/2002 | Domain firm sets rules for children Internet zone - A news article points out an attempt to set up a kid-friendly zone on the Internet. Sounds like a great plan - set up a zone of the Internet that will be friendly to kids and be safe for parents to allow their kids to peruse. Unfortunately, I see such a zone becoming a prime target for hackers and other miscreants, and until the web becomes more technically mature and controllable, I don't see how such a policy will be enforceable. The FCC does a good job monitoring the airwaves (although I personally feel their 'family values' have slipped a great deal in the past 25 years), but how do you apply that same monitoring/censoring to a medium that is so easy to publish to? And what happens when trusting parents take the 'easy road' and put all their trust into the domain to babysit their children's Internet browsing? Just look at how many parents plop their children in front of the TV nowadays without monitoring what their kids are watching! What happens when they do the same with their kids on the 'net?

< >I really believe that setting up something like this will only lead to a false sense of security. If you care about what your kids are exposed to, there's only one way to enforce it - personal responsibility, and on the Internet, that means browsing WITH your children, because pornography and other 'not meant for Johny's eyes/ears'-material is likely only a click away.

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