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Re: [vox][OT response] Article: A parent's guide to Linux Webfiltering
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Re: [vox][OT response] Article: A parent's guide to Linux Webfiltering

Bill Kendrick wrote:

Noticed this article over at NewsForge.  Looks neat, and is written in
a down-to-Earth fashin, from the first few paragraphs I've read so far...

  A parent's guide to Linux Web filtering
  By: Joe Bolin

Interesting stuff. Cool use of Squid. I'll have to look into Dan's Guardian...

I don't want to start a nasty debate, but as a parent, I'm just throwing some questions I have about Web filtering in general.

My sons are 6 and 1, so I'm obviously not too worried yet. For this reason, I might not be truly qualified to comment on Web filtering.

Does anybody see the real value in Web filtering?

1. Sure I can filter stuff at home, but I can't filter what my son sees at a friend's house. It would be nice to say I could have better control over how responsible the other kid's parents were, but we know that's not possible. We're already dealing with this type of thing with cartoons. We try not to let our son watch violent cartoons, but his friends parents let their kids watch Power Rangers and Yugio and all that stuff. I could get all uptight about that and try to talk to the parents, or I could just communicate with my son about violence and the potential effects of what he watches, which is my preference.

2. My parent's couldn't stop me from stealing Playboy and Hustler from Tower books when I was 13 (or wait, maybe that was last week!) :-)
Honestly, the more you try to suppress, the more you flame their curiosity.

3. I expect my son to be pretty technically astute (he already is, and we've never pushed it on him). If my future teenage son hacks my content filter to see some boobies, I'm gonna give him a high-five.

4. What about electronic freedom and all that? Doesn't content filtering (even for porn) seem to contrast a strong belief in OSS and organizations like the FSF and EFF?

5. How about the whole violence vs. nudity thing. I'm one of those liberal type fellas who think that our society's acceptance of violence in popular culture but shunning of nudity, sex, etc. is a bad thing. That's a whole different debate though, so I'll leave that one alone.

6. False positives? I read something recently about a girl in junior high who couldn't do research on breast cancer because she kept getting blocked. An extreme case maybe, but still a reality. I had a friend who worked in the governor's office (under Grey) and every other link I sent her got blocked by their "appropriate use" filter. I promise I wasn't sending her porn.

Anyway, I plan on being involved on my sons' use of the internet as much as possible. I don't plan on being too upset if they are curious about sex, drugs, or anything else that I was curious about. My parents were available, but pretty laissez faire. I turned out all right.

I'm curious to hear some comments from other parents (especially of older kids).

Dave M.

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