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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



On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, Dave Margolis wrote:

> 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
> > 
> >   http://software.newsforge.com/software/04/06/23/1521209.shtml
> 
> 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?

I don't.

> 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.

I am very much against carrying my prejudices into other people's
homes.  I communicate to my kids what I think is important... and they
have to respect that in my home.  It is generally clear when outside
influences are getting carried into my home, and I address that as
inappropriate.  Mostly seems to work for me, but I am also pretty
tolerant.

> 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.

Again... my home, my values.

> 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.

Bzzt! If you see fit to apply controls, see to it that they are respected.

> 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?

I find it objectionable when these things are attached to content I
want... but I am usually able to ignore the bothersome stuff.  Junkbuster
is a useful tool if the attached content seems too intrusive.  I don't see
any conflict... just because information is free doesn't mean I am
required to absorb it.

My preference is to not use tools like this... but if I found that such
tools were necessary to balance internet access with the rules of my home,
I think I would be in favor of them. So far, being clear about what is
okay and what is not seems to be working.

> 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.

Bringing it up is an odd way to leave it 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.

This is part of why I would not be in favor of content filtering.

> 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).

16, 14, and 10.

I am not as laissez fair as my ex-wife... so I can always blame her if
things don't turn out alright (especially since I only get the kids 15% of
the time).

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