Policing the Internet: A Website Rating System - HotHardware
Policing the Internet: A Website Rating System

Policing the Internet: A Website Rating System

Andy Burnham, Britain’s minister for culture, is looking for a way to police the Internet and better protect children from harmful and offensive material on the net. One of his solutions is to apply a rating system to websites, similar to that used for films.

Policing the InternetBurnham recently said that the government is planning to negotiate with President-elect Barack Obama’s administration to create international rules for English language websites. Of course, giving websites film-style ratings is only one possibility. Another alternative would be for Internet service providers to offer services that would restrict accessible content to only that which is deemed suitable for children.

Certainly any moves by the government to censor the Internet would result in countless debates regarding freedom of speech on the Web. Burnham recognizes this, but feels we still need to address Web content: "If you look back at the people who created the Internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that governments couldn't reach. I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now." According to Burnham, some content should not be available for viewing since sometimes there is a “wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people.”

In addition to policing content, Burnham wants industry-wide takedown times, which would require websites like YouTube or Facebook to remove offensive material in a specified timeframe after it has been brought to the company’s attention. Burnham further mentioned that Britain is considering changing libel laws in order to give people access to legal help if they are defamed online.

While there’s certainly content on the Web that we wouldn’t want children to view, we’re not so sure that a rating system would be the perfect solution either. After all, there are plenty of underage kids sneaking into “R” rated movies. We have to think there will be ways to sneak around the net as well, even with such a rating system.

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Step 1) Government spends eleventy-billion dollars coming up with rating system.

Step 2) Government gives MS eleventy-billion dallars to added it to IIS and IE.

Step 3) Kids boot LiveCDs, use open-source browsers, and read whatever they want.

Step 4) Government outlaws OSS.

Step 5) Profit! (for MS)

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3vi1:

Step 1) Government spends eleventy-billion dollars coming up with rating system.

Step 2) Government gives MS eleventy-billion dallars to added it to IIS and IE.

Step 3) Kids boot LiveCDs, use open-source browsers, and read whatever they want.

Step 4) Government outlaws OSS.

Step 5) Profit! (for MS)

LOL! Microsoft always win.... Stick out tongue

 

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Is there even a market for a child-safe internet? If there are actually enough people out there who care about this stuff, why don't the ISPs offer a special filtered child-safe plan? Extra $10/month for filtering.

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Hey, if there is a market: Let's throw together some miniscule, put a firewall, Squid, and Dans Guardian on it, build a simple-to-manage interface with reports and alerting, write *idiot-proof* instructions showing how to plug it into your cable/dsl-modem and configure Windows, Wii, PS3, etc. to use it as a proxy, call it a "Network Sanatizer" and get rich.

Oh yeah, and we charge $9.95 a year to maintain blacklists (which the parents can customize from the interface).

Meanwhile, the kids will be surfing via their PSP and the stupid neighbors open wifi.

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Or here is an idea. Pay attention to your kids. Vista also had nice filter and it allows you to see any site they go on to and sends you a report about sites they tried to go to, but were blocked. Not sure if it works with FF or other browsers, but I use it for when Jen's little cousin uses the computer.

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