Re: parental control

Andrew Brennan (brennan@crashprone.allegheny.edu)
Sun, 16 Mar 1997 11:27:20 -0500 (EST)


[ I've posted this back to the general CU-SeeMe list ... it's more of
an issue there than one for the Mac Alpha client. :^) ]

I just subscribed to the CU-SeeMe list (again), so it's possible that
this issue has been discussed and burned to the ground already.

On Sat, 15 Mar 1997, Chris Silverberg wrote:

> Yes, there are adult reflectors out there, and most tend to be by 'invite'
> only. I assume this is to allow for a balance mail to female ratio...
> otherwise it's impossible to achieve.

...so the admins basically *know* what is going through their reflectors.

> So I think it's natural that parents may want to restrict access to only a
> few refletors, perhaps those that are run by schools, etc. Note that i
> think parental control would only be useful for younger kids. (10 and
> under). After that, they're going to quickly figure out how to get around
> the parental control. ;-)

... but there's potentially nothing to prevent someone from dumping a
broadcast of a video feed to a school reflector. If the reflectors
had a way to use a simple algorithm (something along the lines of the
pay-per-view scramble) then clients would need a "key" to see things
that children shouldn't be seeing.

I'm in favor of control mechanisms, but I believe it's the provider's
responsibility ... especially if there's a chance the server admin is
going to be dragged into potential lawsuits.

Here's a point to think about. Say I use parental locks on my client
and my kid finds an old client to bypass it. Who's responsible?? If
I use a scrambling reflector, I can *easily* setup a 1-900 or credit
card system to provide the unscramble key ... and how does the little
one get around this model?? Mind you, that was all hypothetical.

andrew. (brennan@allegheny.edu)