From: "Ronald E. Daniel" <email@example.com> Date: Tue, 5 Sep 1995 09:13:27 -0600 Message-Id: <199509051513.JAA06500@idaknow.acl.lanl.gov> To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Re: Self-censorship using URLs Matthew Clarke said: > I want to raise the ugly issue of censorship and suggest a possible scheme > which uses URLs to implement a helpful and hopefully non-threatening form > of self-censorship. I understand that various people and organisations have > been looking into the possibilities of self-censorship already, but I have > not seen details publicised of any firm proposals. > > Please bear with my first contact with the URI working group with patience. > Has this sort of suggestion already been debated? How can I join in the > debate? To whom should I write in order to promote this idea? Hi Matthew, The URI list is not the appropriate place for discusing this topic. The URI-WG is defunct, so I suggest you monitor "firstname.lastname@example.org". There has not been a lot of traffic there lately, perhaps you can breathe life back into the list. The subject of ratings/censorship/parental_empowerment was taken up at a BOF during the Stockholm IETF meeting. A new working group was supposed to be formed to address this topic, although I have not heard anything on the subject. Again, email@example.com may be able to supply status info. The upshot of that BOF was that the WG would first look at methods to create safe portions of the net - for example, how a school could set up something so that only known resources could be accessed and all others denied. After that was in place to meet current needs, work would go into techniques to describe network resources so that a less restrictive access model could be used. As for your particular proposal, it seems very similar to the "KidCode" proposal from Borenstein, et. al. (Look for it in the Internet Drafts repositories). For a variety of reasons I believe that both proposals are undesirable. First, I have strong reservations about the idea of encoding rating info into the URL. The whole reason people are looking at URNs is because URLs already confound identity and location. Adding resource description info and implicit access control info is just going to aggrevate the scaling problems the web is already experiencing. Second, ratings by the publisher are inadequate for a global system. Ideas of decency vary too much from one culture to another for such ratings to work well. Therefore, provision has to be made for other parties to rate resources. Once those provisions are in place, there is no need for the publisher to have their own priviledged rating scheme. Regards, Ron Daniel Jr. email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advanced Computing Lab voice: (505) 665-0597 MS B-287 TA-3 Bldg. 2011 fax: (505) 665-4939 Los Alamos National Lab http://www.acl.lanl.gov/~rdaniel/ Los Alamos, NM, 87545 tautology: "Conformity is very popular"