SOLUTION TO: children downloading pornographic materials

Marek Cerajewski (abyss@mail.wincom.net)
Wed, 7 May 1997 04:37:16 -0400


Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 04:37:16 -0400
Message-Id: <199705070837.EAA16382@wincom.net>
To: www-html@w3.org
From: Marek Cerajewski <abyss@mail.wincom.net>
Subject: SOLUTION TO: children downloading pornographic materials

From:     abyss@mail.wincom.net( Marek Cerajewski )
Written:  May 7, 1997




This message will be sent to everyone that I believe is interested in
curbing adolescents' access to pornography on the Internet and is
influential enough to actually do something about it.  This message will
continue to be sent until the action that I propose is taken.


PROBLEM

The majority of the problem comes from the fact that children may be
downloading pornographic materials in the format of HTML documents prepared
for viewing in browsers such a Netscape Navigator of MS Explorer.


SOLUTION

The solution will comprise two parts, because it will have to address two
sides of the problem:
1.  Download of the pornographic material.
2.  Search and for sex-oriented materials.  -  Unless one already knows the
exact URL address it is very difficult to locate it by random search
methods.  Unless one already knows the location and name of a specific
graphic file (or any other file,) it is nearly impossible to name it, to
locate it, and in effect to download it.

Fortunately both sides of may be tackled on the user end only, and therefore
the solution will not infringe on anybody=92s freedoms of speech.


DESCRIPTION

1.  To solve the first part of the problem I propose an extension to the
HTML specifications.  The extension will indicate rating of the content of
the material in the HTML formatted file.  The proposed extension will be
placed in the <HEAD>=85</HEAD> section of the document and will have the
following format:

        <RATING>G|PG13|R|A|X</RATING>

G	-  no offensive material
PG13	-  some offensive language, some partial nudity, etc.
R	-  descriptions of violence, etc.
A	-  full nudity, etc.
X	-  sexuality, etc.

The extension will be optional.  If omitted it will equal the rating of =91G=
=92.
The list of ratings may be extended (the above is just an example.)
The ratings may be used in combinations.

The browser program receiving the document will have to be modified to allow
the parent, teacher, or whoever is responsible for the user system to set
the rating that may be blocked from downloading.  The browser then will
censor the document by reading and analysing the content of the header
section of the file and should refuse to download the rest of document if it
is rated for censorship.  (The browser may be designed to download the file
if a correct password is entered.)

This system will require full compliance from the people posting
pornographic and otherwise offensive material;  but that is easy to
implement once the tool is in place.  -  If someone inappropriately lowers
the rating for his or her site, then he or she may be charged.


2.  To solve the second part of the problem another modification to the
browser will have to be made.  The files sent out of the user system will
have to be censored for a list of words that could be used in searches for
pornographic materials.  This option also will have to be toggled with a
password.

As described above, the programming solution is so idiotically simple and
easy to implement that it amazes me why neither Netscape Corporation,
Microsoft Corporation, nor any other provider of browser technology did not
attempt to implement it in their browsers.  I hope that enough momentum will
be generated to make these changes happen now.  If there is anything that
you can do to help, please do it.


Thanks,
Marek Cerajewski

abyss@mail.wincom.net
http://www.wincom.net/~abyss/

804-373 Detroit Street
WINDSOR, Ontario  N9C 4B4
(519)258-9366