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Re: KidCode: Next steps

From: Darren New <dnew@sgf.fv.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 08:30:05 +0100
To: Terje Norderhaug <Norderhaug.CHI@xerox.com>
Cc: Nathaniel Borenstein <nsb@nsb.fv.com>, Wes Morgan <morgan@engr.uky.edu>, rating@junction.net, www-talk@www10.w3.org, m.koster@nexor.co.uk
Message-Id: <Pine.3.89.9506200853.C112-0100000@sgf.fv.com>
> It gives puritanian legislators a pretty good chance to require censoring,

The puritanian legislators already require censoring.

> though. It makes it rather easy to require filtering as information passes
> state borders.

No more than naming the newsgroup alt.sex does, and I don't see that 
happening. What about all the unrated pages? What about when I go from my 
machine to the machines where I used to commute to work (same LATA, mind 
you), and it goes thru some 8 other states including California?

I honestly think your mechanism for automatically or semi-automatically 
editting out bits of documents that are advertisements is much more 
likely to turn into a censorship tool than a voluntary naming convention.

> To enforce KidCode means that there is a legal ruling saying that
> a KidCode convention should be followed for any on-line document.

That's silly. OK, so what does it mean to say a KidCode convention must 
be followed? That every URL in the country be broken? That's not how 
people write laws. They say "You won't put filthy stuff where the 
community doesn't like it."  They don't say "You should include the 
string KidCode and the the age the material is appropriate for." Besides, 
if they do this, it's censorship, and the Supreme Court has already 
struck that down repeatedly.

> Your choice. US or any other.

You miss my point. What I'm looking for is a single example of the 
statute that you fear.  I think if you try to actually write one, you'll 
see that it'll either be trivial to get around or it'll be applicable 
regardless of whether you label your stuff or not.

> Because this might vary between cultures, subcultures, and individuals.
> It would be a more ellegant solution to make it possible to adapt
> the rating dependent on the preferences of these, rather than by some
> local legislation or tradition where the content may be located.

I thought you were against mandatory labelling anyway.

> Well, several places in the world, Playboy isn't on the top of the shelves.

Then people in those cultures won't be running KidCode-enabled browsers.

> Some places it is not available,

Well, it is now.  Try http://www.playboy.com.

> other places you might find that even
> more "elaborate" material are freely accessible on the frontmost shelves
> for everybody. Some parents might also be more liberal - or restrictive.

And that's why making up 3rd-party lists of "good" and "evil" sites isn't 
going to work too well.

> Do you think that will stop content providers to locate outside the
> legislation of their market? There are exiting times to come...

My point is, what makes you think that content-providers are going to be 
the ones going to jail?  The guy in CA who got nailed in TN certainly 
didn't get arrested in his own jurisdiction.

> No. Some of those in charge would use whatever mean they have available to
> control others. Do you want to be their helping hand?

Nope. That's why I wrote KidCode. I don't understand why you seem to want 
both a more elaborate system for filtering *and* not do anything at all 
to aid in filtering.

> I am not a legislator. I believe that you, with your attention to detail,
> might be a more appropriate person to write a proposed legislation.

That's my point. Legislation about censorship isn't going to mention 
KidCode. It had to go to the supreme court just to find out what words 
were too naughty for television. Legislation about censorship isn't even 
going to be web-specific *or* internet specific. It's going to talk about 
children and "filthy language" and "electronic communications media."

Anyway, until someone comes up with something other than FUD, in the form 
of an actual example statute that makes KidCode bad and is even 10% 
enforcable, I'm no longer going to comment on the evils of letting 
legislators get their hands on such censorious technology as putting the 
appropriate age on a URL.  Heck, next thing you know, they'll want 
magazines like Playboy to put the word "adult" on the spine of the magazine!

> Just remember to add a backdoor, in case it actually gets implemented :-)

KidCode is voluntary. Use of a KidCode browser is voluntary.  Viola: 1 
back door.
Received on Tuesday, 20 June 1995 08:38:30 UTC

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