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Re: Agent-mediated access, kidcode critiques, and community standards

From: Brian Behlendorf <brian@organic.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 17:16:48 -0700 (PDT)
To: Dave Kristol <dmk@allegra.att.com>
Cc: m.koster@nexor.co.uk, www-talk@www10.w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.3.89.9506201724.v28468-0100000@eat.organic.com>
On Tue, 20 Jun 1995, Dave Kristol wrote:
> Martijn Koster <m.koster@nexor.co.uk> said:
>   > My suggestion of using a KidCode HTTP header didn't provoke much
>   > response, while I think it has some advantages: the user gets the
>   > choice, it scales, it can be added to exisiting code easily, scales,
>   > doesn't require a third party infrastructure, and will be quite easy
>   > to establish as a standard since it is a simple extension to http. It
>   > can also easily coexist with community schemes.
>   > 
>   > I'd appreciate some feedback: is the lack of support for protocols
>   > other than HTTP perceived to be a big problem? Will UR[CA]
>   > infrastructure takes as much time to deploy as adding a header to
>   > existing code? Is the rush for an interrim solution justified? Is an
>   > HTTP header a good idea?
> 
> Okay, here's some feedback.  I prefer a KidCode header.  I think
> building the information into the URL is a bad idea for all the reasons
> stated previously.
> 
> A KidCode-capable client could block access to "unrated" documents that
> have no KidCode header, or it could just call them "unrated" and
> display them.  That could be a configurable option.

I prefer a KidCode HTTP header to encoding it in the URL, but it has its 
limits as an "answer" to censorship.  How would a browser use that 
information effectively unless it was mandated?  Let's say the KidCode 
headers are used to indicate "bad" attributes of a resource, and the kids' 
browser is told to "block any sites with bad kidcode headers", that 
doesn't block sites that don't rate themselves.  It's not truely 
preventative - and in fact, it would emply some sort of enforcement 
(analogy: films not rated by the MPAA are generally not shown in movie 
house chains in America) and the threat of suits from people who think a 
site's rating wasn't conservative enough.  There's a big difference 
between allowing a content provider to rate themselves as a public 
service and requiring it.  Self-rating could too quickly follow down the 
"requirement" path.

Rating for appropriateness *has* to be done by third parties.  Self-ratings
can be used to aid their task, but can't be relied upon, really.

	Brian

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Received on Tuesday, 20 June 1995 22:49:30 GMT

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