Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Internet

Senate Approves Censored .kids.us Domain 453

lostchicken writes "The Senate has approved the first viable "kid-friendly" system that doesn't try to control the Internet. See the story here. It is an opt-in system that allows a .kids.us domain to be pointed at a site approved as safe, as opposed to an adult only domain type system."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Senate Approves Censored .kids.us Domain

Comments Filter:
  • with Toys'r'Us
    • by dnoyeb ( 547705 )
      I know everyone is gushing over this as if its a good idea. Just look deeper. Look at whats happening today and you can see what will happen in the future. Let me help you.

      1. servers in the kids.us domain immediately come under attack by crackers hell bent on inserting pr0n into those sites.

      2. Parents attempt to sue Neustar.

      3. Supreme court rules they cannot be sued and complaintants must sue the US Government (which one cannot legally sue)

      4. Parents turn their fury to the individual server administrators.

      5. Administrators can not keep up with all the bugs in the software and request help or protection from the us government.

      6. FUD ensues.

      7. White house demands new Cyber Terrorism laws.

      8. DHD creates new Cyber Terrorism division.

      9. more freedoms shot down in the name of "the children."

      You can divise any scenario you like. The one common thread is that these servers will be major targets for crackers and they will succeed time and time again.
      • and then:

        10. geeks turn inward, form their own centralized government, powered by a giant super-computer AI, and then move underground. After centuries of being geek-less the general populous grows technologically stagnant.

        one day the geeks emerge from their underground lairs with powered suits of armor and enslave the world's population.
  • Questions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sheddd ( 592499 )
    Web sites bearing an address like "www.example.kids.us" would have to certify that they do not contain sexually explicit material, hate speech, violence or other material not suitable for minors.

    Who determines what material isn't suitable?
    Do they get paid? By the taxpayers I assume?
    Do they really have any power to tell ICANN to revoke a domain name?
    • Re:Questions (Score:4, Informative)

      by CowboyMeal ( 614487 ) <nhauser.alum@rit@edu> on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:19AM (#4676550)
      Read the rest of the article.

      The bill would place a ".kids" subdomain under the control of NeuStar Inc., the Washington telecommunications firm that won the right to manage the ".us" country-code domain last fall.
      The Senate added a provision that would give NeuStar an automatic two- year extension of its contract in return for managing the ".kids" subdomain, a Dorgan aide said.


      They wouldn't deal with ICANN at all, they'd be dealing with NeuStar, who they made a sweet deal with:
    • Re:Questions (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:28AM (#4676618) Journal
      Do they really have any power to tell ICANN to revoke a domain name?

      It's a "dot US" domain name. ICANN has no authority over how the names are handed out.
    • Re:Questions (Score:4, Interesting)

      by RailGunner ( 554645 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:53AM (#4676805) Journal
      What's more important, is exactly what counts as "hate speech"? Who decides what is "hate speech"?

      If a child's web site is dedicated to history, would commentary on the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor be considered "Hate Speech" since it might offend Japanese kids?

      Or what about a current events story on the conflict between Isreal and the PLO? Would the other side denounce any opinion given as "hate speech"?

      Or more recent - there are some that consider it "hate speech" to talk ill of Al Qaeda (despite the fact that their goal is the destruction of the US).

      Sounds like this may be just another example of political correctness gone too far. Why shield kids from any speech, even if it is vile, racist garbage? Wouldn't it be better to point out to the kids that racist organizations exist, but are wrong because they don't believe that All Men (and women) are created Equal?

      • by Augusto ( 12068 )
        Actually this is just fine.

        Even if "hate speech" is too broad, I would like a domain like this that is very restricted and controlled.

        When your kids grow up and you think they're mature enough, just turn off the kids domain stuff, and let them surf away. This is the best solution, no restrictions on the "regular" internet, and a very restricted optional space for kids.

        I see no problem with this.
      • by Ashurbanipal ( 578639 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @12:33PM (#4678236)
        What's more important, is exactly what counts as "hate speech"? Who decides what is "hate speech"?
        The oft-consulted and mythical reasonable man [jurisdictionary.com] so beloved by lawyers.
        If a child's web site is dedicated to history, would commentary on the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor be considered "Hate Speech" since it might offend Japanese kids?
        Not unless the commentary was structured to incite hatred of the Japanese or some other currently existing group.
        Or what about a current events story on the conflict between Isreal and the PLO? Would the other side denounce any opinion given as "hate speech"?
        Given the current situation, yes, both sides undoubtably would. In fact I think we can assume that tens of thousands of complaints would be engendered by any statement that portrayed either side as less than saintly. Content providers would probably be wise to avoid the issue - and honestly, I don't think any "reasonable person" wants his or her kids to learn about the Middle East situation from a "kid" site. Such sites would be quickly dominated by the better-funded Zionist movement in any case; no balance could really be achieved.
        Or more recent - there are some that consider it "hate speech" to talk ill of Al Qaeda (despite the fact that their goal is the destruction of the US).
        I doubt our "reasonable person" would consider it "hate speech" to "talk ill" of an admittedly terrorist group, unless one advocated hate towards them, or a group that resembles them. It's obviously hate speech when Billy Graham's demented larva pronounces that "Islam is Evil" and proposes "new crusades", and it's hate speech when the President says we should single out Arab communities for opression, but it's not hate speech to describe terrorism accurately

        But again, we come back to the issue of appropriateness for children - any truthful discussion of Al Quaeda is going to be sufficiently disturbing that it is not appropriate for unsupervised children.
        Sounds like this may be just another example of political correctness gone too far. Why shield kids from any speech, even if it is vile, racist garbage?
        I suspect that you have no kids! Why not just give three-year-olds loaded submachine guns, they have to learn sometime what death is like, right? FUD phrases like "political correctness" and "multiculturalism" should probably be banned from kids.us, incidentally.
        Wouldn't it be better to point out to the kids that racist organizations exist, but are wrong because they don't believe that All Men (and women) are created Equal?
        Yes, far better, once the kids are old enough to handle the concepts. I didn't explain to my African-American three-year-old what "kill all nigger-lovers" meant when she saw it spray-painted on the sidewalk behind the house. I explained it very carefully to my WASP six-year-old, and I certainly would NOT want him to have had it explained by a web content provider while I was out of the room for a moment.

        Your concern is understandable, given the slanted education given most kids by government controlled institutions (Sex is bad! The Government never lies!) entertainment concerns (Sex has no consequences! Violence is fun!) and religions (God hates people of other faiths! Sex is evil!). But I think the idea of an opt-in system where parents and providers can choose to impose censorship over what a parent's children can see is a good one, and far better than any of the current alternatives.

        My children wanted to surf the web at two years old. It would have been very nice to have something equivalent to the Disney channel, where I could safely leave the room for a second or two and leave the box turned on. They will have time for hatred and violence later, right now I want them to learn things like language skills, music and arts.
    • Who determines what material isn't suitable?
      There is some validity to this maxim, but really all it states is that "there should be no laws," because none will every be universally embraced or enforced. In other words, the "who decides" issue here is no more difficult than, say, "who decides" how much taxes will be, or who gets a raise, or when to fight a war. It's a very rare and convenient issue on which everybody agrees.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:15AM (#4676510)
    they could not set up chat rooms, instant messaging or other interactive services unless they could certify that they did not expose children to pedophiles or pose other risks.
    If you can't pick up kids on .kids.us, what the hell did they create it for?
  • by joedoc ( 441972 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:16AM (#4676517) Homepage

    I like choice. Choice gives you options.

    This is a good idea, and maybe might be extended to the other TLDs: kids.com, kids.net, etc. Obviously, it would require some kind of monitoring and management, but it certainly appears to be a better way of "protecting" children then spurious free speech attacks on the 'net as an entity.

    In fact, I believe extending this to the commercial TLDs would be a big marketing tool. Point out to parents that "our site is kid safe, we're part of the kids.whatever domain."

    Build a better mousetrap...

    • by killmenow ( 184444 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:20AM (#4676563)
      Yeah, I can see it now: goatse.kids.cx
    • This is a good idea, and maybe might be extended to the other TLDs: kids.com, kids.net, etc.

      It's a stopgap measure at best; it's not a good idea, it's a good idea implemented very wrong.

      All you're doing is balkanizing the internet -- I'd have MUCH rather given out .xxx or .adult and lock kids out, than give them their own section and lock them in. There is a huge difference there.

      It's a money grab, it's a shmoo. If you want howthingswork.com to be accessible in .kids.us, you now pay another registration fee. If I want my domain in .kids.us, same thing. You're locking kids out of an enormous resource.

      Then again, this is far easier to do than booting all the pr0n/goatse sites into .xxx or .adult. Maybe with ipv6 we can be a little smarter and dole out adult ips to 6969:6969:6969 or sommat. :-)

      • Maybe with ipv6 we can be a little smarter and dole out adult ips to 6969:6969:6969 or sommat.

        Thats not such a stupid idea...

        With the current internet address system, anyone can have any ip

        Would it be SO bad if there was a bill passed that anyone serving adult material had to have their IP's in a certain range?

        There are obvious reasons why restrictions shouldnt be placed on the dns'ed addresses, but could they be enforced by whoever-it-is-who-hands-out-ip's?
        "You can have this IP as long as you dont display sexually explicit images/movies as defined by section 3(c)"?

        It would mean that making the net safe for kids would be as simple as blocking that netblock
        Anyone displaying material which is deemed inappropriate and NOT within the IP range could have their IP address revoked...

        I'm very much against internet censorship by the government, but can anyone think of a good reason why IP groups such as that would be a bad idea?
        • What about shared (virtual) account hosts? Say they have a policy of allowing adult material, but they don't exclusively host adult material. In fact, let's assume that for the sake of argument that only 10% of their material is adult material, and the rest is "kid safe" or whatever you want to deem it. If this company has a machine that is hosting 10% adult material and 90% kid safe material, should they be delegated into the adult-only zone (while will undoubtedly be blacklisted by a hoarde of filtering software)?

          While that does seem like a good idea, it could get a bit tricky when it comes to multiple sites on a single machine. Also, it might lead to a rise of adult sites putting their material on one of their adult-IP'd boxes, then creating a page that links to images on that box, and putting that page on a non-adult box. The end result would be that they've escaped the "adult IP" blacklist. In the event they're nailed on it, they might conceivably argue that they are hosting no non-adult material on the non-adult server - just linking to it. That could bring about a big whole mess over the legality of links and such. Not pretty.
    • "I like choice. Choice gives you options."

      Very insightful, Mr.Einstein. You forgot
      to mention that when you don't have choices,
      there are hardly any options.
  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:17AM (#4676527) Journal
    ...when those violent video games, obscene over-sexed movies, and racist rap songs turn that 12-year old sweetheart into a 13-year old teenage version of Marshall Mathers?!

    Will someone please think of the disenchanted youths?!
  • Would slashdot be considered safe?

    You dont have to go far on here to find a link for goatse.cx courtesy of the local troll population.

  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <ed@membled.com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:17AM (#4676529) Homepage
    I don't know who chose the domain 'kids' but goat-related domain names do not always have a spotless record...
  • I remember way back when AOL's child protection worked like this, kind of. I don't know how it works now, but what happened is they had a list of keywords and websites that were kid safe and those and only those websites could be visited. This caused trouble you know, if the website for your school wasn't listed, or www.hasbro.com or something like that. So in making a list of kid safe websites you will always leave a site out, which kind of sucks.
    If it was made mandatory for all pr0n sites to go under .xxx or .sex I think it would be much better. First of all it would be very easy to prevent access by kids. Second it would be easier for pervs to find porn, making porn sites more money. And there wont be a chance of a kid not being able to go to a kid's site.
    • easier for pervs to find porn
      I resemble that remark.
    • If it was made mandatory for all pr0n sites to go under .xxx or .sex I think it would be much better. First of all it would be very easy to prevent access by kids. Second it would be easier for pervs to find porn, making porn sites more money. And there wont be a chance of a kid not being able to go to a kid's site.

      The problem is that there is lots of content that some people (christian right) would find "objectionable" for children, and a lot of it isn't pr0n. The classic example is that of renaissance nude paintings, which always get picked up by the "naked people finder" filter programs and will probably be banned from .kids.us as "smut" even though they are obviously art. For that matter, do you want to force every site that mentions human reproductivity into a pr0n domain, just because some "anti-smut" campaigners don't want their children to know that babies aren't delivered by the stork?

      (cf the ridiculous controversy about a "burka" being forced on that statue of justice)

  • NAMBLA? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Any guesses on when NAMBLA will buy a registration on this one? :)
  • by zzyzx ( 15139 )
    ...how long until a law passes restricting libraries to the kids.us domain?
  • by puto ( 533470 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:20AM (#4676555) Homepage
    While I look at most things that the government does as some veiled attempt of hiding the true motive I actually kinda agree with this.

    Kids are running rampant on the internet and can come across some truly disturbing shite. I myself was on this technical-nerd-/. site one day and clicked on a link and was presented with largest bloody rectum I have ever seen. Wait the only large bloody rectum I have ever seen. And it is more ubitiqous than the Bonzai buddy pop up.

    Anyway, I dont have kids, soon, and I plan on treating them like adults. But not turning them into little Ron Jeremys.(That is my job for the time being).

    So a restricted domain where it is all about kidstuff is cool with me. Might even fun for our jades asses to look at. Of course when I strip off the emerald spectacles it is gonna be a marketing haven for toy companies, candy companies, and anything that sells kiddy products, a market with a demographic that is always renewing itself.

    So lets see how it works. Could be a good thing. And we can always have a good guffaw when the script kiddies hijack a couple of sites and plaster them with the goat.cx guy, nude shots of ana nicole, and John Holmes memorials.

    The Flatline
  • I really did want a .sex or .pr0n TLD. Would make for some really spiffy email addys;)
  • Not censored! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MadKeithV ( 102058 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:22AM (#4676572)

    The story title is off, it isn't "censored", it's "moderated", there's a difference.
    Content isn't altered, content is accepted or rejected.
    • Re:Not censored! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kierthos ( 225954 )
      It could be viewed as a form of censorship.

      "We don't want you to look at anything but what we approve, regardless of what your social background, religion, ethnicity, etc. may be. We are the only ones who decide what you get to see at all."

      Hrm... sounds a bit like censorship to me.... (Of course, it also sounds like the M$ parody "Here's where you will go today.")

      Kierthos
      • Re:Not censored! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by wrax ( 570032 )
        there not talking about making the whole internet like this, just a certian domain in a certian country, if you don't want your kids to be in there then just don't join, its not like its a forced thing, and if the parents don't agree with the content or how it is presented then they have to option to get out, like its supposed to be. this is a good thing, we have the rest of our lives to become jaded cynical bastards who do nothing but critizise the government for its efforts, why not let children under 12 have a sanatized internet domain where they can play and have fun without looking at pr0n. and chat groups that are moderated and monitered for kids are a GOOD thing, sure the potential for propaganda is there but thats what parental education and guidence is needed for. I like this, i won't join right now as i don't have kids, but if i did then i would consider this as an alternative to the larger internet.

        It would be cool if there were sites dedicated to homework help and research for school papers, news from the world explained in terms that kids can understand would also be a good thing, but ultimatly its the parents who decide if they want their children to view this material or not.

        So before you get on the anti-censorship bandwagon and call and idea down because it has one bad thing wrong, think of how many benifits it has and weigh the idea on its merits, then make the choice.
    • Re:Not censored! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Elledan ( 582730 )
      Content isn't altered, content is accepted or rejected.

      Which is merely another description of censorship, no?

      Remember, moderation is always the enforcing of the opinions of a group or a single individual by removing 'unsuitable' opinions &c. You can not possibly consider moderation of whatever source of information to be purely objective.

      For this reason there is no distinct difference between censorship and moderation, since both define the restricting of a person's or a group's access to a source of information.

      Also, with censorship, content isn't altered. The content is simply 'moderated', meaning that some of the content is rendered unwatchable, unreadable or is made in some other way inaccessible.
  • Excellent! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr.nicholas ( 219881 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:22AM (#4676577)
    I'm surprised: an intelligent and implementable system actually came out of Congress.

    Of course, I wouldn't want to be NeuStar. That's a hell of a responsibility; to police an entire subdomain for appropriateness. And I wonder what sort of liability issues that creates. If I let my 10-year-old browse at will through .kids.us (he goes through a squid proxy right now that defaults to denied [I have an ACL of acceptable domains]) and he comes across something inappropriate, may I then sue NeuStar for allowing that exposure?

    As it stands now, my son's email account receives close to 50 spams a day, 10 of which are sexually revolting. But because of the nature of the beast, I cannot press charges against any of the companies that originate the mail (if I could find them, that is). It would be refreshing to to have a "Kid Safe" label and have it mean something*.

    * Unfortunately to get any organization to truly "Certify" that (and be able to TRUST that certification), there must be real and hurtful penalties attached.
  • Monitoring. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by perlyking ( 198166 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:26AM (#4676603) Homepage
    How are they going to monitor it. What about a site that is about furry teddies one day and porn the next.
    • Hell, a site like that could easily be about porn the first day!
    • The bait and switch might work for a site that is visited by people that can actually spend money online. How many kids have the ability to do that? The owner might get some click through cash but would that be worth the risk? I don't know. I would imagine targeting porn to a kids.us domain would bring serious penalties that would not be overlooked.
  • But will it work? There seems to be quite a few restrictions to qualify for this domain.

    Web sites in the domain would be prohibited from linking to sites outside it, and they could not set up chat rooms, instant messaging or other interactive services unless they could certify that they did not expose children to pedophiles or pose other risks.

    That "certify" part is the nail in the coffin. What about the liability associated if something slips through the cracks? I can not see companies lining up to provide this.
  • homelandsecurity.governmentisourfriend.kids.us
  • by jdkane ( 588293 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:29AM (#4676624)
    Web sites bearing an address like "www.example.kids.us" would have to certify that they do not contain [snip ...]
    NeuStar would be expected to police the subdomain to ensure it remains free of inappropriate content.

    Policing a kids domain is definitely necessary. It doesn't fall to the side of censorship but rather common sense.
    However this may create an opening for the government to define what is appropriate for children beyond the known vices. For example, what about people's religious beliefs. Could the government decide on one over the other, ban all as hate speech for the sake of not having to deal with it, etc.?
    If the kids.us domain is too restrictive, parents are going to let their kids look elsewhere for information, which may doom the kids.us domain. Of course kids.us is not supposed to be a success story (so "doomed" may be incorrect); instead it's supposed to protect children. For the kids it does protect I know we are all thankful.

    Might the system not work better if there existed different levels of these subdomains like "kids.highprotection.us", "kids.mediumprotection.us", and "kids.lowprotection.us" (no comments about the names please -- they are just examples), then the medium level might include religious beliefs, and the low level might include regular news sites, etc. This way parents could decide on a level that that deemed most appropriate for their kid/s (maybe based on age, etc). This would also provide a good way to wean the kid onto the "real" Interent as they get older. Sooner or later the kid is going to be at a friend's house (whose parents have less restrictions) and will experience the real Interent anyways. Just like when I was a kid I first got to play video games (Atari) at a friend's house because my family didn't own a game system (my parents probably thought it was a bad idea at my young age because I shouldn't have spent a lot of time in front of the TV).

  • by El Camino SS ( 264212 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:30AM (#4676627)
    But honestly, this will be difficult to regulate. And more than likely the pedophiles and grown men that cruise with names like Soccergirl342 will be there in masse. The way things are going now, the FBI is going to have to be in every chat room.

    God, I hope that they do something right for a change on the internet before some place like adultsexplayhouse.com or donkeysweat.org decides to move into the kid market... and sue ICANN for "their rightful domain name" on .kids for kidsfun.kids.

    So for all of you /.ers that think this is crap, or have some nutty agenda about having a kids safe internet, I suggest you go play legos with your cousins today, and then think about if they are mentally prepared yet for what some of these bastards will plan to do with them. You'll change your mind soon enough.
    • And more than likely the pedophiles and grown men that cruise with names like Soccergirl342 will be there in masse. The way things are going now, the FBI is going to have to be in every chat room.

      Please, Read the article - THERE ARE NO CHAT ROOMS!
    • The story says that sites in this domain will be prohibited from having chat/IM, so that problem would be mitigated somewhat.

      The story also says that ICANN doesn't own the rights to the domain it's another company who controls the .us domain, which is government funded.

      I don't think the suing option will work, because the system is opt-in, but the standard /. disclaimer applies!

      I know there are dorks out there looking to warp my kids, but I'm open to any ideas there are to protect my kids while I do teach them!

      Ben
  • and the auto-generated reply said "that's gone, but fuck.kids is available"
    !!
    • http://shop.easyspace.com/shop-cgi-bin/easyspace1. cgi

      click on the New.net tab

      and enter fuck and .sport [or one of the others] from the dropdown
  • I like the idea behind this, however, it may cause legal problems for domain owners. What if I register for this domain and I happen to break a "rule" of ownership either by accident or by someone hacking the website. I'm sure the big companies like Disney won't have a problem, but little fan sites and such may find themselves in trouble when someone links a pic to the goatse guy in their message forums.
    • It specifically mentions that you cannot have instant messaging or forums, unless you can prove that it cant pose a risk (presumably by having admins monitor all posts before making them "live").

  • How in the world this is different than a XXX domain which is marked for adults only?
    Adult web sites could opt-in as well to an adults only domain (ICANN really did fuck up when they nixed the xxx domain).
  • by clarkcox3 ( 194009 ) <slashdot@clarkcox.com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:33AM (#4676658) Homepage

    I fail to see how this is better than any filtering software. If kids can only access .kids.us sites, then they are confined to a list of sites that have been pre-approved by some censor who thinks that only they know what is good for America's children. If, on the other hand, if children surf through filtering software, then they are confined to a list of ... (i.e. the same exact situation.

    Several things need to happen here:

    1. Parents need to realize that the Internet is not some evil place trying to take their children away. There is no way that someone can come out of the computer screen and snatch your child away. If your child is stupid enough to go and meet someone in the real world just because some text on a screen told them too, then you have bigger problems as a parent. This is no different than someone pulling up in a van, and offering your kid candy, except that the person on the other end has no way to physically grab and take the child.
    2. People need to realize that most censorship does more harm than good. Every attempt to provide a list of "good" and "bad" sites has failed, and will always fail, because "good" and "bad" are purely subjective.
    3. People need to stop raising such gullible children, The world contains bad things, and everyone has to learn how to deal with them. If a child is brought up, and hasn't ever seen "bad" in his/her life, then (s)he will be ill-prepared to function in our world.

    While we would all like for the world to be a place where everyone is happy, and protected, that is simply not the case. You have to look out for your own -- you can't rely on some (government, company, whatever) to raise your children for you.

    • by Hayzeus ( 596826 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @10:14AM (#4676955) Homepage
      Parents need to realize that the Internet is not some evil place trying to take their children away. There is no way that someone can come out of the computer screen and snatch your child away. If your child is stupid enough to go and meet someone in the real world just because some text on a screen told them too, then you have bigger problems as a parent. This is no different than someone pulling up in a van, and offering your kid candy, except that the person on the other end has no way to physically grab and take the child.

      This is really pretty condescending. Most of us who have children understand this. The real issue is that there is quite a bit on the net that children may encounter that they just aren't ready for. Only a few folks have real fears of actual physical harm befalling a child as a result of surfing the web. Most of us would just like our children to have an actual childhood, however brief.

      People need to realize that most censorship does more harm than good. Every attempt to provide a list of "good" and "bad" sites has failed, and will always fail, because "good" and "bad" are purely subjective.

      Censorship is a bad thing only when foisted on adults. I think, however, that you are going to have a pretty hard time making the case that keeping a 7 year-old from accidentally encountering www.fursuitsex.com is a bad thing.

      People need to stop raising such gullible children, The world contains bad things, and everyone has to learn how to deal with them. If a child is brought up, and hasn't ever seen "bad" in his/her life, then (s)he will be ill-prepared to function in our world.

      If you have ever raised children, you would understand that sheltering a child from all "bad things" is impossible. Few parents are attempting to do this. While I'm all for porn and violence, let's not pretend that it somehow builds character and prepares you for life -- it doesn't.

      While we would all like for the world to be a place where everyone is happy, and protected, that is simply not the case. You have to look out for your own -- you can't rely on some (government, company, whatever) to raise your children for you.

      Nobody is relying on the government to raise their children. All this bill does is attempt to create a limited, safe space. It does so without foisting draconian censorship on the rest of us and reducing the Internet to the lowest "kid-friendly" denominator.

      More importantly, the creation of such a safe space strengthens the hands (politically) of those who oppose broader censorship laws, such as COPA and its ilk, since it essentially takes away the "but we must protect the children " argument. This is a good thing.

    • by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @10:49AM (#4677224) Homepage Journal
      So, exactly how many kids do you have that you're now an expert in child-rearing?

      Children are not just little adults who are capable of making their own decisions and who understand not only what's good and what's bad, but why. Teaching them the difference is a long process, not an instantaneous event. People always raise gullible children -- the hope is that they won't be gullible adults. 6-year-olds are easy to fool, not because their parents did a lousy job of raising them, but because they're only 6 and aren't done learning. The job of raising them isn't complete.

      I have a 3-year old who occasinally sits in my lap and we go to disney.com, nickjr.com, pbskids.com, etc.... I directly monitor what he sees -- is it censorship to only allow him to access the sites that I want him to? When he says "Daddy, click here," and that's not someplace I think he needs to go, should I let him go there just to let him see "oh yeah, there's bad stuff out there"?

      In a couple of years, probably by the time he's 5, he's going to want to do the computer himself. Now, 5 years old is too young to be exposed to things like pornography, pictures of dead people or serious violence. When that point comes, you can be darned sure that I'm going to limit the sites that he can go to. Sure, it won't be perfect -- it may be that I accidentally ban him from Scoobydoo.com or something. The point is not to exactly mirror my preferences for what he can and can't see, but to let him learn how to use the computer by going to some websites that are fun and age-appropriate.

      If the .kids.us domain is managed and yes *censored* well, at some point my kids may be allowed to visit any .kids.us site without my being in the room. That would be an improvement both for them and for me, and that's what makes the idea good.
    • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @11:07AM (#4677386)
      Dude, I'm 23 and there are things on the Internet I don't want to see because they are so fucking disturbing. Now, it's only through years of life experiences that I know that while there is a strange appeal to clicking on things and wanting to see everything out there, some images are SO disturbing that I don't want to see them. Seeing them is traumatizing and could honestly damage my psychological well-being.


      Even when I was 12, 13, 14 years old I don't think I had such a concept of self-censorship. If it was out there I would look at it. Luckily, the Internet was a more innocent place. Sure, I'd seen plenty of porn, sure I knew what a bad place the world could be when I was a teen, I read the news. But I didn't have to worry about stumbling onto Fecal Japan, goatse.cx and so on and so forth. Freedom of speech is great and all but there are some images that I'm not sure are appropriate for a 12 or 13 year old, let alone a 7 or 8 year old (and a lot of them can surf the web themselves these days).


      Of course, I realize point 1 above. And Point 3, like I said, has some truth to it, though I don't think to avoid being "gullible" you need to see pictures of prolapsed rectums, bondage, mutilated bodies and so on at a bright young age. The real problem is point 2 - it's HARD to really filter out harmful stuff without cutting out lots of reasonable stuff. Which is why hopefully when I have children I can solve these problems through parental policy and monitoring, until my kids are in the mid-teens and old enough to really call their own shots.

  • Doesn't making the kids disclose information in the browser violate the Children Online Privacy Protection Act? Or does the .kids.us domain get exempt? Besides, why do they need people to identify? Are they afraid terrorists are going to use .kids.us to communicate (oh, that would be funny, wouldn't it?)? I can't conceive how they could hope to keep pedophiles away with that.

    On the other hand, I'm sure a pedophile could run a site, and get lots of leads.
  • No internet, then (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TuringTest ( 533084 )
    NeuStar would be expected to police the subdomain to ensure it remains free of inappropriate content. Web sites in the domain would be prohibited from linking to sites outside it, and they could not set up chat rooms, instant messaging (news - web sites) or other interactive services unless they could certify that they did not expose children to pedophiles or pose other risks.

    For me, it means that only sites designed specifically for the .kids domain would be allowed. And, the no-external-linking and no-forum-chat-messaging gives an experience completelly different to what Internet is, and more close to TV or educational CDs. What will happen when those children have later to use the real Internet?

  • That goat-related porn will be on this domain within an hour of it coming live.
  • Enforcement? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:39AM (#4676700)
    What powers will the controlling group have when (not if) someone breaks the content rules?

    What recourse do I have when my kids happen upon content that should not be there in .kids.us?
  • .kids.US ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:42AM (#4676719)
    Are kids in the US the only ones befitting a "safe" surfing experience?

    I realize that it would be nigh impossible to create a worldide standard, but theis tastes a little of "screw everyone else".
  • Silly idea... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by al701 ( 617447 )
    Part of growing up is being exposed to things you shouldn't be. I would assume most slashdotters here grew up in a time, when the interenet was first start to spread its wings. There was no safeguards or protection. My parents couldn't even grasp the concept of a modem, when I was already downloading porn. Seriously, our soft culture has gone to far. Next thing you know, you will be able to vote and die in war 3yrs before you can drink. Oh wait, that is already in existance. Toughen up America.
  • by Insightfill ( 554828 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:44AM (#4676741) Homepage
    As a parent (of a 2yo), I'm not looking forward to her days on the net. Right now, Teletubbies disturbs me a little bit.

    My brother has VNC going on the home network just to keep an eye on his two kids, and one of them's gotten the family AOL account shut down for inappropriate behaviour in a chat room (don't ask).

    Leave the computer out in the open, like the TV, and let the oversight be implicit. Your kids may watch something out of line when they're out or you are, but something tells me that neither you nor they are going to watch XXX when you're both in the same house.

    Like it is at work. Your behavior might change if a URL log is kept, but it would really change if your back is to your boss who can always see your screen.

  • First, I definitely think this is a good idea. Yes, this may prove overly restrictive but if people are opting to go into a kids.us domain then it's their choice. It's another tool to help parents prevent their kids from accessing things they deem unsuitable.

    But one caveat is that anyone who thinks this is foolproof will surely be disappointed. The problem is links. Let's say some Disney television program gets a kids.us domain pointing to it. That site has a link to abcfamily.com which links to abc.com which links to abcnews.com which links to the latest celebrity sex scandal.

  • by dmarx ( 528279 ) <dmarx@NospaM.hushmail.com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:51AM (#4676791) Homepage Journal
    This sounds like a perfectly reasonable solution. Those parents that do not restrict what their kids see online (like mine) do not have to worry about having the government do it for them. Those parents that do want to restrict what their kids see online have to make sure that their restrictions only affect their kids, and not anyone else. In both cases, the control is with the parents where it belongs.
  • by Rhubarb Crumble ( 581156 ) <r_crumble@hotmail.com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @09:56AM (#4676823) Homepage
    ...of the time a certain (now defunct) high street clothing retailer had the wheeze of trying to be "trendy" and putting a fake URL on kids' t-shirts...

    ...they probably tried going to the site and got an error message, and thought that was safe enough...

    ...pity they didn't understand how second- and third-level domains work...

    The URL was "www.canda.boys.com"

    it didn't take long for the rightful owners of boys.com to spot this and add a "*" entry to their DNS table...

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happened next...

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @10:00AM (#4676840) Homepage Journal
    This really solves a lot of problems. It leaves the internet in general free to do what it does. It bypasses ICANN and puts the subdomain in the control of a U.S. company beholden to the U.S. government, and, most importantly, it does not impose U.S. law on the rest of the world. As much bashing as the U.S. congress has gotten here, I think they now deserve a conditional kudos for having a clue. I say conditional because they do hav a tendency to sneak in little easter eggs that come back to bite us in the butt.

    I, however, don't know if this will be successful. Parent who don't wish to monitor their children, like those that complain about South Park and the like, will complain that the system is not perfect when a nude painting inadvertently makes it into a discussion about classic art. Christian fundamentalist will try subvert the intention of the domain by using it to promote their religious beliefs. The fast food chains will dominate the advertising in a continuing attempt to brand our children.

    But, all in all, a good attempt and a gold star for congress. I am really not trying to be ironic. It is just we need to first teach our children to think. Sometimes I think we are so concerned with nipples and penises that allow equally dangerous, but more socially accepted material. Of course I agree that stuff like goatsx should be banned, but perhaps also this Jerry Falwell propaganda against muslims [falwell.com].

    • As much bashing as the U.S. congress has gotten here, I think they now deserve a conditional kudos for having a clue. I say conditional because they do hav a tendency to sneak in little easter eggs that come back to bite us in the butt.

      As one who routinely, and scathingly, bashes congress here and elsewhere, I have to agree. This appears to have been a rare instance of insightful, intelligent, reasoned, and balanced governance, something we have seen far too little of lately.

      I think this actually has a good chance of being quite successful, and school firewalls can easilly be designed to only access .kids.us, leaving the school surfing of the 'net relatively reasonably without having to employ censorship software whose motives are often suspect (they filter political as well as objectionable content, usually but not always with a pro-right-wing bias, etc.).

      As long as the criteria, process, and oversight of the selection of material that is allowed in the .kids.us domain is transparent and public, this will work reasonably well. Yes, there will be politics and debate, but it will be open and, if not always fair, at least reasonably democratic (quite possibly reminiscent of local school board politics). If not, it will just become another dysfunctional censorship project run amok.

      However, I am actually fairly optomistic that some lessons may have been learned, and it will be the former, not the latter, which happens. In any event, this is a good, well balanced start to solving a problem without, for once, trampling on either the constitution or the most promising new technology to emerge in a hundred years, namely the Internet itself.
  • Kids and the net (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ninja Master Gara ( 602359 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @10:05AM (#4676880) Homepage
    It's a serious problem. I couldn't allow in good conscience a pre-adolescent kid to roam free on the internet. There's just too much junk. While I'm not in the US, .kids.* (or even .kids TLD) could set a good precedent, and really get children out of the crapola. Combined with a ".kids" browser with severe linking limitation (browser only allows links to other .kids sites) and legal repurcussions for companies violating the .kids standard (Corruption of Minors?) I'd be more than happy to make changes to the way my computer worked to facilitate this. In a way it would create a sub-web of the internet, kids domains only interlinking with kids domains, and this would be a great thing. Many existing domains exist to populate this with numerous sites targetted for kids. In fact, if it was made a TLD, this could easily be expanded into pretty much all IP software to make 'em kid friendly. And kid friendly would have to come first over functionality; no putting in IP addresses directly to go to a site. It is a severe limitation but with a good watchdog, and approval process for .kids domains, I'd rest a lot easier about having a kid on the net.
  • A great idea. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clintp ( 5169 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @11:34AM (#4677609)
    Preface: I have a 9-year old who's just discovered the web as a resource for game cheats, lego, and pokemon crap. I'm up to my eyeballs in work trying to keep up. Thank god he's not allowed to chat...

    This idea is simple to implement for parents and easy to understand for everyone involved (but a pain for NeuStar).

    The various objections raised here seem silly, and not very well thought out.

    Kids need to learn to avoid this stuff on their own. It's censorship! Damn right it is censorship, and you're an irresponsible parent if you don't practice it. Kids get enough chances at avoiding (or seeking out) this stuff at school and around their peers. They don't need things handed to them on a silver platter. Parents need to be ever-vigilant, but they need a break too.

    Someone else is going to decide what's okay, and what's not! Their morals might not be your own! I'm willing to let someone else make the decisions, and check in occasionally to make sure they make sense. There may be material that's a little too mature (ever see some of the teenage girls on Nickleodeon?) or a out of whack politically (PBS kids programming chaps my ass some days with this), but I'm willing to trade a little boundary-pushing for a much safer experience.

    Parents will never figure out how to set this up! FUD & bullshit. They won't need to. If the US adopts this how long will it take for AOL 9.0 to come out with a button that locks down the system? Or Internet Explorer 7.0? Plugins galore that do the same thing? Not long and every software resaler will fall all over themselves to help parents remove this objection to letting the kids use the Net. Remember, *kids* drive a HUGE portion of the US economy.

    It's a US-only thing! Yup. Too bad. (For you or for us, depending on your viewpoint.)

    Why not just have a .XXX or .SEX domain? Two problems, first is that not every bad thing for children is porn -- I don't want my kid spending time at the Illinois Nazi website either. Second is that the genie's out of the bottle already. It's going to be impossible to legislatively corral it back in. Better to set up a sandbox where the genie's not allowed to go and defend that spot rigorously.

  • by RicochetRita ( 581914 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @11:38AM (#4677647) Homepage
    A whole new range of possibilities. Just think of all the fun to be had with .us:
    screws.us
    fscks.us
    ruins.us

    like,
    washington.kids.us
    verizon.screws.us
    or even, archaeology.ruins.us

    R

  • by karl.auerbach ( 157250 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @11:55AM (#4677843) Homepage
    It looks like Congress is once more failing to understand what the internet is, or rather what it isn't. The world wide web is not the Internet - the net is a much larger system encompassing many more services.

    A domain name references a set of records that in turn may reference computers that in turn offer an array of services, one of which may be a set of web pages.

    Is congress intending to police all of those services on all of those computers that are referenced by all of those different types of records under each domain name in kids.us?

    And what are they going to police? As others here have mentioned, there is no single standard for content for children.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer

Working...