ITIS 1210 Introduction to Web-Based Information Systems

ITIS 1210 Introduction to Web-Based Information Systems

ITIS 1210 Introduction to Web-Based Information Systems Chapter 52 Parental Controls on the Internet Introduction Advantage of the Internet

Free flow of information Uncontrolled by any central agency or government Necessarily Some of that information Will be objectionable to someone

Hate sites, pornography, political sites Introduction Availability of information Leads to attempts to control that information Typical argument: The children should not be exposed to Why children? Lack of judgment

Unformed ideas that could be easily swayed Introduction Number of efforts over the years to ban or control certain content Communications Decency Act of 1996 1: Attempted to regulate both indecency & obscenity 2: Operators of Internet services were not to be considered as publishers

CDA Most controversy was around indecency on the Internet FCC had controlled TV & radio for years Offensive speech restricted to certain times of the day (minors less likely to be exposed) 10 PM and 6 AM Violators could lose licenses & be fined Lenny Bruce George Carlins Seven Dirty Words

CDA Internet had only become public in 1992 Not covered under previous laws CDA was 1st attempt to cover both Internet Cable TV Congress passed Feb 1, 1996 President Clinton signed into law Feb 8

CDA knowingly (A) uses an interactive computer service to send to a specific person or persons under 18 years of age, or (B) uses any interactive computer service to display in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs.

CDA June 1996 federal panel in PA overturned part of CDA Infringed on free speech rights of adults July 1996 federal court in NY overturned part protecting children as too broad June 1997 Supreme Court upheld PA decision Reno vs. American Civil Liberties Union

CDA Reno vs. ACLU: Indecency provisions of CDA were an unconstitutional abridgement of the First Amendment right to free speech because They did not permit parents to decide for themselves what material was acceptable for their children Extended to non-commercial speech, and

Did not define "patently offensive," a term with no prior legal meaning CDA 2003 Congress removed those portions of CDA that had been struck down Separate challenge by Nitke v. Gonzales in 2005 Internet does not permit publishers to restrict destinations based on geography Act in effect restricted the entire Internet to

the standards of the most restrictive community online CDA Unfairly restricted her freedom of speech Struck down by NY federal court in 2005 Plaintiffs had not presented sufficient evidence Decision affirmed by Supreme Court in 2006 Other efforts

Child Online Protection Act of 1998 Purpose was to protect minors from harmful sexual material on the Internet Required commercial distributors of material harmful to minors to restrict minors access to their sites Other efforts Material harmful defined to mean

By contemporary community standards Appealed to prurient interest Showed sexual acts or nudity (included topless women) In 1999 Third Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law Using community standards was too broad

Other efforts Supreme Court found this reasoning insufficient & returned to lower court 2003, Third Circuit struck down again Finding hindered protected speech among adults 2004 Supreme Court upheld this ruling Noted that filtering software had improved As not taken into account

Other efforts March 2007 COPA struck down again Government permanently enjoined from enforcing it saying perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection. Other efforts

Childrens Internet Protection Act of 2000 Introduced by John McCain in 1999 Passed both houses in December 2000 Signed by President Clinton on Dec 21, 2000 Challenged in 2001 by American Library Assoc

Other efforts Previous challenges lost on 1st Amendment grounds CIPA represented a change of strategy Federal government has no direct means of controlling local school/library boards HOWEVER, normally, telecommunications users pay a universal service tax Libraries receive an e-rate discount to

purchase Internet access and computers Other efforts CIPA required libraries and schools using these discounts to Purchase and use a technology protection measure On every computer connected to the Internet Other efforts a technology protection measure with

respect to any of its computers with Internet access that protects against access through such computers to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors Other efforts Further, CIPA required that these measures be in effect during any use by minors For adults the same provisions applied

except the harmful to minors part was deleted Measures could be disabled during use by an adult for research or other lawful purposes Other efforts ALA challenged on grounds that CIPA required libraries to block access to constitutionally protected speech Enforcement involved removing federal funds

intended to assist disadvantaged minorities Digital Divide No filtering software could accurately differentiate between illegal and protected speech on the Internet Other efforts PA Court of Appeals agreed Supreme Court overturned Legal for federal government to include conditions imposed on receipt of funding

Further, CIPA is constitutional if the library will unblock at an adults request Some libraries did choose to forego federal funding Parental Controls On the Internet Is the answer in

Legislation? Technology? Textbook suggests technology Software that permits parents to control access Parental Controls On the Internet SurfWatch CyberPatrol

Net Nanny Platform for Internet Content Selection PICS Parental Controls On the Internet AOL also filters content and blocks access PICS is working with industry to Develop standards to rate all Internet content Software could be developed to block access for children based on these suitability ratings

Business also into the fray Lost productivity Liability for harassment, hostile workplace suits How Parental Controls Work SurfWatch consists of a module that scans input from the Internet Intercepts it before it reaches the TCP/IP stack Checks URLS most likely to contain offensive content HTTP

NNTP (news) FTP Gopher (distributed document search and retrieval network protocol designed for the Internet ) IRC How Parental Controls Work Content from these URLS is isolated 1st check: objectionable URLS Checked against a database of URLS from objectionable sites

Content not permitted thru to TCP/IP stack User notified that site has been blocked How Parental Controls Work 2nd check: Pattern matching Words in URL indicative of offensive content Content not permitted thru to TCP/IP stack

User notified that site has been blocked 3rd check: PICS Information about content embedded in Web documents Content not permitted thru to TCP/IP stack User notified that site has been blocked How Parental Controls Work If content passes all checks it is permitted through

Process is very fast so user sees no delay Database updated monthly to keep up with new developments Businesses use SurfWatch on a server to protect their business network Problems with SurfWatch Early efforts had some amusing moments 1996

White House page about Bill & Hillary, Al & Tipper Page named couples.html Renamed principles.html Archie R. Dykes Medical Library Library blocked from browsing their own site Problems with SurfWatch University of Kansas Medical Center Library

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