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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  June 1993, Week 2

COMMUNET June 1993, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Mommy! Daddy! Look what I found on the net!

From:

Stephen Williams <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Communet: Community and Civic Network Discussion List

Date:

Sat, 12 Jun 1993 13:41:49 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

>
> Stephen Williams writes:
>
> >While I am working on an extension to INN/Tin/Netnews protocol to
> >make news 'safer' for minors, there are still many problems to be
> >solved.  Technically and Legally.
>
> I'd be interested in hearing what extensions you are thinking about,
> and what effect these have on scalability. Have you looked at NNTP
> v2.0?
 
No.  I assume there's a draft RFC somewhere?  Pointers to people and/or
info?
 
Basically, my idea, which I discussed with Rich Salz and others, who
seemed to like it, was to add a standard but optional header that
notes endorsements of a particular message.  Control messages could be
generated and passed as news articles, like other control messages.
 
Anyone could endorse a particular message as being of a class (K-12,
K-6, adult, flame noise, gem, etc.).  Authentication would be
optional, but possibly based on PGP.
 
A site wanting to limit access by certain users to reviewed articles,
would configure that users's authorization to a set of endorsers.
 
The nice thing about it is that it's distributed, non-censoring (since
it just adds a header line) to adults/operators, a minor change to
current software, transparent to old software, etc.
 
You could insist that the endorsements be local, or specify a list of
trusted reviewers (possibly teachers accross the world).
 
Really paranoid cites could even insist on multiple endorsements, etc.
Even a child's parent could be setup to screen messages.
 
Since it's distributed, each K-12 site wouldn't have to review many or
any messages.
 
...
> Unfortunately, with FidoNet or TCP/IP impersonation is easy, as is
> mail and news forging. This in and of itself is difficult-to-refute
> argument for moderation in all "open to the world" conferences
> accessed by minors.  Of course, this is only relevant if you use
> "standard" conferencing software.  However, it might be a good
> argument for a "non-standard" NNTP version operating on a different
> port for educational conferencing.
 
Security by obscurity only works if you're willing to change your
whole setup as soon as the secrets get out.
 
The above setup solves the other problem of minors submitting
objectionable material.
 
The legal problems I mentioned mainly had to do with who was
responsible when a local person complains about a message that was
endorsed by remote people.  In my mind, if you watched for two
separate endorsers, you could argue that the 'sense of the educational
community' was that the message was ok.
 
If a local teacher authorizes a message, it's no different than him
making a book available.
 
I'm a little worried that a mechanism like this would be used to
censor messages for adults, but I think protection for that can be
built in and it's worth it if we can safely give access to everyone.
 
sdw
--
Stephen D. Williams  Local Internet Gateway Co.; SDW Systems 513 496-5223APager
LIG dev./sales       Internet: [log in to unmask] CIS [log in to unmask]
OO R&D Source Dist.  By Horse: 2464 Rosina Dr., Miamisburg, OH 45342-6430
GNU Support          ICBM: 39 34N 85 15W I love it when a plan comes together

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