Re: HTTP Futures

Marc H. (
Thu, 1 Dec 1994 01:28:04 +0100

+--- On Wed, 30 Nov 1994, David Koblas wrote:
| We are neglecting on form of access control that I think might be
| just as important "parental control".
| Maybe something like:
| Content-Guidance: {*,violence,sex,...}={specifer}
| Content-Guidance: sex=MPAA-R (i.e no male nudity, only simulated sex)

+--- On Wed, 30 Nov 1994, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
| Yet another situation where collaborative filtering can help. If the MPAA
| had an online presence and a public key to have digital signatures
| verified, then they could go around the net attaching their 'G' Seal of
| Approval on the Barney page, their 'PG' SOAP on the Nancy Drew page, their
| 'R' SOAP on the Oliver Stone page, and their 'X' SOAP on

Seems like these schemes would only be workable if an "unrated" page was
assumed to be unacceptable and was "blocked" (which it sounds like Brian
intended). I wouldn't expect the playboy people, for instance, to
willingly rate their pages unless pressured/forced to do so. (Perhaps
that's a bad example, since a corporation is associated with that site.
I wouldn't expect some individual maintaining a pornographic/erotic web
site to use MPAA ratings, and pressuring an individual to do so would be
much more difficult.)

Another solution might be to have a centralized "rating server" (or
several) which a browser might consult before retrieving any page. In
this model an author would not have to agree to be rated. Such a
browser, however, would require two connections for each retrieval, one
to the rating server and one to the origin server.

+ [more from Brian]
| While I personally abhor the thought of prohibiting the flow of
| information, I am pointing out that it could be technologically
| accomplished rather elegantly.

It's hard to express how abhorrent I find the rating server idea; and I
don't think the other schemes are much better. I agree that it could be
accomplished. However, if a browser either rejected all unrated pages or
consulted some central morals committee before retrieving any page, the
effect on the flow of information would likely be quite drastic. I
don't know that any such solution would be "elegant."