Censorship for WWW

Simon Reed (SIMON@itd.tv.bbc.co.uk)
Fri, 2 Dec 1994 16:09:52 +0100

Only allowing access to specific sites should be an ideal solution for
schools and others. If we wish to protect other people's children from what
third parties may show - well what right have we? We are arguing over who
has the right to censorship and yet assuming we already have the right!

And anyway, if we restrict information flow over the Internet, we will
immediately circumvent it ourselves!
From: www-talk
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Rating System for WWW Pages
Date: 02 December 1994 14:39

I second Brian Farrar's suggestion to put complete control in the hands of
the client. If a *local* (ie 'client') filtering system is workable enough,
that should defuse the pressure (anticipated and existing) to censor the

I teach Net usage workshops to public school teachers, and the question of
classrom control over content comes up often. It is a valid question, IMHO,
but I think the best solution is to put good tools in the hands of the
people who need or desire that kind of control, rather than trying to create
a webwide rating system which will only be circumvented anyway.

Would it be possible from a programming pov to run a filter along with
existing browsers which would only permit access to a limited (pre-approved)
set of adresses? IOW, that way a teacher could permit access to say,
SpaceLink or the Smithsonian (or whatever) while denying access to other
sites? Any ideas, anyone?

I think it is vital that the Web community solve this problem before others
solve it for us ......

Nathan Wagoner