From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus -- 27 Jun 03 -- CIPA / Peacefire / GetNetWise

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S): CIPA / Peacefire / GetNetWise

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, presented by Bank One. :P

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show ...

CIPA Lives!

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court upheld the Children's Internet Protection Act, a law requiring all U.S. public elementary schools, secondary schools, and libraries that receive E- rate discounts for Internet access or Title III money for Internet- connected computers to

1. Adopt Internet safety policies;

2. Provide notice and hold at least one hearing on these proposed Internet safety policies; and

3. Use "technology protection measures" on all computers with Internet access.

What the heck are "technology protection measures?" Well, that's just a fancy way of saying "Internet filters."

If you want to find out more about the Supreme Court ruling and the backlash it is causing in the library community, check out Yahoo! News' "Supreme Court Approves Anti-Pornography Filters in Libraries" Full Coverage page at tmpl=fc&cid=34&in=tech&cat=internet_and_world_wide_web

or the American Library Association's CIPA page at [brace yourself, this is a long one] gton/Issues2/Civil_Liberties,_Intellectual_Freedom,_Privacy/CIPA1/CIPA.htm .

I get the sinking feeling you're going to have to cut-and-paste that last link to get it to work. Sorry about that. :)

Also, to find out more about the history behind the Children's Internet Protection Act and how it impacts schools and libraries, check out my free PowerPoint presentation titled "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- How Internet Filters Work, How They Don't Work, and How Students Bypass Them" at .

Instructions on how to open and view this presentation are at the top of the page. The presentation is just under one megabyte in size, so it should take less than two and a half minutes to download over a 56K modem.

Filter Information

Since the Supreme Court upheld the requirement that K-12 schools and public libraries must put filters on their Internet-connected computers, I guess it's not out of line to ask if filters actually work. Well, the answer is a definite "maybe."

Internet filters are a lot like "The Club," that big, red bar that you can use to lock your steering wheel. Will The Club prevent someone from stealing your car? Of course not. If someone wants to steal your car, they're going to steal your car. But The Club does offer *some* level of deterrence. Hopefully, upon seeing The Club installed on your steering wheel, a would-be thief will say to himself "self, this just isn't worth the hassle" and move on ... to the car parked next to yours.

Internet filters use the same concept. They're not difficult to bypass (see below), but they do slow you down a bit.

But Internet filters are by *NO* stretch of the imagination perfect. In fact, Bennett Haselton at

has made a career out of pointing out the flaws in current filtering technology. offers detailed instructions on how to bypass many popular filtering programs.

That aside, with Internet filters now having the Supreme Court's stamp of approval, it's not too much of a stretch to say that some parents are now considering installing an Internet filter on their home computers. Protecting children online can be tough. Maybe filters offer some level of protection.

And maybe they don't. Is there any place you can learn more about Internet filters -- not just filters for schools and libraries but ones for home computers as well?

You bet there is!

We talked about GetNetWise back in 1999, but I think it's high time we paid them another visit. GetNetWise is a free, educational resource for families and caregivers that helps you ensure your kids have a safe, educational, and entertaining experience on the Net.

You can find GetNetWise on the Web at .

The GetNetWise site is divided into four sections, and each of the sections offers an amazing collection of information and resources:

1. The Online Safety Guide

The Guide teaches you about the risks kids face online, based on age levels or types of activities. The Guide also includes safety tips for kids, teens, and families. In fact, the Online Safety Guide is so good you may discover that you don't need to purchase and install an Internet filter after all. But if you are still hell bent on using a filter, check out ...

2. Tools for Families

This section focuses on Internet filters, and it offers something I have not seen before: an Internet filter "search engine." Choose the features you want -- time limits, sex filtering, blocking outgoing information, and so on -- and GetNetWise tells you which software programs have those features. In fact, GetNetWise's Tools for Families page includes details about more than 50 commercial software programs parents can use to block Web sites inappropriate for children and monitor the time kids spend online.

3. Web Sites for Kids

This section offers a collection of the best kid-safe URLs from around the Net. Pretty self-explanatory.

4. Reporting Trouble

This last section teaches you how identify online trouble and find law enforcement contact information. This section also provides a list of US child advocacy groups that can help you recognize and report online trouble. Unfortunately, the Reporting Trouble section is VERY U.S.-centric and won't be much help to our overseas passengers.

GetNetWise's goal is to ensure that all Internet users are only "one click away" from all the resources they need to make informed decisions about their family's online experience. To make this goal a reality, GetNetWise has attracted a list of corporate partners that reads like a Who's Who of the technology world: America Online, AT&T, MCI WorldCom, Microsoft, Disney Online, Lycos, Excite, Yahoo, AltaVista, Dell ... the list keeps on going. According to the Associated Press, companies in the campaign claimed that almost 95 percent of the Internet's traffic flows through their sites.

As part of the partnership agreement, GetNetWise's partner companies can either link to the GetNetWise site directly [like Microsoft has done at -- look in the bottom right corner of the page for the link] or incorporate the site's content into their own online presence [like Lycos has done at ]. In short, expect to see GetNetWise's child safety information EVERYWHERE!

Of course, you don't have to be a multinational corporation to be able to support GetNetWise. If you are interested in providing a link to GetNetWise from your own Web site, take a look at .

This page tells you how to either link to or frame the GetNetWise site, and it also tells you how you can become a financial supporter of the project.

Of all the child safety sites our little bus of Internet happiness has visited over the past several years, GetNetWise is my favorite. It is a well organized site, and it contains a wealth of information. Before you let your kids explore the vast world of the Information Superhighway, you really should visit GetNetWise at and learn how you can protect your children from the dangers that lurk in cyberspace.

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll talk again soon. :)

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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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