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House OKs Wiretapping and New .kids.us domain

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the dropping-the-velvet-glove dept.

Privacy 173

proj_2501 writes: "Yahoo! has a story about how the US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved two new bills: one for the creation of a federally overseen TLD called .kids.us (participation is voluntary), and the other for more ease of wiretapping to supposedly prevent dangerous meetings between kids and 'child predators'." Remember, an equivalent bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate.

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564630)



This post for the Kaiser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564647)

1. Heil dir im Siegerkranz,
Herrscher des Vaterlands,
Heil Kaiser Dir!
|: Fhl in des Thrones Glanz
die hohe Wonne ganz,
Liebling des Volks zu sein,
Heil Kaiser Dir! :|

2. Nicht Ro und Reisige
sichern die steile Hh,
wo Frsten stehn:
|: Liebe des Vaterlands,
Liebe des freien Manns
grndet den Herrscherthron
wie Fels im Meer! :|

3. Heilige Flamme glh,
glh und erlsche nie
frs Vaterland!
|: Wir alle stehen dann
mutig fr einen Mann,
kmpfen und bluten gern
fr Thron und Reich! :|

4. Handlung und Wissenschaft
hebe mit Mut und Kraft
ihr Haupt empor!
|: krieger- und Heldentat
finde ihr Lorbeerblatt
treu aufgehoben dort
an deinem Thron! :|

5. Sei, Kaiser Wilhelm, hier
lang deines Volkes Zier,
der Menschheit Stolz!
|: Fhl in des Thrones Glanz
die hohe Wonne ganz,
Liebling des Volks zu sein,
Heil Kaiser dir!

When do I get to sing "my way?" (-1)

anonymous cowfart (576665) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564639)

One of these days I will be able to proudly say "frozen poopsicle" in the spot it belongs. But not today.

Jefferson is spinning in his grave (5, Insightful)

eyegor (148503) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564640)

Why do they persist in eroding my rights in order to keep me "safe"?

Every time they decide we need protecting, they strip away yet another preciously gained right. Once they're gone, good luck getting them back.

I propose a new form of energy. We can harness the power of the founding fathers spinning in their graves. Given what's going on these days, we should be able to replace Three Mile Island. The only problem is that we need Sen. Hollings around to craft more legislation.

Re:Jefferson is spinning in his grave (3, Insightful)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564679)

"Why do they persist in eroding my rights in order to keep me "safe"?"

They`re not. They are attempting to give the impression that they are worth voting for, rather than the other party, because they are "doing something about child abuse". Doesnt matter if it will work, or erode your rights or whatever. They just need something where they can say "we are doing this".

Re:Jefferson is spinning in his grave (2)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564703)

I'm not going to address the 'wiretapping' issue in this post. I'm mostly opposed to it for censorship reasons.

However, I do favor a .kids.us domain simply for an easy to select group of online entertainment for children. Makes it "REALLY" easy to filter at the firewall level. This new domain simply could not and will not help with instant messaging, but not all children use it (believe it or not).

Some children simply want to play the games offered by current kids web sites. Maybe some of the mismatched banner ads could disappear from current 'children' web sites. I saw a nickjr.com page that popped up an ad for new Ford trucks. WTF??? Talk about poor target marketing. Why not just make it a Casino ad instead.

I have a hard time envisioning doubleclick.kids.us. However, if they pop up koolaid ads or something, I wouldn't be 'nearly' as disappointed.

Re:Jefferson is spinning in his grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564739)

I think that creating a kids.us domain, and confirming that only sites for childrens entertainment and education are there, but to set this as a protection from children, and to allow wiretapping is not going to save, or protect anyone.

Access only to address ending in kids.us. (0)

as400as2 (560825) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564644)

Parents could set computer software to limit a child's access to only addresses ending in .kids.us.
What software can effectively do that? Anyone?

Prevention? (5, Insightful)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564650)

I don't get it: how is this legislation going to prevent children from chatting online with child molestors?

Seems to me that this new .kids.us will just be another dead area on the Internet, and that kids will find it boring (aka - no chatting) and return to the same areas they were surfing before.

Re:Prevention? (2, Interesting)

nob (244898) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564656)

Plus the domain isn't going to help any with the main chatting system of kids, instant messaging. (Although the wiretapping may help in this area some.)

Re:Prevention? (2)

CodeMonky (10675) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564657)

Someone mod the parent up please.

My guess is that filetering software will be modified to have "only allow access to .kids.us domains" options.

Re:Prevention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564717)

Plus now the preditors have an isolated location where they know kids are going to be...

Re:Prevention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564720)

I don't think that the point is to stop every child from ever chatting on the net. The point is to help children and parents find internet sites that are clean. If anyone is going to restrict access to other sites, it is going to be parents, and that is a right that they should have.

I really don't understand how kids.us will take away freedom of speech. It is no different from limiting who can have the .gov or .edu domains. Do you think the .gov and .edu domains violate the first amendment as well?

Re:Prevention? (1, Interesting)

rtscts (156396) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564724)

Read the article:

The domain measure, approved on a 406-2 vote, would have the federal government oversee a ".kids.us" domain on the Internet that would have
only material appropriate for children under 13. Web site operators' participation would be voluntary. Parents could set computer software to limit a child's access to only addresses ending in .kids.us.
So, it's like a whitelist in DNS. If your site is approved for under 13's, you get to keep your domain.

and it would not provide any access to interactive features, such as chat rooms.
Everything that goes onto a .kids.us domain must be approved by the site operators.

This is GOOD law! It provides protection for the kiddies (GOD DAMNIT THINK OF THE CHILDREN!), it doesn't give the Govt any more censorship powers, and it doesn't put a burden on ISPs, adults or the rest of the Internet/world.

Re:Prevention? (1)

lucifuge31337 (529072) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564975)

The parent was NOT a troll. Read the last line.

Anything that will quell the rantings of the idoitic "masses" who want what equates to Internet cencorship should be seen as A GOOD THING.

Will this really accomplish its purpose? Maybe, but who cares. It's voluntary, and it can be pointed at as an example: "look...we're trying this. No go away for awhile."

Re:Prevention? (1)

swankypimp (542486) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564899)

Couldn't content providers make java-based web chat rooms on something like chat.kids.us? It would be more like IRC than AOL Instant Messaging, and by using the service you agree to be bound by the decisions of aggressively sensitive/paranoid moderators. They could register users with verifiable contact info (parents' CC #), content is logged, and if you even think of talking dirty to the kids you get banned.

Re:Prevention? (how about schools?) (2)

JThaddeus (531998) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565030)

My wife is a teacher and is constantly butting heads over the net nanny software the school district installed (this from the same boobs that (a) repeatly assigned duplicate IPs (b) moved to Outlook, which keeps half the network down with viruses). This filtering stuff has interesting side effects--like no one being able to do web research on the planet Venus: Because it crops up in so many adult sites, it got added to the exclusion list!

Equivalent Bill? Who cares! (2, Informative)

Arteasia (576993) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564651)

An equivalent bill does not need to be introduced in the Senate. This House bill now gets placed on the Senate agenda for debate. No one needs to introduce an equivalent bill, it is done so automatically.

child predators? (1)

Isle (95215) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564665)

So do they have the same cool cloaking-ability as the adult predators?

Re:child predators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564737)

Yes. Haven't you read one of the greatest children's books of all time? "Everybody's Prey Screams."

It's got a heartwarming picture on it of a young predator removing the flesh from his first human trophy, while his father looks on with pride.

Now there's a race of aliens bent on murdering humans that takes family values seriously!

Strange TLD name... (3, Funny)

HiQ (159108) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564666)

So when I register sites like:
government.kids.us or
I'm actually saying that the government and Bush are fooling us?

Kids know more (1)

traskjd (580657) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564674)

Ha! Isn't always that kids understand technology before adults can - surely they only want to find out how to advance even faster from all the stuff these kids know :D I can see it now... as if technology wasn't fast enough now... five year old kids get tapped discussing how to build nano-fibres - just don't tell the olds cos this will really freak them :) Seriously though, just in case that is a bit off topic I would prefer my kids (assuming I had some) being watched over than have some sicko getting them!

Re:Kids know more (1)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564691)

How do you know the guys watching arn't the sickos? It's not like they will give you background checks on these guys or that you'll bother to check. Knowing the government they will probably pay convicts $1.00 an hour to do it.

Re:Kids know more (1)

traskjd (580657) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564772)

valid point.

I think it would be wise for parents to use this service, no matter how flawed parts may be in conjunction with other software that limits what kids can and can't do. However the problem with that (as I quite lamely attempted to joke at in my message) is that quite often the kids are more savvy than the parents. I am in my late teens and second year computer science student and I recall when I was much younger, around 13 and I knew there was no way my parents would be able to use such software because I knew more than they did about the topic. Hopefully, assuming we don't get sickos running it, it will add that layer of protection that parents who don't understand computers can rely a little on.

However... how would you restrict such access without software the kids could screw around with?

Re:Kids know more (1)

gimpboy (34912) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564835)

However... how would you restrict such access without software the kids could screw around with?

i think you've hit the nail on the head here. there isn't any legislation or software that can replace good parenting. i'm sure the legislators and software manufacturers will continue to try, but they will also continue to fail. it's sad really.

Re:Kids know more (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564997)

However... how would you restrict such access without software the kids could screw around with?

Introducing the new KidPC. No 'install' rights in the OS, and an embedded browser that returns ONLY .kids.us websites. Your child is now safe. You may return to the couch, and the latest rerun on Cops.

.kids (2, Insightful)

nervlord1 (529523) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564684)

the .kids doesnt strike me as all that bad, its a good way to help keep kids off sites they really dont need to visit, without censoring the rest of the net

Wiretapping is crap, but, i dont mind the .kids thing

think about it

Re:.kids (1)

Morrig (258723) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564862)

heh. Frankly, i have to agree with some previous posters- kids will see it as another dead, no-fun area, and find ways around the blocks. And what was that about "no interactive features"? No chat rooms? The kiddies who go online *for* chat rooms are going to see this domain as basically useless. And besides, there's still IM. And i had to laugh at John Shimkus' remark: "libraries have children's book sections, why can't the Internet have the same type of section devoted to children's interests?" O fer crissake. How many of you actually stuck to reading the books in the children's book section when you were a kid? I sure as heck didn't.
I still argue for more parental involvement. Why are these kids able to meet online friends IRL without the parents being there?? What was a *6th-grader* doing meeting a strange person without her mom or dad? The computer is not a babysitter. Parents should be enough involved in their kids' lives to know what's going on, and they should develop a relationship in which the kids trust them enough to tell them. It can happen. This bill looks like just another way for parents to plead ignorance when something awful happens to their kids that their involvement could've prevented. "But i had her computer set to only go to kids.us domains! How was i to know she'd gotten around the block??" Come *on*. Take responsibility for your own lack of action.

This changes the blame game (1)

fizbin (2046) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565172)

With an explicit "safe area" (which the big corps like Disney and yahoo can be certain to enter, even if no one else does) that kids will find lame, it can become now directly obvious to the "save the children" people that it is the children who are struggling out of their network straight jacket.

This means that it is no longer a case of "these evil people are sending bad stuff to our kids" and instead becomes a matter of "our kids are actively hunting for this bad stuff". Maybe it won't cause a complete and total reexamination of attitudes on everyone's part, but it might make those parents stuck in "my sweet, innocent darling wouldn't try anything bad" mode move on to more realistic positions.

Re:This changes the blame game (1)

Morrig (258723) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565241)

*laughs* Good point, fizbin. And those are exactly the parents with whom i was taking issue in my post. We don't need to pay attention to sweetie-poo Johnny; he would *never* do anything naughty!

Hmm... (0)

David_Bloom (578245) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564685)

Is Gary Condit eligible (for both? ;-D)

I doubt this law will do much good...there probably will be no enforcement and people will just set up kids websites, get inspection, get the domain, then turn the sites into porn sites.

www.hotsexxx.kids.us (0)

ganiman (162726) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564688)

I wonder if it's going to be a pay site...

Re:www.hotsexxx.kids.us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564705)

Good ideal. We can make millions off all those lame parents who think their kids will be safe. Charge them up the wazoo for site access. I'm sure they are willing to pay as these are the same people who spend billions in stupid pet stores.

hrmm question for someone smart (2, Offtopic)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564690)


the article made me think of something about telephone wiretaps.

if me and my buddy each had a scrambling doodad that made my voice encrypted, and then on his end decrypted, how long do y'all figure it would be before someone showed up at my door asking what i was doing?

and do they make something like that? (thats just for the sake of interest)

Im not smart but heres my .02$ (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564721)

Probably wouldn't if you both were inside the US. If one of you was in a different country, esp eastern europe, middle east, or east africa, I think they would be there within a few days...

Re:hrmm question for someone smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564784)

The device you are talking about would look just like what it is: a modem connection. Nothing suspect there.

Re:hrmm question for someone smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564968)

ObCaveat: I'm not claiming smartness ;-)

At the time of the Clipper controversy, I did wonder whether the objective of the program was not so much to ensure that law enforcement and national security could readily decrypt something that looked interesting, but rather to keep the traffic analysis situation stable. For a long time, anything that looked encrypted and wasn't easily explicable (end point in a bank, for example, or an embassy, or any of the various known good guys) would have stood out from the general background. Dilute that with general use of strong encryption and it's much more difficult to spot "interesting" datastreams to look at further. I'm speculating here, but if a Clipper encrypted data stream has characteristics that are reasonably readily recognisable and the mechanism as a whole is tamper-resistant (and it was a hardware implementation so that can probably be taken as true), and if the majority of general-use encryption uses the approved and well-controlled Clipper mechanism, then the situation for the signal-samplers is much as before: ignore the Clipper streams and look at the remaining "non-standard" encrypted streams.

All of which is rather academic, since Clipper never flew and PGP became available for use by the well-informed. Whether the low level of use it gets is having any affect on traffic monitoring I wouldn't hazard a guess about. More to the point is probably the sheer volume of noise passing through the network. P2P, pr0n, /.-effect, etc.

Just my 2 small units of an unspecified currency.

Re:hrmm question for someone smart (2)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565133)

ignore the Clipper streams and look at the remaining "non-standard" encrypted streams.

So, knowledgeable people will simply encrypt their non-standard streams with Clipper. Problem solved.

Re:hrmm question for someone smart (2, Funny)

FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565067)

...how long do y'all figure it would be before someone showed up at my door asking what i was doing?

and do they make something like that?

Yes, they do make something that shows up on your door like that. It's called an FBI agent. You can't buy one, but the government will send you one for free if you ask in the right way. Try threatening a government official, that usually works.

Less Freedom (1)

WellHungYungWun (580730) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564695)

I wish they would just hurry up and take away the rest of everyone's freedom. It's much easier to deal with all at once then to be slowly ate away at over time.

Re:Less Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564727)

People are much more likely to notice and stop that.

Bad mojo, period (1)

SouperDouper (568634) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564697)

I don't like the repurcussions of this if it passes. I forsee the government in the lead role of a favorite children's book of mine: "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..."

Typo, surely? (1)

C A S S I E L (16009) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564722)

Isn't it actually .kids.r.us? You know, to go along with .toys.r.us?

Re:Typo, surely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564748)

(Score:-1, Unfunny Fat Linux User)

and what army? (2, Insightful)

johnot (240709) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564723)

"it should reduce the chance of accidental exposure to pornography and to other Web sites considered harmful to children"

Who has the authority to decide what's harmful and what isn't?
I mean, some things are blatantly obvious, but where is the line drawn? How much does a site have to overstep bounds before they can go after it?

`"I have repeatedly said that libraries have children's book sections, why can't the Internet have the same type of section devoted to children's interests?" he said.'

What team are we going to have on the payroll to monitor an entire TLD?

And how long until it gets unmanageable and degenerates into nothing better than the rest of them?

A good idea, but trying to manage content seems like it would get out of hand quickly.

Re:and what army? (2)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564841)

Well, it wouldn't get unmanageable. The wait to add more content or to ask permission to change your current content would just become longer and longer and longer until the whole thing stagnates.

Which isn't a horrible problem, since nobody is forced to put kiddie content in .kids.us, and nobody is forced to surf only there. Taxpayers are forced to pay for it, of course.

Re:and what army? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3565080)

Well, thats easy.

Harmful sites are companies that want to ruin our lifes, or take over the world, like Disney or Microsoft.

Re:and what army? (1)

40000 (445957) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565114)

"it should reduce the chance of accidental exposure to pornography and to other Web sites considered harmful to children"

Accidental exposure to pornography? Most people who take any notice of porn wanted to see it in the first place (that includes children). Everybody else is quite capable of thinking "that's a porn site, I didn't want to go here, I'll click Back".

Re:and what army? (3, Insightful)

Steve B (42864) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565144)

Who has the authority to decide what's harmful and what isn't?

I'd like to see the NRA put a nice Eddie Eagle page in kids.us. When the liberal Democrats on the hill hear about that, pass the popcorn....

theGovernment.PatronizesAnd.kids.us (2)

BreakWindows (442819) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564725)

The domain measure, approved on a 406-2 vote, would have the federal government oversee a ".kids.us" domain on the Internet that would have only material appropriate for children under 13. ... Parents could set computer software to limit a child's access to only addresses ending in .kids.us.

Well, there goes the internet as an educational tool for children. The internet was almost like the answer to what the government thinks is appropriate for our kids.

So I'm sure we'll have buytoys.kids.us and gap.kids.us, but they either expect thousands of educational websites to grab a new TLD, or kids to look at nothing but cute online shopping wishlists. Or they don't care, but want to be seen doing something.

.kids.us?? (0, Troll)

qwerpoiu (532823) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564738)

With Bush's name on the tax refunds, I'm suprised it's not .kids.bush.is.great.and.so.is.tx

What constitutes a "predator" ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564750)

Teenagers are sexual. Online teenagers from 13 upwards are very sexual with each other. How is any form of wiretapping meant to tell who is a teenager and who isn't, and what is normal sexual activity and what is not?
The internet is a dynamic which few of law-passing age understand.

If major kid sites go.... (2)

BMonger (68213) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564752)

If the major sites for children start going I think all of them will have to go to .kids.us. For instance if Disney has a Disney.kids.us and they want to link to Nickelodeon's website the Nickelodeon website will have to be .kids.us else the child will not be able to view it (assuming that the parents only let the children view .kids.us). This will certainly require a lot of website updating as new companies and individuals take up the .kids.us.

Unix and kids (2)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564760)

One of the first things I teach my Unix sysadmin students is to get rid of the following alias that seems to be the default in so many Linux distros:

alias rm "rm -i"

Why? Because once they start depending upon this alias to do all the work for them by prompting for every file to be deleted, they'll be in for the surprise of their life when they end up on a machine that doesn't have rm set up to do their thinking for them.

So here we have kids.us -- a supposedly "safe haven" for parents to send their children on the net. Parents can now rest easy, knowing their responsibility towards monitoring their child's behavior has been alleviated by the thoughtfulness of Uncle Sam. Just like the example above, there's no need to keep track of your child on the net so long as they stick with kids.us sites, because the government is one step ahead, protecting their children by ensuring only kid-safe content is found on kids.us websites.

What a farce. The only purpose this new domain serves is to entice parents to let down their guard, making it easier to bombard children with supposedly "kid-safe" content, just like sysadmins who depend upon an aliased version of rm to absolve them of responsibility. We as humans always seem to be looking for someone else to shoulder our responsibilities. When will we begin to learn to take responsibility for our own actions?

House OKs CB Radio Protection for Kids (2, Funny)

afferoman (572026) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564764)

House OKs CB Radio Protection for Kids
Wed May 22, 1:35 AM ET
By DENNIS MORAD, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing the recent death of a Connecticut child who apparently fell victim to a man she met using a Citizens Band (CB) Radio, the House voted overwhelmingly to establish a new channel for kid-friendly chat and to expand surveillance authority to target CB predators.

The channel measure, approved on a 406-2 vote, would have the federal government oversee a ".kids" channel on CBs that would have only material appropriate for children under 13. CB operators' participation would be voluntary. Parents could set CB radios to limit a child's access to only the kids channel.

"Sometimes I think the Citizens Band Radio should be renamed the Wicked Mans Radio," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

Supporters of the channel bill, sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., say it should reduce the chance of accidental exposure to pornography and to other conversations considered harmful to children, and it would not provide any access to interactive features, such as the ability to talk back.

Groups opposing the domain, including the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), have called the legislation a backdoor attempt at censorship.

Shimkus said parents need to be aware of what channels their children are scanning.

"I have repeatedly said that libraries have children's book sections, why can't CBs have the same type of section devoted to children's interests?" he said.

"The threat to our children is real," its chief sponsor, Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., said.

Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., argued against expanding wiretap authority, voicing concerns that even current limited use by law enforcement typically results in overhearing innocent conversations.

"It ought to be necessary," he said of wiretapping authority. "It's not enough for it to be helpful for law enforcement."

A similar wiretapping bill passed the House last year but died in the Senate.

Ummm (3, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564775)

WTF does the government have to do with creating domain names??? And to pass a law about this? This is as obscene as business method patents.

This is like those local governments that think you need a separate law to cover driving while yapping on a cell phone. Isn't wreckless driving, or driving while distracted enough? Why does our government, and our lawyers, and courts lack so much common sense??

Re:Ummm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564845)

WTF does the government have to do with creating domain names???
Well, if you go back far enough, quite a bit actually. But in this case, the US Government should be the one in charge of the .us domain name, so kids.us makes perfect sense. Congress' job is the pass laws. That's what they do. They're the legislative branch of the government.

Re:Ummm (2)

ghjm (8918) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564895)

No, actually wreckless driving is a good thing. Far better than the alternative, wreckful driving.

YHBT. YHL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564985)

HAND. (the typo troll).

Who really lacks common sense? (3, Insightful)

Nightlight3 (248096) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565084)

Why does our government, and our lawyers, and courts lack so much common sense??

Considering that with each such law we end up with less freedom while they end up with more power, while we keep re-electing them, one has to wonder who is the one that really lacks common sense. Or any sense at all.

Say you're in a shopping mall and some teen keeps tripping on escalators and bumping at your feet. With each 'accident' the partner of the 'inept' teen takes something out of your pockets. Would you call the falling teen an uncoordinated fool, knowing that after each fall you end up with less money?

Now, this would be the same as calling the big swindlers in Washington and New York inept fools, just because their outward rationales for their decisions don't make much sense -- their actions and means chosen seem always out of sync with the stated noble goals.

But when you observe the seemingly unintended side effects of those decisions, you realize that these rationales and noble goals are mere distractions, just like the fall of the 'inept' teen, so the truly intended purposes can unnoticably unfold while we tangle in their verbal smokescreen.

Re:Ummm (1)

Software (179033) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565098)

WTF does the government have to do with creating domain names???
<SARCASM>Yeah, it's as if they think that they funded the creation of the Internet and might have a say in its operations! What has gotten into them?? </SARCASM>

It must be nice to think that the Internet spontaneously self-assembled and that the gummint has no business gettting involved in it. Preposterously wrong, but nice.

Thoughts (1)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564792)

The kids.us designation is only as good as the DNS propagation.

Still, having sites designated as "kids only" and having restrictions in browsers (controlled by the parents/legal guardian to turn on/off).. you tell me what the "free speech" problem is in that.

Goes back to the on/offswitch argument with the V-Chip. I mean the power switch.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564811)


Irony is so ironic (1)

2names (531755) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564820)

Only parents who are already paying attention to what their kids are doing on the Internet will filter based on the .kids.us TLD. The kids who really need some protection in this manner still won't get it because if the parents were paying attention, the kids wouldn't need it in the first place.

Re:Irony is so ironic (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564965)

I don't expect filtering to take off. The parents will want to surf the net too. There will have to be a very easy way turn the filtering on/off which of course would make it easier for kids to bypass. If parents have to do anything more than push a button to toggle the filter, I can't imagine many parents would even bother.

Re:Irony is so ironic (1)

2names (531755) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565070)

I can't imagine many parents would even bother.

That is precisely my point.

what does this remind me of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564831)




...Got a Gun?

Yeah, gather all the kids in one domain. It's a goddammed Wal-Mart for pedos.


thank Government that this is solved now (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564837)

I have heard the horror stories of child molestations, whether with family or strangers. The children who fell victim to those are as adults often unable to adapt and cope as easily as their unmolested 'counterparts'. Many die with a feeling of hopelessness and this has GONE ON FAR TOO LONG! For centuries this crap is allowed by the government and I for one am glad that the government is finally stepping up to the plate to 'do something about it.'

Now with this regulation, the internet will finally become the safe haven for children that it should have been a millenia ago. Those useless existing laws for punishing molesters and pedophiles should be punished by joining the ranks of all those other laws that sit gathering dust while our most benevolent and intelligent government cooks up new ones that in essence do nothing new. Hey, I think I wanna tune my radio! Nahhh, lets just buy an entire new entertainment system that already has the channel I want tunned in. I am so glad that our logical government ignores foolish things like 'history' and 'past performance' so that they can give us these new laws that only address one particular means of child/sicko meeting while giving us that false sense of security that 'everything is taken care of'.

On an unrelated note, I hear the Senate has officially approved the 'Soma Reformation Act' which will allow us to take part in the chemical utopia brought forth by our caring and responsible government officials. Taxes got you down? Had your property illegally siezed in the name of 'the children'? Just pop some Soma and it will seem A. O. K.!

Re:thank Government that this is solved now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564945)

A fine troll. Rough around the edges, sure, but it will do.

Speaking of SLDs..... (1)

GuNgA-DiN (17556) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564854)

Speaking of Second Level Domains (SLDs)... we haven't heard a peep out of New Net [new.net] in quite some time. They too are selling second level domains. And, they even have a .kids SLD going. I think that the people who are buying these domains are morons. We should all set up an SLD so that every domain on the Net answers to "www.[insert name here].kids.tld".

The only thing kids need protection from.... (2)

leereyno (32197) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564867)

...is politicians seeking to ensure that by the time they reach adulthood we will all be treated as children by the state.

Who is going to protect them? Only we can and only by taking responsibility for the government that we create. Politicians are chosen from among the people and it is the people who elect them. Be responsible by being active in the political arena and aware of what is going on. B.S. legislation exists largely because most people DON'T VOTE. Politicians know this, boy do they ever. You wouldn't believe the kinds of statistical research they have done to find out who their real constituents are. Why do you think politicians from both parties kiss the ass of the elderly? Because the elderly VOTE! We can bitch and moan about campaign finances and political corruption due to the influence of corporations, but at the end of the day it is still the citizens who do the electing.

The system can work for us or against us. Your choice.


also on the legislative front (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564882)

The senate has introduced its version of the Tauzin/Dingle bill.

I just received this e-mail from a family member who works for SWB.

All, I send this to you because I know that you are poltically active,
are involved in telecommunications in your business or are a heavy
user of internet services. If you feel as I do that we need fair
competition in broadband services in order to have greater access
please take a moment to contact our Senators (or in the case of those
of you in other states, your senators.

I am upset that today I can't even get a DSL line, my only choice is
cable, which I will not use. My experience with cable companies thus
far has been that they take advantage because they don't have
competition is all areas. They used that with cable T.V. and now are
doing it with broadband. If you share my views please act.

To find out more about this issue click on this link:
http://www.capitolconnect.com/connectusa/re gistrat ion_form.asp?subject=347

Y'all know what to do, so flame on.

Can't find the catch (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564890)

  • [ Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill] said parents need to be aware of what Web sites their children are surfing

To which we all heartily agree, but the article claims:

  • Parents could set computer software to limit a child's access to only addresses ending in .kids.us.

Say what? That looks like the existing "put a token filtering system in place, then abrogate your responsibility" method so beloved of AOL and the NetNanny brigade. But did our elected representatives just mandate that and slip through mandatory domain locking in browsers while nobody was looking? Let's check the actual bill, H.R. 3833 [loc.gov]

  • `(11) Written agreements with registrars, which shall require registrars to enter into written agreements with registrants, to prohibit hyperlinks in the new domain that take new domain users outside of the new domain.

Hmm, OK, not too bad. Once you're in, you can't just click out by accident (although of course this will happen, but at least they've thought about it). Is that all?

  • (12) Any other action that the NTIA considers necessary to establish, operate, or maintain the new domain in accordance with the purposes of this section.

OK, much as I hate catch-all clauses, this is still limited to "the new domain", not to enforcing functionality in browsers (or telnet, for that matter) to lock off the domain. It looks like any browser locking functionality will be voluntary and third party. I can see AOL and Microsoft scrambling to implement this ASAP, but nobody will have to.

I'm always ready to believe the worst of our legislators when it comes to dealing with technology (their track record isn't great), but I think they've got this one right (even if they are a little vague on how it will actually be administrated). I pronounce this bill sane and measured

Regarding H.R. 1877 [loc.gov], it's largely moot. It's a minor modification to existing wiretap law, and law enforcement (or anyone with a suit and a badge and some lawyers) can get a wiretap on you right now for pretty much any reason they like. Personally I think that soliciting children for sex should justify a wiretap, and I'm all in favour of honesty in law enforcement, rather than making them scam a warrant for un-American activities (aka domestic terrorism) or whatever.

Constant vigilance is a good thing, but I don't see anything scary or particularly bad in either of these bills. OK, I find the thought of a .kids.us full of Disney and Barney a little scary, but that's not really the fault of Congress. ;-)

Utter nonsense (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564915)

The vast majority of websites are kid-friendly, or at least kid-neutral. To confine kids to a kids only domain of approved sites limits their creativity and access immesurably.

Case in point: Last year, my son was 9. Calls me up at work one day, and says "Dad, I have a science project coming up." The little dude had gone online, and researched plans for building a very simple, leafblower powered, one man hovercraft. Some guy in WhoKnowsWhere, Iowa had built one, and put the design online. So my son made some mods, wrote a "how and why", we built it, he won first place. If restricted to 'kids.us', he probably would never have come across this.

Is every website operator supposed to submit their site for inclusion into the kids domain? Not a chance. There is a wealth of kid usable info from various sources such as hobbyists, colleges, clubs, that would not normally think of themselves as 'kid-friendly'. All these would be shut out from kids access.

Instead, they will be tooling around in disney.kids.us, nickjr.kids.us, and toysrus.kids.us. Utterly devoid of anything but another sales opportunity, and some games.

And while we're at it, WTF is with this "kids.us"? Are American children the only ones deserving of 'protection'?

Who will be doing the approving? Are their thoughts about 'kid friendly' the same as mine? Not a chance.

What about teens? (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564921)

Rather than having .kids.us, and then later .teens.us it would seem much more sensible to have .xxx, or .rude

Granted this would stand no chance of ever happening but it's a much more sensible approach - isn't it?

Re:What about teens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3565032)


This is because if you know your site might fit under ".rude", and you also know that filtering software will not allow certain potential visitors to come to your site, you'd probably figure it was better to just get a ".com" over the ".rude".

To get a ".kids.us" name, you'd have to be approved for your content. I am not saying that this is completely practical or particularly useful, but it is the more sensible of the two.

Will it do any good? (2)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 11 years ago | (#3564948)

I am not even going to address the wiretapping, most slashdotter's already have the sense to know why more wiretapping is bad.

I think what seems really interesting here is that it is being done to protect children from online predators. It seems to me that in many cases wiretapping will probably only happen long after a predator is suspected, at which point the damage is likely already done; and that we would be better off going after these people with targeted sting operations of some sort, allowing officers posing as kids to get these people BEFORE they have a chance to hurt a child.

Earth to Congress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3564984)

...do you read? Guess what: KIDS DON'T BELONG ON THE FRIGGING INTERNET! And it's the parents' responsibility to get a spine (testicles would help too!) and tell their kids that they do not belong online.

.kids.us not a bad idea (3, Insightful)

dirk (87083) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565068)

I'm sure everyone is going to lambaste this idea, but I find nothing wrong with it. It is completely voluntary. It basically creates a subset of internet sites parents will know for sure are safe for their children. It is the equivalent to the children's section of the library. Everything in that section is "safe" for kids, but there is no rule saying kids cannot go into the adult section. Same thing here. The .kids.us section will be safe for kids, but they can still go into the "adult" section of the net. It basically helps parents do their job of parenting and watching their kids. Put a simple filter that only allows .kids.us sites through, and if the kid wants to see the "adult" side of the net, the parent can let him and decide what they can and can't see.

Why the ruckus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3565076)

Ignoring the wiretapping issues for a moment -- that's clearly a problem which few of the posts here seem to focus on -- one would think from reading the responses that /. responders are either a bunch of child predators or childless geeks! ;>)

I'm a parent, and I have a child who is not old enough to want to use the Internet in an unsafe manner. Giving her access to rich and safe content is not as easy as you would think. I've found ChiBrow is the best solution, because it lets me build a sandbox for her without compromising my overall browsing ability. When we need to go outside her sandbox, we do it together. The problem is that there is no automatic grouping of safe sites, so I have to enter each site in manually. A kids.us domain (in theory) makes it really easy for us to build a large sandbox without compromising our ability to go outside of it together.

It's interesting that /. readers want precision applied to the use of the word "piracy", but throw around the word "censorship" so unabashadly. This is not censorship. No one is taking away your god-given right to access porn outside of the kids.us domain.

Come on.

kids.us will have negative effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3565100)

This new TLD isn't just going to give parents the ability to block out inappropriate sites from their kids, it's also going to restrict them from seeing anything that isn't explicitly aimed at children. I first got internet access when I was 10 years old, and I learned a lot about computers, programming, etc. that, had this kind of filter been in place, I would never have had access to. I'd say taking away children's access to educational material is at least as harmful as letting them see a couple of anal fisting mpegs.

hypocrisy (2)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565111)

It is wrong and illegal to monitor the online activities of minors. Unless of course, it's us.

- U.S. Federal Government.

Re:hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3565175)

The government has all sorts of abilities individuals and corporations generally do not. For example, they can kill people (death penalty, wars), they can take stuff if they need to (eminent domain), restrict actions of others (laws), etc. It goes on and on. If you have a government, they probably will have some of these abilities, or they wouldn't be very effective at all.

You all have no excuse, go to congress.org (2)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565161)

right now, type out a letter, have it create a RTF version of the document and while it is printing fill out the envelope and put a stamp on it. I don't get why so few people use Congress.org for that. It can create a formal looking letter that can be sent to your Senators in no time. It won't be ignored like email and it costs less than a dollar to send. Either send snail mail or STFU on your civil liberties. If you don't have the time to tell your Senator what you think, you don't deserve freedom.

kids.us will create content discrimination (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3565163)

So basically it'll work like this: If Pat Robertson signs up for 700club.kids.us, the government will give it to him because OF COURSE if it's Christian it must be good for the kids. But, if Covenant of the Goddess (Wicca, a federally recognized religion) signs up for cog.kids.us, what do you want to bet it'll be denied on some bogus grounds whether it's kid friendly or not?

This is just a tool for the ultra right to control the minds of children.

.kids.us really safe? (0)

p00kiethebear (569781) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565187)

Cmon now. Do you really think predators are going to be thrown off by .kids.us? Infact wont this make it EASIER to meet kids online since they would know EXACTLY where to look for them? -Nate

Why should the government raise your children? (2, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 11 years ago | (#3565219)

Look at all the molestation cases out there. The one common thread among them is that the children were stupid enough to give out contact information and talk to people they shouldn't be. Instead of filtering the entire Web into the "buy more toys/cereal/video games/other stuff" .kids.us domain, parents should teach their children what's really going on out there.

It's time to stop sugar-coating reality for the kiddies. Tell 'em about real life early on, and they'll be more wary. They'll also be able to deal with all the information available on the web in the appropriate manner. Kids aren't as stupid as people like to think.

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