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A parent's guide to Linux Web filtering

By Joe Bolin on July 01, 2004 (8:00:00 AM)

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<CP fixed the DansGuardian in this story 7.1.04> Having converted quite a few people to the world of GNU/Linux, I am often asked by parents, "Can I set up parental Web filters for my children using Linux?" The answer is yes, and here's how.

A Web filter is a software that can filter the type of content a Web browser displays. The filter checks the content of a Web page against a set of rules and replaces any unwanted content with an alternative Web page, usually an "Access Denied" page. The type of content to be filtered is usually controlled by a systems administrator or a parent. Web filters are used in schools, libraries, and homes to safeguard children from obscene content on the Internet.

Before you begin, you should be familiar with some basic networking concepts:

  • A server, as in "Web server," is nothing more than an application that runs on a computer and listens for incoming requests. It sends back, or serves, information to the source that requested the information. This information can be anything from Web pages to databases. Each server communicates through the use of an IP address and a port number.
  • Ports are logical addresses that applications on a computer use in a way similar to how we use phone numbers. Each server program must have a unique port that it uses for communications.
  • Every computer connected to the Internet has both an external IP (Internet Protocol) address, usually assigned by an Internet service provider, and an internal address of 127.0.0.1. The internal address allows the computer to "listen" and "talk" to itself and is referred to as the loopback address. Normally a server is set up to accept requests from other computers on the Internet by listening on its external address. Since this can present a security risk for our single computer, we will use the loopback address instead. This will cause our server to only listen for requests from the computer that the server resides on.
  • A firewall is an application that controls the types of communication your computer can send and receive. GNU/Linux has an excellent firewall called netfilter/iptables, or simply iptables, built right into the kernel, which we will make use of to redirect users' Web surfing through our Web filter.

Getting the software

The only software you need to set up parental filters under GNU/Linux is iptables, DansGuardian, and Squid.

DansGuardian is the actual filtering software. It supports phrase matching, which allow you to block out Web sites that contain certain phrases or words; PICS filtering, which blocks content that's been labeled as possibly objectionable material by the creator of the Web site; URL filtering, to block content from specific sites that are known to contain offensive material; and blacklists, or lists of sites that contain content you want to block. Blacklists usually come from third parties, though you can create and maintain your own.

Squid is a Web proxy server that acts as a middleman between your computer and the Internet. You need a proxy server because DansGuardian isn't able to fetch Web pages by itself. We'll configure Squid as a transparent proxy, meaning we'll hijack network traffic and redirect it to a new destination -- our filter program, in this case -- without the need for the user to know that it is happening.

Most modern distribution have packaged versions of Squid and DansGuardian available. If yours doesn't then you will need to install them from source code. Both the Squid and DansGuardian Web sites have complete instructions for how to compile and install the programs from source.

Iptables is the firewall management tool used with the 2.4.x and higher kernels. Most modern distributions provide iptables. If yours doesn't, you will need to compile a new kernel and enable iptables, which is beyond the scope of this article (and probably beyond the abilities of most parents). You'd probably be better off upgrading to a newer Linux distribution.

Configuring Squid

The default location for the Squid configuration file on most systems is /etc/squid/squid.conf. While most of the default settings for Squid are all right for our usage, you will need to edit the configuration file just a bit.

You will need to become the root user in order to make the changes and issue the commands shown in this article. You can do this by either logging in as root or with the su command.

Add or edit the following line to have Squid listen only on the loopback device on port 3128. This will cause Squid to act only as a proxy server for this computer and assigns it a specific port number to listen on:

http_port 127.0.0.1:3128

To configure Squid as a transparent proxy, add the following lines to squid.conf:

httpd_accel_host virtual
httpd_accel_port 80
httpd_accel_with_proxy on
httpd_accel_uses_host_header on

Your system should have created a user and a group named squid when you installed Squid. If it didn't, you should create them yourself by using the following two commands from the command line:

groupadd -r squid
useradd -g squid -d /var/spool/squid -s /bin/false -r squid

Since Squid is normally started by the system and run as root, you need to add the next two lines to /etc/squid/squid.conf in order to make Squid run with squid's user and group IDs:

cache_effective_user squid
cache_effective_group squid

We will later use this to identify Squid to our firewall. Then we will allow the user squid to access the Internet while we redirect all other Web traffic through our filter.

Configuring DansGuardian

Our next step is to configure DansGuardian. The default location, on most systems, for the configuration files is /etc/dansguardian/dansguardian.conf. Once again, most of the default values are fine, but we need to make a few changes.

First, add or edit the following line to make the filter use HTML templates, which are static Web pages that our filter will use to display the "Access Denied" page instead of the inappropriate sites. Using HTML templates keeps us from having to set up a Web server to display the "Access Denied" information.

reportinglevel = 3

Next, add or edit the following lines to make DansGuardian listen on the loopback address and port 8080:

filterip = 127.0.0.1
filterport = 8080

Add or edit the following line to tell DansGuardian which address and port that Squid is listening on. This enables our filter to fetch the requested Web content through the proxy.

proxyip = 127.0.0.1
proxyport = 3128

Again, to keep your filter from running as root you need to change the user that it will run as. For simplicity, we will reuse the user and group that we previously set up for Squid. Add or edit the following to make DansGuardian run with UID and GID of squid:

daemonuser = 'squid'
daemongroup = 'squid'

While DansGuardian provides an excellent filter all by itself, you may want to exercise further control over the Web filtering by editing the other files in the /etc/dansguardian directory that contain external blacklists. Blacklists from squidGuard and URLBlacklist work perfectly with DansGuardian. Each file contains a brief explanation for its contents to make configuration easier.

Putting it in action

Once you have Squid and DansGuardian set up, the final step is to implement a transparent proxy using iptables. Use the following commands at the command line to add rules to the firewall to allow the user squid to access both the Internet and the Squid proxy we set up.

iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -m owner --uid-owner squid -j ACCEPT

iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 3128 -m owner --uid-owner squid -j ACCEPT

If you want a user to be exempt from filtering -- a parent, for example -- issue the following command. Replace EXEMPT_USER with the username that you wish to exempt from filtering:

iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -m owner --uid-owner EXEMPT_USER -j ACCEPT

The next command redirects Internet traffic from all users, other than squid and any exempt users, to the filter on port 8080:

iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8080

Since we have a proxy server set up, a user could configure a Web browser to bypass the filter and access the proxy directly. The Squid proxy is listening for requests from the computer, and it doesn't care which user sends the request. We could set up our firewall to deny all access to the proxy except from our filter, but let's be a little sneakier. Let's set it up so that direct requests to the Squid proxy server, except from our filter, get redirected through the filter. To do this, use the following command:

iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 3128 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8080

Some systems, such as MandrakeLinux, utilize an application called Shorewall to manage firewall rules. For these systems, place the above firewall rules in /etc/shorewall/start, to use the filtering when Shorewall starts, and in /etc/shorewall/stop, to make them stick if you should stop Shorewall for some reason. To implement the new rules simply restart Shorewall using the following command:

service shorewall restart

For systems using Shorewall, your firewall rules are set. For all other systems, you'll need to perform the next two steps in order to get the new firewall rules started at boot time. Issue the following command to save your firewall rules:

iptables-save > /etc/sysconfig/iptables

Now issue the following to make sure iptables is started at boot time and to start the iptables firewall:

chkconfig iptables on
service iptables restart

You may also need to make sure that DansGuardian and Squid get started at boot by using the following two commands:

chkconfig squid on
chkconfig dansguardian on

To get the filtering started, you can now enter the following commands:

service squid restart
service dansguardian restart

Access Denied Thumbnail
The "Access Denied" screen - click to enlarge

Now when users enter a forbidden Web address they will be presented with an "Access Denied" page instead of the offending site. You can customize the look of the "Access Denied" page by editing the template.html file in the appropriate language section located in /etc/dansguardian/languages.

Final thoughts

While the setup discussed in this article is intended for use on a single computer, this method of Web filtering can be applied to a wide range of scenarios. These tools can be easily and successfully implemented on a small home network, a large business infrastructure, or any environment that needs to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act.

Bear in mind that Web filtering software of any kind is not 100% failsafe, nor is it a substitute for parental supervision. Along with installing filtering software, educate yourself and your children about the Internet.

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on A parent's guide to Linux Web filtering

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The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 01, 2004 09:48 PM
"Can I set up parental Web filters for my children using Linux?"

The real answer that should have been given: A) It is damaging to your child when you treat your child as a mere object instead of a person in and of themselves with their own interests. B) If your child is old enough to be interested in looking at 'naughty' pictures then I think its time you have the birds and the bees talk with them, and pray to god he or she prefers to satisify themselves on mere images and decide on sex later on. C) There is few, if any, arguements or evidence that suggest harm comes from merely being exposed to information in the form of images or text online. If any harm does exist it pales in comparison with the harm that comes from restrictions on free access to information.

#

Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 01, 2004 09:59 PM
Grow up. Are you even a parent? I doubt it.

How many parents were irritated that they had to deal with questions from children derived from the Clinton/Lewinsky affair?

Children don't need to see these things. They'll have plenty of time to hear about it later.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 01, 2004 10:19 PM
"How many parents were irritated that they had to deal with questions from children derived from the Clinton/Lewinsky affair?"

What do you mean 'deal with questions'. You say: 'oral sex is when a boy puts his penis into the mouth of a girl'. Any other answer insults their intelligence and their existance as a person entitled to the truth.

If children, esp. 'children' past the age of puberty, want to look at adult images then let them. What is harmful to them is the message that is sent that sexuality is wrong, evil, and immortal.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Charles Tryon on July 01, 2004 10:55 PM
> You say: 'oral sex is when a boy puts his penis into the mouth of a girl'.


As the previous poster said, it's obvious you've never had to deal with raising real children, or seen them through the age of puberty into adulthood. I honestly hope you never have that responsibility thrust upon you. No wonder the world is so full of sick and sexually mixed up people.


(Frankly, I'm less worried about Clinton and his escapades than I am of little girls thinking that letting men force them to be humped by horses is a "normal" behavior.)

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 01, 2004 11:27 PM
And you, of course, obviously have professional training at raising a child.

Tell me, what part of knowing what oral sex is makes a child become a "sick and sexually mixed up" person? I know what oral sex is. My mom told me when I was twelve. Why? I don't remember exactly, now, but it came up from something in a TV show.

I'm sorry, but the granparent of this thread is correct - blindly blocking children and telling them "You can't do this because you aren't old enough" is JUST PLAIN STUPID. This is what we try to do with drugs and alcohol. Is it working? If you try to say yes, you have to be screwing with me, because the rates of drug use in countries that have legalized it are the same. So, telling them "no" doesn't do anything. On the other hand, telling children the truth about things provides a good basis for their continued education about life.

Why does everyone think that children should be spared the details of life, and then act surprised when they turn 18 and can't handle anything?

#

Parent is Smart.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 12:35 AM
"And you, of course, obviously have professional training at raising a child.

Tell me, what part of knowing what oral sex is makes a child become a "sick and sexually mixed up" person? I know what oral sex is. My mom told me when I was twelve. Why? I don't remember exactly, now, but it came up from something in a TV show.

I'm sorry, but the granparent of this thread is correct - blindly blocking children and telling them "You can't do this because you aren't old enough" is JUST PLAIN STUPID. This is what we try to do with drugs and alcohol. Is it working? If you try to say yes, you have to be screwing with me, because the rates of drug use in countries that have legalized it are the same. So, telling them "no" doesn't do anything. On the other hand, telling children the truth about things provides a good basis for their continued education about life.

Why does everyone think that children should be spared the details of life, and then act surprised when they turn 18 and can't handle anything? "

I could not agree with this post more.

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Re:arguing from the extreme

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:35 AM
I explained why here http://software.newsforge.com/comments.pl?sid=387<nobr>9<wbr></nobr> 4&op=&threshold=0&commentsort=0&mode=thread&tid=2&amp<nobr>;<wbr></nobr> tid=82&tid=90&tid=92&tid=94&pid=94115#941<nobr>2<wbr></nobr> 9

#

Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 03:22 AM
> You say: 'oral sex is when a boy puts his penis into the mouth of a girl'.

As the previous poster said, it's obvious you've never had to deal with raising real children, or seen them through the age of puberty into adulthood. I honestly hope you never have that responsibility thrust upon you. No wonder the world is so full of sick and sexually mixed up people.

Ok, I want to see YOUR response to the question what oral sex is. Please insert it

here

Do you think it's okay to lie to your children? How are they going to trust you if they find out? What if you refuse to answer - won't you just make them more curious? Or would you explain it to them, but use more graphical language?

Frankly, I'm less worried about Clinton and his escapades than I am of little girls thinking that letting men force them to be humped by horses is a "normal" behavior.

Ok, so you want to prevent them from stumbling upon such sites, which is fine. Never met anyone who managed to get there accidentally, though.

#

you don't have a right to porn out of the home

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 06, 2004 10:54 PM
"When it comes to the Government requiring filters in public places, things get a lot more messy, and I am inclined to agree that filters become not only a nuisance, but an infringement of free speech. Government regulations resemble trying to do heart surgery with a chainsaw. They almost never get it right, because legislation and bureaucracy is too blunt a tool."



On a computer paid for by tax dollars, there should never be a reason to surf porn. You do not have a right to surf porn, you have a right to get a job, buy a computer or web tv, and then pay for internet access. After you do that, buy all the kleenex and hand lotion you want.



The rest I agree with. For people who say to leave it open, do you leave your playboy laying out on the coffee table or is it tucked away? Do you print off pictures and have them hanging on your wall? If not, why are you treating your computer differently?



I have had this talk with my 12 year old boy, and explained that what is in the pictures is not a healthy way to think of females (regardless of age).



Will never have a real relationship if they only think of women as sex toys.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 12:10 AM
I value giving information to children. I think it is the best way to deter, through education. I am a parent myself and we try to explain what we can to our kids.

However, as a parent, you also have to know when the information is too complex for your child to understand it. Try to explain a hate crime to a 6 year old. Try to explain why sex with humans is ok and animals is illegal. Try to explain why society cannot decide when you are legally an adult (18 to smoke, vote. 21 to drink, gamble own a handgun. 25 to rent a car without hassel). There are some issues that you need a well founded understanding of some basic principles that I just don't think all children are ready for.

But in the end you are right, education is the way. Just make sure it is the right education at the right time.

When my oldest reaches the age of 10 he will be going to a gun safety class and to a shooting range to learn how to hold, aim and shoot a gun properly. Once home he will learn to clean the gun, secure it and store it properly (in the safety deposit box at the bank).

Also when he turns 10, since he is a race fan, he will join Nascar Jr and start racing the 1/4 size dragsters. He will learn about the car, how to maintain and drive it safely.

I know a lot of the other replies are quite negative, but please don't devalue the power of knowledge.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 01:03 AM
"Nonsense!"

For nonsense, you sure take a lot of time to refute it, i'd expect nonsense, like (1+1=5), to be refuted quickly.

"Do you let your child drink alcoholic beverages? Why not? By your rules, as soon as they express an interest in whiskey or beer, you ought to give them some because otherwise you are not treating them as a person."

You mean like in France where the levels of teenage drinking are a fraction of the levels in the United States? Sounds like a good idea, thanks for suggesting it.

"When you 10 year old states that they would like to drive the car, would you just hand them the keys?"

There seems to be a difference between giving child information and given them permission to do something. Information is rarely, if ever, harmful. Driving can be: thus the restriction(s) on it.

"...every child is very different in their ability to handle sexual (or any other) information."

What do you mean 'handle'. I don't think anyone is advocating you show them what sex is yourself. However if they ask, or want to find out via the internet then it is better to let them find out at their *own* pace rather then what you think their pace should be. Unless you are psychic, I think they know what they are interested in and what questions they want answered.

" You state, "If any harm does exist it pales in comparison with the harm that comes from restrictions on free access to information." So, you would not restrict free access to me if I wanted to come tell your kids about the benefits of racial discrimination or some other message you disagree with? "

The above is another large fallcy with your thinking, you should realize filters are passive. Unless your child wants to visit hate sites then they won't see them. If they do see them then they should be able to be comfortable enough to talk to you about it instead of 'no, im not discussing that until you are older'.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 01:47 AM
"...it is better to let them find out at their *own* pace rather then what you think their pace should be..."

That is complete nonsense. Children don't know what is best for them. That's what parents are supposed to be there for to make decisions that are in their best interest until they are old enough to do so for themselves.

"Unless your child wants to visit hate sites then they won't see them."

More BS. You obviously don't have kids. They could be given a url from someone or be sent something in spam or instant messaged a url. Most kids will just click on the link and go to the site. They may not have any idea what the site is about but they will go there out of blind curiosity.

The bottom line is that parents need a way to limit their childrens exposure to things they deem inappropriate. If you don't have kids don't use the software and shut the fuck up.

#

Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:32 AM
"Children don't know what is best for them. That's what parents are supposed to be there for to make decisions that are in their best interest until they are old enough to do so for themselves."
When, precisely, did you gain the ability to read minds? If you restrict a childs access to something, then they become more curious about it. My mom always told me that if I ever wanted to know anything to come to her. She even said that if I got curious about trying drugs to come to her, that she would get it for me and I could do it in a controlled environment to be safe. Know what? I didn't even drink alcohol til I was 17. I drink maybe three times a year on average, on special occasions.

Point? She let *me* decide what was best for me, and offered me unbiased information regarding it if I was ever interested. I'd like to think

"You obviously don't have kids. They could be given a url from someone or be sent something in spam or instant messaged a url. Most kids will just click on the link and go to the site. They may not have any idea what the site is about but they will go there out of blind curiosity."

That applies to most adults, too. But hey, we wouldn't want to have someone use the BACK button or anything. If they accidentally stumble on, say, a gay porn site, are you worried that they will turn gay? No? Then why are you worried that they will turn into serial killers when they see a hate crime site? Why are you worried that they will become perverted rapists from seeing dominatrix sites? "Monkey-See Monkey-Do" is a by-product of NOT TEACHING THE KIDS PROPERLY. If you teach them that rape is bad, then they will have a much less chance of raping someone than if you didn't even mention rape exists and they hear about it on the news.

"The bottom line is that parents need a way to limit their childrens exposure to things they deem inappropriate."

Kids will learn, by hook or by crook, and you had best be there to teach them what they want to know or the WILL go to other places. You can't filter everything, and that which slips through becomes more dangerous by a hundred fold if the children aren't prepared to deal with it when they see it. That, my friend, is the bottom line.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 04:57 AM
You are a closed minded, inexperienced dork. I would not want to be your child. By your rules you would let your child go anywhere they want, discover anything they want, try anything they want.

NEWS FLASH: What children want is usually not the best or even good for them.

You or they don't have the time to recover from every bad decision they will make as they grow up if you always let them stumble onto things before you buffer them. Life is too short to have to overcome all the "accidental" scars.

Even you point out that many adults don't know what is best for them! But you think children should have free reign to experience everything, at least once, and then you will run in and pick up the pieces with a bit of education?

"If you restrict a childs access to something, then they become more curious about it."

No! This statement is incorrect and a common falicy. If you have done your parenting job correctly, if you have talked, discussed, played and worked together enough, if you have the sort of relationship with your child that you should, the child will not even want the restricted something because they will know from experience and trust that you know what is best for them. They will willingly follow your lead. If your child behaves as you state, this is an indicator that the relationship is weak and you, the parent, have more work to do. It is often the first indicator that I am slipping when my children begin to behave that way.

Your philosopy would have your child leading you from crisis to crisis. Why not be proactive and seek out the trouble? Take you child to drug parties or keggers or cock fights or spring break in Cancun. Bribe a stip club to let them get a lap dance. Go by them drugs to try out because they are curious. Let them see and experience all the base, lower garbage of the world. Raw greed, lust, abuse of power and emotional upheaval is just what you want them have. A long wade in the gutter is what they need. The sooner the better so they can learn about it. Let your child lose their innocence at an early age because, hey, their gonna see it all some day so might as well throw them in the deep end.

Don't keep them from the hot kitchen stove. They'll learn after they touch it and get burned. Then show them the camp stove cause the can get burned on that too!

What is so wrong about helping a child to stay young as long as they can? What is wrong with letting them arrive at age 16 or so before they experience that the world is a scary place? What is so wrong about them coming home from school able to completely relax because they know that emotionally charged, scary stuff is safely locked out by loving parents? I want my 10 year-old's biggest worry to be trading his tuna sandwich for something better or trying to pass his spelling test. Children will learn the coarse things of the world soon enough, without me leading the way or leaving the gates wide open.

And, I must say, your mother was foolish to offer to get drugs for you. She was willing to risk your parent being sent to prison just so you could try something! Yes, she was willing to have you loose your mother for a prolonged period of time just to satisfy your curiousity about an illegal substance. And this is good?!? This is wise and enlightened? It was foolish and stupid! "Your honor, I was just trying to teach my child a lesson. Don't send me away for 2 years! Please!" The possible benefit of providing you drugs for your experience was NOT worth the risk of the child losing a parent for years at a time!

I am done beating on the brick wall of your brain. May someone save your children from you!

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:26 AM
"You are a closed minded, inexperienced dork. I would not want to be your child."
Oh... the pain...

"By your rules you would let your child go anywhere they want, discover anything they want, try anything they want."
Really? Where did I say that?

"You or they don't have the time to recover from every bad decision they will make as they grow up if you always let them stumble onto things before you buffer them."
Right... thats why you teach them. Like I said. You seem to be equating freedom with letting someone find stuff out on their own. My entire post was about being a source of information for your child on anything they are curious about. I did not say that children should be able to do anything they wanted. I said that children should be taught what to do instead of told what to do (yes, there is a HUGE difference - in one you relay facts, in the other you relay what you want). You can still limit them from, say, driving a car, or using Heroin.

"Your philosopy would have your child leading you from crisis to crisis. Why not be proactive and seek out the trouble? Take you child to drug parties or keggers or cock fights or spring break in Cancun. Bribe a stip club to let them get a lap dance. Go by them drugs to try out because they are curious. Let them see and experience all the base, lower garbage of the world. Raw greed, lust, abuse of power and emotional upheaval is just what you want them have. A long wade in the gutter is what they need. The sooner the better so they can learn about it. Let your child lose their innocence at an early age because, hey, their gonna see it all some day so might as well throw them in the deep end.

Don't keep them from the hot kitchen stove. They'll learn after they touch it and get burned. Then show them the camp stove cause the can get burned on that too!"

Where in the hell do you come up with this stuff? You go on and on and on about it, but I never said it.

"What is so wrong about helping a child to stay young as long as they can? What is wrong with letting them arrive at age 16 or so before they experience that the world is a scary place? What is so wrong about them coming home from school able to completely relax because they know that emotionally charged, scary stuff is safely locked out by loving parents? I want my 10 year-old's biggest worry to be trading his tuna sandwich for something better or trying to pass his spelling test. Children will learn the coarse things of the world soon enough, without me leading the way or leaving the gates wide open."

I'll tell you whats wrong with it: When they actually learn about the world, it is a HUGE SHOCK. Why do you think there are so many suicides in the months/years shortly after graduation? Learning all of a sudden that the perfect world you lived in is absolutely horrible is quite depressing.

"And, I must say, your mother was foolish to offer to get drugs for you. She was willing to risk your parent being sent to prison just so you could try something! Yes, she was willing to have you loose your mother for a prolonged period of time just to satisfy your curiousity about an illegal substance. And this is good?!? This is wise and enlightened? It was foolish and stupid! "Your honor, I was just trying to teach my child a lesson. Don't send me away for 2 years! Please!" The possible benefit of providing you drugs for your experience was NOT worth the risk of the child losing a parent for years at a time!"
As far as that goes, I think her saying she would get it for me was a trick so I would come talk to her about it first. She is very much against most drugs. The two that she would have probably gotten for me had I asked, the only two "drugs" I have ever done, are shrooms and pot. Pot is legal here, and shrooms grow in fields behind our house. She'd just pick them fresh from our own property.

Get your story straight about my policies on TEACHING children about life, then come back if you still have anything intelligent left to say.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 01:40 AM
You, sir, are an idiot.

Just because I don't want my child to see certain images and material on the web does not mean I am treating her as an object. In fact, it is a parent's duty to provide a buffer between the harsh reality of the world and their child.

If you're so gung-ho about making all information available to your child, tell them how the real world works (ya know -- job, paying bills, etc) and then send them out to do it.

Oh...what? That's stupid, you tell me? No crap.

Grow up. Learn some responsibility.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:44 AM
"Um, yes you are treating her as an object. You are not treating her as a person in and of themself, but simply a means to an end, the end being your comfort at not having to explain things to her.

If you didn't treat her as an object then you'd have a discussion with her as to the issues instead of as an animal being caged away from information she wants to know about."

Pure crap. In your example, you're treating a child as an adult. It's fine to talk to your children and them them<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/why/ you're restricting what view; but you still still restrict it.

Kids will be kids, and part of being a kid is to not listen to your parents.

It's obvious you're not a parent--otherwise you'd know this. In fact, you're a gleaming piece of evidence that my above statement is 100% correct. Computer geeks tend to forget that people are not like electronics. Sometimes their neither on nor off, and they're not always logical.

Repeat this over and over to yourself: Children are not adults.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 03:39 AM
"Kids will be kids, and part of being a kid is to not listen to your parents.

It's obvious you're not a parent--otherwise you'd know this."

Well by your (lack) of logic, by modus tollens since I now know this I must be a parent.

Thats the problem with aruging with mongaloids, they think they won the arguement by belching a non-answer out and throwing feces around the room.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Preston St. Pierre on July 02, 2004 10:52 AM
Universal affirmatives can only be partially converted. All of the class of Elmer Colgen is dead, but not all of the class of dead is Elmer Colgen. Check your own logic next time.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 04:51 AM

Why don't colleges teach everyone calculus first and then algebra? Because knowledge of algebra provides the tools and foundation to enbale understanding of calculus.

Yes, but then, no one would claim that it's good to block minors' access to WWW information about calculus...

Do you let your child drink alcoholic beverages? Why not? By your rules, as soon as they express an interest in whiskey or beer, you ought to give them some because otherwise you are not treating them as a person.

Should you buy your kid a bottle of booze as a birthday present? Of course not! But does it make sense to restrict their every access to small doses of alcohol whereever it may come from? Well, if you want your kid to hypercompensate like Jenna Bush, go ahead.

Filtering can help me control the when, where and how my children learn many things in life, sexual or otherwise.

It may be a good idea to watch the logfiles so that you know what content and when is blocked, so you can talk to your kids about the purpose of the filtering.

I would not allow some stranger to stand in my living room and display pictures or words of whatever HE feels like. But somehow I am a bad person if I filter the internet?

The Internet doesn't come over to your kid and forces him/her through all the information it has to offer. The WWW is essentially a book with countless pages - the viewer is in charge, not the presenter. Teach your children that every one of these pages is only a tiny slice of reality, and that to every opinion expressed there, there are counter-opinions. Tell them to be critical and take nothing for granted, especially not as representative for their own future. That's the most important thing to do, IMHO.

Have you talked to sex offenders in prison? I worked several years for a company that makes personality assessment tests for prisoners. Based on the statistics processed from those assessments, a large percentage of sex offenders had exposure to sexual content or conduct earlier in life than the general population.

Exposure to sexual content? How does this turn a person into criminal? Exposure to conduct? Umm, yes, because a large percentage of rapists and child molesters have been sexually abused in their childhood. Consensual sex does not make you a rapist, and I've never seen depictions of nonconsensual sex on the Internet (though I'm realistic enough to know that you could find it, if you were looking for it). Psychologists know that rape is much more about violence and humiliation than about sex. There was actually a pretty bad Russian serial killer who was impotent, so he raped his victims with a knife.


Complete isolation of children from all of reality is wrong. They will not be able to develop the skills needed when they reach adulthood.

Complete exposure of children to reality also wrong. They don't have the skills to correctly judge or apply the information they will be flooded with.

I agree 100%.

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Charles Tryon on July 02, 2004 11:03 AM
> Should you buy your kid a bottle of booze as a birthday present? Of course not! But does it make sense to restrict their every access to small doses of alcohol whereever it may come from?


But don't you see?? Allowing complete, uncontrolled, unmonitored access to the Internet for your children is like taking them to the Liquor store and leaving them there overnight! That's the whole freaking point. Saying you don't want to use any filters at all means you are introducing your kids to all the scum of life on someone else's terms, not your own. Do you take your kids downtown and let pimps and prostitutes teach about not just sex, but love and commitment?


My kids learned lots of things about life, some of them at times that weren't convenient or comfortable for me. That happens. They are adults now, and looking to raise kids of their own some time soon. I couldn't shelter them from everything, nor did I want to. However, there were plenty of things I wanted to make sure they learned from my wife and me, not just anybody.


Filters aren't about sheltering your children from the "hard things in life." They are about taking responsibility for raising your children, and teaching them on your terms, rather than just letting any scum off the street tell them how to think.

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Baloney

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:02 AM
I will address one issue. The writer says that it is not proven that harm comes from seeing images (etc.). Speaking for myself: I started looking at porn. That became *much* porn. Then came *perverse* porn. Then came *much* perverse porn. Daily sessions of hours. Then I saw my girlfiend as nothing more than a c**t with the rest of her body. Yes, I became a porn addict and my thoughts - I - became perverted. And there are many more men like me. Please believe me - porn is not harmless - it perverts. Eventually - I say eventually - porn addicted men find it normal to rape young children; they see it all the time on internet.

Respond to this - you moral-high-grounder.

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Thank you for posting

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:05 AM
Really.

Porn is perniciously addicting and it destroys lives and families. I have seen it's devestation.

Good luck.

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Re:Thank you for posting

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:30 AM
You are both absolute idiots.

If you are "addicted" to porn, you are stupid and ought to be shot.

I look at porn all the time, but I feel it is quite wrong to rape children. If you think otherwise, such is your problem.

Sounds to me like you both needed parents who taught you more about what is right, what is wrong, and how to handle yourselves. Either that, or you are just stupid and have addictive personalities.

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Re:Thank you for posting

Posted by: gus3 on July 02, 2004 08:00 AM
Oh, that's a mature response. I'm sure name-calling makes you more right than you would be otherwise.

As far as how wrong you feel it is to rape children, why do your feelings have anything to do with it?

Oh, that was just hyperbole? Then the rest of your post is, too, and you didn't mean a word of it.

Do you have any clue how brain chemistry works, and how overstimulation of the Broca's brain can render a person addicted?<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... I didn't think so.

Get the facts before you pass a death sentence on people you've never met.

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A question?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:19 AM
Do you or would you allow your children to roam around your town or city, unattended and without your knowledge of where they are going and what they are doing? Why or why not?

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Re:The True Answer.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 03, 2004 01:00 AM
Hey original poster: Get some kids, wait five years, then come back and review your statement. You will find that you were WRONG!

People without children have no place speaking on child-rearing.

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Re:That's for sure!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 01:09 AM
Grandparent was talking about sex and nudity, perhaps you should read:

Grandparent said:
"Ya that for sure. If some little kid sees ***sex***, or a naked adult I heard their genitals suck up into their body cavity and they go into a 15 minute convulsion."

Parent said:
"There are some things that young children should not be exposed to until they are old enough to understand them"

I think even a mongaloid could understand the concept of something going in and out of something else - unless your version of sex is more complex then my concept of it is.

Feel free to explain how viewing sex or nudity is harmful though, so far no one seems to have given one example or arguement.

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Re:That's for sure!

Posted by: PyritePyro on July 02, 2004 01:34 AM
Um, I think the discussion is about the baggage that goes with sex, rather than the simple act of sex. I think the Lord of the Rings southpark expresses this best, even if it was VERY tounge in cheek. There are things I'd not want MY kids seeing, when I have them, until they were old enough to ask. I'd set the template up to say something along the lines of "Come talk to me, we'll talk about why you're seeing this page, and I may release this restriction." Remember, these are easily changable since they are on your own computer. It's a choke point, not a floodwall against the world.

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Re:That's for sure!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 01:55 AM
"Feel free to explain how viewing sex or nudity is harmful though, so far no one seems to have given one example or arguement. "

I guess Ill take a stab at that one. As a Christian, I believe that pronography, premarital sex, and alcohol and drug use are all wrong. Morally wrong. I believe that each person has a soul that will exist past death, in one of two places (I'm sure you know what they are). So let me see, if my children form habits of looking at or doing things that are wrong, they are jeopardizing their souls. My friend, that is the definition of harmful. A parent's job is to protect their children, yet you would have them ignore the most important aspect of a child, his or her soul.

Label me what you will, those are my beliefs.

Jay

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Re:That's for sure!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 03:42 AM

I guess Ill take a stab at that one. As a Christian, I believe that pronography, premarital sex, and alcohol and drug use are all wrong. Morally wrong. I believe that each person has a soul that will exist past death, in one of two places (I'm sure you know what they are). So let me see, if my children form habits of looking at or doing things that are wrong, they are jeopardizing their souls. My friend, that is the definition of harmful. A parent's job is to protect their children, yet you would have them ignore the most important aspect of a child, his or her soul.

And I believe that indoctrinating hapless children with your beliefs is wrong. Morally wrong. I can understand why minors should be kept away from sites like rotten.com until they're able to understand and are stable enough to cope. But what I don't understand, is why it's ok to scare 6 year old children to death by threatening them with eternal hellfire. I'm not sure whether I have an immortal soul, but I can tell you the effects on my mortal one were not nice. It came to pass that the Catholic preacher who told me all these horror stories when I was still in elementary school had been a Nazi collaborator. Uh, so much for morality.

PS: Nowhere in the US is teen pregnancy as common as in the Bible Belt. Guess why.

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Gotta source for that?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:00 AM
"Nowhere in the US is teen pregnancy as common as in the Bible Belt."

Interesting statement. Show us the stats. And, correlate it to actual consistent religious activity. What you are implying is that more teen pregnancy happens amoung practicing christians than other groups. Show us the source.

"Guess why."

It's is most certainly NOT the simple reason you want us to think. What did the source of your assertion say about the reason, if true?

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Re:Gotta source for that?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 06:15 AM
I can't speak for him, but hows this for a theory.

Regular kids get taught to use condoms during sex.
Christian kids get taught sex is bad.
Both groups have sex. Regular kids think "Ok, sex is fine as long as I use a condom." And so they use a condom. Religious kids think "Oh no, sex is bad, I should never tell anyone about this and keep it hidden as best I can."

I'm sure you are going to say that I'm wrong, but frankly, thats your opinion, and I think you are a horrible person for forcing your religious views on a young mind. Thats my opinion.

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Re:Gotta source for that?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 07:03 AM
"Regular kids get taught to use condoms during sex."

Well, where I live, even the christian kids get taught that. But we will continue the dicussion.

"Christian kids get taught sex is bad."

I am christian. The church I attend does not teach this. It teaches that sex is wonderful and good but is only to be enjoyed only between husband and wife and only after they are married.

"Both groups have sex."

Not true. There are a great many christian and non-christian teens that do not have sex until marriage. They, of course, are considered wierd by the rest of the world. I was one as was my wife. So far, my kids are too. I am working to keep it that way. The goal is not making sure condoms are used. The goal is teaching kids to not have sex. Period. Abstinance works 100% of the times it is tried. There are other difficulties caused by teen sex other than pregnancy.

"Religious kids think "...keep it hidden as best I can.""

Non-religious kids are open about their sexual behavior? I don't think they are. Admittedly, however, I am outside the non-religious group so maybe I can't claim that. It just seems strange that a kid would keep their parents informed of their sexual habits, even if the parents provided the condom.

I guess you are implying that the religious kid would be too embarassed to aquire a condom or other preventative. Maybe so. But if the religious kid is seeking sex, the goal has already been missed.

"I'm sure you are going to say that I'm wrong, but frankly, thats your opinion"

Yes it is. You are welcome to yours.

"I think you are a horrible person for forcing your religious views on a young mind."

That's an interesting comment. Teaching religious views is equated with forcing. What if I left a "Supreme Being" out of it and just taught my children to be kind, honest and respectful? Is that also forcing my views on a young mind? How does an parent teach a child anything without it being forced on them? If you are a parent, how do you teach a child but not force them? How about political views? If you teach your child to follow your politics, is that forcing?

For example: Your small child is in play group with other children. He takes a toy from another child. Do you:
A) Tell him that it is wrong to do that.
B) Tell him that it is wrong to do that and make him return the toy.
C) Take the toy from him and return it to the original owner.
D) Do nothing. Let the kids work it out.

Please classify the above options as teaching views or forcing views.

#

Re:Gotta source for that?

Posted by: PyritePyro on July 03, 2004 02:10 AM
Well, the fact that in the bible belt people often get married in their teens may have something to do with it, if not everything. Although which is the causitive agent here isn't always clear. I do know that my family was utterly scandalized by the first wedding we had with a bride who wasn't pregnant. I'm in Kansas, which is often quoted as being in the bible belt. May also have something to do with that many of the ultraconservitive religious groups encourage large families.

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Re:Gotta source for that?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 03, 2004 04:29 AM

Interesting statement. Show us the stats.

<A HREF="http://www.teenpregnancy.org/resources/data/pdf/stbyst00.pdf" title="teenpregnancy.org">Sure.</a teenpregnancy.org> I haven't looked at it for a while, but it seems quite a number of Southern states are in the lower ranks (lower = worse).

And, correlate it to actual consistent religious activity.

And not to forget shoe size and car brand. I was talking about geographical distribution, and IMHO the main reasons are as explained below. If you don't find this convincing, I encourage you to come up with alternative explanations.

It's is most certainly NOT the simple reason you want us to think.

I don't know what you thought I thought, but I assume that most kids in these regions are just pig ignorant about sexual things and contraception in particular. Reminds me of the joke where two eight year old girls banter about who's more grown-up. Says the first: "I already know how people get kids!", and the second answers: "I already know how they don't!"

And then, many of the Christian kids who do know wouldn't get any contraceptives before "it" happens, because after all they're not supposed to need or use them anyway. And of course they don't know about things like "the pill after" and would probably not seek assistance from adults.

So are BB kids less likely to have sex in their teens? Probably. But OTOH they are more susceptible to pregnancy when it happens.

What did the source of your assertion say about the reason, if true?

Of course nothing, since a good statistician is slow to comment on his work.

#

Yes, the true answer for parents who care!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:16 AM
This is great! I can now actually protect my children from seeing the garbage on the Internet.


  BTW, it only takes on look to plant a seed. Homosexualiy, beastiality, gang rape sado masochism. My kids don't need that sort of garbage burned into their mind. If later when they are older they choose to view that stuff, so be it.


  I will raise my kids, teach and protect them from the dangers and then let them go at the right time.


  I am thankful I now have one more tool at my disposal!

#

Re:Yes, the true answer for parents who care!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:24 AM
Homosexuality is a key choice of word among that list. I hope your children do not turn out to be gay, being sentenced to having you as a parent would be too much for a mass murderer.

Now you realize why filters are bad, idiot parents who think they know everything, but know shit all fuck it all up.

#

Parent Correct, but not expressed well

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:44 AM
Parents are not equiped to decide their childrens lives for them, as much as they might think they are. Case in this example being homosexuality.

#

Re:Parent Correct, but not expressed well

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 07, 2004 11:29 PM
Sorry, but you are wrong. Parents have the LEGAL responsibility for their children until they are old enough to make decisions for themselves. Can parents let children decide whether or not they want to bathe? Go to school? Play in the street? They are indeed equipped to decide their children's lives during childhood.

Your attitude tells me that you
1) are gay and feel badly if you think someone doesn't approve of your lifestyle AND/OR
2) are not a parent, and are the kind of person who thinks that having a dog is synonymous with having a child.

#

Homosexuality = bad

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 10:23 AM
We are not designed to stick our penises in the poop of men.
Telling children that - for a man - to suck a dick is normal - let alone allowing them to see those acts - is bad.

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Re:Homosexuality = bad

Posted by: Preston St. Pierre on July 02, 2004 10:48 AM
People like you make me scared for the youth today.

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Re:Homosexuality = bad

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 03, 2004 04:05 AM

We are not designed to stick our penises in the poop of men.

Telling children that - for a man - to suck a dick is normal - let alone allowing them to see those acts - is bad.


Thank you for the most intellectual treatment of the subject I've seen in my entire life. Now if you would excuse me, I'm not really designed for using a computer. I'll put on my fur, take my spear and hunt some mammoths.

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Re:Yes, the true answer for parents who care!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:26 AM
"Homosexualiy" is a key choice of word among that list. I hope your children dont turn out to be gay since being sentenced to having a biggoted parent like you would be too much even for a mass murderer.

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Re:Yes, the true answer for parents who care!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:39 AM

YOU SUCK! If your kids turn out to be homosexual, that's how they are... it's not something that's learned from web sites, and, if you don't want your kids committing suicide some day, it's not something that you want to criticize.

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in response to "The True Answer"

Posted by: gus3 on July 02, 2004 02:20 AM
Please get off your high horse. What works for you, works for you. What works for other parents, works for them. In the meantime, there are websites doing everything they can to interpose their adult content into websites that are supposed to be suitable for everyone (can you say "Hotmail"?).

It's good that you are educating your children. If you're going to get a book about the birds and the bees (maybe even a Playboy) and explain to your kid what puberty is all about, great. But why are you so willing to give up control of what your kid sees? With so many on the 'net, and on the street, who want to "educate" your kids in ways you don't approve of, how you can refuse to take control of something in your own living room is beyond me.

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Re:in response to "The True Answer"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 02:47 AM
I had to set up squid and DansGuardian for a client who had a school with grades K-7. You want to tell them they should let the kids surf whatever site they want? Or happen to stumble upon?

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Re:in response to "The True Answer"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 03:21 AM
Noone said this wasn't a useful article or that these weren't useful programs... of course pr0n should be blocked at schools. Think of the kittens.

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Brilliant Article

Posted by: HenryG on July 02, 2004 10:31 AM
In fact I ran 50 copies of it on my printer and am going to hand out to as many mothers as I can possibly find.
At last we can protect children from the evils of the internet.

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Re:Brilliant Article

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 10:16 PM
I doubt you could find 50 mothers who run Linux.

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Surf Safe

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 02, 2004 11:39 AM
That seems like a lot of trouble that many parents can't get through. I just use surfsave with linspire which does all the work for me. Best of all i can set it permantly so even i can deinstall. Or you can just use a password.

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Just Something to Defeat...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 06, 2004 08:05 AM
I am a 16 yr old male in high school. Our school, just like any other, has a web filtering system (8e6). I am not out to look at pr0n. There are many perfectly acceptable sites that get blocked for no reason.

As far as I am concerned, web filtering is just another thing to circumvent. I figured this out pretty early on and ever since, in the fashion of Simon Bar Kochba, I have led many of the student body through winding SSH tunnels and proxy refuges.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

Kids really aren't that inept. The setup suggested here...while I don't understand quite how dansguardian intercepts packets incoming to port 3128, perhaps as a detail of that it is listening on localhost and not the network IP address? it would be very, very easy to defeat. I mean, c'mon man, make it harder than that!

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Hmm dmoz.org/Adult

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 06, 2004 11:12 AM
The best source I have for a black list just spider that grab the web sites and ban the lot.

Just do it monthly and it will block about 90 percent.

White list is also a good idea for tracking ie if something is not on the white list log and report.

This works like a charm.

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Parental Control for Web Filtering

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 20, 2004 06:27 PM
Linspire (formerly Lindows) offers a feature called SurfSafe in its Linux OS. It's something that an average parent can install and configure, and quite effective.



<A HREF="http://www.linspire.com/surfsafe_msn_compare.php" title="linspire.com">http://www.linspire.com/surfsafe_msn_compare.php</a linspire.com>



Unfortunately, while the instructions in this article are a useful reference, they are far beyond the technical capability of 99% of parents.



Finally, many posters seem to have missed a key issue in the article || "A parent's guide.."



It is always a parent's right and responsibility to assist and guide their children's education. That also involves what they read, listen to, watch, etc.

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Two Proxies?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 20, 2004 11:06 PM
Seems like a useful article, I've bookmarked it for use when I need to set up something like DansGuardian.

I have to admit that I skimmed it rather than read it thoroughly, but I was confused by the idea that iptables was being used as a proxy. Early in the article it says that Squid was being included because it was needed as a proxy.

Are there really two proxies? Is the overall setup then such that one proxy redirects (if that's the right term) stuff to DansGuardian and the second redirects to the user's web browser?

If that's the case, maybe it would be helpful to make that more clear by adding a few words (or a sketch). If that's not the case, can you clarify?

#

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