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Re: [school-discuss] OLPC Trouble


You're absolutely right. I'm in the privileged situation of not having to deal with all these 'boring details'. But for the sake of discussion (and this does not in any way mean to belittle the issues you're dealing with), I argue that we have deeper worries than the OS our kids use or the hacks they need to learn to access nudity (and I'm sure that an intelligent kid will always find a way).

- If we don't trust our children (to judge the material they find on the web), and we don't trust their teachers (to guide them), what kind of education are we giving them?
- Sex is taboo but violence, corruption, consumerism, and prejudice are fine? (all these are found plentifully in mainstream media)
- Why are we promoting free and open software but conforming to restrictions on free and open content?

Again, I realize that at the pragmatic level these questions are a bit academic. Still, I think a forum like this allows us to occasionally go a bit further.


- Yishay

On 21/07/07, Daniel Howard <dhhoward@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Yabbut you're the parent and not likely to be the target of lawsuits,
whereas schools have to adhere to the CIPA (Children's Internet
Protection Act) regulations.  I agree that there are lots of other
risks, some of which are more dangerous, but in the case of porn there
are laws that schools must obey.

When we were still fighting against the Linux antagonists in APS, one
thing they tried to use against the system was that it was not safe.
They even tried to access sites like whitehouse.com in our lab.
Luckily, we not only had a filtering solution in place, but as I
recently posted, it actually blocked bad sites that the district's
proprietary solution allowed and also blocked attempts to use Google as
a proxy (go to Google, ask it to translate a web page like playboy.com
from english to english, and it comes back with a Google URL, not
playboy.com ).  High school students across the US figured that one out
pretty quickly as a way to bypass school URL blocking programs.

I recommend to all on this list that filtering solutions be included in
any K12LTSP installations based on our experiences.  We have enough
trouble convincing schools to try the system out as it is.


Yishay Mor wrote:
> I have two young kids at home. They both use both our computers
> independently, mostly for internet access. I would never consider
> installing any filter on any system I own or manage. In fact, the
> off-handed discussion of filters on this list surprises me. For me, any
> case of person A deciding what person B should or should not browse is a
> violation of human rights.
> The other aspect which surprises me is the ease in which we get carried
> along with the 'porn threat' discourse. I can easily name quite a few
> more serious internet 'risks', such as racial bullying, homophobic hate,
> sexist comments on Digg, Fox news, big brother, and Mac (not to mention
> McDonnalds) ads.
> - Yishay
> On 21/07/07, *Daniel Howard* <dhhoward@xxxxxxxxxxx
> <mailto:dhhoward@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
>     Another important clip about this story:
>     "Luckily for the porn-addicted youngsters, administrators of the pilot
>     program are aware of this snowballing crisis, and will soon be
>     installing filters that will very likely block out a slew of legitimate
>     pages while still allowing curious students to see all the flesh they
>     want on Myspace."
>     On my recommendation, and since their solution relies more heavily on
>     URL blocking than filtering, APS now blocks the following sites which
>     turn out to have porn in them: MySpace, YouTube, FaceBook, and even
>     Craig's List.  Too bad about YouTube, there's lots of great old video
>     clips of historic value there, but if you can't block the bad stuff via
>     filtering, better to block the whole site.
>     Daniel
>     Joel Kahn wrote:
>      > For those who may have missed it: below the dotted line
>      > is a story from Reuters, Friday, July 20th, 10:31 AM ET.
>      > Food for thought here in connection with the Malawi
>      > project. I can't help wondering why they didn't have
>      > filters on the laptops in the first place. . . .
>      >
>      > ........................................................
>      >
>      > Pupils browse porn on donated laptops
>      >
>      > Nigerian schoolchildren who received laptops from
>      > a U.S. aid organization have used them to explore
>      > pornographic sites on the Internet, the official
>      > News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Thursday.
>      >
>      > NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images
>      > stored on several of the children's laptops.
>      >
>      > "Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a
>      > primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the
>      > pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit
>      > sexual materials," NAN said.
>      >
>      > A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group
>      > was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a
>      > pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.
>      >
>      >
>      >
>      >
>      >
>     ____________________________________________________________________________________
>      > Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's
>     updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.
>      > http://get.games.yahoo.com/proddesc?gamekey=monopolyherenow
>      >
>     --
>     Daniel Howard
>     President and CEO
>     Georgia Open Source Education Foundation
> --
> ___________________________
>   Yishay Mor, Researcher, London Knowledge Lab
>    http://www.lkl.ac.uk/people/mor.html
> <http://www.lkl.ac.uk/people/mor.html >
>    http://yishaym.wordpress.com
>    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yishaymor
>     http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src="">
>    +44-20-78378888 x5737

Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation

  Yishay Mor, Researcher, London Knowledge Lab
   +44-20-78378888 x5737