Age verification for the internet

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1.618
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Age verification for the internet

Post by 1.618 »

(just thinking out loud here but welcome your thoughts)

The UK plans to introduce age verification for adult sites from 2018
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40630582

Which in itself isn't a bad idea if it stops kids accessing adult sites, but the article mentions concerns with telling card companies you view adult content or trusting card details to dodgy sites, and these measures won't really do a lot given the amount of adult content kids can get to wether deliberate or not.

So i was thinking

Maybe there should be a 3rd party service in the middle, people register with them and they issue a key, you enter the key on a website and they verify it to prove you are 18 +. bit like paypal. Then i thought well why not just make everybody register before they can even use the internet, adults get an 18+ key and kids get an under 18 key. we could do away with username/email and password combos. And before you suggest people could steal a digital key, they can steal your card details as well so what's the difference?

Maybe they could issue a digital key at birth that matures when you are 18, the key would just need 18 years from its creation, there would be no need for personal details to be included on the key. websites implement a piece of software that verifies the keys and away you go, kids can still acces instatwitfaceyousnapchatbook but will not get on any adult sites.

I realise you will probably never curb the amount of adult content online but current suggestions won't really change much either
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Pjotr »

I'm afraid all such digital measures are doomed to fail.... It'll simply make it a sport for the youngsters, to get to see those sites anyway. :(

When my kids were younger, I applied these physical measures:
- When below 12: no internet except on the family PC in the dining room, with full view for the parents;
- When over 12: internet on their rooms, but with supervision afterwards of the sites they visited. Visiting forbidden sites would mean no internet for a week. Cleaning the internet history of the web browser, would imply infraction.
- A restrictive timer in the router, which only enabled the internet for certain MAC addresses during certain hours of the day.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by srq2625 »

Maybe I should be fitted for a tin-foil hat but ....

Anybody remember when, in the USA, the SSAN was used for individual identification? US Congress passed legislation saying, in effect, that using the SSAN or any number derived from the SSAN for individual identification was unlawful. Since 9/11, many of the teeth of that law have been severely blunted, but ...

Assigning a digital key at birth - yep, let "Big Brother" know EVERYTHING "you think, do, and say" - I'm pretty sure I don't like that idea.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by JerryF »

Pjotr wrote:I'm afraid all such digital measures are doomed to fail.... It'll simply make it a sport for the youngsters, to get to see those sites anyway. :(

When my kids were younger, I applied these physical measures:
- When below 12: no internet except on the family PC in the dining room, with full view for the parents;
- When over 12: internet on their rooms, but with supervision afterwards of the sites they visited. Visiting forbidden sites would mean no internet for a week. Cleaning the internet history of the web browser, would imply infraction.
- A restrictive timer in the router, which only enabled the internet for certain MAC addresses during certain hours of the day.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by BG405 »

In the UK, Sky at least have enabled content restriction by default as of a few months ago and I am under the impression that others may be doing likewise.

It is possible to change these restrictions if you log on to your account, so maybe they could add a per-machine setting for this. Perhaps the MAC address(es) could be used for this?

Using credit card data for "age verification" is a very bad idea, especially on those sort of sites, IMHO.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by jimallyn »

Everything should be open to everybody. Period. If parents don't want their kids accessing certain sites, they should tell their kids what they are and are not allowed to access, AND EXPLAIN WHY. Or, if they insist on censorship, they should set up the restrictions themselves in the computer or in the router. After all, it is really nobody else's business; certainly not something for ISPs or governments to decide. And really, what difference does it make if 11 year old boys look at pictures of naked women? They're likely to be seeing the real thing, in person, soon enough anyway. I was young long before the internet, and a friend used to bring his uncle's Playboy magazines to school to pass around. (That would have been starting in about 1963 or 1964.) I suspect that attempts to prevent youngsters from looking at pictures of naked members of the opposite sex (or the same sex) will be just as successful now as they were back then.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Pjotr »

jimallyn wrote:what difference does it make if 11 year old boys look at pictures of naked women? They're likely to be seeing the real thing, in person, soon enough anyway
There's pr0n and pr0n.... Some extremely nasty stuff is even shocking for adults, let alone for kids. Definitely worth trying to protect them from. Not comparable with the relatively harmless stuff you're referring to....
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Fred Barclay »

jimallyn wrote:And really, what difference does it make if 11 year old boys look at pictures...
Why toss a puppy into a wolf pack before it's old enough to take care of itself? :?
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by jimallyn »

Fred Barclay wrote:Why toss a puppy into a wolf pack before it's old enough to take care of itself? :?
I don't get the analogy. I never considered girls to be anything like a wolf pack.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Fred Barclay »

jimallyn wrote:I never considered girls to be anything like a wolf pack.
Nor have I. That's not anything close to what I meant.
A child at 11 (or "tween" or whatever the term is :D) is not fully developed in terms of maturity. He/she is simply not an adult yet, the same way that a puppy is not a wolf yet. Why treat him/her as one by letting them freely view images that are definitely not for his/her age group, especially since he/she will not have the mental maturity to process them the same way an adult would? It's the same as tossing an underdeveloped young dog/wolf in with a full-grown pack. Maturity, at least to some degree, comes with time and can't be hurried. Tossing the puppy with the wolves will give it experience and painful lessons, but not make it grow any faster. Treating a child as an adult with no restrictions will do the same.

Many developed nations recognise this and so have laws about the minimum age required for this sort of thing (I'm being vague here since this is public).
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Penn »

Parental responsibility? Who has time for that?

In the 80s leading into the 90s music censorship became a bit of an issue in the US (Ode to Tipper Gore). One of the bands criticized was Twisted Sister, even though they were has beens by the time this all reached peak momentum. The singer, Dee Snider, testified before the senate. He pointed out he had kids and even listened to all their music, most of which he did not like, so he would be aware of what they were hearing. The senators, in essence, told him that was unreasonable. A long haired metal-head that became famous for nearly dressing in drag was willing to take the personal responsibility of raising his child himself but these senators with their elevated esteem in our society felt that should be a societal shared responsibility by way of legal authority.

Now times have changed and the same thing is going on with the internet.

Pjotr, I applaud your approach and feel parental interaction with their offspring should be the first line of child rearing. It just ins't the way most people seem to think it should be done and, let's face it, some people just aren't capable.

To point of some content being more than just nudity - I recall when VCRs were a new thing I knew of a family for whom the parents watching hardcore videos with their children in the room was a nightly thing. The younger son wasn't yet overtly twisted by this (even if he was a social outcast for being weird) but I heard stories about the older girl. Yeah, I see the point that restricting the human form and to some extent depictions of actual romance can be damaging to the developing mind, but letting them see some things is even worse.

Society is not responsible for raising your children to be well adjusted and I shouldn't be restricted as an adult by the failures of some parents. When i was a smoker I was told I shouldn't smoke in public because some lady's kids could see me. Not my problem and it shouldn't be.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by killer de bug »

Pjotr wrote: - When over 12: internet on their rooms, but with supervision afterwards of the sites they visited. Visiting forbidden sites would mean no internet for a week. Cleaning the internet history of the web browser, would imply infraction.
And then it's easy to remove just part of the history.
Or to use a private session for some websites.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Portreve »

I would not trust such an entity to collect that data, and I would never be willing to give up that sort of info.

And as for a code issued at birth... really?
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by jimallyn »

Portreve wrote:nd as for a code issued at birth... really?
I suppose you would have a problem with barcode tattoo on everybody's forehead, too?
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by Portreve »

jimallyn wrote:
Portreve wrote:nd as for a code issued at birth... really?
I suppose you would have a problem with barcode tattoo on everybody's forehead, too?
Just a little bit...
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by CaptainKirksChair »

1.618 wrote:I realise you will probably never curb the amount of adult content online but current suggestions won't really change much either
I read somewhere (probably 10 years ago) that out of every individual page on the web, only 5% were adult themed. However, out of that miniscule number of total web pages, adult sites made up over 60% of all web-based revenue. Which means that the majority of web purchasers are buying pornography. How many of those people who buy online pornography have children where the adults in their lives think the children are oblivious to what the adults do? Weak passwords and such just mean the kids get on the computer and see what mommy and daddy see. This isn't an online problem; this is a parental problem. I second the suggestions from Pjotr.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by killer de bug »

Using openDNS can prevent the visit on a lot of adult related websites. Not all of course, but a fair amount.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by samriggs »

hmmm tough one
Let the dodgy sites have your info, cause governments says so orrrrr parents have more control over their own children hmmm let me think.

I agree with Pjotr and Portreve
Nothing and nobody is perfect but parents should have the control over their own computer and are responsible for their children, not the state unless you want them to be raised by the state.
Nothing is perfect and no matter what, errors will happen.
But to give over personal info to a dodgy site cause the state says so, I don't think so.
If your going to have something in your childrens hands that can not only be able to have fun talking to friends but also have the ability to go to these sites, shouldn't they have blocks on them to stop that?
Or do what Pjotr stated.

Plus come on give your credit card number out like it was candy to untrusted sites REALLY?

as was stated on this article and says it all
One cyber-security expert on the same advisory panel was more critical.

"The timeline is unrealistic - but beyond that, this is one of the worst proposals I have seen on digital strategy," said Dr Joss Wright from the Oxford Internet Institute.

"There are hundreds of thousands of websites where this material can be accessed and you are not going to catch all of those.

"There's privacy issues - you're requiring people to effectively announce the fact they are looking at this material to the credit card authorities.

"And there's serious security issues from requiring people to enter their credit card details into untrusted sites.

"They may well say there will be other magical ways to do the age check, but I very much doubt they will be non-discriminatory [against adults without credit cards], transparent, privacy-preserving and secure for end-users."
I get what the government is trying to do here, sort of like when your child walks down town and there is a **** shop, they would not be allowed in unless they were of age and show ID to prove it, but this is a bit diferent, and there has to be a better way then handing over credit card numbers to strangers all over the planet.
What a stupid way of doing it.
Well at least it will stop a lot of folks that used to go to these sites from returning :lol:
One small good thing about it.
I suppose you would have a problem with barcode tattoo on everybody's forehead, too?
And you wouldn't?
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by JerryF »

samriggs wrote:...
I agree with Pjotr and Portreve
...
I get what the government is trying to do here, sort of like when your child walks down town and there is a **** shop, they would not be allowed in unless they were of age and show ID to prove it, but this is a bit diferent, ...
Actually, not so different. If a child has to walk downtown for some reason (coming home from school, etc.), a good parent would teach the child that this is a place you don't go into or even try to go into---or there'll be consequences.

There are all kinds of things parents protect their children from. Running out into the street, talking to strangers, the danger of electrical sockets. All have consequences---some more dangerous than others but still, consequences.
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Re: Age verification for the internet

Post by samriggs »

I agree with you JerryF, I was trying to think of a real life situation that would be similar but yup parents should teach them.
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