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Report: No one fix for Net porn and kids

'The whole idea of supervision ... is overrated'

Report: No one fix for Net porn and kids


From Jonathan Aiken
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Whether it's technology, law enforcement, economics or education, there is no single method to protect children from being exposed to legal, adult pornography on the Internet, the National Academies' National Research Council is reporting Thursday.

A two-year study finds that Internet-filtering technologies -- like the "parental control" system from America Online, a sister AOL Time Warner company to CNN -- are effective but offer no guarantee to parents of 100-percent efficiency now or in the future.

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Those filters block access to adult Web sites and allow parents to control the access children have to the Internet.

"You can block anything in the world, in certain environments," says John Rabun, a member of the academies' panel and vice president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"But the whole idea of supervision, the cop on the beat, the parents on the beat, really is overrated by an awful lot of folks, we found."

Children making choices

Rather than rely on technology to shield children from adult or child pornography online, the council's report suggests placing an emphasis on social and educational strategies that teach children how to make choices, once they log on and begin to surf the Web.

The challenge, according to the report, is protecting the rights of children while also protecting the rights of individuals to access legal, adult pornography -- which the academies' report says is available on as many as 100,000 Web sites worldwide.

But the study also notes the growing mismatch between the explosive nature of Internet growth and the technology designed to filter sites and protect children.

The council encourages a combination of research and public education to close the gap.



 
 
 
 


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