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Restrictions On Social Sites Proposed In Georgia 349

Posted by kdawson
from the shoulder-surfing dept.

A state senator in Georgia, Cecil Staton, has introduced a bill that would require parents' permission before kids could sign up at a social networking site such as MySpace and Facebook, and mandate that the sites let parents see all material their kids generate there. Quoting: "[Senate Bill 59] would make it illegal for the owner or operator of a social networking Web site to allow minors to create or maintain a Web page without parental permission [and require] parents or guardians to have access to their children's Web pages at all times. If owners or operators of a company failed to comply with the proposed law, they would be guilty of a misdemeanor on the first offense. A second offense would be a felony and could lead to imprisonment for between one and five years and a fine up to $50,000 or both." The recently offered MySpace parental tools fall short of the bill's requirements. This coverage from the Athens Banner-Herald quotes Facebook's CPO saying that federal law forbids the company to allow anyone but the account creator to access it..

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Restrictions On Social Sites Proposed In Georgia

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  • by mfh (56) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:07PM (#17807184) Journal
    And when the parents give their permission -- OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!
  • people or property (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:07PM (#17807194)
    This demonstrates the battle between two competing and mutually exclusive legal approaches to minors: 1) as citizens with the same rights as any other, and 2) as the property of their parents.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sumdumass (711423)
      As long as the person responsible for their actions are the parrents, then I don't see them giving up their property any time soon.

      If the state asumes liability for everything then let them be equal citizens with all the freedoms that the state currently claims they aren't able to process untill they reach a certain age. Usualy 18. And we can have five year old voting with ten year olds buying alcohol and such. I doubt anything like that would ever happen but if they aren't old enough to make certain decisi
    • by electrosoccertux (874415) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:36PM (#17807568)
      This story has no place on Slashdot, as

      a). we don't have kids
      b). if we don't have any kids, then we're certainly not married
      c). social networking? What is this adjective "social" you are talking about?

      I kid, I kid [sorry].
    • by gfxguy (98788) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:40PM (#17807610)
      Such is the life of a slashdotting parent. When a predator victimizes a child, the parents get blamed for not better protecting their children. When a parent uses parental controls (because we cannot monitor our kids 24 hours a day) we get blamed for taking away their "rights."

      Well, as a parent I'm legally responsible for my kids, so NO, they DON'T have the same rights as adults. Sorry to burst your bubble.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KKlaus (1012919)
        Well you may not be able to monitor them all the time, but they have brains of their own so you can hopefully teach them so that you don't need to. I'm young enough to have been a minor on "the internets" and as long as you aren't ultimately meeting someone in person, its about as safe as you can get. I mean you're in your damn house for chrissake. All of that internet related paranoia comes from watching to much scaremongering news. Teach your kids not to meet strangers out doors (the don't get into
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by w1ll0w (658777)
          That would be nice if every kid would learn from others mistakes but that's just not the case. I have watched as I told my daughter not to do something and why only to watcher her do it anyway and get hurt. My daughters not dumb, just stubborn. I have a chipped tooth that I won't let the dentists completely fix all the way to remind me of a time I thought my mother didn't know what she was talking about. It's a reminder that I should listen to my elders. And how often do/did you listen to your parents,
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dirtsurfer (595452)
        So, which part about raising your kids is so hard that you need the government to do it for you instead? Just asking.
        • by gfxguy (98788) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:15PM (#17808626)
          None. If you'd bother reading the AC I was responding too, it had nothing to do with this actual proposal. He was asking if we treat the kids like "citizens" with all the freedoms of everyone else, or like property. While I'm legally responsible, they DO NOT have the same rights as adults.

          I agree with him on the level that they should be doing more to catch the predators and less to incovenience the victims, but sometimes that's just not practical.

          You'd get on my case if I complained someone stole my cell phone out of my car when I didn't lock it. You'd get on my case if someone stole my TV when I didn't bother closing the doors on my house. You'd get on my case if someone stole my bike when I didn't bother chaining it.

          Why are you going to get on my case when I use some parental controls to attempt to help keep my kids safe?

          So no, I don't necessarily agree with this law, but I also don't agree with the attitude that kids should have all the rights that adults have, including viewing all the content they want on the internet without restriction, when the parents are responsible, and the attitude that parents are some kind of Nazis when they restrict what their kids can do.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lord Apathy (584315)

        Well, as a parent I'm legally responsible for my kids, so NO, they DON'T have the same rights as adults. Sorry to burst your bubble

        I've been stating this for a number of years. People that don't have kids really have no business telling parents what their kids rights are. Kids don't have the responsibilities as adults so they can't have the same rights.

        Of course now I've said that there will be some arm chair parent who thinks because their brother has kids they know everything there is to know abo

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172)
      You forgot the third one, which is the one that actually holds legal sway at the moment:

      3) as the property of the State

      KFG
    • it also represents the battle between local control and global networking. Does this guy really think his brilliant law enacted in Georgia will be enforcable against, say, a social networking site in California?
      • Does this guy really think his brilliant law enacted in Georgia will be enforcable against, say, a social networking site in California?

        Maybe the legislature in Georgia is really naive (or conceited) and thinks that all the social networking sites on teh interwebs are in located in Georgia?

  • bad karma? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dpreformer (32338)
    While I don't think the law is a good one it seems to me a workaround for the federal law saying only an account creator can have access is to only allow minors to create pages on accounts their parent creates.

    First post!
    • While I don't think the law is a good one it seems to me a workaround for the federal law saying only an account creator can have access is to only allow minors to create pages on accounts their parent creates.

      I believe federal law trumps state law. The fine state senator in GA should be aware of that; someone from Ohio drove home that point a while ago.
      • In practice, the stricter of the two applies. Thus, if your state's minimum wage is lower than the federal, you must pay at least the federal minimum. If, however, the opposite is true and you pay exactly the federal minimum, you're still in violation of state law.
        • In practice, the stricter of the two applies. Thus, if your state's minimum wage is lower than the federal, you must pay at least the federal minimum. If, however, the opposite is true and you pay exactly the federal minimum, you're still in violation of state law.

          True, because you can meet both by meeting one; however the GA law appears to conflict with federal law so the federal law would trump state law.
          • by Surt (22457)
            You can meet both by meeting one:
            Only allow adults to create accounts (at least in GA).

            If a kid wants to create an account, tough luck, ask mom, dad, guardian.

  • Uhh... what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanusFury (452699) <kevin.gadd@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:09PM (#17807220) Homepage Journal

    Staton cited statistics on dozens of teens who have been molested -- or murdered, in some instances -- by people they met through MySpace.com, according to law enforcement officials.
    So, wait... dozens out of what, like 10 million myspace users? That's less than a hundredth of a percent. If anything, these statistics should indicate that he should be solving more dangerous problems, like car accidents or parental child abuse or teenage drug use, not chasing after imaginary problems.
    • Re:Uhh... what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by the-amazing-blob (917722) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:15PM (#17807288) Journal
      Abuse, rape, torture, molestation.

      They get headlines.

      They get politicians elected

      Thus, they get attention of politicians
      • by couchslug (175151)
        "Abuse, rape, torture, molestation.

        They get headlines.

        They get politicians elected

        Thus, they get attention of politicians"

        Especially when other politicians are doing it!
    • Lies, Damned Lies... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by The Monster (227884)

      That's less than a hundredth of a percent.

      Somebody tell this guy about the correlation between DMHO [dmho.org] ingestion and sex crimes! It's 100%

      What a yutz. Let's say this guy gets his law. What practical method is there for a state legislature to require a website based on servers in some other state to verify the identity of people who want to edit pages there?

      Some online services marketed to adults take a credit card as a way of proving you're an adult. They place an authorization on your card, perhaps eve

    • Understand this. Lawmakers need to show they are doing something productive. By doing idiotic things, that may or may not work, instead of tackling the tough issues, they are enticing voters to re-elect them.
    • by hrvatska (790627)
      The vast majority of kids are molested by a relative or a friend of the family. By the reasoning of this bill, we should be considering banning all contact with relatives and friends of the family, or at least requiring that two or more adults be present with a child if they're not alone. Just so they can keep an eye on one another.
    • by joshetc (955226)
      According to Estey Bomberger [childmoles...victim.com] nearly 33% of all females and 14% of all males are molested before the age of 18.

      If the real number is anywhere NEAR that, cracking down on social networking sites would be completely misplaced resources. As you said, dozens out of millions. Thats less than 1 in 1000 people.

      If anything I think the law should require parents to do their job, otherwise face charges by reason of neglect.
      • by belmolis (702863)

        Got any statistics from a less self-interested source? That seems awfully high, and given the history of false child molestation cases created by unqualified "therapists", I'm reluctant to credit such a source.

      • Re:Uhh... what? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by c6gunner (950153) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:55PM (#17808470)
        They also claim that only 35% of these abuses are reported, so unless I'm getting the math wrong, his would mean that something like 100% of females and 40% of males are molested before they're 18. Seems a little high, eh?
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:55PM (#17807796) Homepage Journal
      Wait 'til the Georgia parents figure out that almost every one of those kids who were molested or murdered also listened to some form of pop music. A very high percentage of them also went to school, so it's time we take a look at radios and blackboard erasers as causes.

      It's about time we crack down.
    • Finding kids to molest is much easier at the local mall where the odds of finding a 'child' are better.

      MySpace Age Ranges By Gender
      As Indicated By Users

      Age Range % Male % Female % Total

      12 to 15 0.0007 0.0012 0.0019
      16 to 18 9.25 12.39 21.64
      19 to 21 11.64 12.29 23.93
      22 to 35 22.90 18.00 40.90
      36 to 55 3.48 2.66 6.14
      56 to 99 1.58* 1.53* 3.11

      Totals 48.85 46.87 95.72

      Based on sample size of about 40 million active users.
      An active user visits their page at least onc

  • Misquote (Score:2, Informative)

    by tuxlove (316502)
    the Athens Banner-Herald quotes Facebook's CPO saying that federal law forbids the company to allow anyone but the account creator to access it..

    This isn't at all what the article quotes. It says:

    Under the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, we cannot give anyone access to or control of an individual's profile on Facebook

    I don't see how this would preclude rules that require all future account creations to be done by an adult...
  • ...but I think the world might actually be a better place if MySpace were crippled or shut down by these sorts of nanny laws. I think that MySpace is a net negative for mankind.
  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:14PM (#17807266) Homepage
    Funny this from GA. Southern states have a rep for "close" familial relations. I doubt that most child-sex-crimes are perpetrated by outsiders anyway no matter what state we're talking about. Sure, the "be afraid of the internet" cases are the ones that get the headlines, but for the most part, it's mom or dad who are directly at fault. So why not just ban parenthood? Parenthood seems much more risky to children than the net.
    • by Itninja (937614)
      Well, one can only assume that banning people in Georgia from reproducing could do nothing but help the situation. Because everyone knows that everyone from Georgia is a dim-witted, incestuous, bigot. I mean it has to be true; there are like millions of sitcoms about little else.
    • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:21PM (#17807362) Homepage
      Indeed, a quick google search turned up this: http://www.districtadministration.com/pulse/commen tpost.aspx?news=no&postid=18080 [districtad...ration.com]

      Choice quote:

      [chart showing 40% decline in sex abuse between 1990 and 2000]
      All forms of child abuse, not just sexual abuse, are undergoing a dramatic decline. Of course, you'd never know this from the hype the media is giving the cases of online related sexual abuse that they can trace back to MySpace or Facebook.

      [chart breaking down sex abuse by relationship]
      The amazing and sad statistic that is so often overlooked and rarely discussed is that 95% of Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse is perpetrated by family members. 79% of perpetrators are parents. Other relatives accounted for 7% and unmarried partners of parents and "other" accounted for 4% and 5% of abuse.
      • by happyemoticon (543015) on Monday January 29, 2007 @09:38PM (#17808294) Homepage

        Just as a side note, the biggest problem with rooting out or finding child sexual abuse is that children under the age of 10 can be made to say anything if goaded long enough, and eventually they will fabricate elaborate false memories to supplement these statements. If you put any determined adult in a room with any 8-year old, given enough time, they could eventually have that kid saying up was down or Uncle Benny touched him this way or that way, which, ironically, could be classified as abuse. Many law enforcement agencies have done exactly that, because at best the officers or attorneys in question were simply convinced they were right and that the kid had repressed memories or some other such bullshit, and at worst they were corrupt jerks out to catch bad guys - who cares if they have to brainwash a few little shits in order to catch em?

        Mind you, I have no special knowledge in this subject beyond some college psychology classes.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lysergic.acid (845423)

          that's not suprising at all. hopefully there are protocols in place to identify this kind of stuff.

          and while we're on the subject of child abuse, what of adults brainwashing/indoctrinating their kids? can this be legally prosecuted as a form of child-abuse? a friend of mine showed me clips of a documentary called Jesus Camp [youtube.com] recently about some pretty extreme evangelical communities that seriously scared the living shit out of me. I'm much more concerned with the indoctrination of children with fanatical be

    • by westlake (615356)
      I doubt that most child-sex-crimes are perpetrated by outsiders anyway

      The argument is irrelevant.

      Protecting your child from the predators within doesn't exclude taking actions to protect your child from the predators without.

  • Kneejerk reaction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skadet (528657) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:15PM (#17807284) Homepage
    I was about to respond with the typical "parents' responsibility" blather, but then I thought about it some more and realized it's more insidious than that.

    It really is about parental control, and parents should be up in arms about this. As it stands (in America, at least), once your kids are waiting on the corner for the public school bus in the morning, your kids belong to the State. A child student has to have parent's permission for an asprin, but not for an abortion.

    Parental rights are increasingly in jeopardy in America.

    This is one step down a slippery slope, and a good time to make a stand. The bottom line is that your kids are yours to raise -- no matter how much some may disagree with your parenting tactics -- and we are standing to lose that right. This is only the first step.
    • by jumpingfred (244629) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:26PM (#17807412)
      I don't remember the schools doing abortions. Have things changed?
    • Parents should not have the right to raise their children 'no matter how much some may disagree with your parenting tactics.'

      How about parents who want to teach their childred from birth that religion X is th eonly true way and that everyone else is a sinner and needs to be converted? What about parents who teach their children to be sexist? racist?

      Until we can control who breeds and who doesn't breed, laws regulating parenting tactics will continue to grow more numerous in response to irresponsible paren
      • Right to teach (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The Monster (227884) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:39PM (#17807604) Homepage

        How about parents who want to teach their childred from birth that religion X is th eonly true way and that everyone else is a sinner and needs to be converted? What about parents who teach their children to be sexist? racist?
        When they pick up weapons and try to translate that philosophy into reality, we'll just have to kill them. Meanwhile, we'll muddle through under this wacky idea that parents are presumed to have the best interests of their children at heart, and understand that hate mongers from Westboro to Wahhabi are the price of religious freedom.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Skadet (528657)

        Parents should not have the right to raise their children 'no matter how much some may disagree with your parenting tactics.'

        Why not?

        How about parents who want to teach their childred from birth that religion X is th eonly true way and that everyone else is a sinner and needs to be converted? What about parents who teach their children to be sexist? racist?

        What about them?

        I find no compelling argument here; rather, there is no argument of any kind.

    • by Belgand (14099)
      Yep, you made 'em, you own 'em. Screw that crazy notion that children might actually be their own people. Screw it in the ear I say!
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      i agree it is asinine that youths require parental consent to get asprin
      • by Irvu (248207)
        Where and when was a law passed mandating that parental consent was required for Asprin? This isn't the same mythical set of laws that also bans prayer in schools and mandates that all teenagers play violent video games is it? Is it Federal? State? Local to idiotville?
        • by Skadet (528657)
          I'm about to run out the door from work, but the best I could find on Google in the 5 seconds I had was this, from Bedford County Public Schools' P&P Manual [k12.va.us]:

          Students with a diagnosis of asthma are permitted to possess and self-administer inhaled asthma medications in accordance with this policy during the school day, at school-sponsored activities, or while on a school bus or other school property. In order for a student to possess and self-administer asthma medication, the following conditions must be

  • Staton said the bill does not tell the companies exactly how to ensure that minors don't log on without parental permission. The companies can figure that out on their own, he said.
    1) John Law says 'companies, make this happen'
    2) Companies say, 'wait...what?'
    3) ???
    4) Safety for children everywhere!
  • Oh boy! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:17PM (#17807308) Homepage
    Time to receive another insincere reply from my state representative!
  • What with being a child molester. I'm sure all my new 'friends' will go for it.
  • As usual...idiots (Score:4, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:18PM (#17807318)
    illegal for the owner or operator of a social networking Web site to allow minors to create or maintain a Web page without parental permission

    And how, precisely, do you intend to enforce that? One of the reasons the CDA [wikipedia.org], in 1996 and 1997, and the COPA [wikipedia.org] in 1998 and 1999, were shot down was because this concept is unworkable. Then and now. You simply cannot verify who is sitting at the keyboard.

    And then of course we get into the weird definitions. What is a 'social networking site'? Just Facebook and MySpace? Or /., Digg, and Fark as well? And of course, this does nothing for a site based offshore somewhere.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mongoose(!no) (719125)
      The definition problem could be very problematic.

      If they say any sites with interactive, user created content, that leads to a lot of problems.

      If they're very specific. Sites might find ways around it.

      In the first case, what happens to all the small sites like PhpBB forums and the like when they have to deal with implementing this?

    • Duh - you just require a credit card.

      100% of adults over 18 have credit cards.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dsoltesz (563978) *
      Actually, the more applicable law (at least similar to what Georgia's attempting) here might be COPPA [wikipedia.org] (see the text of Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 [ftc.gov]) which addresses what kids can do on the 'net more than what adults can put online that children might be exposed to. By requiring minors (under 13) to have verifiable consent from a parent/guardian, so it does part of what Georgia's trying to do. Not sure why the law didn't extend to teenagers - possibly because of conflicts with "age of con
  • QFT - idiot. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:19PM (#17807346)
    From TFA:
    "Staton said the bill does not tell the companies exactly how to ensure that minors don't log on without parental permission. The companies can figure that out on their own, he said."

    There is no real way to do that. Who is liable if the minor works around the security and makes a page? What if said minor created a page and NOTHING happened aside from a parent finding out the page exists? What is an acceptable form of verifying parental consent?

    This proposal is a prime example of people who don't know jack about how the technology works trying to legislate it.
    • "This proposal is a prime example of people who don't know jack about how the technology" + raising kids to be well functioning adults + "works trying to legislate it."
  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frakir (760204) <ockhamrazorNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:20PM (#17807352)
    ... requiring parents permission anytime kid wants to get on the bus? How about letting kids in the mall only with written permission?

    you know, shit can happen on the bus....
    in fact, shit can happen anywhere.
    How about a site hosted in Romania or Israel?

    State laws can not and will not replace neglecting parents.
    • How about letting kids in the mall only with written permission?

      Been to a mall lately? I could go for that; plus require two forms of ID.
  • How the hell do these pend end up determining what counts as justice in our society?

    Do they have any clue how such a system might be implemented? Is it even remotely feasible to determine who is a child, and whom their parents are while maintaining any semblance of privacy?

    Is a private company just supposed to know exactly whom every minor and their parents are worldwide? Can we invent a special kind of web browser that forces kids to truthfully enter in their correct age?

    And in truth, wouldn't that help
  • by Veinor (871770) <veinorNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 29, 2007 @08:28PM (#17807436)
    Porn sites technically must require proof of age, and none of THEM ever get any visits from children.
  • It's all crap. It's not even Think of the Children (TM), it's just some senator looking to get some media attention that will be in the back of everyones mind at election time.

    I won't even go into all the other things that generate more risk than your kid having a myspace page. It just hurts my head.

    Isn't there at least one senator, somewhere, who will introduce some sort of "Responsibility in Parenting" act, which will say things like "It's your responsibility to teach your children not to put their full n
  • "[Senate Bill 59] would make it illegal for the owner or operator of a social networking Web site to allow minors to create or maintain a Web page without parental permission [and require] parents or guardians to have access to their children's Web pages at all times. "

    This can be done by forcing everyone to register with their SSN and require their parents SSN to register. As well as send out a letter and email to the parent for verification and the parent must call the company via phone.

    There are l
    • by cdrguru (88047)
      Why would you (stupidly, IMHO) use SSN for this purpose? Sounds like another misuse of a government index value that should have no other uses as was mandated by law when it was created.
  • I don't think many minors are reading /. I'm not saying I would necessarily support the legislation, but parents absolutely need access to online content posted by their children. I question how the requirement to have parental permission would be enforced, but again in theory it's not such a bad idea IMO. We're not talking about adults here, and the reality is that until you're 18, your parents determine what rights they think you should have and which you shouldn't.
    • I don't think many minors are reading /.

      More than zero.

      I'm not saying I would necessarily support the legislation, but parents absolutely need access to online content posted by their children.

      Right. And as a parent, that is up to ME to determine how that is done.

      I question how the requirement to have parental permission would be enforced, but again in theory it's not such a bad idea IMO.

      Ok...you as an adult...how do YOU prove you're not a child trying to log on or create a website?

      We're
      • by twbecker (315312)
        I never said zero minor read the site. Also, you're making this out to be an issue of the gov't trying to get between you and your child. This simply states that you will have the opportunity to review your child's online content. It doesn't confer onto you an obligation to do it, again that's between the parent and the child.
  • The same state that:

    • Tried to segregate a concert...by Ray Charles
    • Voted for George Bush...twice
    • Just put a guy away for 10 years for getting a blow job that he didn't even initiate

    ROFL! Georgia, Kansas and Alabama will be competing in a reality show to select the dumbest state in the union. Call in and vote for your favorite!

  • The big problem with you yanks is that you can't seem to make up your mind about what a minor is in the first place. Age of consent laws vary from state to state but are generally 17-18. But you let them drive when they're 16. But they can't buy alcohol until they're 21. But they can use a gun as soon as they're old enough to hold it. None of it makes the least bit of sense. And you're not alone in that; here in Canada we're almost as bad. In the end though, how can you protect minors when you can't
  • by Goldenhawk (242867) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:45PM (#17808870) Homepage
    I may be in the minority here, but I do have kids. When my 9-year old discovers whatever passes for MySpace at the time we begin to give him access to the web, he's not going to be using it independently of the direct oversight of my wife and myself. He won't be freely using any other web site, for that matter. His right to absolute privacy begins only when he moves out of my house, 9 years from now. If he insists that he is not going to tell me his password, I expect we'll start taking away privileges such as his internet access; if he insists on abusing our trust by using such sites outside our home, other privileges will begin disappearing accordingly.

    This is no different than our current approach to discipline (which by the way is apparently working well): his rights currently extend only to being fed and clothed and healthy. His privileges (including toys, visits with friends, computer games, television, etc.) are given in direct proportion to his responsibility. As he acts responsibly, they expand. As he abuses our trust, they contract until he rebuilds our trust.

    You may ask, how will you monitor his activities away from home? Naturally we're still figuring that out, but we already have a good start when he visits friends' houses, where he already knows that we expect him to follow our home's rules. For example, he knows (and obeys) our restrictions on what television he may watch, or video games he may play; we verify his obedience with parents. I expect our monitoring will include frequent vanity-Googling-by-proxy - searching for his name, and seeing what pops up. I also expect it will include a healthy dose of two-way trust. He already knows that he can trust us, and that we have his best interests in mind, and we will work together with him to build an appropriate presence online, as part of his responsible upbringing. As attentive parents, I also fully expect that we'll have a very good idea of his avatar choices and will be able to find them on any popular sites. Furthermore, since his rights to privacy don't yet exist, we will not hesitate to install keylogging and screenshot software on his computer, which will continue to live only in the common family room, will continue to be locked to system changes, and let him know that we monitor everything he does - just like we already often listen to his phone calls with less-responsible friends, and we make sure both parties know that we're listening. This is all part of parenting. I would never turn him loose in a city by himself, and letting him loose online is no different.

    I'm quite certain that this post will generate some "are you nuts" or "what kind of fanatic are you" replies. Yes, I am a fanatic, in that I'm absolutely convinced of my beliefs (including trusting that God will change my mind if I'm wrong). I am raising my children according to my own beliefs, and teaching them everything I believe, because honestly, if I didn't believe it enough to pass it on to my most dearly valued family, that would show that I didn't really believe it.
  • by dangermouse (2242) on Monday January 29, 2007 @10:54PM (#17808958) Homepage
    Cecil Staton, as another poster has pointed out, is kind of a known idiot. He's also all by himself on this. The response of the rest of the State Senate, and just about everyone else, has been: "What?"

    It's not only a stupid idea, it's an unworkable stupid idea that's going nowhere. Yeah, it's been "proposed in Georgia", but it might as well have been proposed on the moon. It has no support in Georgia and shouldn't reflect on Georgia.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn

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