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MySpace Age Verification - for Parents 391

unlametheweak writes "North Carolina is thinking of the children by passing a law requiring parents to verify they are parents before letting their children onto social networking sites. Notwithstanding the whole concept of an Internet ID for people in general; children are now being tracked by cellular phones with GPS, spied upon with Parent Controls (MS Vista has built-in parental spyware), and also strategically placed Nanny Cams, keyboard loggers, etc. 'Few of the proposals we've seen so far seem like good ways to [protect children], but North Carolina's approach at least has the virtue of novelty--unlike most video game legislation, which relies on similar rhetoric but has been almost universally struck down by the courts, sometimes at great cost to the states.' Is the zoo-like Minority Report world in which children are growing up in today doing more harm than good? How will this affect a 14 year old, much less a 17 year old "child"?"
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MySpace Age Verification - for Parents

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  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kiracatgirl ( 791797 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:25AM (#19308049)
    When will people learn that spying on your children is not a replacement for good parenting? The fact that there's actually a demand for this sort of thing is depressing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MartinJW ( 961693 )
      "Spying on your children" might not be good parenting, but surely the same can not be said of monitoring their internet activities, and limited their access to objectional material. It's a very fine line.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Kabuthunk ( 972557 )
        If you're too busy to watch what your child is doing on the computer yourself, then maybe you should just not allow them to be on the computer when you're not there. After all... a child doesn't HAVE to be on the computer at all hours of the day. Maybe you should... y'know... let them play outside or something.
        • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:41AM (#19308207) Journal
          Do you hover over your kids every second that they're doing homework? Are you aware just how much homework today requires a computer?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
            You don't have to hover, but you could place the computer where you'd be likely to walk by once in a while and see what they are doing. You don't have to watch them like a hawk to know when they are doing something wrong.
            • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

              by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @10:28AM (#19308869) Homepage Journal
              How is this any different than spying on them?
              Technology isn't a replacement for caring about your children or spending time with them. But how is parental controls for a PC any different than locking up guns if you own them? It isn't an issue of totally relying on technology to baby site or paying attention to your child. Technology is a tool, why not use it? As as far as GPS tracking cell phones? Why ever not? Children do get lost and sometimes they lie about where they are going. A parent does have the right to know where their kids are at all times. How is it any different than calling them asking them where they are? Frankly it is a little less intrusive and a lot less effective to check up on a GPS than calling them. A smart kid will just leave their phone at a friends house if they really want to be sneaky.
              I see nothing wrong with a parent knowing where their child is and where their child surfs on the Internet. Yes it can go far like bugging their room or phone but like everything else the application of technology in parenting can be a good tool if used correctly.

              • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Kamots ( 321174 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @11:14AM (#19309477)
                "How is this any different than spying on them?"

                Two words. Trust and respect.

                If you're spying on your kid, you're telling them that you don't trust them. That you don't respect them. Great thing to tell your child.

                "How is it [GPS in a phone] any different than calling them asking them where they are?"

                Letsee... you know, sometimes kids WANT thier parents to call?

                I'd gotten myself into situations where I wasn't comfortable. Yet, I knew that my parents would call to check up on me... and when they did, I knew that I'd be able to say something like, "What do you mean I have to come home?", and that they'd be there to pick me up. They also wouldn't ask questions unless I started talking first.

                By spying on them instead of, *gasp*, TALKING to them, you've removed that escape route.

                Besides, as you said, spying on them like that is worthless... They'll just redirect thier phone to call thier friends, and leave thier own at an "approved" location. Or worse, they'll do as you suggested, and do without the redirect. Then you'll mistakenly think they're safe, have no way to contact them, and they're without thier phone to contact you. Congrats.

                Trust and respect are wonderful things. Destroying them for a little peace of mind isn't the correct choice to make. Besides, any peace of mind you get is gone as soon as you wake up and realize that your kids know that you're spying and are now working at hiding things from you.

                From looking at my friends and thier relationships with thier parents as both kids and adults I know that I'm thankful as hell that my parents showed me trust and respect. When I went to uni, I'd been trusted to make my own unrestricted decisions about who to hang out with, when I came home, etc for a couple of years. My parents knew who I was with and what I was doing (for the most part :P). They'd talk with me about why they felt something was a bad idea (and the really dumb stuff I was talked out of...), but I was *allowed* to make mistakes when I was still living at home with the parental safety net in place.

                I'll leave you to imagine what my friends did at uni and what I didn't do... but it should be pretty obvious... I didn't have the desire to prove that I was on my own and could make decisions without my parents stepping on me.
          • Today? Unless the curriculum has radically changed in the last year since I graduated from highschool and started college, that is crap(in the united states public system atleast). Never once in high school was I assigned a homework assignment that forced me to use the computer. The only time I used the computer for school was when I was doing papers and presentations. I take that back, one time i did have to use a computer for homework. However that was above and beyond the scope of the class. I just did i
            • I graduated high school in 1999. I went to highschool in Ontario Canada. I had quite a few papers in high school that were required to be typed. However, it's not something that you'd have to use the computer for every day. It was usually 1 or 2 per class. So, you generally didn't need to use the computer for homework everyday. Most home work was done by hand. Although, I usually when out of my way and did everything that required any kind of writing (anything but math) on the computer, because my hand
            • yes more specifically to georgia, because in iowa that statement is utter BS - i graduated in 2002 and computers were very much required
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drasfr ( 219085 )
        I have never been in favor of spying... I hate that in fact. I am a very strong advocate of free speech and freedom... but I would have to say after an incident that happen in my personal life my view of underage online is different.

        My girlfriend's daughter is 11. She opened up a myspace profile with very suggestive photos and a stated age she was .... 16! now imagine the kind of answers and people talking to her. She knew perfectly what she was doing as she was hiding it and showing us a fake 'parent-appro
        • I don't want to criticise your parenting, but have you talked to her about why she was pretending to be 16? When I was growing up, I used to set my 'age' field in ICQ to be a few years older than I was, since it meant that more interesting people would talk to me and not automatically ignore me based on my age. My parents had already talked to me about how other people on the Internet might not be who they claim to be, and so I never told anyone where I was more accurately than the nearest city. My paren
    • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eht ( 8912 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:32AM (#19308103)
      Not a total replacement of course, but spying on your children certainly is a part of good parenting.
      • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kiracatgirl ( 791797 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:41AM (#19308193)
        I would disagree. Keeping on eye on their activities is one thing, and is definitely a necessary part of it. Spying, however, means that you're doing so secretly, usually in an underhanded fashion. It leads to a distinct lack of trust, primarily on the side of the children.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Sometimes giving your children the illusion of trust so they can build confidence and so you can have confidence in their abilities requires stealthly watching your children for a time. For example, I know a parent that followed her child to an event(her child was around 6) just to see if her daughter got distracted. The daughter didn't know it and was better behaved than if she had thought her parents were watching. Now the mother knows how much more trust she can have and has an insight into her daughters
        • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @10:09AM (#19308599)
          Absolutely agreed. You should be honest with your kids and they should know that their use of the computer is not private.
        • When my child is old enough to use the computer, my instructions will be simple:

          You may use this computer in any manner you like. There will be no attempts to block or filter content.

          But I will be monitoring everything you do with it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )

            Why will you be monitoring it? Will there be acceptable behaviour lines that they won't know about until they cross them?

            Will you talk to your children about what is acceptable first? Will you let them use the Internet before you trust them to behave themselves? Or are you just trying to train them to avoid surveillance (probably a useful skill in modern society)?

      • To a certain extent, yes. But I can spy on my kids just fine without any help from the government.
    • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MyNameIsFred ( 543994 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:38AM (#19308169)

      ...When will people learn that spying on your children is not a replacement for good parenting?...
      But is the reverse true? Can you be a good parent without doing SOME spying. The key word being some. Any good parent should be aware of the people their child associates with and the activities in which their child participates. To know these things requires some invasion of the child's privacy. I will grant that spying can be excessive, a child should be allowed some privacy. But on the other hand, the answer is not zero spying.
      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kamots ( 321174 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @10:27AM (#19308833)
        Why do you assume that you have to spy to get that info?

        My parents would simply talk to me. They'd ask who I was hanging out with and where I'd be. Then they'd *trust* me. It's amazing how important that "T" word is. They made it a point to open the house to my friends... so they'd know who my friends were, what they were like, get to know them more than simply as that kid down the street. They set limits, and expected me to respect them, and trusted me enough not to go snooping around. Yeah, they didn't know everything that I did, but then you can't know everything your kid does no matter how much you spy. Only way to know everything they do is to lock them in a closet and never let them out.

        Spying is bad because if your kid ever knows (and he will), you've effectively destroyed any relationship built on trust and respect. Your child now knows that you don't trust him. That you don't respect him. How anyone thinks that a kid can be brought up well in an environment like that... I just don't understand.

        But hey, what do I know. It's not like I was ever a kid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by N3WBI3 ( 595976 )
      Spying on your kids is not a replace for good parenting but it is a damn good part *of* good parenting. You don't play cloak and dagger but you keep up with where your kids are and who they are with. Honestly in my home there will never be a computer which is not locked down and in the family room.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )

        Honestly in my home there will never be a computer which is not locked down and in the family room.

        So, you want your children to grow up with no expectation of privacy? I had my own computer from about the age of 11. It was an old 8086 that my father's company had decided was no longer needed. I learned simple programming. Eventually, I got a 386 laptop in exchange for some web design (very simple stuff, back when Netscape 2.0 was very new). I got a 14.4kbaud modem for a birthday (13 or 14, I think), and an internet connection. When I was around 15, my parents got a second phone line put in to my

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by div_2n ( 525075 )
      Parents don't generally give their children complete freedom in the real world. This is accomplished by being in control of where they take them and allow them to go. Sure kids can circumvent their control if they REALLY want to short of their parents locking them up in a cage. That isn't the point of this discussion.

      But the internet is a whole new problem. Parents that stick a computer in their hands with no supervision is like giving kids their own personal vehicle to go anywhere they want and do anything
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Well said. I might add that the hazy line is different for every child. Some kids can handle alot of freedom and behave appropriately. Some can't. It's up to the parents to determine where the line actually is.
      • When kids become adults (the legal kind) then and only then should they expect freedom to go their own way. But that's just my $0.02.

        This brings up the old question about legally being an adult.

        When you become 18 you can vote, smoke, be in a porn, watch porn, and serve in the army but you cannot drink.

        (unless of course you serve in the military and serve overseas in a nation that allows 18 for drinking while on base leave)

        Obviously there is some type of discrepancy of what it means to be an adult here.

        And a
    • When will people learn that spying on your children is not a replacement for good parenting? The fact that there's actually a demand for this sort of thing is depressing.

      Perhaps when this generation has grown up, they will be determined not to "become" like their parents, by rejecting invasive spying, and encouraging trust and responsibility. Or perhaps the opposite may come true, since they won't know what trust is, they won't ever be able to trust anyone else, and simply perpetuate their own parinoia o

    • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fermion ( 181285 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @10:02AM (#19308489) Homepage Journal
      Parent don't spy, they care. At some point parents must let go, but that happens in stagess. Even parent who allow sexual activity for their (pre-)teens in the house do so in hopes of limiting any damage. My limited experience indicates kids needs some boundaries, will naturally push those boundries as they need more room, but will still expect a gentle confining force to make them feel secure. Of course you are correct that if the force is overbearing, the kids will not learn to manage on their own, but from what I have seen of this technology, 13 year old children setting up dates with strangers, some who claim to be old enough to drive a car and give them a good time, a bit more caring and a bit less letting the tv/computer raise the kids is in order.
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
      Unfortunately never, if anything the trend seems to be in the opposite direction as spying and monitoring get easier.

      Hence the relatively recent term "helicopter mom".

      Nowadays, parents go to websites of organizations their children might even have the slightest possibility of associating with and yell at them if there's anything even slightly objectionable.

      I can sort of see this for high schoolers, but recently the webmaster account of the website of one of my former organizations (Cornell University Marchi
    • While "spying on your children" is not a replacement for good parenting, what's wrong with spying on your children in /addition/ to good parenting?

      It's my computer, my internet, and my house. I have every right to know what my child is doing on my computer, using my internet, in my house.

      Why /not/ use technology to help me keep tabs on what my child is doing? It's called being /involved/, and I consider that /good/ parenting.
    • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @10:44AM (#19309067)
      When will people learn that parent's have an obligation (not a right, an obligation) to know what their kids are doing, where their kids are, who they are with, what they are reading, what movies they are watching, etc. "Spying" on your children isn't a replacement for good parenting, it just flat out is good parenting.

      And before all the morons jump in with all their little single instance exceptions to their Kafka-esque concept of omnipresent spying and intrusions, let me point it that it's a spectrum. At 12 years old, a parent should pretty much know everything about the kid. Perhaps not the minutiae, but enough that the details are irrelevant. At 17 years old, if the parent hasn't learned that their kid is reasonably smart, honest and starting to gain some wisdom, then the amount of intrusiveness will be higher than if their child has shown good judgement.

      And for all you kids who know you are smarter than your parents: a) you're not. b) as long as your parents are providing for your ass, they get to tell you what to do. c) the rules are not for there for all you unique and special flowers, but for the masses.
    • by pointbeing ( 701902 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @10:53AM (#19309167)
      I've raised three kids who now range in age from 24 to 31.

      I'm not and never have been my child's peer or friend - I'm a parent and the relationship between me and my child is and always will be asymmetrical.

      As a parent I reserved the right to investigate any aspect of my child's life when I had reason to believe that the child was at risk - and investigations into my child's sexual activity or drug or alcohol or internet use are IMO appropriate.

      Minor children have an inherent right not to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused - every other right a child has is granted by that child's legal guardian. My responsibility as a parent is to protect that child until (s)he can fend for itself.

      My house, my rules. Doesn't matter if the child is fifteen or thirty-five - as long as they're under my roof I will determine what does (and does not) go on in my house. For example my imaginary twenty-five year old kid is legally able to smoke cigarettes. He's still not gonna smoke them in my house. He can pretty much come and go as he pleases - with the caveat that if you're not gonna come home that night you give Mom and Dad a call so they don't stay up worrying about whether you've wrapped your car around a tree or something. Don't know about other parents but I can't go to sleep if I have a child unaccounted for.

      I trust my children and always have - that doesn't mean I didn't verify where they are (and with whom) from time to time. The internet was really only an issue with my youngest but I can and have used tools to determine what he was doing on the net and wouldn't hesitate to do so again if I had a kid in the house.

      The parent poster mentions spying on your children - monitoring is not spying. My kids knew their entire lives that I might call to verify their whereabouts from time to time, check their homework, call their teachers to see how they were doing in school, occasionally check the odometer in the car and yes, even monitor their internet use. As I said in the title, trust but verify.

      My children also know how much I love them. They're not peers or friends and never will be - they are my children and that relationship brings both additional benefits and additional responsibilities. Doesn't mean I don't hoist a glass with my kids or seek their counsel sometimes - they're adults now and in charge of their own destiny and even though sometimes I don't agree with their decisions but I have learned to STFU and allow my kids to grow from their own choices - good or bad.
  • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:33AM (#19308117) Journal
    As soon as a kid shoots up a school, people ask "Where were the parents? Why didn't they see the problem?" We're very quick to point the finger at parents when something goes wrong. And then I see posts like this asserting that parents shouldn't be able to monitor their childrens' activities.

    Fifty years ago, parents didn't have to watch so closely. There was far less media coming into the home, and what was available was far easier to monitor (and far more regulated, as it was all under the watchful eye of the FCC).

    Now, we've got the internet. We've got a half-dozen game consoles. We've got cable and satellite television, dirt-cheap movies and music available for purchase, and a barrage of information everywhere we look. For parents to keep the same level of attention on what their kids are doing, they have to use tools like "spyware" (you know, software that lets them know what THEIR computers are being used for) to keep track of their kids and look for dangerous behavior.

    I've got to say, though, that I object to nanny cams unless there is a very specific reason to have one. If you smell pot in your living room, maybe it's a good time to put in a camera to see if your kid is using illegal drugs. But putting up a camera *just in case* is paranoid.

    Parents have to monitor their kids. Every generation has done so in some fashion. So long as kids know the rules, know they are being watched, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I wouldn't let my kids go certain places in the city without me being around because it's risky for them; the same goes for the internet.
    • Now, we've got the internet. We've got a half-dozen game consoles. We've got cable and satellite television, dirt-cheap movies and music available for purchase
      How are any of those going to make it into a household without parental consent? All parents need to do is refrain from buying things that may be harmful.
  • by goldspider ( 445116 ) <ardrake79@gm a i l.com> on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:35AM (#19308123) Homepage
    ...parents have every right, responsibility even, to monitor their children's actions/behavior. That's not to say that it should be 24/7, but the summary's implicit suggestion that "spying" on children is inappropriate displays a vast ignorance of/indifference to responsible parenting.

    As Ronald Reagan said, "trust, but verify". There is nothing wrong with knowing what your child is doing on a home computer. There is nothing wrong with knowing where your child is. A child doesn't have the right to conceal their activities/whereabouts from his/her parents.

    Again, I think legislative efforts like this have it all wrong. I just object to the summary's use of "spying" as applied to what I call "responsible parenting."
  • Another thing. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <ag-slashdot.exit0@us> on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:35AM (#19308129) Homepage
    My concern is that these children will get use to the idea that being spied on is an OK thing.

    Once they are desensitized to the idea of not having privacy, it will get easier to get them to conform to whatever the people in power want.

    • My concern is that these children will get use to the idea that being spied on is an OK thing. Once they are desensitized to the idea of not having privacy, it will get easier to get them to conform to whatever the people in power want.

      It's a good thing we log everything you post to Slashdot, because your attitude is unacceptable. Just wait until your father CtlGrendel gets home, then your backside will learn what it's like to be "desensitezed to the idea of not having piracy". your mother DelGrendel.

    • When I have kids, they can have all the privacy they want... when they move out and get their own place. Until then, they'll live by my rules and with as much privacy as I determine they've earned.

      I don't see how giving kids free reign teaches them about responsibility and consequences. In fact, I believe that doing so teaches them the exact opposite.
      • Free reign? Certainly not. But one of the things I'll most certainly apply is the rule of "innocent until proven guilty". Not the other way around, like our governments are trying now, installing surveillance and rulings that pretty much twist this principle around.

        I will not spy on them. Unless they give me a reason to. Trust is something I usually give until proven that it was misplaced. It is rather hard to regain, though, once lost. The consequence of fu..ing up is simply that I will take a very close l
  • The problem with all these incidences of people spying on their children to replace good parenting is that it is the symptoms, not the cause of the problem. Imagine what the childs' conception of acceptable adult behaviour will be when the message they have been given is that "privacy is not as important as convenience". No-one is saying it's easy to be a parent, but taking shortcuts at the expense of something they themselves would not consent to forego is hypocritical at best. The "argument" that it's acc
  • by packetmon ( 977047 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:43AM (#19308227) Homepage
    Ban on name changes by sex offenders.

    Funny how politicians will throw anything into the political arena during crunch time (races...). Just how do they propose to keep track of "name changes" from a sex offender. For starters they can't even maintain their own equipment [infiltrated.net], can't secure the FBI infrastructure [wired.com], a company for MySpace is already reporting false positives... [wired.com]. Should we wait for the FBI's new and improved Carnivore [infiltrated.net]? ... Or maybe Hack our Kids' brains' [infiltrated.net]... I got it... How about government sponsored Parenting Classes that teach parents how to get involved with their kids' lives...
    • by Otter ( 3800 )
      Just how do they propose to keep track of "name changes" from a sex offender.

      Name changes are administered by the courts. The state has a list of sex offenders. The court checks the list when someone requests a name change. It hardly requires hacking anyone's brain.

  • and today is one of those days.

    We have the most brain-dead General Assembly in the world. This lot couldn't pour
    piss out of a boot if the instructions were stamped on the heel.
  • Nice FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sid0 ( 1062444 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:50AM (#19308329) Journal
    Vista has parental controls to control access to specific accounts at specific times, etc. This gets twisted in TFS to say that Vista has parental "spyware". Nice FUD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wwahammy ( 765566 )
      Ya no kidding. The parental controls in Vista are tame compared to some of the programs that the feds anti-drug website suggest. The one's recommended by the feds run in the background without indicating to the target that they are being tracked. Vista's parental controls always has an icon on the taskbar so a person knows the parental controls are on and their actions are being recorded. Anytime an action is blocked a window pops up to explain what is happening.

      I don't think parental controls are a grea
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @09:50AM (#19308347)

    There is now a small, but growing movement [blogspot.com] within the psychological profession to abolish the concept of adolescence. All I can say is, IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME! Teenagers are not children. They are physically closer to adults both in terms of their physical/sexual maturity and the ability of their brains to function. In other words, a 14 year old is physically capable both in their brain and the rest of their body of assuming a position as a young, but real, adult in modern society. We just don't let them do it!

    Our ancestors knew this. That is why even the advanced societies of the classical age regarded teenagers as adults, rather than as children. Even our own legal system on some level recognizes that teens are capable of functioning identically to adults because it allows them to be tried as such in violent crimes cases.

    • "a 14 year old is physically capable both in their brain and the rest of their body of assuming a position as a young, but real, adult in modern society"

      You might be ready to let a 14 year old drive a car, but I sure as hell am not. In fact I'd support raising the minimum age to get a lisence to 18, considering how many accidents are caused by young, irresponsible drivers.

      Yes, people in this age group are no longer merely children. That doesn't make them adults though. That comes with responsibility and
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aicrules ( 819392 )
      What's your point? 15 year olds get to drive with a parent. 16 year olds get to drive on their own. You can work increasingly more hours a week starting at 13 and going up. The world already offers graduated expectations towards minors. But to say you should abolish the entire idea of adolescence is ignorant of the fact that the general category of adolescence actually follows your own argument that as a child matures they are more than just a "minor."

      What I assume you're trying to shoot for is som
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
      "There is now a small, but growing movement within the psychological profession to abolish the concept of adolescence."
      And they are idiots.
      Frankly I wish we could restore adolescence. 14 year olds can reproduce but as a whole they are lacking in self control and wisdom. The real problem is that adolescent behavior is continuing into what used to be adulthood. Yes fourteen year olds are and twenty-five year-olds are acting more and more alike. Here is a clue it isn't the fourteen year-olds acting more adul
    • If we did that and held our teens to the same standards as adults... most of them would be in jail, pregnant, dead or possibly all three. It'll be a long road of converting our educational system from teaching academics to teaching the rules of life before we can turn loose our teens on the streets with all the rights and responsibilities of adults.

      Where do you draw the line in any case? 14? So you want a 14 year old deciding whether it is safe to have a beer (at 65lbs it will only take one to get him/her d
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LihTox ( 754597 )
      I will agree with this in part: I think teenagers would benefit from more opportunities to be productive members of society. Some teenagers already do this: they do community service, or they're on sports teams (which entertains the community), or they write software, or what have you. But I suspect that some of that "teenage angst" comes from a life without meaning, a life dedicated to studying and being tested on subjects of no interest, and to playing the cruel social games that go on in high school.
  • to spy on a 17-year old in this manner is basically giving them a day-by-day countdown until they're rid of you, at which point they will have good reason to rebel and unfortunately maybe go a bit too wild. Anyone who's ever seen the first 2 weeks at a freshman dorm at say, 1 am, after the 30-kegger's get going, knows what happens to kids like this.
  • With any luck, they will turn out like me: Aggressively opposing any kind of surveillance whatsoever, up to the point of going out of their way to sabotage any attempt to invade their privacy, since they learned just how obnoxious and belitteling that invasion can be.

    The most valuable thing I have now is privacy. I had none when I was a kid and, damn, how did I want some!
  • How will this affect a 14 year old, much less a 17 year old "child"

    Not too well:

    1) It will create people that are used to being spied on. When they grow up and more spying comes along, they will accept it without blinking an eye.
    2) It will backfire. When they become teenagers, they will want to strongly oppose all kinds of authority just for the sake of opposing authority. When done by a large number of irresponsible people, that could do more harm than good, and result in further spying.
    3) It
  • Maturity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuoteMstr ( 55051 ) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @01:14PM (#19311037)
    Maturity is a social construct, not a biological one; Joan of Arc was 17 when she led the French to victory against the English. The longer we treat our adolescents as children, the longer they will act like children. It is only when they make decisions for themselves that they will mature into adults. You cannot keep people "innocent" and ignorant forever.
  • Yes, it's harmful (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) * on Tuesday May 29, 2007 @01:30PM (#19311241) Journal
    > Is the zoo-like Minority Report world in which children are growing up in today doing more harm than good?

    It's definitely harmful to them to have to read such hysterical FUD as that sentence. For that reason, they should not be allowed to read /. articles. If that were in a reply, at least it could be modded as flamebait, if not troll.

    Children are, for the most part, smart enough to know what to ignore. It's adults playing power games who use children in their arguments for reasons that really have nothing to do with children, and everything to do with not having faith in their ability to make their point without appeal to emotion.

Loose bits sink chips.