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My Life as a Net Nanny

By art, Section Diaries
Posted on Fri Jul 11th, 2003 at 07:23:35 AM EST
Walt Crawford's recent Cites & Insights is devoted to the CIPA decision and the ramifications for libraries. It's very well done and his comments on an "open source" solution are intriguing. It reminded me that I had once written a sort of filter in 1999 called Netuse which we used for limiting the use of e-mail on our, at the time, very limited amount of public stations.


In 1999, OLITA was working on an Internet Access Toolkit, and I thought it would be a useful addition. The browser landscape is different now, but if a CIPA filter was ever a reasonable programming target, then an alternative to proxies and other low-level technologies might be to use DDE topics like Netuse did. I think they are still supported in IE, Netscape/Mozilla, and Opera. Lots of programming environments can function at this level, and it's easy way to present a dialog to ask for acceptance of an Acceptable Use Policy or barcode hook or something. Of course, you could also layer this on Mozilla with XUL, maybe even use it's great spam filtering logic, though as Walt points out, the technical side of this is the least challenging aspect.
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