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Technical, Business, and Legal Dimensions of Protecting Children from Pornography on the Internet

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2002
142 pages
This publication presents edited transcripts from a workshop designed to find effective methods of keeping children safe from Internet pornography and other inappropriate Internet materials.
The workshop was convened in Redwood City, CA, on March 7, 2001, and focused on technical, business, and legal factors regarding how to protect children from inappropriate Internet content, especially pornography. The chapters in this publication are the edited transcripts of the presentations presented to the Committee to Study Tools and Strategies for Protecting Kids from Pornography and Their Applicability to Other Inappropriate Internet Content. Questions and comments from the audience and the committee members are presented as 1 through 4 focus on retrieving and searching data, including the basics of information retrieval; text categorization and analysis; the categorization of images; and the technical aspects of search engines. Chapters 5 through 7 focus on the business and technology of filtering, which blocks certain types of material from showing on a computer screen. These filtering chapters include a review of filtering software, advanced filtering techniques for the Internet, and a critique of the filtering process. Chapters 8 and 9 then turn to a discussion of the technological and infrastructural aspects of authenticating a persons’ identity on the computer. More specifically, chapter 8 discusses the technologies available for the process of identification and chapter 9 looks at how to verify age on the Internet. The next three chapters grapple with automated technologies designed to negotiate individualized policy preferences and protect intellectual property rights. These chapters look more specifically at how to prevent unauthorized persons from viewing certain materials. Chapter 13, “Problems with a DOT-XXX Domain,” reviews problematic issues involved with “cordoning off” sexual material on the Internet. Chapters 14 through 16 look at business models for the Internet, including Web sites for education, kid-friendly Web sites, and business models based on advertising. Finally, in chapter 17, the author discusses the constitutional law and legal issues involved with regulating Internet materials. Appendix

Date Published: January 1, 2002