Thomas Delrue on 26 Feb 2015 13:26:50 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Child Proofing my Home Network

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I feel that this has gone from a "my granddaughter is computer-savvy" to
a "how do I censor and control everything my granddaughter sees or does
on the internet" and when discussions move into the realm of censorship
and control, I get suspicious, defensive and sometimes even cocky.

I do not intend to be facetious here but as you have pointed out
yourself, any censoring you do, will only work on assets that you have
under your own control.
In other words: what you are entering, is a losing battle! She /will/
find other ways to connect to the pipes in ways that circumvent your
assets or any censorship imposed upon her through your assets.
She is a (soon to be) teenager and will therefore for certain find ways
to circumvent any censorship you impose upon her (Tor Browser Bundle
comes to mind just now, even DNS requests go through your Tor pipe and
circumvent your precious OpenDNS and even your hosts file - try it out,
it does!).
The technical solutions suggested here seem to bend too much towards a
"if we outlaw X, then only criminals will do X" attitude, all they do is
move the issue to another location, they do not solve the problem.

Alternatively, may also I (re-)suggest a non-technical solution... (how
dare I) one that unfortunately but inevitably approaches the earlier
reply suggesting "be a (grand)parent" (Christopher Barry) a little more
Have the hard and likely unpleasant conversation with her (and I'm sure
her parents can assist in this too) about the internet. Educate her
about how to deal with accessing & acquiring information that she may
not like, finds offensive, finds disturbing, etc... Maybe even *gasp*
information she does not agree with. Educate her on what she can do when
she encounters such information.
If you really think that she will not access such information, then I've
got this nice bridge to sell you.

By taking this non-technical approach, you are encouraging an atmosphere
in which she is more likely to come to you about things she finds on the
internet as opposed to hide it from you (because '(grand)pop would get
angry'). Heck, she may even come to you in the future and say "I found X
and Y and that disturbs me, can you help me with setting something up on
my computer so I don't have to see those awful things anymore?"...
Also, learn to become comfortable with the feeling of your granddaughter
accessing things you may not deem appropriate, because she will and
likely already is... whether you like it or not.

In my opinion, the only thing you are doing by imposing *any* kind of
censorship is encouraging her to a) find ways around the censorship and
b) hide any and all evidence of her finding ways around the censorship
from you.

In conclusion: I am afraid that technical solutions will not help you
with this.

P.S.: for those amongst you claiming that "she's too young to learn
about all the horrible things in the world", I say: tough luck, the
world has changed since last time you checked... Deal with it!

And here's one for the road:

On 02/26/2015 03:42 PM, john boris wrote:
> Greg,
> The point of neighbors is the frighting part. I have met a lot of my
> neighbors and when I fire up my PC and look at available WiFi I am shocked
> how many I find. When I first put WiFi in my house I was the only network
> on the street (My street is all single homes on 50x150 lots). Now when I
> look there has to be at least 10 networks coming up. Heck I can't even get
> a good single in the back of my house (about 30 feet from the router) but
> yet I get full strength for all of these other networks. But all of them
> have security set. I worry about the day my Granddaughter learns about
> connecting to a WiFi network. Then I will have another issue.
> On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 3:29 PM, Greg Helledy <> wrote:
>> On 2/26/2015 2:50 PM, wrote:
>>> Is there a mechanism to restrict wifi to just your router? What
>>> happens if she visits a friend's house, and uses their wifi? There
>>> won't be any filtering then, correct?
>> No, there is not.  Any other wifi she can get access to, I have no control
>> over.  I'm ok with that in my case because:
>> 1.  It's only sporadic, not all day and night.
>> 2.  I do want her to have a sense that she can be part of her generation.
>> Her friends seem to all have (unfiltered) cellular data so for her to have
>> nothing when she leaves home would make her a total "odd duck".  This is a
>> compromise.
>> 3.  As hard as it is for me to deal with on one level, I have to
>> understand that at 14 she's ready to begin being exposed to
>> non-family-friendly content.  I was 14 once and remember it.  (I do wish
>> there were some way to separate titillating nudity, of the type I saw in
>> certain magazines when I was ~14, from some of the seriously-disturbing
>> content that's on the internet now).
>> The question of what age to give a child a wifi-capable device (which
>> could access unfiltered internet if taken elsewhere) is tricky.  If you can
>> keep the device in safe locations, I think 8 is fine.  If your family
>> situation is such that you're not sure, older would be better.
>> A special case would be where you live next to / above a business that has
>> open wifi, or neighbors who believe in sharing.  Not sure what to do there.

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