Consumer Reports: " All filtering programs either overblock or underblock. "

Consumer Reports has come out with a useful evaluation of Internet filters for home use entitled "Filtering software: Better but still infallible" (June 2005). Here are some highlights:

  • Internet filters are better at detecting porn but not so hot at detecting (and therefore blocking) hate sites and sites promoting illegal drug use and violence, or even sites that teach weapons-making.
  • The better the product blocks porn, the more likely it is to block sites about health, sex education, civil rights, and politics.
  • "Most unwarranted blocking occurred with sites featuring sex education or gender-related issues."

In a Good for You! move, Consumer Reports made three good recommendations for parents wishing to learn more about protecting kids online.

[Unfortunately, they also recommended some alarmist website that seems to exist for the sole purpose of pointing users to NetNanny. Not so good for you, CR.] All in all, though, the article is a good read for parent's needing information on keeping their kids safe online.

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