[OLPC Security] olpc security - wetware issues

Simson L. Garfinkel simsong at acm.org
Thu Feb 8 20:22:21 EST 2007

Aren't you implicitly assuming that the parents can read?

> Yes, the parents are likely to have little to no technical
> experience. That does not mean that we can ignore them or attempt to
> act "in loco parentis" when it comes to technical matters.  We must
> provide tools and some basic educational material so that those
> parents who choose to take an interest in their childrens' education
> are able to do so.
>>kids on online safety.  That seems like a better approach and one that
>>fits the goals of OLPC more than having software that attempts to
>>restrict the children.
> I agree that there should be an online safety campaign-- that's a
> great idea, and certainly necessary. But I'm sure that if the trend of
> online exploitation in the developed world is reversing, it is also
> because parents in the developed world are becoming savvier, and have
> been provided with tools by large companies which allow them to keep a
> closer eye on their children's activity. Hence, in addition to an
> online safety campaign aimed at children, we should also provide
> educational materials aimed at parents, and provide them with the
> tools they need-- which we already have-- that would allow them to
> keep a watchful eye on their kids.
> Brainstorming: envision, for example, a "For Parents" piece of
> software on the system, which will provide either a written or spoken
> report of childrens' activity, allow the parent to touch a button for
> further detail on any one section, and with the touch of another
> button will easily allow parents to modify access to a particular IM
> buddy/web site.
> s
> Matt Anderson writes:
>>On Thu, Feb 08, 2007 at 06:12:24PM -0500, alien wrote:
>>> In the developed world, kids who are solicited online often become
>>> real-life victims of their online "friends." There is no point in
>>> distributing these laptops for educational purposes without some basic
>>> safety mechanisms that will prevent their owners from becoming
>>> victimized as well. A tool which enables parental monitoring/controls
>>> is a fundamental program and should be distributed by default with
>>> each laptop. This is not "extra," and to fail to include it will
>>> result in deaths. Really.
>>My understanding was these computers would be distributed to children
>>who's parents would not be able to afford their own computer, and who
>>most likely are even less computer literate than the child who owns it.
>>How are they supposed to fit into what you are suggesting?  What level
>>of protection can they be expected to provide?  The control could be
>>given to the school or the government, but that doesn't seem much
>>better to me.
>>To me what you are describing is a user problem.  Kids in developed
>>countries are falling for these sorts of online traps because they
>>weren't given instructions on how to stay safe online.  Recently that
>>trend has been reversing because there have been campaigns to educate
>>kids on online safety.  That seems like a better approach and one that
>>fits the goals of OLPC more than having software that attempts to
>>restrict the children.
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