This posting is maintained for historical purposes only.
It was originally posted Febuary 1995.


Why Classify?


      The Internet has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years because mass consensus has been reached on implementing many standards such as the World Wide Web and the HTML programming language. However, in order to keep the Internet from being consumed by the very information it provides, a consensus must be reached on how this information will be shared.

      Unless we actively make decisions now as a responsible group, the right to make these decisions will be forever taken from us by our government.

      SafeSurf is dedicated to both advancing the process of classifying information on the Internet and enabling us, as a community, to gain the benefits that it will bring.

      Our first goal is to classify material which may be harmful to children. This classification would allow anyone on the Internet to choose the type of information they will be receiving prior to it reaching their computer. Responsible choices can then be easily made and systems can be put into place that will screen adult material, restricting the access to minors.

      The purpose of this classification system is not to censor. Rather, it is to provide an informed choice to each individual on the Internet.

      There is more to be gained than just the free flow of information. This information classification system will enable software and hardware to be developed that will enable more effective use of the Internet for everyone.

      SafeSurf proposes a classification system involving a code consisting of a type description and number. The typing would specify the nature of the information (sexual, violent), whereas the number would represent the level of intensity of the description. The number directly corresponds with the level of parental awareness. The higher the number, the more caution parents should exercise in permitting children to access this information.

      We invite you to join us in our groundbreaking effort and provide your input into the development of this system.


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