Emerging Tech

OLPC used by students to access porn


OLPCRemember the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program? IT News Digest ran a few pieces on OLPC in the last a few months, the most recent by John Bartley - Intel inside $100 laptop? - in which Intel announced its joining of the program and contribution of funds.

Well, it appears that Nigerian schoolchildren who received the XO laptops have used them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet, according to the the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images stored on several of the children's laptops. NAN reports:

"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials."

Excerpt from Reuters:

A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.

You can read the full article at Pupils browse porn on donated laptops.

My personal take is that the above is probably just some individual acts by a limited number of students. Yet the bigger question is really just how much control or filtering is in order and appropriate.

What about the rest of you IT professionals out there? What kind of Internet filtering, if any, do you employ in the office?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

12 comments
RknRlKid
RknRlKid

What really bothers me here is that the OLPC project is being linked to internet porn. That's hogwash. The issue is the people, not the technology. I fail to see a real point behind this kind of article (the original one, not Sonja's). A minority of students will do stuff like this. A minority of students will smoke, do dope and drink too. Do we ban students next? Of course not. It wouldn't surprise me if what really happened was that this whole episode was staged and/or prompted by someone other than the students. And has anyone noticed that Nigeria is involved in almost every negative thing with OLPC? What's up with that??

espiii2001
espiii2001

My question is, who is filtering the people who are allowing unfiltered access to to the net for children?

kinkeade
kinkeade

My take is that boys will be boys no matter who or where they are.

paulmah
paulmah

What kind of Internet filtering, if any, do you employ in the office?

lesko
lesko

we dont filter, we have a policy regarding questionable sites and the 3 strikes you're out (fired) rule, we also log to death. the believe is, if we filtered anything that is not filtered is allowed. kinda make sense I guess in a weird sort of way

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You're kidding about thinking these are isolated incidents, right? If companies have to use filters to prevent adults from accessing pornographic content, who didn't recognize filters would be needed for kids, regardless of their location or income level?

paulmah
paulmah

But it makes sense. On one hand, if you filter aggressively, then it can be argued that whatever is not argued is allowed. The responsibility then falls squarely back on the management who will then have to filter even more aggressively to be 'sure' all bases are censored, I mean covered. :) Of course, self policing might result in frivolous 'strikes'. But then again, where the culture is right (staff are responsible folks etc) it would be a great win-win solution. Company gets to avoid wasting money on the latest filtering software and/or technologies as well.

Shellbot
Shellbot

of young adults wanting to look at porn.. what is the world coming to these days??? Some people need to get a grip..the first thing a young male will do when allowed access to a computer with no one standing beside him is look for porn.. (ok maybe not the first thing..but you know what i mean.....)

skiplarson
skiplarson

How are you going to filter all that out of these laptops? And who is going to be the judge of what gets filtered ? If porn is available, the kids will find a way to get it. After all, aren't they getting these laptops to help them learn how about computers? Get over it. Politically Correct or not, boys want to look at boobs, always have, always will. You can't filter out human nature !

Shellbot
Shellbot

thats about it.. i;m not too young anymore..neither am i male..but i've comepleted all that list..its just begging to be done.. :)

mhbowman
mhbowman

them learning to: 1. Cirumvent filters 2. Use proxies 3. Erase cache and other evidence trails 4. Download free music and movies 5. Hack and Crack Eventually leading to the best of them getting hired by big tech and security firms.

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