Russia Wants To Ban Children From Using WiFi

from the with-liability-on-the-wifi-owner dept

Ah, Russia. Officials in the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service (?!?) are considering a plan to ban children from using WiFi -- and would enforce the ban by holding the hotspot owners liable if anyone under 18 got on their networks. Seriously.
The Communications and Press Ministry has proposed banning children from using Wi-Fi networks in public, potentially making cafes, restaurants and other locations providing the service responsible for enforcing the law.
Why? For the children, of course! They claim it's related to Russia's new internet censorship law, which they're afraid will be circumvented by kids at the local coffee shop or restaurant. Not surprisingly, various places that offer WiFi are not happy about this, pointing out that they have no way of making sure that teens don't get on their WiFi. That doesn't seem likely to stop moralizing bureaucrats (with a healthy appreciation for the ability to censor) from moving forward with this plan.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Ninja (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 6:41am

    But that's fairly easy. Make it mandatory by law for people to register users with their real IDs (for proper identification) in a Governmental site that will communicate to the open wi-fi out there if the user is below 18.

    Yeah, it can be insanely abused and the Russian Govt is known for abusing their power against their citizens but hey, it's for the children! If you don't support it you certainly are a pedophile.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:28am

    How long before the US or UK get this idea?

     

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      Michael, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:53am

      Re:

      The US government already had this idea. They are just waiting for a forward-thinking country like Russia to show how it can be implemented. That way we can point at it and say:

      "Hey look! Those Russians are protecting their children better than we are! We need to implement a STRONGER law. Perhaps we can have the shop owners police their Wifi networks AND pay the MPAA a tax for...well...something..."

       

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      R.H. (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 10:37pm

      Re:

      If the United States with our stated ideal of free speech were to implement something like this I'd finally be motivated to set up that virtual Guest Wi-Fi network on my router on purpose just to get charged and fight this law. In fact, I should go and look into setting it up now.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 5:25am

      Re:

      The only way that would work is if Pringles potato chips were banned, as well as Nalley's Big Chunk Beef Stew. This is because you can take the cans from these products and turn them into WiFi antennas and get WiFI from very long distances.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:49am

    Prepare for a round of "If Russian can keep kids out of WiFi, why can't Google block piracy?".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    Is the real intent to banish public WiFi hotspots, where users can be almost anonymous. Protect the children is an escuse for all sorts of government actions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:55am

    Uk has just announced a Protect Children through non use of wifi. Keep up :D

     

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    Michael, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Movie idea!

    I've got it!

    I'm writing a script in which Russians parachute into a small mid-western US town and take over all of the Wi-Fi hotspots.
    A small group of high school kids that were hanging out in a coffee shop with their iPads will escape the initial drop and run into the hills.
    Once there, they will attack the Russians and steal routers and cell phones and build a number of hotspots that the Russians will keep trying to find and destroy.

    I will call it 'Magenta Morning'.

     

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      Niall (profile), Oct 15th, 2012 @ 9:06am

      Re: Movie idea!

      Warning! You are also stealing the plot for "Magenta Tornado Lifting", despite this 'story' being set in the US 'mid-West' and not 'Iceland'!

       

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Real protection.

    Isn't there some kind of leaden sensory deprivation canister that can protect children until they're 18 and no longer vulnerable to the world around them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    I'm sure this will work out just as well as the warnings on porn sites saying "you must be 18 years or older to view, click here if you're 18 or older".

    Every kid & teen is 18 or older on the Internet for the 10 or so minutes they want to browse adult content.

     

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    Jeremy, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    I'm very confused how this is supposed to protect them

    Is access to open wifi supposed to prevent their ability to see whatever site they want? Clearly the people considering these laws know nothing about what it's like to grow up with the internet. As a kid, you can get away with anything on the internet, period. There is ultimately no supervision possible because there are simply too many ways around any blockage.

     

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      Dreddsnik, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:19am

      Re: I'm very confused how this is supposed to protect them

      " Is access to open wifi supposed to prevent their ability to see whatever site they want? "

      No. This is the primary file sharing demographic. This is still about rescuing the content industry, albeit through yet another type of 'reach around'.

       

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Sigh.

    Wouldn't it be easier to just ban children?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    "ointing out that they have no way of making sure that teens don't get on their WiFi"

    Sure the do. Issue hour long passes with a user / pass configuration, and only give them out at the cash based on people who present ID. If that person then gives it to a child, it should be their problem.

    It's not hard to do. It's the same process that generally keeps kids out of 18+ movies and adult bookstores.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      Scenario: the oldest of the group (which should be 18) goes in and asks for access. Then gives access to the kids, which are far, far away (I'm thinking mall-wide Internet access).

      Kids get internet. Will never get caught. Oldest guy probably will never get caught either.

      It's not that hard to do. It's the same process that generally gets kids under 18 some booze (in my country, the legal age for drinking alcohol is 18).

       

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      Ninja (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      As pointed out, this never stopped kids from getting their booze or tobacco. And the point here is really not just this but an entire censorship effort that lays behind this and the complexity of actually applying such blockade.

       

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    Haywood (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 8:09am

    Probably just a smoke screen

    The real object is to keep the annoying little farts out of the coffee shops and such, so the adults can get a table.
    It won't keep them off the wifi, they will be in the park across the street with a "Pringles can" antenna.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    think about what democratic countries started this censoring, who started it, why it started and how it has gotten totally out of hand, then think how ridiculous those same democratic countries look when condemning the communist etc countries that censor. the reasons may have been different to begin with and be different now but the results are the same, prevent the public from doing things that certain old farts who wont enter the present day dont wont done! the sickest thing is that the main reason used is to 'protect the children'. what absolute bollocks! this is only used because it is a headline grabber! the 'children' know more about getting round blocks and accessing censored sites than anyone else!!

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Stupid law, but stupid response

    Not surprisingly, various places that offer WiFi are not happy about this, pointing out that they have no way of making sure that teens don't get on their WiFi.


    The law is stupid, but this response is equally so. Excepting for hackers, they certainly can make sure that teens don't get on their WiFi, in exactly the same way that for-pay hotspots ensure that only those who are paying get on their WiFi.

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:30am

    This isn't about protecting children. It's about having a hammer you can slam down on anyone you want when you want to.

     

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    Wally (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Porn

    If they were doing this to censor the Russian Porn Industry, the idea would be valid. Russia is one of the biggest producers of bot net advertising. They are also home to one of the best Internet security firms (Kerpesky anyone???) on the planet as a result.

    The blockage of WiFi access to those under 18 may have been a bigger issue if the porn industry wasn't so pervasive in web advertising in Russia. They don't just use banner add's, they use viruses and Malware to "advertise"/hustle people into buying their product.

    Holding people responsible for having minors attached to their WiFi network is ludicrous. However, from what I gathered from a friend over in Russia, it only applies to businesses such as café's and other public WiFi spots.

    It should be noted that just because the language of the law is non-specific, that doesn't mean the authorities are stupid enough there are stupid enough to try to enforce the issue without research.

    Mike Manaick I do give you credit for pointing the issue out. It is a problem. I just see this as a simple fact that as US citizens, we are used to being treated poorly when such broad languages are applied to law. I see this as Russia letting its regions govern themselves on it.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Oct 9th, 2012 @ 9:40am

      Re: Porn

      It should be noted that just because the language of the law is non-specific, that doesn't mean the authorities are stupid enough there are stupid enough to try to enforce the issue without research.

      LOL! Good joke! Obviously there's no example of Governments (or even people) abusing laws that are badly written with vague and broad definitions. Right. The Government promises this law will never be abused, please carry on with your ordinary lives.

      Please, you can't be that naive, can you?

       

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    Uncle Paul, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    But who's gonna show the children the places on the internet to avoid?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    There is one small problem and that is WIFI SECURITY IS FUCKING WORTHLESS.. There is just simply too much information being transmitted back and fourth for their relatively low security. It makes it very easy to build a key in a short period of time.

    Considering open as the internet is "the way it is meant to be" the information required to do so is easily acquired by even the most novice of users.

    The smarter the world gets with technology does not necessarily mean that task well be harder because it will become common knowledge. These half baked laws to censor people will never work in the end.

     

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    Chilly8, Oct 9th, 2012 @ 11:42pm

    Unenforceable

    Someone with a WiFI antenna made out of a Pringles can could hit a WiFi hotspot from quite a ways away, and there is now way a shop owner could know that it is a child hooking up. There are instructions all over the net on how to do it.

    If they ban children from WiFi, they will have to ban Pringles potato chips as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    In Russia WiFi ruins children.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

    It is, how you say, for the children.

     

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    hrosanna, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    *snort*
    Well, let's see how well that ends up. People in various countries across the world have tried and failed miserably to do similar things to people all through history, and every one of them have crashed and burned with people laughing and dancing on their graves.
    How in the world can they support it anyway??? Teens dont even have to sit inside of a cafe etc. to connect to WiFi, just nearby. It's a ridiculous idea and i can't wait to see it fail.

     

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