Published By: Plymouth University, 2/20/2017
The University of Plymouth has developed ICAlert, an easy-to-install device that monitors network traffic and sends alerts if users try to access dangerous web content (such as child pornography or terrorist sites). They aim to make browsing safer for children and teens by providing the devices and software to schools at a low cost.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of Article: 16
The article mentions child pornography and online child abuse.
Extended Discussion Questions
- What are some advantages of ICAlert’s combination of website blocking and alerts over website blocking only?
- How might the ICAlert system potentially affect a user’s privacy?
- If you were a school administrator, what questions might you ask to determine what effects the system might have on students’ privacy?
- Is it worth trading children’s and teens’ privacy rights for protection from harmful content on the Internet? Why or why not?
- Do you think systems like ICAlert should be used more broadly (not just in primary and secondary schools)? Why or why not?
- What questions might you have about the criteria the Internet Watch Foundation uses to decide whether a site should be banned?
Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework
Global Impact Learning Objectives:
- LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
- LO 7.3.1 Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.
- LO 7.4.1 Explain the connections between computing and real-world contexts, including economic, social, and cultural contexts.
Global Impact Essential Knowledge:
- EK 7.3.1A Innovations enabled by computing raise legal and ethical concerns.
- EK 7.3.1E Commercial and governmental censorship of digital information raise legal and ethical concerns.
- EK 7.3.1G Privacy and security concerns arise in the development and use of computational systems and artifacts.
- EK 7.3.1J Technology enables the collection, use, and exploitation of information about, by, and for individuals, groups, and institutions.
- EK 7.3.1K People can have instant access to vast amounts of information online; accessing this information can enable the collection of both individual and aggregate data that can be used and collected.
Other CSP Big Ideas:
- Idea 6 The Internet
Banner Image: “Network Visualization – Violet – Offset Crop“, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0.