Re: Scout Names on Websites?
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 00:14:36 PDT
>Let me ask the question again. Does anyone on this list personally know of an
>instance where a Scout was harmed in any way by someone they did not know via
>the internet, BBS, or other information service? If so, please share the
>circumstances with us.
Scouts are not harmed by the internet, BBS, or other information service; Scouts
are harmed by people.
You are asking the wrong question. I do not personally know anybody who has bee
robbed; I do not personally know anybody who has been raped etc etc. That doesn
mean that I recommend anybody going alone into a dangerous area at night.
Everything in live has a certain danger. There is no safe way of living. Howev
there is no reason to take unnecessary dangers. Whether the (not very large) ri
from exposing a boys name are worth the (quite small) benefits of publishing the
name might depend on circumstances. For example as much as I'm concerned
I keep posting my name in spite of getting a few unwanted e-mail messages
every day; (mostly outrageous offers to buy stock, or, missguided requests to tr
patches). As much as the boys are concerned, they recognize their first names
and don't need last names.
You know, how often I receive messages with some complement for my website
and then asking some (mostly legitimate) question? Guess how that little praise
makes me usually answer the question more carefull then I actually have time
too! Do you think a 12 year old can deal with that? Now think that anybody
adressing a boy whose name is found knows some information to bounce on the boy;
the boy doesn't know where the information comes from.
We are not only protecting against pedophiles (which can only created limited da
as long as the contact stays electronic). There are less severe and more likely
scenarios possible. What about other boys teasing somebody? Knowing the name o
the victim first and doing an altavista search for pages where the name appears.
not think I could imagine all ways to missuse information. Cross referencing na
on different pages? Could I convince you by showing you the URL of improper
pages which have links to boy scout units?
The risks are constantly changing, as the technology is evolving. A few years
ago doing a search was only possible when you paid somebody (People usually
don't have complete set of phone books. (Which don't have the children's names
anyway)). Now anybody can run fancy search engines and grab any information
you put out. I do not dare predicting even the near future: Could be that ther
soo much information that keeping a name secret will be ridicolous; could as wel
the other way, that search engines could refuse searching for names... It is
not the time to call people paranoid who have a little more understanding of
the technology and what could be done with it. Now is the time to be careful, a
until we have enough experience.
>The reason for doing so is simple courtesy
No way. Courtesy requires you to protect the scouts, not to expose them.
PhD in Computer Science 1983
Member Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City