So last month the head of the FCC's wireless bureau
"suggested" that the cellphone industry create some guidelines for keeping little kiddies from peeping porn on
their cellies. Rather than responding that the FCC doesn't really have any authority over this sort of thing, or that
ultimately it's up to parents to control what their kids are exposed to (we don't have the government "suggesting" or
mandating that ISPs prevent kids from accessing porn—at least not yet), the industry caved. Or at least the CTIA, the
wireless industry trade group, did. CTIA president Steve Largent just sent a letter to the carriers about how they are
working on guidelines for age verification of cellphones users and for classifying wireless content as either all-ages
or adults-only, guidelines which they hope/expect the industry will adopt.
It's not even clear that kids accessing porn on their cellphones is even that big of a problem in the first place (PCs are another matter), but even if it is, whatever system the CTIA has in mind is bound to fail. It'd maybe have a shot at working if every carrier took a walled-garden approach and imposed total control over everything you could access on your cellphone, but most new smartphones have access to the wide-open Internet, so unless you're going to force every website on the planet to tag its content for kid-friendliness or have the carriers institute some sort of massive filtering program, this is basically a complete waste of time. If you don't want your kids looking at Internet porn on their cellphone, then don't buy them a cellphone that can access the Internet (like the one that girl pictured above is using). Or don't them sign up for a data plan. We heard that works, too.