BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK. Online Safety

Today I received a link into my inbox to an online newspaper celebrating the fact that children all over the region would be starting their first week back and especially for those who would be starting their first ever week at school. Nothing wrong so far. The article focussed on a family and their young child. it explained the issues for parents and gave some tips for new starters and had comments from the reception teacher. However the article features a photograph of the parents and the young boy  in school uniform. The caption displayed their names and the school to which they were sending their son along with a video of the family. There was also a picture of the son and some classmates at school. The captions identifying the school. There was also a series of pictures showing the pupils enjoying learning in the school on the first day. The newspaper then invited other proud parents to post their first day at school photos on the site by filling in a website form

5.2 The information gathered may be used by XXXX and companies in the same group as XXXX (i.e. companies which share the same ultimate parent company) internally, for purposes relating to your use of the Site and the Interactive Services and for marketing activities, and may be passed to carefully selected third parties to use for marketing activities. By marketing activities, we mean the communication directly to particular individuals (by e-mail, post or telephone) of any advertising or marketing material. If you do not wish to receive marketing material from XXXX, from companies in the same group as XXXXor from carefully selected third parties you should tick the appropriate box on the registration form(s) or notify us by email. If you subsequently decide you no longer wish to receive direct marketing/information from XXXX or companies in the same group as XXXX or no longer wish us to pass your information to third parties you should again notify us by email”.

There was no box that I could see to tick to say do not send marketing material only a box to agree to the terms and conditions.

The site has a gallery where visitors are able to scroll through and see pupils in their uniforms and which schools they go to.

I decided to see how easy it would be to find someone and so I picked a photo at random and did a normal internet search, straight away I found the person (the mother of a new reception child) and then clicked a link to a social media site with her name and found a picture of her son ( the new starter) .

I try not to be paranoid when using the internet as I am a great believer in people using technology. However I question how responsible the Media site is when they can publish this amount of personal data about a child including the name of the school.  Don’t get me wrong it is great for the school to show how well they are looking after the pupils and it is great that parents can “show off” their beloved children to the world. However, I thought we as teachers had a duty of care to protect children from danger? The internet is a dangerous place as educational professionals know so why provide anyone in the world with really high level personal information about your child?

I would welcome comments about this posting. Tell me if you think I am being overprotective. Also share your views on this topic.

I have not identified the Media or the school to avoid advertising further information about children.

Control of Internet IP addresses to change hands on October 1st 2016

The US government has been the ultimate authority on the way the internet locates its content since the network was created. Come Oct. 1, it’s giving up that control to a non-profit.

Finding stuff on the internet works like this: When you enterhttp://qz.com in a browser, you get our home page. In order for that to happen, the address qz.com has to be translated into a format that’s understood by the computers around the world that delivered our home page to you. That format is known as an IP address, and for qz.com it’s 192.0.79.32.

This process of resolving domain-names like qz.com to IP addresses is critical to the way the web, and the internet as a whole, works. One US government department or another has had the final say over this process since the internet was created. The role currently falls to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the department of commerce.

On Aug. 16, the NTIA signed off on the final step in handing over its responsibility for the domain-name system to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit based in California. Technically, this means the NTIA won’t renew its contract with ICANN in October. It’s had a contract in place to fund the domain-name authority at ICANN since 1998, and it’s this contract (which is a zero-cost one (pdf), meaning no money changes hands) that grants the US government authority over the system.

The handover won’t change anything for the 3.5 billion peopleconnected to the internet. That’s because US control has been largely administrative: it doesn’t get involved on a day-to-day basis. It also triggered the handover voluntarily two years ago, so it’s not coming as a surprise to anyone. ICANN has set up various bodies to hammer out a transition plan, which was formally announced in March–after 33,00 emails and 600 meetings.

So why change a system that isn’t broken? The US insists it’s handing over control because it considers the private-sector internet sufficiently “mature.” There are rumblings that Edward Snowden’s disclosures about US government surveillance in 2013 raised uncomfortable questions about American dominance of key internet infrastructure. China and Russia have also supported calls for the system to be overseen by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union instead of ICANN.

When the handover is complete, the naming system will be in the hands of ICANN, a “multi-stakeholder” organization whose members include governments, tech giants, and other entities who might have a vested interest in controlling the system. The US government says it’s done a study that shows the chances of ICANN being steered by a government pursuing its own agenda to be “extremely remote.

by Joon Ian Wong

Internet Map

InternetMapWhen trying to teach about the Internet it is very difficult to gain an insight into how big or connected the system is. What is big in one country may not be big in another. What is seen as the “goto” system in one country may not even be recognised in another.

This map allows the user to obtain a visual understanding of the Internet. Take a look at the Internet map

MIT researchers are sending robots into sewers to monitor city dwellers’ waste

Beneath the streets of Boston, two robots named Mario and Luigi inspect the flow of human waste, collecting data on city residents.mitsewerrobot

Great visual use of data but not for the squeamish.
The robots are part of the new MIT Underworlds project, which mines urban sewage for information about human health and behavior—a previously untapped resource that could shape the future of epidemiology, say researchers.