ICRAfilter is a browser-independent tool which will provide parents with a means to filter their children's internet access according to three sets of guidelines:

  •   ICRA labels
  •   User's own "block" and "allow" lists
  •   Third party lists of web sites

The public release will be made available as a single download from this site in the last quarter of 2001 (current projection is the end of October) and can be installed on any PC running Windows 9x upwards.

Here's how it's going to work.

First of all parents should go through the various descriptors in the ICRA matrix, one section at a time, and check the content they wish to BLOCK. The picture below gives an indication of how the Nudity and Sexual content dialogue is likely to look.


Nudity and sexual content page

Similar dialogue boxes are brought up for the other sections of the ICRA matrix by selecting the appropriate radio button on the left hand side.

ICRAfilter also allows parents to build up their own lists of sites to which they wish block or allow access.

In the example below, the user's own list of web sites includes several they wish to block and several they wish to allow access to (obviously this is just a demo!) Adding or removing entries from either list is easily achieved using the buttons on the right hand side.


User lists

Notice that there is a checkbox next to each entry in each list. Individual entries can be deactivated without removing them from the list if so desired. Simply click the checkbox to reactivate the entry in future.


The real power of ICRAfilter is that it also supports lists of web sites created by other organizations and companies. ICRA is talking to a number of potential list creators and there should be several lists available by the time we launch.

Take a look at the screen shot below:


Third Party lists

As well as example entries in "plain text" you'll see that each list includes encrypted entries. The encryption method used is Message Digest 5 (MD5), full details of which can be seen at http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1321.html. This is a one-way "hash encryption" method which does not allow decryption, even in theory, let alone in practice. When the browser requests access to a particular site, ICRAfilter looks through its lists of plain text addresses and, if no match is found, it then encrypts the requested url according to the same algorithm. It can then search for that hashed "string." No decryption is necessary.

Users of ICRAfilter can choose to show or hide the encrypted entries. A tool will be made available on this web site to encrypt urls so that it possible to see whether a given web site is included in any installed list.

The first beta tests are now underway. Feedback from those tests will be used to bring the filter to a public test stage later this year.