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CompuServe Seattle Plans Kids' Net Filter

This fall CompuServe Seattle--formerly Spry Communications--will introduce Internet In A Box for Kids, Windows software that will include filtering capabilities and a Web site for children ages 8 through14.

Based on Internet In A Box, the software will include Crossing Guard (the filtering component), Mosaic, Internet Wizard, KidNet, and Mail.

Crossing Guard, which was developed by CompuServe and FreeRange Media, will let parents and teachers add or delete access to specific Web sites. The package also has a timer that tracks Net usage.

"It will be great if technologists find some solutions to ease parents' concerns. We don't want to wall off the Internet,'' says Susan Fisher, a writer who is currently researching a book about online resources for families.

"This sounds like a good idea. These kinds of packages are cropping up all over the place, and it will be interesting to see how effective they'll be. It's better to put these tools in the hands of parents than to put ineffective laws in place,'' adds Fisher.