January Internet Ban By Moetzes of Agudah Called for Approved Filters and 3rd Party Monitors (Corrected 10:15 pm)

Moezet/Agudah-USA Internet Ban Shevat 5771 (Jan 2011 in Hamodia)

On March 1 I shared the news that there was a new internet ban (kol koreh) in the making in my posting, The Internet Kol Koreh to Silence all Voices: The Mother of All Bans. At the time I learned of discussion in Lakewood to regulate internet sites to:

  • Ban all internet talkbacks, comments and forums
  • Ban any news that is negative about any Jewish individual or group, by name or by hint
  • Require every website to name its rabbinic advisor (i.e., censor)
  • Require every website to name all authors and owners

In part they were responding to criticism about banning Vos Iz Neias (VIN) while ignoring other sites with similar practices. So they decided to rectify the imbalance by extending censorship to all sites and ending the dreadful concept of the hamon am (lay masses) sharing their thoughts.

Just before Purim I shared my thought that they should hold off until Purim or else everyone would think it was a joke. Well they seem to have taken my advice and it was released this weekend. I got hold of a copy from an acquaintance who spotted on the bulletin board of a mikvah in Brooklyn. I thought this was the Moetzes’ idea of an April Fools joke.

Added 10:15 pm – It turns out that the document posted on the bulletin board on Friday, first was approved in January according to Guard Your Eyes, an Internet site for folks trying to cure themselves of Internet sex addiction and related sins. They posted the text and said it was printed in Hamodia on page c 17.

The Moderator of the forum who goes by the moniker, Kedusha, writes there:

While Internet use continues to be strongly discouraged, the Gedolei Yisrael have recognized that forbidding it completely is a Gezeira She’ein Rov HaTzibbur Yecholim La’amod Ba (the Novominsker Rebbe said this in a recent Hamodia Magazine interview).  In hindsight (which is always 20-20), completely banning the Internet had an unintended effect: countless people, from the most frum circles, not only did not abide by the ban, but they had no incentive to install filters or other safeguards, because they were in violation of the ban in any event.  Not anymore.  Today, having Internet access, while not recommended, is permissible for those who need it, provided that an effective filter is used; without a filter, it is assur.

The Gedolim spent many hours, over a period of almost six months, working on the text of this Statement.  Their goal, as I understand it, was to get the message across, but without having to spell out all the details.  For example, the reason an “effective filter” is required is to ensure that a third party holds the password – otherwise, it’s quite ineffective.  An effective filter futher requires that the settings be strong enough to block as much inappropriate material as possible, while still allowing necessary use of the Internet.

2.) For those who must use Internet, it is now clearly required al pi Halacha to install an effectivefilter, with monitoring software strongly recommended as well. END UPDATE

Well it seems that  decided that they did not want to talk about regulating the internet because they implies that there can be a kosher internet. So instead they followed the pattern of Israeli rabbonim and just said it is all bad. They recognized some unavoidable situations like livelihood and other unspecified needs. But they made up for the flexibility with some new demands.

They expect those who need to use the internet to install filters and “It is strongly recommended that users install software that reports their internet usage to a third party.” Yep they have gone from censoring media to have spies on individuals. Now I suppose they will also mandate not shopping in supermarkets where there are non-kosher products unless you submit all your reciepts to a kashrut auditor.

This is unprecedented snooping. I live in fear of a vaad hatznius (modesty patrol or modesty committee) snooping on individuals by seeing all their internet traffic. I wonder how much truth will be screened by the filters. At this point it is impossible to find reporting about sex abuse issues anywere in the ultra orthodox media, with the interesting exception of halachic journals which take the position that most pedophiles should be reported to the criminal justice system.

Unlike the VIN ban this was strictly a Moetzes document and it was signed by all of the members of the Moetzes including the conspicuous Moetzes holdouts on the last ban, R. Dovid Feinstein and R. Aharon Feldman of Baltimore’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College. Which raises the question, why was Vos Iz Neias banned in isolation from the other sites?

I am guessing this earlier unanimity came at a price. It still allowed invidual rabbonim to exercise their discretion about internet usage. It was really an advisory document. So it reiterated that the internet poses grave risks. It spoke in an advisory tone so, it, “Should by all means be avoided.” The only prohibition that was explicit was the insistence on filters. Naturally, the next frontier will be rabbinic debates about hechsherim (certifications) for filters. Finally, again in an advisory tone it urges “users to install software that reports their internet usage to a third party. The other frontier will be deciding who gets to snoop on those who do use the internet.

Folks, Big Brother has arrived all in the name of tznius! The jury is still out on whether they will also move to ban comments on web sites, or if they will content themselves with making the VIN ban a lesson that will terrify all other web sites into compliance. I think they prefer leaving comments in so there is an appearance of openess, but only if they fall into a narrow prescribed range.



Other posts of interest:

Who Will Watch the Watchers?



65 thoughts on “January Internet Ban By Moetzes of Agudah Called for Approved Filters and 3rd Party Monitors (Corrected 10:15 pm)

  1. “Ban any news that is negative about any Jewish individual or group, by name or by hint”

    So they have to stop badmouthing survivors too?

    “Ban all internet talkbacks, comments and forums”
    So Yanky’s out too?

  2. What is with RMK signing his name like a hassidic rabbi? who cares who is father was, either he is fit to be a r’y or not, makes no difference who his dad was.

  3. how could any of these people sit there and sign this paper with a straight face? over and over and over again, they come out with the same thing, and similar bans, and nobody cares or listens and each time they sign their name they lose importance and influence.

    “No, this time it will work!” meanwhile the yeshiva crowd already doesn’t have internet, and those that do obviously don’t care, and the regular Haredi community certainly doesn’t care.

    these rabbis are yelling into the wind.

  4. I am very sorry to say that I cannot conquer my yetzer hora in this area. After all, the internet is one of very few forms of entertainment that we still have in our community.

    Moreover, I have this sinful urge to know exactly what is going on in my community. My yetzer hora does not allow me to trust the rabbanim. He uses lame excuses to destroy my trust, such as “Look at the way they harass child abuse victims while giving moral support for the abusers, who by halacha deserve to be reported!”

    Another excuse not to trust rabbanim is: “Look at how rare it is for a communal leader to even address child abuse, which is so rampant!”

    Hey, I understand why they don’t have the guts to speak out against abuse. Who wants to risk his life to save Jewish children? I’ll admit it: I don’t want to risk my life, either. So I can’t blame the rabbanim for not speaking out, when I hardly do so myself, except under cover of anonymity.

    Whether they can be blamed for it or not, rabbanim are not supporting what I see as the right cause, so I can’t trust what they have to say. Oh, that was my yetzer hora speaking again. Or was it my yetzer tov? Who knows!

    I hope that as the issue of abuse becomes more known and “permissible” to discuss, more rabbanim will have the guts to say and do the right thing. For now, we will just have to rely on Rabbis Nochem Rosenberg and Yaakov Horowitz.

    • After years of reflection on why these Rabbi’s don’t come up full force against molestation as now see it this way I see it, that the Torah has a fundamental flaw, it never covered any child sexual molestation. Therefore, they do not want to recognize the lifetime pain and suffering a child will endure.

      • @OMG

        Actually, there is one place I can think of where the Torah DOES cover child molestation. When Dina bas Leah, as a child, went exploring in Shechem, she was abducted by Shechem ben Chamor, and was molested. In response, Dina’s brothers, two of our biggest tzaddikim (all of our gedolim will agree to this) used incredible cunning to murder the entire city of Shechem. You really should read up about this story; it really shows us what the Torah thinks of child molesters and those who cover up for them.

        • @Yoily Weiss, I will not pretend that I am well versed in Torah, but from the little I remember, first of all Dinah was not a child anymore, and two, it is not clear from text that she was raped or not. There are discussions regarding what actual happened. Some analyst claims that the whole story reflects a custom of abduction for marriage, which was common at the time; others actually claim that Dinah was a willing participant and implicates Jacob in Dinah’s misfortune. The story goes that when Jacob went to meet Esau he locked Dinah in a box, for fear that, Esau would wish to marry her, but God rebuked him in these words: “If thou had married off thy daughter in time she would not have been ”tempted to sin”. Regardless what the actual story was, in the end according to the Torah, Jacob cursed Simeon and Levi’s anger, and divided their tribal portions in the land of Israel so that they would not be able to regroup and fight arbitrarily. Furthermore, going forward Dinah is only known as, “the Canaanite woman.” Why, was it because she succumbed? Regardless, going back to my premise, Torah fails to lay the groundwork, for understanding how bad degrading and painful molestation is. I just do not understand why it was more important, say shatnez, then molestation.

    • Yoily,you write, “I am very sorry to say that I cannot conquer my yetzer hora in this area.”

      Rabbi Doctor Twerski of 12 Step fame has a solution for people like you. The first step is of course to “admit you are powerless in the face of the ra-bonim.”

      You can sign up for it at a site that is called guard your eyes, or which I call “Guard Your Mind.”

      I prefer reality. It is not like the rabbonim don’t all make ample use of the Internet. Some chasidish guy told me that the son of an admor asked him to burn some video from the Internet onto a CD so his father could view it without using the Internet. So we have just created a class of Jewish Internet Goyim, and we are wasting a lot of time.

      The arrival of the internet enabled mobile phone has ended any possibility of preventing people from using the Internet.

  5. all these so called gedolim cover up for molesters they should have condemmed molesters before they put out this ban

  6. all the signers are all involved in coverups

    lets bann the banners
    it is assur to follow these people until they place a cherem on molesters
    until then they are banned and we will monitor their behavior

    all the blogs

  7. This is shameful. The fact that Rabbonim are tramping over the same ground, over and over, and not addressing more serious problems shows their impotence. The Gedolim figureheads dare not speak out of turn to the people who are really in charge.

  8. Why do leaders tell victims that they may not call the police because it will hurt their shidduchim? Shouldn’t the response be to the molester that if you do anything to expose the victim we will make sure that you or your children will not get a shidduch?

  9. Putting the sad and horrific issue of abuse aside for a moment, having a filter on one’s internet, and a spouse or someone (like a brother? sister? mother? etc.) be a “second pair of eyes” (password etc.) is NOT a bad idea. I think.

    I don’t have a filter installed in my home yet, and have been wanting to do that for a long while. One thing we do have – both my spouse and me always use the same password for anything we sign up for.

    I think everyone can agree it is a good idea. Though no single “entity” should be involved in this, rather it should be a personal “geder”, with the right pairs of people just trying to keep each other balanced as much as possible.

    While I am at it – I would say that children should NEVER be given access to the internet on their own, and if important than an adult should be sitting their supervising him/her.

    My 2 cents 🙂

    • Kids I get. Kids should not be online without supervision.

      But your spouse? You’re (and I’m using YOU colloquially, not rose specifically) adults, in a relationship, and I’m assuming you’ve talked about what constitutes cheating in your marriage. If, after such a conversation, you don’t think your spouse is trustworthy enough to respect your wishes, why would you waste your time trying to track down what he’s doing with filters and monitors? Go to therapy or dump him.

      Besides, there are ways to get around the filters. Where there is a will, there’s a way. Don’t kid yourself.

      Sounds too much like the Taliban to me. The more you ban stuff, the more people are apt to want it. It’s self defeating. And stupid.

      • There’s more to the internet than only “cheating”. There’s time-wasting… and garbage-viewing… and sometimes the screen can just be too addictive.

        I don’t know about you. But, if I am honest with myself, if I don’t constantly maintain and coach myself, there are definitely weaknesses that can get weaker… getting pulled into a virtual immoral world. One little peak, an innocent news article’s sidebar… can most definitely pull you into places you may not have planned to go.

        Conversations with people “may” take the wrong turns if we don’t constantly maintain…. a certain (distance.) Too many lives have been disrupted by what started out as innocent-fun talk.

        So putting all this together, it is rather wise to have (whatever works for YOU!) in place, something to keep you “balanced” because you cannot “believe in yourself until the day you die”.

        P.S. It’s not my husband I don’t trust. It is the “humanness” (if that’s a word!) of him, AND MYSELF, that I/we keep an eye out FOR each other.

        And kids – I agree. That’s a definite.

  10. I don’t understand why anyone has a problem with this ban. To my surprise, this is something with which I can agree. All they said is that if you are using the internet, you must use a filter and should preferably use a third party monitoring system. Even Modern Orthodox rabbis agree with this!

    While third party monitoring systems are a bit snoopy, they are very easy to get around, especially if you control the filter, and they are only recommended and not required.

    • Gil, who watches the watchers? Right now the filters exclude all sorts of sites including mine, Dus Iz Neias, Vos Iz Neias, and many others that bring the truth to the community. If the goal is to block porn, you do not need special rabbi approved filters. They can just come up with a list of suggested free filters that do the job well for the secular public as well. In addition, filtering can vary. In some cases it can be snoop ware which records every site you visit. Doesn’t that concern you? Are there no halachic issues of privacy at stake. Are there no extensions of the other Rabbeinu Gershon rule about opening letters.

      Now with private monitoring, I could easily see some communities entering into the real of reading everything going in and out just the way some companies do.

      Gil, the much bigger issue here is that the very rabbonim who are so heavy handed and who you opposed on the VIN ban know that they cannot assure compliance voluntarily. So they are moving to more and more heavy handed measures. Incidentally, The Vaad Hatznius seems to do phone tapping regularly, and the party involved usually does not know it. Do you really want to trust these guys?

      Remember, in some communities, being on your site or Slifkins, JBAC’s will also be an aveirah.

      Gil, most of all, why would you trust these guys to actually monitor and control access? Why can’t frum yidden have a chezkas kashrus. Isn’t that the halachah, absent a chazakah to the contrary?

      You say, third party monitoring is a bit snoopy but it is voluntary. That is from the point of view of a consensus statement. However, this kol koreh will give individual kehilos warrant to make it mandatory.

    • That is like saying Rabbi Haredi Ploini told me I need a hechsher and they you say, “any hechsher is OK.”

      Get real Gil, it has been a long time since haredim considered all hechsherim equal. There will be a recommended list of filters.

      A great research project would be getting someone to find the list of all approved filters and monitoring services and find out what is allowed, disallowed and what is examined. For example the most extreme case could have a designated outside monitor reading all your emails. The most extreme filter could exclude all modern orthodox sites including yours. Would that be OK with you?

      • Sorry but I don’t buy it. I think that they are just saying to make sure you use a filter that works. I agree entirely although I wouldn’t use the word “assur”.

        • R. Gil,

          I am setting up a reminder for six months from now to revisit this issue to see how things have developed.

        • But the use of the word assur is deliberate and key and is in the name of the whole moetzet, so it is close to be binding on most US haredim.

          Assur means that the default is no use, and use requires a heter. So why can’t a rav stipulte the requiements or the conditions of a heter.

    • R. Gil,

      The Kol Koreh says, “effective filters”. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I assume they want to define what is an “effective filter”, which would probably ban this blog, your blog, Failed Messiah, Emes ve-Emunah, most newspapers, maybe even YU Torah.

  11. Next Kol Koreh. You must keep your lights on 24/7/365 & curtains open & tell your neighbours to keep looking in to your house, so that you do no bad, invite big brother to watch you [satire].

  12. BTW no filter could possibly have a hechsher, unless the Rabbi keeps surfing all permitted sites, & any changes on those sites go through him. Otherwise it is like giving a hechsher to something you don’t know the ingredients of. [BTW that happens all the time when they buy bulk at low cost from manufacturers with an OU hechsher & stick a hemishe lable over the sell buy date & charge double,even after expiration (which may cost more due to the worms) & the Rabbi has no clue of the ingredients] there is no OU for the internet so who will do the legwork?]

    • Loshon Hora,

      Excellent point! This pronouncement was obviously made by people who have no understanding how the Internet really works.

  13. Yerachmiel & Gil,

    Let’s be honest and truthful …

    Yerachmiel wrote “Gil, who watches the watchers? Right now the filters exclude all sorts of sites including mine,” …. Well, for starters, that information is WRONG, i have JNET and here i am!

    You ask “Who will watch the watchers?” – that’s a stupid question. Who will police the police? … so we should’nt have police? and if the watchers don’t have anyone watching over them, does that make the internet kosher for all? does it justify using the internet without filters?… what a ridiculous question!

    Yes, the watchers need a watcher over them too, and it’s not my business to know who they are, as long as what they call for is right! – Be Honest!

    Kabel Emes Mimee She’omro!

    Turning the whole focus of the ban, to “who will watch the watchers”, is ignorant, misleading and untruthful.

    • SeriouslySpeaking,

      The record (more accurately, lack of record) of the Moetzes in publicly addressing the problem of sexual molestation in our community seriously degrades their credibility. Period.

    • Depends on which filter. I know a woman in Williamsburg whose “halachic filter at work” excludes Frum Follies and some other sites. So clearly it is a matter of time. I wonder if VIN is excluded by your filter. I don’t see why they couldn’t get it blocked by filters if they could get a slew of rabbonim to sign a kol koreh against them,

      I think we need to compile a list of the most common filters and start finding out what is blocked. Some of the filters use white lists. If those were made available it would help us all know exactly what is being excluded.

      However, for the moment, I seriously doubt I could trust a system that bans VIN to not ban all sorts of blogs.

  14. Chava ate from the Eitz Hadaas. I guess the mistake God may have made was not attaching a kol koreh to the tree.

  15. SeriouslySpeaking is so correct. I am one of the people who was in court last Friday, so I am a big supporter of the victims and I also am very disappointed with the Moetzes, etc. However, all of you, take your blinders off! The internet is a dangerous place for our children and destroys lives. And adults also. There is nothing wrong with a married couple sharing passwords. IT is not a lack of trust but rather putting up gedorim that make sense so that situations can be avoided.

    I will add that I strongly believe that one of the reasons why it is hard to find support for the cause of abuse victims is because of the painting with a broad brush that many advocates on this website engage in. Many of you believe that anything that the Moetzes does is bad and live in a black and white world where you are either with us or against us. You resally lose credibility with such thinking.

    • abe,

      One reaps what one sows.

      Regrettably, the Moetzes has for many years followed a policy of “sweeping under the rug”. While there may be some small steps away from that policy, there has not yet been the public pronouncement needed to restore their credibility with many of us.

      Until that happens, a lot of their anti Internet activity can look like an attempt to stifle dissent. One example: the attempt to ban VIN while not at the same time banning other sites which have similar deficiencies.

    • 1. No one is arguing about the risks of the internet for children and the desirability of filters to deal with offensive or scamming products. This can be dealt with through advisories and recommendations.

      2. It may be true that some advocates paint things black and white. I prefer to be subtle. However, that can not possibly be the reason for Moetzes’ abysmal record on sex abuse. It was covering up when there were no advocates visible in public. Way back, people like Belsky, Perlow, and Lipa Margulies were also covering up.

      3. The strange thing is that tznius is always used as the excuse for more controls on everything except the most untznius, community wrecking thing of all. Monsey treyfah chicken scandal led to a asifah which focused on tznius. Frankly, the problem was not expensive underdressed people, It was cheap, undressed chickens. VIN reports on sex abuse and allows comments. So the response is ban it for improper conduct and speech. Forget about whether we shoudld reject the ban because of the lame Moetzes response to child abuse. Just explain to me, why they can’ theyt generate the same enthusiasm for fighting molesting they find for most everything else?

      So, don’t blame the advocates for the moetzes failure to support victims. Frankly, they have shown that they can not be trusted to make policy impartially, or with concern for the higher priority problems.

  16. Check out the 2005 Lakewood takanah banning home internet use except with a special permission. In addition, there is list of rabbonim who can approve it and there are forms covering it. Who is to say that when someone has a heter for home Internet use they will not mandate the filter and who will monitor traffic and who will have the password. Combine that with the expectation that no children will have any Internet experience. We are dealing with cult-like behavior of isolating people from outside information.

    The war on internet pornography is the purported motive. But VIN had no pornographyy. Yet four Lakewood BMG leaders signed it. Its about the blogs. That is what they fear. That is why the hanhalah went after the The Lakewood Scoop and now is going after The Lakewood View to eliminate comments and all critical articles.


  17. I wonder, who stands to gain monetarily from this?

    Is the software cost free and Leshaim Shomayim?

    Is the monitoring service cost free and Leshaim Shomayim?

    Our holy Torah is free; its only cost is one’s commitment to guard it and observe it and do Hashem’s Ratzon.

    Like they say in politics, if you wish to know the truth, follow the money.

  18. This is frightening. No longer is it sufficient to have an halachically approved filter. It’s now required to have a 3rd party monitoring one’s internet access. This could be something right out of 1984. I can easily imagine someone receiving threatening phone calls , warning someone that their children might be expelled from yeshiva or they might lose a shidduch; because some askan reported them for viewing an “unacceptable” website.

    Gil, it’s an abhorrent development. It’s not to your credit that you can rationalize support for such a repressive, coercive system of thought control.

    • Jay,

      I agree. Hopefully, you do not live in a community where someone will presume to tell you that you must submit to such nonsense.

      • Nudnik, I chose to remove myself from such communities years ago. However I still have friends and relatives in that situation. I hear reports quite frequently regarding how terrorized they are by the local “vaad hatznius,” neighbors, shopkeepers and even passersby.

        • Jay,

          Not everyone can / feels able to move away from such poisonous environments.

          I have never lived in such a place, so I cannot imagine what it is like.

          My youngest child is (and her oldest siblings were) at a Jewish high school where use of the Internet is required for certain assignments and it is assumed that all students have an Internet connection at home.


    If a person has a strong yetzer hara for znus, then he will do whatever is necessary to satisfy his taavos. This was true even before the internet existed. The internet does not make a person sin, it only makes it more accessible. By removing the internet from the home, or by forcing him to add filters, this person will now go to internet cafes or libraries to access the filth he desires.

    I compare the internet to an automobile. Today we all consider the automobile a necessity. Nevertheless, it is a dangerous machine that should not be driven by a child or by an irresponsible adult. The same is true for the internet. It is an absolute necessity in today’s society, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. However, one would be irresponsible if he gave his kids unfettered access to it. Likewise, if an adult knows that he cannot control his urges, he should not put himself in this nisayon on a regular basis. This type of person will be nichshal regardless, but at least he shouldn’t put himself in this predicament daily. For these types of people, we should not make blanket issurim that affect responsible users as well.

    • Steve,

      As always, well reasoned. Thank you for retrieving this gem and reposting it. I would like to extend your metaphor. Imagine someone has a recurrent problem of drinking while driving. It makes sense to install a Breathalyzer that prevents him from driving while under the influence of alcohol. Naturally, no one should drive with a significantly elevated level of blood alcohol. Still we don’t mandate these devices for everyone. Yet the new policy recommends internet filters or shomrim for everyone. Its as if they are not only installing these devices on every car. This a burden that the public cannot stand, and should’nt put up with.

  20. Is orthodox judaism such a poor product that the purveyors of said product namely the Gedolim cannot sell it? If there is a need for bans to things which any elementary school student kal v’chomer a Yeshiva trained adult knows is wrong IE porn then we have a problem much greater than porn. The ban authors have done a poor job at selling Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem. Perhaps they need to point the finger back at themselves and ask why the flock is straying. I have no filter nor will I ever get one. I have no innate desire to view porn. If I did and had a filter and third party checking I can just go to any store that sells magazines or have a cheap second computer where I can hide my habit. The sheeple who will actually listen to this probably don’t have a porn problem.

    For them it is a problem for the proponents of the ban fearing the information they may get that exposes the ugly practices of the establishment to which they follow blindly. This may alienate the sheeple masses resulting in the stemming of the cash flowing toward those leaders when the sense of holy utopia goes up in a puff of smoke. There is no way to enforce this ban which makes it voluntary. So once again who does this actually affect when those with the problem who want to appear frum for appearance sake (the sheker world of I am frummer).

  21. than you and my kids are worthy shidduch gems) and will veiw their porn in comfort at some remote undisclosed location or those who have no desire to veiw porn but need to buy the filter to remain part of the holy crowd because any deviation will boot them out of the club as people can always speculate that there is a porn problem. If there wasn’t then why would the holier than thou yeshiva elitist have any opposition to spending his father in law’s hard earned free flowing money on something so important that it would come before buying your kid a decent pair of shoes?

  22. The rebbes and chushuve yungerleit don’t need Internet filters as there is much better porn available to them. It’s called kiddie porn live. It sits in front of them in class, shul, mikveh etc. When will the Rabbonim put out a kol koreh for that? Never. Frum people with long beards and peyos don’t commit ANY sexual crimes or engage in any assur sexual activities. After all they all look JUST LIKE US.

  23. BTW could you imagine someone who buys goods from who knows where on line & resells them at a profit? Now the eycatcher sees where they go what they order.
    Next week another store opens up selling the identical items at a lower cost. Believe this happens enough without a watcher, & no Kol Koreih comes out about stealing other peoples business.
    Someone Googles a health problem & the watcher now knows what is happening. A parent could have that parental control over a kid, but that is where it ends.
    Until the rabonim know how business works & the internet works, I wonder how they could make decrees.
    If the guy goes to a juicy shmutziger site.Now the watcher feels less guilty to follow, so there you have it, you just made things worse.
    I think the Kol Koreih will get watered down over & over, making a mockery of Kol-koreih & the one’s who sign them, ultimately being mashpil keren Hatorah. IMHO.

  24. the joke is on the blind sheep that cover up the crimes of corrupt rabbonim

    why even hatzola at least in MIami allows adulterers to join ( they say he did teshuva ) would you want him treating your wife

    WHy even chaplains ask the police to let molesters free because they have never been held accountabiliy

    why the former rosh kolel of NMB leave town when confronted with evidence regarding groping boys while wrestling leave to take a position in montreal yeshiva gedola unnacompainied by his wife

    thats why there is so much rabbinical garbage that lysol doesnt stop the smell

    • A nudnik, Thanks for spotting this article by Miriam Shaviv of the London Jewish Chronicle. She is one of my favorite Jewish journalists.

      She makes the point that the ban has been a lot more effective than the ban on televisions. In essence this ban is mostly succeeding only by coercion and many haredim violate it if they cannot be caught. What the ban will create is a whole large crew of orthodox Jews who live by one standard publicly and by a different standard in private.

  25. Check out WebChaver, a program where you sign up and a designated chaver gets weekly reports of all your use. Including:

    An overall report with a list of bad sites and how often they were visited: http://www.webchaver.org/reports.php

    It is not clear what criteria are used. The rationale and focus is on pornography, but these days Facebook is on the “bad” list. I wonder about failed messiah and other blogs. http://www.webchaver.org/reports.php

    Detailed Logs: http://www.webchaver.org/detailed_logs.php

    They also have analysis tools. So for a problematic site they will allow you to see the actual article read to see how much of a problem that site visit was. For example, visiting the Forward.com would trigger a flag in the report:

    Here is what they write about the Forward visit on a log:

    “The next site is a newspaper site (The Forward). It was flagged as high scoring because of the name of an image (note the suffix “.jpg”) that accompanied the article. This in itself may not indicate anything alarming. Here again a perusal of the detailed logs will tell us exactly which article was viewed.” http://www.webchaver.org/high_score_more.php

    When you are down to checking out which articles someone reads in the Forward you are into heavy censorship. I have never seen pornography in the Forward.

    For good measure, WebChaver sells group accounts. So we do have the official censor at work. See a sample report for a group which appears to have at ~40 members. http://www.webchaver.org/group_admin.php

    I could see a shul having a group administrator/mashgiach.

    To their credit, web chaver charges only $4/month. Of course the designated snoop/overseer is assumed to work for free. But I expect that s/he like all mashgichim will eventually have to be paid if they are handling a large volume. We can be sure that every vaad hatznius voyeur will volunteer.

    WebChaver comes with haskamos from R. Shmuel Kaminetsky, R Mendel Weinbach (Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem) and a list of other rabbonim. http://www.webchaver.org/haskamos.php

    Naturally, it can also be installed on mobile devices.

    Question: given the fact that cars can be used to go to inappropriate places, why not install GPS devices and send reports to a monitor.

    Since the telephone can be used for porn or for lashon horah, why not send your phone logs to a monitor and require consent to have the monitor listen in at any time. Perhaps every call to a frum household will be preceded by one of those canned messages (in a male voice of course), “This conversation may be monitored to assure that it is free of lashon horah and for the purpose of training the baal/baalat habayis in being a better Jew.”

    Since spending is where many sins occur, why not require the use of kosher credit cards which block certain vendors and send an account statement to a supervisor. For maximum effectiveness, they should ban the use of cash, except for money laundering and approved tax evasion.

    I see a great set of career opportunities for frum snoops.

    • I think a streimel cam would be in order so that the porn shops can be seen and to ensure that only high class hookers or local wife swaps are patronized. Also ensures that only heimishe hechsherim enter the house like those of Weissmandl the rapist molester protector.

      • This method can also be a kosher method for the watchers to get their porn fix all in the name if raising our level of tznius and yiddishkeit. Same way that Rebbehs and Roshei Yeshiva can launder money and set up false premises to swindle government entities in the name of furthering the spread of toiyrah and moiysdoiys hatoiyrah. All is fair when the end result justifies all means. Covering up molestation will maintain kavoiyd hatoiyrah and avoid bushos for the rabbonim. How does suicide, drug use, and off the derech due to molestation look? Their failure to stem this is colossal. The new way to rate the success of a yeshiva should not be based upon how many kollel, roshei yeshiva or rebbes it produced, but should be based on how few of their talmidim left the fold.

        • Bench Kvetcher,

          You DON’T understand! How could you DARE to question our HOLY gedolim! Really!
          [End sarcasm]

          Seriously, I think you are on target,

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