DH: Gratos pour 124.000 ados.
Someone must have been wearing blinkers the day they came up with this idea at the Belgian government: in order to protect teenagers in chat rooms and forums, they will receive an electronic identity card reader on their 12th birthday. This reader, once connected to their PC, will let them authenticate as genuine teenagers™ and be protected from Joe the pervert trawling their communities pretending to be a 13-year-old. Several local chat services and forums are supposedly in talks to offer authentication through this system.
Skipping the chilling Big Brother overtones for now, do they actually think that these kids, being your typical teenagers, will restrict their chatting to government-sanctioned services located inside our borders? Hell, they’ll probably deliberately seek out foreign services to play on. Dear ministers, this is the internet. It’s actually connected to the rest of the world.
Of course, it’s probably a Windows-only gadget too, meaning that if parents enforce this “solution” on their kids, they’ll be locking them into one operating system and curtailing their options to keep an open mind and explore alternatives such as Linux.