You are, of course, correct. But you are also wrong.
I also speak as an former kid with an apparent IQ of 147, which puts me above average....
I am not trying to shirk my responsibilites as a parent and get the technology to do it for me. Just get it to help me. There are several types of "protection" I am talking about here...
1) My eldest (15) has been caught (and appropriately delt with) sharing inappropriate material with his younger siblings (in this case 12 and 10). They wouldn't go looking for it, but if "big bro" shows them....
2) I have found lists of (very worrying) websites in the kids notes brought back from school (not, I hasten to add from teachers, but other, older, kids).
3) I have visited perfectly innocent websites, or followed links from normal sites like the msn homepage and within a few clicks been confronted with hardcore porn, violence etc. I don't want the same for my kids. It isn't always about deliberate abuse!
My approach is many and varied..
a) Education. We talk to the kids about the 'net and how there are bad people out there. We discuss the dangers of revealing personal information and so on.
b) Supervison. We keep an eye on what they do. We cannot, however, watch them every second. If vwe have logs we can access, we do look at them, just to be certain. (The kids know this, it isn't a case of spying on them.)
c) Securing. This is where the whole proxy stuff comes in. Part of a larger home policy.
The simple fact is, we live in a world now where it is common to have multiple computers in the home. Kids at Primary school (=Elementary school) are using the 'net as part of their daily schoolwork. We can either embrace it and make it as safe for them as possible, or we can be Luddites, bury our heads and refuse access, or only allow it under very close supervision. I believe in taking controlled risks, but the key word here is controlled.
Kids today already suffer from a lack of the freedom we enjoyed. How many parents would be happy for their 9 year old to leave the house at 9:00am with no knowledge of where they were going and no way of contacting them or knowing when they would be back? The expectation being that around 8:00pm is fine? Yet that's exactly what happened when I was a kid, and it was normal! Already, we insist they take their mobiles, we insist we know exactly where they are, etc etc. This is quite right as we live in a dangerous society, but it's sad that we need to wrap them in cotton wool this way.
Yes, the 15-year old will try to work out how to get around it, he may succeed. But hopefully, not for a while and hopefully he will be caught before he shares the information with his younger siblings. Certainly, I don't expect my 4-year old to be happily playing on the cBBC website and then suddenly asking why that lady isn't wearing any clothes
I'm not asking for anyone to agree with me. You may see me as a terrible parent for allowing my kids access to the 'net, or a terrible parent for trying to contol it. Frankly, I don't care. The key thing is, however, please respect my right to parent as I see fit. And that means security on my network, using something like Dan's Guardian and transparent proxying!