The Schmooze

Brooklyn Yeshiva Plays Big Brother

At Yeshiva Tiferes Yisroel, an all-boys yeshiva in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, everything — food, behavior, clothing — must be kosher. If school officials get their way, they’ll soon be adding one more thing to that list: at-home Internet browsing.

“We are following the dictates of our [rabbis] — that as human beings, we cannot trust ourselves,” said a letter sent out to parents, according to an August 22 article in the New York Post that outlined the school’s demand.

Administrators are asking not just that parents spy on their children’s Web habits (no problem there), but also that families install WebChaver, a software package that tracks the Internet activity of each person who uses a particular computer. A detailed log of browsing history, with sites ranked by likelihood of objectionability, is then e-mailed regularly to an external watchman — or “chaver.” (With chaverim like those….)

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Brooklyn Yeshiva Plays Big Brother

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