The ICRA system - a parent's view.

In October or early November this year, ICRA will launch the first version of its own filter. We will be seeking feedback from a wide variety of users which we will use to create an improved version of the filter which we expect to release in spring 2002. ICRAfilter will work on all versions of windows from 95 upwards and operate independently of any browser. Importantly the filter will also support "block" lists and "allow" lists. As well as the user's own lists, those created by "third parties" (such as a variety of organizations, special interest groups and commercial concerns are also supported. For a preview, please click here.

Even without ICRAfilter, the number of applications which you can use to filter internet content using ICRA's labels is growing. French set top box manufacturer NetGem builds ICRA filtering into its products. This gives parents real control in the sensitive area of interactive Television. British broadcaster and ICRA member ITV Digital uses NetGem set top boxes and offers filtering according to the RSACi system (ICRA's forerunner).

We are in discussion with a number of other software manufacturers and expect to be able to announce that further applications will include filtering based on ICRA labels soon.

We are in discussions with a number of software manufacturers and expect to be able to publish details about this very soon.

Today, the most widely available filter which can read ICRA labels is the Content Advisor function within Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Before describing how to use Content Advisor, it is important for us to make two key points:

  1. Content Advisor does not recognize what we call branch labels. The best way to explain this is by way of example. The AOL homepage ( is labelled as not containing any chat. However, the AOL site does include a chat site which carries its own branch label which says "there's chat here." Thus, the site is correctly labelled. A filter set to block chat should allow users into the majority of the AOL site but block just the chat section. But, Content Advisor ignores the label on the chat page and allows access, referring only to the label in the home page.

    In short, Content Advisor may not read a site's rating labels properly.

  2. Content Advisor was designed for use with rating schemes such as our predecessor, RSACi which offered "scales" of content from 0 to 4 in various categories. Although it's possible, setting up Content Advisor to work with ICRA labels is not straightforward.

For a complete walk through of how to set up the Content Advisor function in IE, please click here. The walk through includes a lot of graphics and may therefore take a while to download. Please be patient!

Sadly, Netscape 6 does not support the new ICRA system. In the meantime, the RSACi system is supported by Netscape 4.7. Click here for details.