These days, more men and women
are becoming addicted to viewing pornography on the Internet.
Web sites offer free glimpses into enticing worlds of sexual
immorality, and the anonymity that the Internet has to offer provides a
way of indulging in those desires in the privacy of your own home
without the worry of getting caught by their spouse or other loved
ones. As a result, when the addiction is discovered by
someone else, it often has such a devastating effect that
families are destroyed as a result.
Accountability Pal monitors
track of who is using the Internet and what they are viewing,
downloading, uploading, etc. It emails a report (in PDF format) of each
to the person/people you specify.
I originally wrote Accountability Pal to allow people with addictions
to porn sites to
become accountability partners. There are commercial services that do
they usually charge a monthly fee of $10 or more.
The other accountability tools out
on the PC's being "watched" and can be easily
circumvented by the user. Accountability Pal is designed to be run on a
where users can't simply disable the software running on their
PC. A Windows version is on the way as well that will be
designed to be more secure than just an application running as an icon
on the task bar.
It monitors World Wide Web traffic,
and more. It uses a plug-in interface to allow others to easily add new
protocols to its monitoring abilities.
The primary reason for making
Accountability Pal open source is that I
believe something like this should be inexpensive/free for individuals
to use. So many people could use something like this, but most of the
commercial products are a service rather than a cheap one-time
Accountability Pal is designed to run on
mainly as a way of making it tamper-proof by its users. For example, 2
people who are keeping each other accountable for their surfing habbits
could set a two-person password on the server so that neither one could
modify the software without the other one around. Parents won't have to
worry about their kids disabling the software, etc.
runs on such cheap hardware, and this
program requires so little processing power, that people can spend very
little and have all they need to monitor their network.
Block Bad Sites?
Over the years, blocking
software such as CyberPatrol,
Nanny have been unable to solve
the problem of porn
addiction. The main problem is that they don't block
everything out there, and the parent is always having to update the
software every time a new site goes online. I personally
don't know of anyone who wants to maintain a massive database of bad
The other major problem with
these programs is that there are so many known loopholes and ways
around these filters. There are several sites devoted to
disabling these programs that it's not worth trying to filter out the
Lately, the trend has been to move towards accountability software,
where 2 or more friends with the same addiction agree to become
accountability partners. This is a far stronger approach than
simply blocking access to certain sites because it forces the issue to
come up in conversation when one person or the other stumbles in their
fight against pornography. It is not meant to be
but to be uplifting and encouraging in breaking the cycle of addiction.