Monday, March 19, 2012

My Heart Broke A Little On Saturday

Be warned this is a relatively long post for me but I have a lot to write about on this particular topic. So please bear with me. 

You will not believe what has happened this past weekend. In fact I was so shocked on Saturday morning that it has taken me until today to even get my head around what happened. In fact I am sure that even you will be surprised and shocked when you read about it.  I've warned the boys that anything that happens in this house is fair game for a blog post. I don't think they believed me when I reminded them of this .. So here's what happened...

I woke up at around 6:40am Saturday morning when I heard Mark talking with Angus in the lounge/dining/computer room about how Angus had gone over the limit with his internet allowance.

We've got our home network set up via a Smoothwall (it's a computer that our internet connection gets plugged into that we access so we can get on the web, it's also a firewall that protects our home network). Smoothie lets us track how much bandwidth individual people use. It does other stuff too but I wont go into that its a bit complicated. Any way we have allowed 20GB per person each month. If the boys exceed their limit they need to negotiate with us to be given more. That basically means I make them a slave for a while and get some much needed (cleaning) jobs done & they get more data allowance.

What our bandwidth looks like so far for this month.
Click on the photo if you wish to see it better.

Mark had asked Angus what he had done online to have used up all of his bandwidth in such a short time. Of course Angus used the usual "I don't know" response. It's something the boys say often and its usually a cop out. They think by saying that it will get them out of trouble - it doesn't btw it only makes us more annoyed. You think they would have learned by now not to say it. Then he said he had been playing one of his shooting games online with friends. Call of Duty or something like that.

So Mark gets Angus to give him his laptop & he goes through the programs to see what on earth used up all of that bandwidth. The first surprise was a bit torrent (wiki) client was running. For those who don't know what that is it's where you can download programs, movies, music etc from other peoples computers. Basically its a file sharer. Problem is a lot of copyrighted stuff gets shared illegally through them and we do NOT condone that sort of thing on our network. BUSTED! Not only that Angus had illegal software on his machine! He lost all of them!

The next surprise was when Mark checked the netbook (which Angus uses for school work only) and found Skype on it. Angus quickly stated that the school had installed it this time and he only activated it the other day. Angus new that he wasn't allowed to have it. He was reminded a few weeks ago when he had been to his besties house and downloaded it there. It was uninstalled. Angus then installed Skype on his netbook a day or so after we had gotten Angus to get rid from his laptop.  BIG mistake!!
I mentioned in a post a while ago how Skype servers detect what type of internet connection you have and if you have a pretty good internet connection it uses your connection (and bandwidth) as a super-node. So it chews up your data allowance. When we found that out Skype was banned from our network.

The final surprise that is the most shocking of all. I cried when I heard it. Its something that I wont forgive or forget very easily. My 15 year old son had PORN on his computer. Yep PORN!! He had it hidden in folders on his laptop and on his memory sticks. He said that he got it from friends. He probably even downloaded it himself. I'm in two minds as to whether I should dob him in to the school or not as I have no idea if the kids involved swapped all this stuff whilst at school or at each others homes. He will most likely lose his job as an IT Captain if we do. 

I thought this child was still innocent. Still a good boy. Still following the beliefs that we had taught him. Choosing The Right. My heart died a little on Saturday morning. My baby has now LOST our TRUST.

Angus has now lost all internet privileges for the rest of this month. He has lost administration privileges on his computer. If he wants to have any new programs installed he needs to ASK Mark for permission. If Mark deems that the program is a legal copy then he might consider installing it for him.
Angus will also be subject to weekly and random searches of his laptop, netbook and memory sticks.

I am wondering if we have given him enough 'punishment' or if we should be a little bit harder on him. Angus knows he has to do as he's told pretty much straight away. He also knows that he WILL have to EARN my TRUST again. It will take a bit of convincing to get that back.
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