What’s JusProg?

JusProg e.V. is a nonprofit organization that has set itself the task of better protecting children on the internet. We provide the free JusProg-Jugendschutzprogramm parental control software, which is free to use, to parents, grandparents, teachers and all others who deal with children and the media.
JusProg e.V. was founded in 2003 by several German internet content providers with the aim of developing such a filter software.
Important to us: The decision on the use of the parental control software remains in the hands of parents, who also have the final authority about the sites that can be accessed by their kids.
The JusProg-Jugendschutzprogramm was governmentally approved by the State Commission for the Youth Media Protection (KJM) in 2012, thus meeting the requirements of Art. 11 JMStV. JusProg ensures the approval for providers of internet content according to the demands of Youth Media Protection Treaty (JMStV), the so-called “privilege”.

Who is JusProg?

JusProg is a nonprofit association that is mostly financed by contributions from its members. JusProg receives no funding or support from the German state. Members of JusProg e.V. are primarily companies in the German Internet industry from various sectors. They all take responsibility for an effective free-to-use child and youth protection on the internet.

Board of JusProg e.V.
  • Stefan Schellenberg, Online Management Kontor (chairman of the board)
  • Daniela Hansjosten, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH (1. deputy board member)
  • Martin Lorber, Electronic Arts GmbH (2. deputy board member)
  • Melanie Endemann, Vodafone Deutschland GmbH / Kabel Deutschland
  • Susanne Ahrens, ProSiebenSat.1
  • Felix Falk, game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche

Since 2003 we have employed a rating team with several employees who checks the sites and evaluate the age classification. These employees, called Netagents are trained on continuous basis and by now have aquired a lot of experience. In addition, as a preliminary process the pages are checked by so-called spiders (software for searching the internet) that create default age classification of the sites within the software’s technical capabilities. The spiders also work on sites that are proposed anonymously via JusProg software and read results from search engines. A human age classification always has priority over the machine. For ages up to 12 years, there are only human reviews.


How do we protect minors and why?


When minors access a web page the JusProg filtering software checks address of the page with a filter list. If the requested page is set on the list at a higher age than for the child who is surfing, the site is not displayed. The filter list covers different topics and types of content on the internet that are not suitable for children and adolescents. The criteria for assessing the sites are very extensive. Sites are assessed according to their content and youth protection relevance, regardless of taste or opinion.

Overall, we are trying to capture as many strings as possible and assign age groups, regardless of the content orientation. This is the only way to achieve reasonable results in youth on the Internet. The pages are automatically accessed by spidering technology doing age classification on the basis of keywords and keyword combinations. The pages that are submitted to us for review are all checked by human reviewers (Netagents).
The JusProg-Jugendschutzprogramm goes through various tests to determine whether a web page is displayed or not. These priorities are taken into account:

  • 1. Governmental BPjM list (absolutely forbidden sites)
  • 2. Parents lists (activation / blockade by parents for their child)
  • 3. Website label age.xml / age-de.xml
  • 4. JusProg filter list

For ages up to 12 years, after the tests a site that is still “unknown” is blocked as a precaution; from age 12 the site appears to make the surfing room larger (but less secure).

Is JusProg censorship?

No, it’s all about youth protection, as we have to implement it according to the law. It’s not about censorship. Use of the system is voluntary and free. The software also has a customer whitelist feature with which parents can allow or block any page by entering their parent password. Thus, the final decision on the blocking of a page resides not with the JusProg list, but with parents who use the filtering software. In addition, all site operators can label their pages with an age classification label (age.xml / age-de.xml), which is used by the parental control software.

Very important: The decision on the use of JusProg parental control software resides solely in the hands of parents. This decision on the age group their child surfs in and also whether they use the software or remove it again depends on the parents. Adults can surf without restriction on the same computer (after entering their parents’ password).
We consider the JusProg-Jugendschutzprogramm a contribution to greater freedom on the Internet: Adults can surf freely, and minors can get to know the Internet and use it, with the only limitation being pages that are potentially detrimental for them. Without the smart JusProg filter of JusProg, probably much more of the Internet would be banned.

Advantages for website operators

According to the German Youth Media Protection Treaty (JMStV) providers of content that is said to impair the development of minors (e.g. soft pornografic or violent content) are obliged to either time schedule / watershade their content (display potentially harmful content only between 22/23 pm and 6 am), install a technical solution of their own (e.g. input and check of the identity card number) or use a governmentally approved filtering solution (Jugendschutzprogramm). JusProg offers a corresponding filtering solution, officially approved since 2012 according to Art. 11 JMStV state law.

Because JusProg takes industry- and company-wide care of governmental approval, potentially harmful content may in Germany be shown if labeled with a true site label (age.xml / age-de.xml) that can be read by an officially approved parental control software. Would your company also benefits from this so-called “privileged” status? Then you should support the JusProg e.V. with a membership to permanently secure these legal benefits. (Note: This is not legal advice. In case of questions confer with a lawyer).

The age.xml / age-de.xml label

The German Youth Media Protection Treaty (JMStV) committed providers with content potentially harmful for minors (i.e. content suitable from age 16) and all major commercial vendors to “program” their website for a parental control software. This means that the provider will install a so-called site label in age.xml / age-de.xml format on his website. This is a simple file that stores to a specific location on the server (root). Ideally the xml file for the whole site contains the necessary age information, but it can also contain individual age ratings for individual single pages. Parental control systems can read this age information and then possibly block the pageview for minors. The JusPorg software considers age.xml and age-de.xml. The overarching file age.xml is intended internationally, the file age-de.xml specifically for Germany.

Conceptually speaking, the age.xml / age-de.xml file is somewhat similar to Google Sitemap or robots.txt, but for age. The files are also located in the same location on the server. There are age groups for for example movies or computer games ranging from age group 0 to age group 6, 12, 16 and 18 years and older.

We offer a free label generator that enables creating age labels for websites within minutes with no technical skills: JusProg Label Generator

More information about the site-labels age.xml and age-de.xml can be found (in English) on age-label.com and in German on age-label.de

Links regarding youth protection on the Internet