Before June of 2000, Internet filters were the best tools available to parents to protect their children online. But as a parent, this was not what Ron DeHaas wanted. He wanted a tool that would help him actually build a bridge of conversation with his sons about responsible Internet use.
This was how the concept of accountability software was born.
In this interview Mr. DeHaas talks about how Internet accountability defends, demonstrates, and develops integrity for both adults and children. He talks at length about how his company, Covenant Eyes, was started, and how the software program works.
Families Want Accountability
As Ron says in the interview, nearly three quarters of Covenant Eyes members choose to only use the accountability service, whereas only 3% choose to use the filtering service by itself. Ron puts his finger on the reason why accountability, as opposed to filtering, is so important for individuals and families:
I wanted to be able to train [my teenage sons] in the discipline of using the Internet properly. I wanted to be able to interact with them and have “talking points,” basically, so that I could communicate with them.
I recognized that this was a tool of technology—the Internet—and I wanted to be able to develop a relationship with [my sons]. And there was a gap between the relationship and the technology. And filters that were available, then and now, really didn’t bridge that gap to my satisfaction. All they did was, more or less, legalistically block [my sons] from going to a variety of sites. And they don’t work perfectly. And if they were able to go to bad sites, I would not even know it, with just a filter…
Relationship is something that is being so lost in the world today, and people long for it. It’s a void in their hearts. And if there’s one thing—apart from working against Internet pornography—if there’s one thing that I would have a desire for, for this tool of Internet accountability, it would be to help develop relationships. Relationships are the key to a godly walk.
About the Interview
Back in February of 2009, filmmaker Francois Driessen visited our headquarters and interviewed a number of people, including our founder and CEO, Ron DeHaas. In the interview, Ron shared why he started Covenant Eyes and what he has learned over the past decade about the power and importance of Internet accountability.
This interview is a part of a growing body of raw documentary footage called Scratching the Surface, from the creators of the short film, Willful Entrapment.
Learn more: Accountability as a Lifestyle
- Part 1: Purity in the Gray Areas – Internet accountability not only helps people be honest about pornographic temptations but other “gray areas” of immorality.
- Part 2: Building Relationships – Internet accountability helps to foster both peer friendships and relationships between husbands and wives.
- Part 3: The Next Generation – Internet accountability changes the way the whole family uses the Internet.
Learn more: The History of Covenant Eyes
- “Covenant Eyes” on Wikipedia
- “A Passion to Protect Families” – Podcast interview with Ron DeHaas