Hi guys

I have a question to do with a project i have been ask to undertake with some friends and are a little unsure if it can be done. so i wanted to ask you all for ideas. I don't need the code to do it just ideas... if that makes sense.

My friend owns a Internet cafe and wants to build a peice of software that whatches the computers with a live feed from the one selected. He wants to be able to see excatly what the user on the other computer is doing in real time and if needs be disconnect him.

I know we could just buy the software but i would like to have a go a creating our own first.

Can this be written in C# code?

Thanks for all your advice and help.


This could very easily be written in C# but I don't think its a good idea for an internet cafe as you would be violating the privacy of the users. You wouldn't see the passwords but you would see everything else. You would have to tell the users they were being monitored if you didn't you could get sued, and personally if I knew someone were watching I wouldn't waste my timer there. I would leave.

now from a programmers standpoint. Writing an application that runs as a service that runs all the time and sends out screen information across a network would be very simple in C#. assuming all the computers are assigned static IPs the ability to get a 5 Frame per second screen shot in real time with an option to log out the user or lock the screen with a message, something just that simple could be thrown together in an afternoon. C# is a great candidate for this

but again, I think you might drive away customers.

Thanks for the help.

Another question to you (Diamonddrake) what software would you use, if you were a internet cafe owner, to watch a client if they were looking up questionable material, i.e Child porn?
Given that the hardware owner is responsible for what thier hardware is used for.

Thanks again for the advice. the fact we can use c# is good news.


I would use a service from a web gateway company like websense that filters out questionable material. Or if I didnt want to pay big bucks I would write a proxy server app that blocks questionable websites and route all the computers in the cafe through it. with an optional override. displaying a message saying that the page has been blocked and if the user doesn't think that it should be have them tell the site url to the attendant and have him check it, if its clean they can use a 1 time password to access the site, or the attendant can optionally add it to the allow list on the proxy, or remove it from the deny list. or depending on how the proxy is written add it to the exceptions list.

and as for "the hardware owner is responsible for what their hardware is used for." if you had a lawyer write up a End user license agreement that displayed as the users first logged on and a click to accept button then you could have them digitally sign a contract saying that they alone are liable for their actions. Very similar to the "Skate at your own risk.!" Sign at skating rinks. under most circumstances if someone gets hurt at your business then you are liable, unless its posted that upon entering that one assumes responsibility for their own safety, then suddenly its not the business owner's problem. simply because there was a sign.

still, a proxy server acting as a gateway would be a better idea as you wouldn't have to pay someone to sit around and invade privacy for hours a day.

commented: helpful!! +7

Totally back what diamonddrake is saying. The system you are suggesting would be a huge invasion of privacy. Also, if you have multiple machines in use, you would have to flick rapidly between machines to try and watch everybody. Likewise, if you take a break or serve a customer you are no longer monitoring activity.
Much better to block activity all together. As diamonddrake said, a proxy/gateway that filtered out undesirable content would offer full time protection without constant supervision.