prohibiting children from crossing the road by themselves would make more sense than banning them from accessing the Internet alone
Most parents DO prohibit children from crossing the road by themselves, at least until they're old enough to understand the danger. Unfortunately the age that most kids understand the danger of the internet is much higher than the age that they understand the danger of crossing the road.
A child who feels able to discuss most details of their online activities with an interested parent is likely to be far more safe.
Very true. And to be fair I don't plan of banning my kids outright from anything online except the obvious stuff like illegal sites and porn. In fact my daughter already has a FB account (in violation of FB's age policy - my wife's doing, but I didn't protest or ban her from it when I found out after the fact). I will insist on knowing who they're talking to when they get old enough for it to be an issue. Part of that will come from the computer being in the living room, and for fairness my computer is in the living room also.