Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003
(libraries) CIPA constitutional - Supreme Court  
In a black day for my American colleagues, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Children's Internet Protection Act is constitutional. This would force public libraries to install filtering software if they want to be eligible for federal funding. This is in spite of the fact that:

(a) filtering software doesn't work;
(b) librarians aren't your children's guardians, anyway; and
(c) filtering software doesn't work.

To give an example of the problem, here's a link to a site which I was blocked from accessing by the porn filter at my work (follow the link - it's completely, absurdly worksafe). How this was considered porn, I don't know - I read the page over and over and couldn't find anything untoward on it.

Jenny has a great round up of links and commentary - there's a good thread on Slashdot which she links to.

Not recent, but Unshelved ran a great series of strips last year on the subject.

Weird thing is, people seem to think its a good idea. Even people I would assume would be free-thinking, anti-censorship. No-one's yet given me a good reason why the internet should be filtered, but they've come up with a few points as to why my arguments against it are no good...but still, no justification for doing it in the first place.


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