Filtering software for Tasmanian libraries

Anonymous Patron writes "Here's a Press release from Paula Wriedt, MHA, Minister for Education Tasmanian public libraries and Online Access Centres will use filtering software to block access to pornographic and inappropriate websites from their computers from early next year to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate content by patrons and staff. Education Minister Paula Wriedt said today that a review of filtering policies within the State Library and Online Access Centres was completed, and advice had been received from the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board and the Tasmanian Communities Online Advisory Board. "The Tasmanian Government has developed a network of 48 branch and city libraries and 65 Online Access Centres that enables the Tasmanian community to have access to the Internet," she said. "Despite the educational and social benefits of the internet, there are risks associated with its use, and filtering technologies are now being used to protect young people against websites that are unsuitable. "Adult clients will also be protected from the alarm and embarrassment of inadvertently accessing pornographic material in a public place or witnessing someone else accessing this material. "Filtering will also remove the requirement of library and Online Access Centre staff having to confront and remove patrons accessing inappropriate material." Ms Wriedt said that libraries and Online Access Centres will now be filtered at the same level as Internet access in schools. "In the event that some legitimate websites are blocked in error, staff will seek to get the filtering service provider to unblock these sites for patrons to access upon request." "Some concerns have been expressed about web filtering being a form of censorship. However I am firmly of the belief that we must do everything we can to ensure that members of the public and staff are not subjected to inadvertently viewing inappropriate material that others may choose to access.""

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