battlegrounds for Internet filter fights


The Citizen Times has a story on how filtering is become as issue in NC.

At issue is whether government-funded public library systems should install Internet \"filters\" designed to stop computer users from visiting sites deemed obscene or offensive, and if so, whether such filters unconstitutionally censor material.

For some library users, such as Art Joseph of Asheville, the question has a clear-cut answer. \"You need some type of filter. You can access anything on the Internet and I don\'t think the library is the place for that.\"

For Joseph, who moved to Asheville from Grand Rapids, Mich., 18 months ago, the library\'s computers offer him the chance to pursue his interest in automobiles. But he thinks unfettered access to sites can spell only trouble.

Young people today are so computer savvy that \"if they can punch it up on the computer, they\'ll punch it up,\" Joseph said. \"But if you\'re of a certain age, you should have some type of supervision.\"

That\'s just the type of policy the Asheville-Buncombe Library System follows. With only four Internet-ready computers at Pack Library, and one in each of its branch libraries, the system requires children 12 and under to have a parent at their side while surfing. Children 13 to 17 years old can have a parent sign a permission slip that allows them to surf unchaperoned.

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