Filtering Update

The Nando Times has this article on recent developments in the filtering controversy.\"In recent weeks, the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed measures to cut off federal funds to any public library or school that refuses to install filtering devices on computers used by people under 18.\"

\"The Senate bill, written by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would stop money from the federal e-rate program, which uses revenue from a special telephone excise fee set up in 1998 to pay for schools and libraries to provide Internet access.\"

\"The House measure sponsored by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., would cut off other funds from a range of education programs.\"

\"Those bills are part of annual appropriations packages stymied in broader disputes between Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress over education and health-care funding levels.\"

\"While the larger spending disputes will be ironed out in weeks of negotiations between the White House and Congress, Capitol Hill aides say some form of controls on underage Internet access will likely emerge at the end.\"

\"McCain said there are 30,000 pornographic Web sites. His bill also would allow libraries to block access to other sites they deem inappropriate for young people, such as those that advocate violence, glorify suicide or promote hatred toward targeted groups.\"

\"As we wire America\'s children to the Internet, we are inviting these dirt bags to prey upon our children in every classroom and library in America,\" McCain said in a Senate debate last month.\"

\"McCain published in the Congressional Record a letter of support from 27 mainly conservative groups across the country, including the North Carolina Christian Action League in Raleigh.\"

\"Online pornography is so harmful to people\'s lives,\" said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Raleigh group. \"It may seem like harmless behavior, but these activities can quickly lead to addiction and compulsive behavior that poisons relationships in the real world. And worst of all is exposing young minds to things they are not ready to be exposed to.\"

\"Stephen Boyd, a White House spokesman, said Clinton favors allowing local communities to decide how to protect children from Internet pornography.\"

\"While the administration strongly supports efforts to ensure that schools and libraries protect minors from inappropriate materials, the federal government should not mandate a particular type of technology such as filtering or blocking software in the dynamically changing technological environment we have,\" Boyd said.\"

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