Push to block Internet porn gains momentum


The US Congress is threatening to cut off money to public libraries and schools that fail to block children\'s access to Internet pornography, but President Clinton and several powerful interest groups oppose such use of federal financial clout as an exercise of censorship.
John McCain, in the senate, and Ernest Istookwould, in the house want to stop money from the federal e-rate program, and from a range of education other programs. The Star Tribune has a Story:

\"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.

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.

The American Library Association, a lobby and professional association with 60,000 member librarians, is opposing McCain\'s legislation and similar measures in Congress. Other opponents include the American Civil Liberties Union; the National Education Association, which represents 2.5 million teachers and administrators, and several technology groups.

Beverly Becker, associate director of the Library Association\'s office of intellectual freedom, said use of Internet filtering devices at public libraries violates the group\'s pledge to promote free and open access.

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