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Redcardlibrarian writes "To Elena Smith, libraries are bastions of free thought. And to her, unfiltered access to the Internet is a crucial part of that.
"I think the Internet is the most exciting new information tool we have," she said. "I think adults should have access to the full range of information on the Internet."
Yet during her six years as a member of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Board of Trustees, Smith says, she has seen increasing limits placed on Internet access at the behest of critics who equate allowing unfiltered access with handing out pornography.
Dan Duringer is one of those critics.
"We think pornography and obscenity breaks down families," he said. He has voiced his criticism of the library system's policy in letters to the editor and public meetings. He said he resents "the whole attitude that they are going to make library facilities available for all legal material."
"Despite China's five million bloggers, the Communist Party remains firmly in control of the nation and, for the most part, the Internet within its borders. Iran's blogging community is perhaps the country's liveliest political arena, yet the authoritarian Iranian government is stronger than ever, especially after a resounding victory in February 2004 elections. Contrary to the utopian view that the Internet evades local control, governments are proving adept at controlling the information that their citizens receive and share. Market freedom does not necessarily lead to personal freedom. We must at times limit the first to safeguard the second; the right to sell must sometimes yield to protect the right to speak.""
Seth Finkelstein writes "The "Miami-Dade
Public Library Censorware Frustrations" story now has a happy ending "They unblocked digicrime.com from the PC network. They are going to put into place procedures which allow on-the-spot blocking overrides for the laptops they lend out in the library ... they've unblocked port 22 ... I'm impressed." (as I say, "Alacrity varies with publicity")"
Sounds Like They had fun at the Vancouver, Washington, Community Library on Monday Night where a crowd of about 35 passionate and outspoken people talked about freedom of speech, religion and individual standards of decency. At Fort Vancouver Regional libraries, those 17 and older can use a few unfiltered Internet terminals. That means folks could Google anything they want, including porn, critics say.
"Pornography makes it unsafe," said Andrew Campbell of Washougal, who said he has seen "objectionable material" in library printers. He called for an army of retired volunteers to monitor Internet access. "Please consider contacting the elderly," he said. "They have a lot of time on their hands. Their families often abandon them in homes and they'd like to help." He invoked Jesus as he stated his opposition, "I call upon the Christians in our community," he said.
The Columbian - Vancouver,WA, Editorial Page Says a win-win solution for beleaguered Fort Vancouver Regional Library officials in their continuing battle to get a much-needed bond issue passed: Treat your electronic offerings the same way you treat your print offerings.
When books and magazines are "selected" for libraries, no one screams, "Censorship!" It's part of what librarians do. Since not every book and magazine in the world can be placed in a library, these documents must be selected and, yes, taste judgments often are made. Why not do the same thing for Internet access?
Seth Finkelstein writes "Michael Froomkin has an account of
with Miami-Dade public library censorware:
"The branch librarians are sympathetic, especially about the blocked
sites, but they don't control the filter list or the wireless port
blocking policies. ... All that computer stuff is handled by some
distant, faceless, unresponsive central administration. So my requests
for changes to the policy, so far, go unheeded, including written
requests a week ago to unblock a site, and open port 22.""
Seth Finkelstein writes "In an article
the .xxx domain, Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for
America, states as one alleged flaw
"There are many Web sites that provide
the numeric IP address when a user enters a .com name. All that's
necessary to get to a Web site that's blocked by a filter is to put
its numeric IP address into the Web browser and hit "go." If one
computer-savvy kid knows that, how long do you think it will take the
information to pass through cyberspace to other kids?"."
Seth Finkelstein writes "The OpenNet Initiative has released a report about censorware in Tunisia.
According to the press release: "In what has become a familiar pattern, once again our research
finds a U.S.-based company, Secure Computing, providing services to a repressive regime.""
Turner writes "Hey kids, Rock and RollNobody tells you where to goBaby...Peacefire announces a new filter bypass circumvention proxy websiteIt will by pass most filters and if filter companies catch up to it (which they think is only selectively probable) There is an alternate plan.Build your own cheap circomventor proxy websiteMore info at sparkpod.com/Turner"
Anonymous Patron writes "So back in July, Yvonne LeFever was with her children at the Norwood Public Library for a program called "Science in the Summer" and after it was over, one of the kids decided to log on to the computer in the childrenâ€™s section. LeFever just happened to be there when the 14-year-old attempting to access a music video suddenly found herself face to face with a lesbian porn video that some clever boy, girl or adult had managed to download and leave for some unsuspecting child to view."