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A Melbourne teenager who has managed to circumvent the Federal Government's internet pornography filter has described it as "completely useless". "I downloaded it on Tuesday to see how good it was, because for $84 million I would have expected a pretty unbreakable filter," he said.
"Tried a few things, it took about half an hour and [the filter] was completely useless."
Mr Wood described the situation as "extremely ridiculous".
Australian public libraries will receive free ISP security filtering to help protect users from online dangers as part of the Federal Government's $189 million National Filtering Scheme announced yesterday.
A site called Press Esc Says US senators made a bipartisan call for the universal implementation of filtering and monitoring technologies on the Internet in order to protect children at the end of a Senate hearing for which civil liberties groups were not invited.
Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) both argued that Internet was a dangerous place where parents alone will not be able to protect their children.
The Rochester Public Library will go along with recommendations from a task force to ban pornographic Web sites at city libraries after the county's library system agreed to the policy in May.
The city's library board was torn over whether to agree to the task force recommendations, but relented in order to preserve $6.6 million in county aid. Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks threatened to pull the money if the Central Library didnâ€™t ban pornographic Web sites there.
Anonymous Patron writes "The president of the Rochester Public Library Board of Trustees, John Lovenheim, has published his response to the critics calling for a stringent Internet filtering policy in the local newspaper:
"Some have argued that pornography on the Internet is a collection issue. They say we censor books every day by not including them in our collection. They are wrong. The RPL acquisition policy has no references to the type of material that will be excluded, only what standards will be used to choose material given limited resources and limited space. The library never has and never will exclude a piece because it may be offensive to some.
There is a body of law that has developed that likens the Internet to an encyclopedia. Like an encyclopedia, the library may include it or exclude it, but it may not remove portions of that encyclopedia that it does not like based on content.
Others have argued that even though pornography is legally protected speech, the library is not bound to supply it. We do not supply pornography to our patrons, we supply Internet access. There is a big difference."
The full article can be accessed here on the Democrat and Chronicle web site."
Darkness fell. Doors closed. Lights went off.
The public library here became an attractive place for an unusual pattern of repeat break-ins.
When police finally caught the intruders, they learned that the boys, ages 13 and 15, didn't go into the building to steal computers, books or equipment.
In fact, they didn't want to steal anything.
Both gained access to the library for one purpose only: to view sexually explicit material on public computer terminals, said Police Chief Sam Christiansen.
Filters Foil Frivolous Fear Mongering. Software has prevented Family First (Australian) senator Steve Fielding from showing Communications Minister Helen Coonan internet pornography on her Parliament House office computer. Senator Coonan initially agreed to allow Senator Fielding to show her offensive material that could be accessed from her office computer and asked him to carry out a similar demonstration at the National Library.
However, as the time drew near for the demonstrations, Senator Coonan said she had discovered that there was an internet filtering program on the computers in her office.
The War May Be Over. A ban on pornographic Web sites at Monroe County libraries was adopted Wednesday, a move expected to preserve county funding for the Central Library of Rochester but leaves library leaders at odds over whether the decision is censorship.
The two boards that oversee policies for the Central Library and the county library system were under threat of essentially having the Central Library shut down by County Executive Maggie Brooks over a long-held policy that had let adult patrons â€” upon request â€” unblock potentially inappropriate or pornographic Web sites.
But how the policy will be implemented and what librarians will deem pornographic remains unclear. And because both library boards didn't approve the policy, officials were unsure whether the new policy would extend to the Central Library. Also, it's uncertain what impact the policy would have on existing rules at town libraries, each of which has its own boards.
Anonymous Patron writes "Here's a letter to the editor from a local citizen assailing the proposed Illinois mandatory filtering bill:
"If Joyce or Smith [the sponsor and a promoter of the filtering bill] wishes to censor things coming into his own home, that is their right. I respect that. But neither man was appointed or elected to be the official censor for this area.
The library is not your home. It is a public forum. The library exists as a repository for information in many forms and media. It is a public resource and is open to all. Censorship is antithetical to the basic function and purpose of a library.
I also wish that any would-be censor would have the courage to simply state that he or she does not believe in freedom of speech.
Just say that you do not trust your fellow citizens to decide for themselves what they can safely read, or see or hear. Just tell us that you have appointed yourself to be the official judge of what free Americans can do."
Interesting commentary, given all the talk by some lisnews.org commenters that "the people" want filtering in the library."
A task force will recommend that the Central Library of Rochester (NY) block patrons from viewing "pornographic and explicit" websites unless prior authorization is given by library administrators. The recommendation is offered in an attempt to keep County Executive Maggie Brooks from pulling $6.6 million in funding.
If she cut the library's money, it would essentially have to close. As a result, the library's board in February put a moratorium on unblocking Web sites picked up by the library's filtering system, and a task force was established to decide what to do.
More from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.