Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
Seth Finkelstein writes "Free
Expression Policy Project has a press release on
censorware and the "COPA" decision: "Ironically, in view of the ACLU's educational materials pointing out
the massive censorship potential of filters, the ACLU and its fellow
plaintiffs now presented experts touting filters' virtues, while the
government, which had praised filters a few years earlier when it
successfully defended a federal law that mandated their use in schools
and libraries now pointed out their flaws. The ACLU explained its
apparent inconsistency by saying that filters are fine as long as
nobody is compelled to use them.""
The BBC Reports Scottish Borders Council has said its checks are working at local libraries after a Galashiels man was convicted of downloading child pornography. "We further tightened up on our procedures and our ability to monitor if internet users have been accessing illegal sites."
That resulted in improved computer servers and new software being installed.
"If we come across areas that we are concerned about then the police have been quite clear that we should pass information on to them," said Mr Brown.
After a report on an NBC affiliate last month about the availability of pornographic materials at the Monroe County Library System in upstate New York, the library board has buckled down to study the issue with a special task force.
This article and TV clip shows scenes from the broadcast, along with a stern-faced County Executive Maggie Brooks who directed the library board to immediately prevent access, even to adults, of CIPA filtered sites. She has also threatened to pull nearly seven million dollars in funding if the library fails to permanently change its internet porn policy.
"Morality is the real 'inconvenient truth'." Frank Miele thanks the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Supreme Court for the mess our country has become. "Indeed, our society today has been so habituated to immoral behavior that most of us don't even know it is immoral any longer."
"Backed by one court order after another, what could be called the apotheosis of the individual has made it almost impossible for modern society to regulate itself as a group. The group must always bow to the individual, not the other way around. This sounds great to our liberty-loving people until you realize that the proper word for such a system is anarchy."
Jean Armour Polly sent an email to the NYLINE List with a link to Bill S2298- The NYS Public Library Filtering Bill. It was introduced into the NY Senate last month, "in relation to requiring filtering software on computers in public libraries and schools to prevent minors from viewing indecent materials." John A. DeFrancisco is the man with the plan to protect children from Internet predators, child pornography, exploitive "child modeling" web sites, and child prostitution. His call is in response to a report issued by the Senate Majority entitled "Protecting Children in the Internet Age."
I don't seem to be able to link directly to the text O' the bill, but you can start Here and search for bill # S2298. It's current status "REFERRED TO EDUCATION"
Seth Finkelstein writes "An opinion column on censorware in libraries describes how it will "block material that might be obscenity or child pornography, but also material protected by the First Amendment.
As the head librarian for the city of Phoenix, Toni Garvey, told the committee, "filters block things that are perfectly legal and useful, and you don't know what you've blocked."""
Follow Up from Raochester, NY, where, like any good library board, a new committee was formed! Wednesday morning a joint board meeting brought together trustees from the county library system and the Rochester Public Library. They passed a resolution creating a task force which will spend the next 30 days studying the issue to figure out what they can do to balance child protection and first amendment rights. More
News From Rochester, NY where the County Executive has apparently been asleep for the past decade.
In a strongly worded letter to Paula Smith, director of the county library system, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said she was "stunned" and "mortified" that the library would allow people, upon request, to obtain access to pornographic sites.
Brooks is threatening to halt about $7.5 million in county funding for the downtown library if it doesn't tighten restrictions. The loss of the money, about 70 percent of the library's budget, would essentially put the library out of business and cripple the library system in Monroe County.
Don't worry, she's doing it, for the children... "As a mother I was horrified to see our community's children put in a position of being exposed to matters beyond their comprehension in some cases, in a place designed for learning," Brooks said.
Slashdot: From Bess to Worse. An unusually long essay over at Slashdot takes a look at filtering, Bess in particular..
"...result? I'm still tabulating data, but it looks as if the accuracy rate is roughly the same as it was in 2000, when about 30% of blocked sites were obvious errors. Then and now, I found most of the errors by starting with a large list of URLs culled from search engines and other sources, and simply running them through the software to see what was blocked."
Seth Finkelstein writes "Here's a spokesmanreview.com article covering the ongoing Washington State libary censorware lawsuit: "At the heart of the federal case is the right to unfettered access to legal materials on the Internet in rural areas, where broadband connections are generally fewer and farther between than in urban and suburban America.""