The Geopolitics of Asian Cyberspace

Seth Finkelstein writes "Far Eastern Economic Review —
The Geopolitics of Asian Cyberspace
(Ronald Deibert): "The increased sophistication of Internet content filtering practices
can be attributed, in part, to the services provided by Western
(mostly U.S.-based) software and Internet service firms. Whereas once
the best and brightest of Silicon Valley were associated with wiring
the world, and opening up access to vast stores of information, today
they are just as likely to be known for doing the opposite. Although
Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo!, Skype, and Google have all come under
scrutiny for colluding with China's Internet censorship practices,
perhaps the most significant, serious, and yet overlooked contribution to Internet censorship by Western corporations comes from the manufacturers of the filtering software used to block content.""


Mount Clemens PL pulls plug on internet access

RobertL writes "An article in the online edition of the
 reports that the Mount Clemens Public Library in Michigan is no longer
providing intenet access for patrons because of a '"large increase" in
visitors using the free Internet service to access what the library termed
obscene material in violation of library policies.'"


ACLU-WA Sues Library Over Censorware

Seth Finkelstein writes "Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, three library users and a nonprofit organization today brought suit to ensure that patrons of a library system in Eastern Washington have access to useful and lawful information on the Internet. The lawsuit challenges the library system's policy of using a restrictive Internet filter to bar access to information on its computers and of refusing to honor requests by adult patrons to temporarily disable the filter for sessions of uncensored reading and research."


Hartford CT Library Calls Police on Sex Offender

Anonymous Patron writes "A convicted sex offender was observed using a public terminal at the Hartford Public Library for what a library official called "inaappropriate activity". The homeless man was subsequently arrested on "charges of breach of peace and possession of child pornography". The Courant reports ."


Miami-Dade Public Library Backslides On Censorware

Seth Finkelstein writes "In response to previous
Miami-Dade Public Library Censorware Frustrations, the library
said it would improve unblocking procedures. The lastest
report from Michael Froomkin is "a good chunk of that statement is now inoperative. ... it represents a grave breach of faith with library patrons. How many other whitelisted sites have been surreptitiously re-blocked?""


Screens to hide porn at Arizona libraries

Anonymous Patron writes " The Tucson-Pima Public Library will install privacy screens around its computers so passers-by won't be exposed to pornography.The Pima County Board of Supervisors adopted that policy on Tuesday in response to concerns about viewing of online pornography at library branches.But they postponed a decision on whether to require the use of filters on all computers, instead of just children's computers. They want to create a committee to study the issue, but they set no deadline for recommendations."


Lubbock, TX Libraries Considering Porn Filters

kctipton writes "Here in of the nation's most conservative counties, the issue has finally come up that the Lubbock city council wants internet porn totally filtered, with the Mayor Pro Tem sharing an anecdotal story (and I doubt it's true) that "his daughter was recently using a public library computer and noticed the gentleman next to her was looking at a sexually explicit Web site." (If you view the article above you'll see a picture that shows the way that many (but not all) of the terminals at the library's four branches are secluded below eye level.)

"Instead of filters, Lubbock libraries require parental approval if children under the age of 17 want to use the Internet."

So, with this sort of arrangement, why demand filters? Politics is my guess, knowing what I know about this town. The article goes on to explain why the Lubbock libraries don't filter, why many libraries don't filter, and how filtering has been shown to not be as effective as some people want it to be."


MD Libraries Rethink Unrestricted Web

Anonymous Patron writes "Washington Post: The Howard County library system is reviewing its highly unusual procedure of allowing its patrons unfettered access to the Internet. In recent years, most public library systems in Maryland have installed Internet filtering programs that block access to Web sites containing obscene or pornographic material. Howard officials are tracking usage of the computers to see whether and how often patrons are accessing objectionable sites, said Charles J. Broida, a trustee who also serves a counsel to the library system. The tracking method does not reveal the identities of patrons, but it does show what they're viewing."


Congress eyes Net porn laws

From The AP: Internet providers told Congress on Tuesday they're doing all they can to combat online child pornography, but they were told to expect legislation.

Several providers voiced skepticism about creating new laws that would force them to retain data about their users' online activity.

Any such measure would be costly, easily circumvented and would ``fall far short of its intended goal,'' AOL chief counsel John Ryan told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.

Lawmakers, however, said more must be done to stop the availability of child porn on the Web and chat rooms where pedophiles troll for young victims.

A state government discovers filtering's limits

jepling writes "State's effort to block Web sites has plenty of holes: Inconsistency sparks criticismKentucky state employees can still surf to humor, sports, blogs, and other sites despite efforts to filter them. The state's campaign to filter Web sites has not been entirely successful, as shown by a reporter's sampling of sites on a state computer. The purpose of the filtering is to keep state employees focused on state business while on state time. Louisville Courier-Journal has the scoop"



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