August 2004

Phoenix Looks for Porn Solution

Even though the Arizona state legislature is looking at legislation that would mandate filtering, the Phoenix is looking to make it illegal for patrons to request filter disabling at the city level. While there are tons of “libraries looking at filtering options” stories this one about Phoenix’s library system is interesting for this statement from the Arizona Republic:

Other cities, such as San Francisco and Salt Lake City, have opted to forgo federal funding to keep computers filter-free. Officials in Des Plaines, Ill., recently enacted what some say is a very creative solution: Their filters stay on all the time, but block only pornographic images, not text.

It’s my understanding that CIPA requires that ONLY graphic images be blocked in the first place, but that such filtering technology is not widely available or on the market. Anyone have any clues about this, or is it a misrepresentation? If there is such a filter, I’d like to buy stock.

Also, the way this story, and many are written, the average reader would believe that it’s perfectly okay to access obscene materials in libraries and elsewhere. Obscenity and child porn are illegal. Period.

$1G fines for CA. Library Cell Phone Users sends “news of a new ordinance in Huntington Beach, CA where folks who violate the sanctity of the library with a “What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor” or “Fur Elise” ring tone, or any other cell phone use risk a fine. First time violators will get a warning. Keep it up, buster, and you’ll be shelling out a thousand bucks. From Mercury News.

Q&A, Blogging and Wondir

Allen Searls writes “My name is Allen Searls, VP of Community at (also, which has recently grown into the leading free Q&A site on the web, although we’re still really in our infancy.

Although we get thousands of questions on all topics every day at, we really want to improve the quality of answers provided. Given their academic and reference experience, would like to invite librarians, especially library bloggers, to jump in, answer questions and test their knowledge. We’re perfectly fine with librarians promoting their blogs in their answers as well.

I hope you’ll consider checking out Wondir, registering (although it’s optional) answering a few questions and blogging about it. It would be great to hear your thoughts.


Allen Searls
VP Community
Wondir Inc.

Wondir Land Weblog:

U.S. Tally in Online-Crime Sweep: 150 Charged

The Justice Department announced Thursday that more than 150 people had been arrested, charged or convicted in the last three months in a wide-ranging sweep of criminal activity on the Internet.

The cases, involving credit card fraud, corporate espionage and other offenses, are part of what the department called Operation Web Snare. The sweep was conducted by 37 offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 13 divisions of the Postal Inspection Service and other federal and local agencies. Investigators have identified more than 150,000 victims with losses in excess of $215 million. Read all about it. [registration required]