Are There Other Ways to Protect Children on the Web?

Submitted by Steven on Tue, 02/18/2003 - 08:09

"On March 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case involving the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA mandates that public libraries cannot receive certain types of important federal funding unless they comply with a condition: They must install, on their publicly accessible computers, filtering software that attempts to block the user - whether an adult or a minor - from accessing obscenity or child pornography, both of which are illegal.""A group of libraries, library associations, library patrons, and Web publishers sued to invalidate CIPA, arguing that it violates the First Amendment. After an eight day trial, a special three-judge court, composed of one federal appeals judge and two federal district judges, agreed.""The opinion raises numerous questions, some of them very technical. In this column, I will address only one: if the Supreme Court agrees with the three-judge court, and strikes down CIPA, will there be any way to protect children who use the Internet in public libraries, or to catch those persons who use public library terminals to access child pornography?" (from Findlaw's Writ)