Christian group pushing to filter porn from San Jose libraries

The Mercury News: A Christian group led in part by a former San Jose city councilman is pushing for anti-pornography filters on computers at the city's public libraries. "We want to provide free access to information. Parents are certainly welcome to guide children's use, but it's certainly not the library's role to do that," branch manager Pam Crider said.


WSU restricts public Internet access over inappropriate sites

A few bad apples just about ruined it for everyone.

Public Internet access at the Winona State University campus has been restricted until new policies can be put into place, said Larry Hardesty, interim director of the Darrell W. Krueger Library.

Hardesty said recent incidents of people looking at questionable material — including possible child pornography — forced him to rethink how to monitor Internet users at the library.

Teen hacks 'useless' Australian Govt porn filter

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".


NetAlert gives Australian public libraries free filtering

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.


US Senators call for universal Internet filtering

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.


Rochester Library agrees to Internet restrictions

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 didn’t ban pornographic Web sites there.

Rochester Board President Defends Internet Policy

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."


Teens break into library to view X-rated Web sites

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.

Complete story here.


Filter foils senator's porn demo

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.

Rochester Libraries Adopt New Filtering Policy - Kinda

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 — upon request — 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.

One Citzen's Response to Mandatory Filtering

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 commenters that "the people" want filtering in the library."


Rochester Library to Look at Internet Options

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.


More On Illinois Librarian Censorware Protest

Seth Finkelstein writes "For mainstream coverage of the Illinois Librarian Protest, see
Library group looks to pull plug on Internet for a day
Demonstration to cut Danville library's Internet service
Illinois Library Association executive director, Robert P. Doyle,
"said the filters provide a false sense of security and block important information"."


Rochester Library to extend Web ban as it writes policy

The Battle Continues in Rochester NY. The Central Library of Rochester today is expected to extend a ban on viewing explicit Web sites there as it grapples with establishing an Internet policy that appeases Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and saves millions in county aid from the chopping block.

The library has been under fire from Brooks over a longstanding policy that let patrons, upon request, unblock potentially inappropriate or pornographic Web sites. The library says the policy complies with federal law and free speech.

Yet Brooks counters that the library isn't required by federal law to unblock Web sites deemed inappropriate. She is threatening to strip $6.6 million in county aid to the Central Library, a cut that would likely force it to close. Brooks' response was spurred by a television report that showed people viewing pornography on the library's computers.


Official votes to "Screw Constitutional Rights"

An Anonymous Patron writes "An intrepid citizen has posted a video to YouTube that catches Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell saying "screw constitutional rights" and then voting to do just that by imposing an unconstitutional filtering policy in the Sacramento Public Library.

See: Can A Public Library Screw Your Constitutional Rights?"

Update: 04/17 21:14 GMT by B :The Councilwoman regrets her commentary but still supports blocking porn...CBS story and video


Forum on Web access at library draws 100-plus

One From Rochester, NY where The debate involves Internet access at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County specifically, County Executive Maggie Brooks' threat to pull funding unless the library stops allowing adult patrons to view pornographic and other sites blocked by its filtering system.

More than 100 people turned out Thursday at the downtown library for the first of three public forums organized by city-county task force addressing the issue.

Roughly one-third of the audience spoke, with comments running 2-to-1 in favor of allowing adults to request such access.

Virginia passes law requiring filters on public library computers

Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine (D) just signed into law a bill that requires all public libraries in the state to install Internet filters to block pornography and "obscene" materials that may be harmful to minors. Those choosing not to do so will forfeit all state funding. The new law will take effect on July 1st.
More on the story here.


COPA and censoring the Internet

Seth Finkelstein writes "LISnews'ers may enjoy my recent column discussing
and censorware

"If a control system works for parents using it for what teenagers can
see, it will work for governments using it for what citizens can
see. Likewise, if citizens can escape government control of what they
can read, teenagers will be able to escape parental control of what
they can read. Now, pick one.""


XXX section to open in CUNY Newman Library

News From Baruch CUNY: For three years several departments in the Weissman School of Liberal Arts have twisted the nipples of the Newman Library for the instillation of an erotic literature and film section. Once a department from the Zicklin School of Business joined the fight, the Newman Library could no longer disregard the need for a sexually explicit media section.
The section will open on the south-west quadrant of the fourth floor, converting a large study room into a secluded, dimly lit filth-pot. Since some freshmen below the age of 18 enter the college, a second form of identification will be checked near the beaded entrance by a bulky bald man named Ivan.

Internet porn at library argued

Libraries around the country are struggling with whether the need to protect children and other patrons outweighs the rights of visitors to view legally protected pornographic images on library computers.

That debate simmered Thursday in Sacramento, with the board governing the Sacramento Public Library ultimately adopting an Internet-use policy aimed at maintaining a "safe, welcoming and comfortable environment."


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