Long wait for porn filters in Australia

News From Australia where they say will be six months before families can obtain a free filter to block offensive material on home computers.

The technology is, however, available at cost price from internet service providers under an existing child protection scheme.
Details of the Howard Government's $116 million attempt to make all internet-enabled home and library computers child-friendly remain patchy.

It is likely parents and library staff will select accredited filtering software from a central site.


Cleveland investigative reporter tackles porn in libraries

Carl Monday, an investigative journalist from a TV station in Cleveland, turns his attention to porn on the library computers in two video segments here and here. The segments contain all the hallmarks of Geraldo Rivera style reportage, including shoving microphones in people's faces, dramatic family confrontations, and lots of cursing. The reporter also has a blog entry on his segments with 49 comments so far.

Kids outsmart Web filters

One From CNet on those darn kids. Nowadays, an increasing number of teenagers are setting up proxies on home PCs to sidestep school filtering traps, in addition to using free proxies set up on the Web, according to technologists at schools and at content-filtering technology providers.

Proxies are just one of many tricks that kids use to break locks put on forbidden material--a pursuit of almost any young generation. As more schools place tight controls on PCs to stop kids from file-sharing, instant messaging, social networking or looking at undesirable material online, the kids are getting more clever, tech experts say.


Censorware Report - Free Expression Policy Project

Seth Finkelstein writes "The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), requires censorware in
most schools and libraries for adults and minors alike. A new report
from the Free Expression Policy Project at the Brennan Center for
Justice explains the effects of CIPA and then analyzes nearly 100
tests and studies that demonstrate how filters operate as censorship
tools. "Internet Filters: A Public Policy Report" concludes: Although
some may say that the debate is over and that filters are now a fact
of life, it is never too late to rethink bad policy choices. The
report is available at [PDF]"


School filters vs. home proxies

A teenager at a Pennsylvania school gets caught handing out business cards with instructions on how to circumvent his school's Web filter.

But instead of throwing the school discipline book at him, administrators offer a choice: They'll give him a break if he lets the school's tech people know how he beat the system. CNET Has The Story.

Filter blocks based on contents, not list

jbz writes "Here's PC magazine's review of an internet filter, currently being marketed to parents, that claims to evaluate and block inappropriate websites based on scans of actual content, not listing on a blacklist.


The Debate in Tucson: Is the Library a Place for Porn?

MG75 writes "As we all know when it comes to computers in the library, there is the debate to filter or not to filter. Pima County government is about to take over the operation of the Tuscon-Pima Public Library from the city in a few months and will be installing filters on all of the computers in the library. Here is the story from
the Arizona Daily Star."


Censoreware Critics....rejoice

Turner writes ""Web site operators posting sexually explicit information must place official government warning labels on their pages or risk being imprisoned for up to five years, the Bush administration proposed Thursday.A mandatory rating system will "prevent people from inadvertently stumbling across pornographic images on the Internet," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at an event in Alexandria, Va."Story @ CNET The irony ...the irony...."


Libraries in Finland Oppose Censorware

Seth Finkelstein writes "Libraries of large Finnish cities
oppose a Minister's censorware proposal:
"The public library is a sanctuary of the freedom of speech, and it has to allow its customers to have free access to all sites", says Library Manager Seija Koppa from Vantaa."

In Helsinki, the public libraries restrain only the use of the RuneScape online game that is popular among young library-users.
The libraries regard the browsing of indecent websites on their premises as a minor problem. "


UA does not prohibit porn in libraries

A Tale Of Bare Boobies from the University of Alabama. A student said he tried to not pay attention as a man scrolled through pictures of naked women and people having sexual intercourse, but he finally complained to one of the library's staff members. Phillips said he was shocked when he was told the library staff had no power to stop the man from looking at pornography. But that's not entirely true, said Louis Pitschmann, dean of UA libraries.

"To say there is no policy is incorrect," Pitschmann said.

In accordance with the principles of the American Library Association, UA library workers cannot monitor or control what people look at on the computers, Pitschmann said.

Porn complaints decrease since Academic Library installed filters

The ASU Web Devil reports ASU police have seen a significant drop in calls related to pornography since filters were installed on many of the University's library computers last semester, officials said.

So far this school year, ASU Department of Public Safety has not handled any cases involving child pornography on a library computer, said Sgt. Jim Hardina, investigations unit supervisor for the department.

Group charges libraries filtered out Web site

Jeanie Straub writes "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 'The Council of Conservative Citizens, a nationwide group ... portrayed as racist, is suing four libraries in the St. Louis area for allegedly blocking patrons from viewing its Web site.' Read the full story at"

If You See Something, Say Something - Filtering in Solano County

In the spring of 2005 Vacaville (CA) resident Toni Horn brought her daughter to the city's Town Square library where the two caught a glimpse of a pornographic image off a young user's monitor. Horn complained to county supervisors and a firestorm erupted, resulting in the installation this week of filtering software onto the approximately 225 computers at the seven library Solano County system. Not all the users approve of the change, including 15-year-old Willie Sample, who was informed of the filtering while accessing his MySpace account. More from the Vacaville Reporter.


Microsoft to include filtering/monitoring

madcow writes "Boingboing has the link to an article in Reuter's about MS plans.

"Microsoft plans to roll out Windows Live Family Safety Settings in the summer, which will allow parents to filter Web sites and receive reports to see what their children are doing online. The company also plans to eventually allow parents to control who communicates with their children over e-mail, instant messaging and in their blogs."

As a parent I'm still trying to come to grips with the problem of inappropriate things for my kids. I'm also aware of how badly most filtering software operates. I suspect we'll continue to just make sure the kids computer stays out in the family room..."


After complaints, Fort Vancouver Washington libraries to filter computers

Looks like there's finally movement in the long running battle over filters in Washington State. The Columbian and report In response to complaints about pornography, libraries in the Vancouver area will filter the Internet for all computer users.
The Fort Vancouver Library board voted last night to change its policy. Previously, people over the age of 17 were allowed unfiltered access to the Internet.

No specifics on the filtering method were disclosed.


China: Thinking Of The Children Too

The NYTimes Has some coverage of a "rare" briefing with Liu Zhengrong, supervisor og Internet affairs for the information office of the Chinese State Council, or cabinet, did not dispute charges that China operates a technologically sophisticated firewall to protect the ruling Communist Party against what it treats as Web-based challenges from people inside China and abroad.

Mr. Liu said the major thrust of the Chinese effort to regulate content on the Web was aimed at preventing the spread of pornography or other content harmful to teenagers and children. He said that its concerns in this area differ minimally from those in developed countries.

Kansas House Approves Filtering Bill

Legislation to limit the Web sites children can see on library computers and the videos they can borrow heads to the state Senate.

The Kansas House passed the bill Thursday a vote of 115-4. Its fate is uncertain in the Senate, which ignored similar legislation two years ago.

The bill is intended to keep library patrons under 17 from seeing Internet pornography. Libraries would have to put filtering software on computers used by minors, or enact policies to let children view what they want on the Web with written consent from their parents.



Bill to Restrict Minors' Access to Smut at Libraries

A quickie from AP with important consequences:

"The Kansas House advanced a bill today to keep children from viewing Internet pornography or check out R-rated movies at public libraries."

"The House's voice vote sets up a final vote, expected Thursday. Passage would send the measure to the Senate, which ignored similar legislation in 2004."

Read The Bill and watch the The House's final vote, expected Thursday. Passage would send the measure to the Senate, which ignored similar legislation in 2004.


Iowa State Senators Propose Internet Filters

An Anonymous Patron writes "'Iowa libraries would be required to block computer access to
pornographic Web sites and to restrict children from checking out
R-rated movies under legislation proposed by three Republican state
senators.' See the
and the text
of the proposed legislation


Do Web filters protect your child?

C|Net Asks: Do Web filters protect your child? Millions of parents around the country rely on Web filtering software to shield their children from the nasty side of the Internet--porn, predators and other unseemly phenomena.

But according to the U.S. Justice Department, Web filters are not enough to protect minors. The agency voiced its concern about the technology last week as it geared up to defend an antiporn law that's under attack from civil liberties advocates.



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