Submitted by birdie on January 13, 2006 - 2:44am
Following up on our article from earlier this week , here's an editorial from Clark Cty (Vancouver) WA on the subject of filtering. The editorial calls for a more liberal, forward-thinking board, to "meet the needs of the community." Columnist Elizabeth Hovde writes "We have got to get over our fear of a lack of breast-related bodies of work by school children. Once we do, we can make a sensible community decision to filter Internet terminals at public libraries so the library board can move forward with expansion plans."
Submitted by Blake on January 10, 2006 - 1:51pm
Redcardlibrarian writes "To Elena Smith, libraries are bastions of free thought. And to her, unfiltered access to the Internet is a crucial part of that.
"I think the Internet is the most exciting new information tool we have," she said. "I think adults should have access to the full range of information on the Internet."
Yet during her six years as a member of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Board of Trustees, Smith says, she has seen increasing limits placed on Internet access at the behest of critics who equate allowing unfiltered access with handing out pornography.
Dan Duringer is one of those critics.
"We think pornography and obscenity breaks down families," he said. He has voiced his criticism of the library system's policy in letters to the editor and public meetings. He said he resents "the whole attitude that they are going to make library facilities available for all legal material."
The Columbian (Vancouver, WA) "
Submitted by Blake on January 3, 2006 - 5:30pm
Seth Finkelstein writes ""Cool Tools for Tyrants", by Derek Bambauer, is a fascinating examination of dictatorial government's use of censorware:
"Despite China's five million bloggers, the Communist Party remains firmly in control of the nation and, for the most part, the Internet within its borders. Iran's blogging community is perhaps the country's liveliest political arena, yet the authoritarian Iranian government is stronger than ever, especially after a resounding victory in February 2004 elections. Contrary to the utopian view that the Internet evades local control, governments are proving adept at controlling the information that their citizens receive and share. Market freedom does not necessarily lead to personal freedom. We must at times limit the first to safeguard the second; the right to sell must sometimes yield to protect the right to speak.""
Submitted by rochelle on December 19, 2005 - 7:02pm
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2005 - 7:18pm
Sounds Like They had fun at the Vancouver, Washington, Community Library on Monday Night where a crowd of about 35 passionate and outspoken people talked about freedom of speech, religion and individual standards of decency. At Fort Vancouver Regional libraries, those 17 and older can use a few unfiltered Internet terminals. That means folks could Google anything they want, including porn, critics say.
"Pornography makes it unsafe," said Andrew Campbell of Washougal, who said he has seen "objectionable material" in library printers. He called for an army of retired volunteers to monitor Internet access. "Please consider contacting the elderly," he said. "They have a lot of time on their hands. Their families often abandon them in homes and they'd like to help." He invoked Jesus as he stated his opposition, "I call upon the Christians in our community," he said.
Submitted by Blake on December 12, 2005 - 8:33pm
The Columbian - Vancouver,WA, Editorial Page Says a win-win solution for beleaguered Fort Vancouver Regional Library officials in their continuing battle to get a much-needed bond issue passed: Treat your electronic offerings the same way you treat your print offerings.
When books and magazines are "selected" for libraries, no one screams, "Censorship!" It's part of what librarians do. Since not every book and magazine in the world can be placed in a library, these documents must be selected and, yes, taste judgments often are made. Why not do the same thing for Internet access?
Submitted by Blake on December 12, 2005 - 10:47am
Seth Finkelstein writes "Michael Froomkin has an account of
with Miami-Dade public library censorware:
"The branch librarians are sympathetic, especially about the blocked
sites, but they don't control the filter list or the wireless port
blocking policies. ... All that computer stuff is handled by some
distant, faceless, unresponsive central administration. So my requests
for changes to the policy, so far, go unheeded, including written
requests a week ago to unblock a site, and open port 22.""
Submitted by Blake on December 9, 2005 - 3:31pm
Seth Finkelstein writes "In an article
the .xxx domain, Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for
America, states as one alleged flaw
"There are many Web sites that provide
the numeric IP address when a user enters a .com name. All that's
necessary to get to a Web site that's blocked by a filter is to put
its numeric IP address into the Web browser and hit "go." If one
computer-savvy kid knows that, how long do you think it will take the
information to pass through cyberspace to other kids?"."
Submitted by Blake on November 17, 2005 - 1:54pm
Submitted by Blake on October 18, 2005 - 4:12am
Submitted by Blake on October 14, 2005 - 5:20pm
Anonymous Patron writes "So back in July, Yvonne LeFever was with her children at the Norwood Public Library for a program called "Science in the Summer" and after it was over, one of the kids decided to log on to the computer in the childrenâ€™s section. LeFever just happened to be there when the 14-year-old attempting to access a music video suddenly found herself face to face with a lesbian porn video that some clever boy, girl or adult had managed to download and leave for some unsuspecting child to view."
Submitted by Blake on October 13, 2005 - 2:07pm
Karl Sandwell-Weiss writes "From The-Signal.com:
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to direct the county librarian to do whatever she can to block access to pornography on computers in the countyâ€™s public libraries.
(More at the link.)"
Submitted by Blake on September 7, 2005 - 4:16pm
The San Diego Union Tribune has a Reprint From The Las Vegas Review-Journal on a UNLV library computer use policy that American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada officials say restricts research, but University of Nevada, Las Vegas officials say protects academic freedom. The policy prohibits computer use "with the intent to intimidate, harass or display hostility toward others," including sending offensive messages or prominently displaying material that others might find offensive such as vulgar language, explicit sexual material or material from hate groups.
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2005 - 1:47pm
Computing Which?, tested six popular packages aimed at protecting children online and found they are no substitute for parents being vigilant."Software can help make the internet a safer environment for children but there's no substitute for parental involvement. Parents need to take an active role in monitoring what their children are looking at online so they don't inadvertently put them at risk."
WNUNet Has the excuses.
Submitted by Blake on August 18, 2005 - 11:20pm
The Oregonian reports Pornography isn't on the November ballot, but on Tuesday it almost derailed an election on a $44 million bond issue to build two libraries in Vancouver, WA. The usual filtering arguments were the center of attention. Glynn Reynolds of the Salmon Creek area said the argument over computer filters was silly because 75 percent of area homes have computers today and most lack filters. "The opponents are trying to bring back a horse that's been dead 10 years," Hart said. He then warned if opponents can campaign to have a library service removed, "others could petition to remove all the Christian books in the library. That would be awful."
Submitted by Blake on July 27, 2005 - 5:01pm
The Illinois Leader Reports Governor Rod Blagojevich surprised representatives of a conservative womenâ€™s group this week when he told them he would support an effort to filter children's Internet access in public libraries.
Blagojevich reportedly made the comments Monday afternoon at the Eola Public Library in Aurora, immediately after he signed into law a ban on selling and renting sexually explicit video games to minors.
"We just pointed out that children could access the same images on the library's computer screens that he was trying to protect them from seeing in video games," Valente said outside Aurora's Eola Public Library. "He said he didn't know the library allowed the access to pornography on their computers. That's when he told us he would help."
Submitted by Blake on July 23, 2005 - 6:10pm
JET writes "Two from the Dallas News One and TwoLibrarians from across the county filled rows of seats in the Commissioners Courtroom to argue against Judge Mary Hornâ€™s plan to fund only libraries that agree to filter their library computers. The group was the most visible and vocal of the day â€” many wore red shirts and stickers that read â€œKeep our Libraries Out of the Red!â€?Denton County has proposed cutting its funding to county libraries and nonprofit organizations by 20 percent. The library funding, however, could be eliminated under County Judge Mary Horn's proposal."
Submitted by Blake on July 18, 2005 - 5:41pm
Anonymous Patron writes "The Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier Reports from Iowa on filtering. They say many American libraries and librarians find themselves balancing some patrons' freedom of speech and other patrons' right to be free from potentially offensive material. American libraries can house anything that is legal in the "outside world," including pornography; but each library chooses what material it will make available. Most libraries work to serve as community-oriented learning centers for everyone."
Submitted by Blake on July 18, 2005 - 1:39pm
Seth Finkelstein writes "The news article
Firms Help Governments Censor Internet summarizes recent events
regarding complicity of US companies with totalitarian regimes
The most explosive aspect is potential violation of US laws by
Secure Computing, given
is being used by the government of Iran - while allegedly without
the company's knowledge, the implications remain troubling. Much attention
is devoted to the China controversies of Cisco and Microsoft.
"D'Amato said the [U.S-China Economic and Security Review] commission,
which reports to Congress, hopes to put pressure on these companies by
bringing them in for hearings, soon. "I'm not so sure they'll come,"
he said. "They're running for cover.""
Submitted by Blake on May 22, 2005 - 12:32am
New Zealand Herald reports Anti-porn software developed for schools by a company with links to fundamentalist Christians has been criticised for blocking students' access to leftist political forums and websites on sexuality and health.
Education Minister Trevor Mallard approved the Watchdog Corporation's CampusNet filtering software last year, as part of a $9.5 million package to help schools screen out hackers and objectionable material such as pornography.