Filtering: Chicken Breasts, Breast Cancer or Breast Stroke

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."


Fort Vancouver library wrestles with filtering

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) "


"Cool Tools for Tyrants" - applying Censorware

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.""


Miami-Dade Public Library Censorware Story Results

Seth Finkelstein writes "The "Miami-Dade
Public Library Censorware Frustrations" story
now has a happy ending "They unblocked from the PC network. They are going to put into place procedures which allow on-the-spot blocking overrides for the laptops they lend out in the library ... they've unblocked port 22 ... I'm impressed." (as I say, "Alacrity varies with publicity")"


Overcrowded Libraries: Porn issue resurfaces at public hearing

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.

Filter Libraries

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?


Miami-Dade Public Library Censorware Frustrations

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.""


Concerned Women for America esq: censorware flawed

Seth Finkelstein writes "In an article
the .xxx domain
, Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for
America, states as one alleged flaw
in censorware:
"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?"."

Tunisia Government Censors With SmartFilter

Seth Finkelstein writes "The OpenNet Initiative has released a report about censorware in Tunisia.
According to the press release: "In what has become a familiar pattern, once again our research
finds a U.S.-based company, Secure Computing, providing services to a repressive regime.""


Peacefire announces a new filter bypass circumvention proxy website

Turner writes "Hey kids, Rock and RollNobody tells you where to goBaby...Peacefire announces a new filter bypass circumvention proxy websiteIt will by pass most filters and if filter companies catch up to it (which they think is only selectively probable) There is an alternate plan.Build your own cheap circomventor proxy websiteMore info at"


One more porn in the library story

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 children’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."


Supervisors: No Porn in Libraries ( LA)

Karl Sandwell-Weiss writes "From

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 county’s public libraries.

(More at the link.)"


Debate growing over UNLV library computer use policy

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.

Most parental control software 'ineffective and difficult to use'

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.


Filtering Nearly Delays 2 New Libraries in Washington

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."


IL Governor pledges support for Internet filters in public libraries

The Illinois Leader Reports Governor Rod Blagojevich surprised representatives of a conservative women’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."

County judge attempts to cut library funding completely if libraries do not add filters

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 Horn’s plan to fund only libraries that agree to filter their library computers. The group was the most visible and vocal of the day — many wore red shirts and stickers that read “Keep our Libraries Out of the Red!�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."


Por-no-no: A twisted trip through public libraries' battle with Internet pornography

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."


Hearings On US Company's Censorship Collaboration?

Seth Finkelstein writes "The news article
U.S. Tech
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
that their
censorware software
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.
Notable quote:
"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.""


Christian porn filter seen as censorship In New Zealand

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.



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