Filtering: Same old story from everywhere

Anonymous Patron writes "A trio of stories on some local libraries struggling with the decision to install filters. Hanover Mariner - Marshfield,MA, Vallejo Times-Herald - Vallejo,CA, and Fairfield Daily Republic - Fairfield,CA.Many libraries are probably wrestling with these same issues."


Google Web Accelerator Circumvents China Censorware

Seth Finkelstein writes "Fons Tuinstra at "China Herald" blog reports: "But a reader of this weblog suggested that in combination with IE
Google's new tool would also beat the internet censor. Well, that was
enough encouragement for me to have a try. Indeed, the web accelerator
helps to beat our internet nanny, at least I got to the BBC news
services very easy. I do not think that Google wanted to bring down
the firewall (as far as it still is in place with so many proxies
around) but they effectively did."

[Now, how will this interact with librarian's use of censorware under the CIPA law?]"


Libraries vs. pornography

Anonymous Patron writes "Fairfield Daily Republic - Fairfield,CA takes a look at filtering. Because it's nearly impossible to separate educational material from the lewd content permeating the Internet, officials in charge of public libraries have to choose between the free flow of information and locking out sites that may contain offensive pictures or text.

"I come in here to study the reproductive system and I'll enter a word that might have to do with a medical condition, like testicular cancer, and pornography pops up," Stockman said during a short interruption of her studies one afternoon at the county library in Fairfield.

It's a classic example of clashing human rights: Personal privacy versus freedom of information. Neither can exist in totality without infringing on the other, county officials say."


Blocking all explicit material impossible, library official says

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette takes a Look At Filtering. A computer expert yesterday told a County Council subcommittee that is considering legislation to block all pornographic material in Allegheny County's 44 public libraries that even the most sophisticated filters will let images through.

"Most filtering systems are very good at blocking texts and [specific Internet addresses]," said Dan Jude, chief executive officer of Security Software Systems, a Texas-based company. Unfortunately, he said, no technology is available to block sexually explicit graphics and photos.


Library rethinks ‘porn' policy

This one from the Helena Independent Record has a funny opening:

If you walk into the library with an axe and start surfing Internet porn sites, you're bound to cause a stir.

After a similar incident at Lewis and Clark Library, one must now check weapons at the door. But Library Board members aren't sure what to do about online smut.

[ed. note: this article rehashes many of the same arguments we've heard before]


Child porn case spotlights libraries’ Internet policies

Anonymous Patron writes "The Reno Gazette Journal, from Reno, a dude was using one of the Washoe County Library’s adult, nonfiltered computers in northwest Reno to download child pornography, was arrested and charged with 13 counts of possession.
While his case drew little media attention, it sparked intense discussions among library officials about how to handle suspected illegal behavior by computer users."


Internet pornography filters urged at all libraries

Anonymous Patron writes "One From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb, R-Bethel Park, hopes libraries across the county will adopt strict filtering measures to prevent similar incidents. He wants the eiNetwork, the computer network that links the 44 public library systems of the Allegheny County Library Association, to use filters capable of blocking all pornographic or inappropriate material found on the Web.


Utah Internet porn law promises free porn for all

Internet service providers that operate in Utah must offer customers a way to block porn sites under a law signed this week. ISPs complained that the law adds nothing to the fight against pornography, and said a legal challenge is likely.
Republican state Rep. John Dougall said the measure he sponsored should help parents overwhelmed by advancing technology. "Kids are much more savvy about what's going on than their parents," Dougall said.

Seth Finkelstein Points Out the law requires a list be kept. "...create a database, called the adult content registry, consisting of a list of content..."


Controversial Utah porn, RDA bills signed into law

Ignoring threats of litigation from civil rights and free speech advocates, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed legislation Monday meant to protect children from Internet pornography. The Salt Lake Tribune has more. The American Civil Liberties Union and Internet industry representatives warn House Bill 260 violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and the Commerce Clause.


Telling Teacher What to Read and What to Believe

Anonymous Patron writes "This months "From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal" takes a look at filtering in schools: Telling Teacher What to Read and What to Believe. Jamie McKenzie says In some school districts, sites are blocked and filtered if they address important political issues like the federal education law, NCLB.

These filters are not always even handed in their blocking of sites and end up steering both adults and children to read a particular political point of view.

It is fundamentally undemocratic and probably illegal for a school district to determine which political points of view are acceptable and which are not."


Parental filters for the Internet

Did you know Ohio and Texas are the top two states where child porn is downloaded online? I didn't, but This One from an NBC station in Cleveland says it's true. County Prosecutor Bill Mason and his office are now in charge of managing a task force across the state. They are trying clamp down on predators. Parents can help their crusade by taking control of the computer.


Utah governor weighs antiporn proposal

CNET Reports The Utah governor is deciding whether to sign a bill that would require Internet providers to block Web sites deemed pornographic and that could also target e-mail providers and search engines.
Late Wednesday night, the Utah Senate approved controversial legislation that would create an official list of Web sites with publicly available material found to be "harmful to minors." Internet providers in Utah must offer their customers a way to disable access to sites on the list or face felony charges.


ALA | Illinois Filtering Bill Defeated Again

Fang-Face writes "There's
a very brief article at American Libraries Online that reports that a filtering law has been shot down for the ninth time in the state of Illinois."


Masturbation epidemic at SJPL

Jim Faith writes "This article from the San Jose State Daily Spartan, "Some patrons use privacy screens to view pornography," and descibes the situation caused by privacy screens. As on library worker says, "we call them porno screens." Sgt. John Laws, of the San Jose State University Police Department, said people using the privacy screens 'sometimes get carried away' and are caught masturbating at the computers." ---- I think the library needs to start equiping the stations with jars of vasoline and boxes of kleenex, and issue the librarians rubber gloves and lysol spayers.---- /2005/02/15/4212c6a738d06?in_archive=1"


More filtering BillS from Florida

mdoneil writes "A bill in the Florida legislature attempts to require libraries to install filtering software.

The description of the bill is here:

Internet Screening in Public Libraries: Requires public libraries to provide technology that blocks or filters Internet access by adults to visual depictions that are obscene or that constitute child pornography and by minors to visual depictions that are obscene, that constitute child pornography, or that are harmful to minors; allows adults to request disablement of the technology; bars a public library from maintaining a list of persons who request such disablement; requires a public library to post notice of its Internet safety policy; provides for enforcement, including fines, and for assessment of attorney's fees and court costs; provides a finding of important state interest.

The whole Bill and its history may be followed in real time here

Now as a human I am opposed to the obscene and even more opposed to child pornography. As a librarian I have removed people from the public computers because they have visited sites that offended others around them and thus the community's standards. (As a governmental employee I am unable to be offended - you probably are too, we are mere instruments of the State not subject to taking offense when working.)

I really have no opposition to filters if the community in which the library is located wants filters. Any method to determine what the community wants that involves citizen input and due proscess is fine with me.

However, as a librarian, software designer, programmer, data base administrator and computer user I know that the 'technology' to which Baxley's bill refers does not exist. It will never exist because the porn peddelers are one step ahead of the librarians and legislators.

Will they ever learn that a child's best protection is an interested and caring parent?"


More Parents shocked by online images

Yet Another Article, this time from Oklahoma, about a local mom who says she was shocked when her children were recently exposed to inappropriate images being viewed by computer users at the Ardmore Public Library. This is a good long article that looks at the issue rather well.
"Now, I'm not trying to cause trouble. I think what people look at on computers in their own homes is their business. But when they do it in public places and my children are exposed, then it's my business," she said.


N2H2 Censorware Blacklists Oregon Libraries Network

Seth Finkelstein writes "According to the
the Oregon libraries network's
staff information blog, the
censorware company
N2H2 has blacklisted the entire
Oregon libraries network as "Pornography": screenshot."


Va LIBs - Mandatory Net Filter Bill Introduced writes "Lawmakers in Virginia will consider legislation that would require all public libraries to install filters on computers that would screen out sexually explicit Web sites.The bill is part of the Family Foundation's legislative agenda for this year's session, which begins tomorrow. The bill is similar to federal law that mandates that public libraries put blocking technology on computers as a condition for receiving federal money. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 upheld the use of anti-pornography Internet filters in public libraries. The and have more.


Net filter is working in Arizona libraries

Anonymous Patron writes "The Arizona Republic reports Net filter is working in libraries. City officials are satisfied with the way they're doing business when it comes to Internet access at the public libraries.

A review of the city's Internet-filtering policies Tuesday was prompted by a recent change in Phoenix libraries. Phoenix officials decided to filter all public-access computers, not just in the children and youth areas as had been previous practice."


No to filtering in OZ: Coonan

Anonymous Patron writes "This Report comes via Slashdot. The Australian Federal Government had rejected mandatory filtering of the internet to stop child pornography, Parliament was told today.
The government has provided $30 million to educate parents about the perils of the internet and ISPs are required to provide cost-price filtering software to subscribers."



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