American Library Association votes to challenge CIPA

The executive board of the American Library Association (ALA) voted
yesterday to initiate legal action challenging the recently enacted
Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), signed into law on December
21. The decision came after more than a week of intense discussion
among leaders and members during the association\'s annual Midwinter
Meeting. The ALA contends the act is unconstitutional and creates an
infringement of First Amendment protections.

CNET has a Story and so does ZD Net. The federal rider, which was attached to the Labor HHS Education
Appropriations Bill, mandates libraries and schools install content
filters on all computers that offer Internet access as a prerequisite to
receiving federal grant funds. Funding sources include the e-rate
program, the Library Services and Technology Act and the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act. All three programs help ensure schools and
libraries provide access to the resources communities need to thrive in
the information age. CIPA runs counter to these federal efforts to close
the digital divide for all Americans.


No filtering software successfully differentiates constitutionally
protected speech from illegal speech on the Internet. Even the federal
commission appointed to study child safety on the Internet concluded
filters are not effective in blocking all content that some may find
objectionable, but they do block much useful and constitutionally
protected information.


The association is researching and exploring its options in preparation
for litigation.


NEWS
For Immediate Release Contact: Mark Gould
> : January 18,
> : 2001 mgould@ala.org

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