Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
In Florida, House Bill 1081, introduced on March 7, would require public libraries to install blocking software on half of their computers to prevent patrons from accessing \"materials that contain obscene descriptions, photographs, or depictions.\" Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering House Bill 2324, which would require both public schools and libraries to adopt acceptable-use policies. The Child Internet Protection Act would also require the use of blocking software.
They also have links to stories on four more states making filtering movesNJ AL UT and IN.Law professor Robert Richards, founding director of the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, takes issue with this provision. \"This provision presents problems because it allows the sweeping in of too much material far beyond material that meets some legal definition, such as obscenity,\" Richards said.
The Pennsylvania measure also would allow library patrons to petition library officials to review the denial of access to certain material on the Internet. A patron whose appeal failed before the library review board could appeal the decision to a judge. A judge would then hold a hearing within three days after the appeal and would issue a final order within 24 hours of the hearing.
State Rep. Allan Egolf, the main sponsor of the Child Internet Protection Act, says the goal of the bill is to \"protect children from harmful material on the Internet.\"
Egolf said he wanted a bill that would prevent people from accessing obscene material but also wanted a process by which people could petition for a review of a site for legitimate reasons, such as research.