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Supreme Court to Hear CIPA Case

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the justice-is-nearsighted dept.

The Courts 418

Ruger writes "The Supreme Court of the United States will "decide if public libraries can be forced to install software blocking sexually explicit Web sites," according to this article from the Associated Press. US lawmakers have passed three laws to 'protect' children from Internet pornography, but the Court struck down the first and blocked the second from taking effect. 'A three-judge federal panel ruled the Children's Internet Protection Act violates the First Amendment because the filtering programs also block sites on politics, health, science and other non-pornographic topics.'" Our previous story on this ongoing case will bring you up to speed on the issues.

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I FINGERED ELLEN FEISS!! (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653575)

Fr1st Pr0st! Yay

Fuck you.

I once again (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653577)

claim this FP so you don't have to listen to everyone elses FIRST POST attempts.

this sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653582)

why would the supreme court hear the cipa case?

The Republicans will just push it through (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653583)

Doesn't matter when you want. Trent Lott and his ilk is just going to push all their laws like this through.

YOU ALL MUST OBEY TO GOD!

They will keep trying (5, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653584)

Those who's interest it is in finding ANY chink in the 1st amendment to allow them to censor the Internet will keep trying. This is their third attempt...

They are now down to "we must protect the children". Will the court buy it? Hopefully not. Legislation should NOT be used to do the work of respobsible parents.

As an adult, I should have unfettered access. A child's protection is not sufficient cause to violate MY 1st amendment rights. It is the parent's responsibility to filter for the child, not society's.

Re:They will keep trying (2, Troll)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653610)

you know what? schools and libraries dont carry "Jugs" magazine, so why should they allow porno to be displayed on the machines?

Re:They will keep trying (5, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653641)

you know what? schools and libraries dont carry "Jugs" magazine, so why should they allow porno to be displayed on the machines?

No federal law is preventing them from carrying any magazine they like.

This federal law is mandating they restrict content from the web wheather they like it or not.

There is a serious difference between the two.

Re:They will keep trying (5, Insightful)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653642)

The problem isn't with "You shouldn't access Jugs Magazine on this computer." It's with "You must install software that will filter the internet on a series of arbitrarily described terms.

Add in the fact that most filtering programs these days would not only filter out "Jugs the Magazine", but also "Jugs the water carrying vessels", and it gets worse.

Filter on the word "Breast" and you filter out Breast Cancer, or the Bible for that matter (it's in there, frequently).

Trusting businesses to maintain "Black hole" lists doesn't work either, because it either becomes government supported censorship (who's paying for the filters...right...your taxes), or it becomes an easy way for political adgendas to be advanced (See the ACLU site blocked because they defend the Free Speech rights of the unpopular).

The Government shouldn't be in the business of telling me what I can see. Libraries are a function of the Government. Therefore Libraries shouldn't be in the business of telling me what I can see...Q.E.D.

Re:They will keep trying (4, Insightful)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653645)

but they arent banned by law from carrying JUGS, they choose not to.

huge difference

Re:They will keep trying (5, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653647)

you know what? schools and libraries dont carry "Jugs" magazine, so why should they allow porno to be displayed on the machines?

Because not subscribing to Jugs doesn't also block National Geographic.

The problem with this law and similiar laws is that without a doubt legitimately protected first amendment protected speech is filtered. That is government censorship.

In fact, your post, which is political speech and fully protected by constitutional law, is censored by the government. The word "jugs" with "porno" would probably be enough to get you filtered.

Re:They will keep trying (2)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653650)

Because the presence or lack thereof of "Jugs" magazine doesn't stop people from checking out "Catcher In The Rye."

Whereas the presence of internet filters blocks legitimate research in the name of trying to block porn.

I think it's more along the lines of (3, Insightful)

MichaelPenne (605299) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653665)

the existing nanny software restricts many non-Porno sites & is expensive and difficult to administer.

So the upshot will be that many libraries will have to cancel internet access altogether if forced to comply.

Now if the law included a nationwide site license for the nanny software & money to libraries for set up & support, then it would be a simpler decision between do we support porn in the library or not.

However, the decision the USSC is facing is more along the lines of do we allow libraries to provide internet access or not.

Re:They will keep trying (5, Informative)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653673)

When a Library chooses not to carry "Jugs" magazine, it doesn't mean they are forced to also leave out, say, books on breast cancer, magazines dealing with health issues that include sexual health, and such.

If there was a filter out there that ONLY blocked pornography, then it would be a different story.

But there isn't one. Requiring a library to install a filter that also blocks information on medical issues, religious minorities, sexuality issues, and discussions of problems with filters is clearly wrong.

Let's make this clear - NOBODY is in favor of adding pornography to the libraries. The people challenging this law just feel that all the non-pornography that has to be blocked in the process because of the poor state of filtering is reason not to allow the law.

Define pornograpy first. (5, Insightful)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653768)

You gonna allow Lolita? How bout What is it, fanny hill? Romance novels? Sex ed books? The karma sutra? The joy of sex? Our bodies Our selves?

Frankly, i have no problem with them adding pornography to the libraries, because I am unwilling to draw that line for someone else.

Re:They will keep trying (4, Insightful)

Darth Pondo (609687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653688)

As with all censorship, it is a question of degrees. What one person considers pornography, another considers art. If you cannot draw a clear line between what is offensive to most people and what is acceptable, you shouldn't be drawing lines at all.

Re:They will keep trying (3, Funny)

foistboinder (99286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653700)

you know what? schools and libraries dont carry "Jugs" magazine, so why should they allow porno to be displayed on the machines?

When I was in college, the reason the college library didn't have Playboy was because they tended to get stolen, it had nothing to do with content. Maybe this is true for some public libraries, too.

The Library of Congress might (5, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653727)

It keeps bound editions of Hustler and Playboy. It stores them in the Rare Book Collection to prevent them from being stolen, defaced or mutilated, according to this letter [christianh...etours.org] from Christian Heritage Tours (Google takes you to the oddest places sometimes).

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

morgajel (568462) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653772)

free nude xxx teen hardcore.

guess what? most filtering agents would now ban this slashdot page.

filters just don't work that well. I've seen a few spam blockers, but I wouldn't bet my life on them.

Re:They will keep trying (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653830)

It amuses me that puritanical twits get their panties in a bunch over pornography. So, instead of talking to their kids rationally about sex and what they see (which they will whether you like it or not) in magazines, they want to take the ostrich defense.

It's just sex, people. Why are you incapable of dealing with it rationally? Oh, I forgot - some fairy in the sky hates humans having sex outside of wedlock - my bad...

Re:They will keep trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653889)

you know what? schools and libraries dont carry "Jugs" magazine, so why should they allow porno to be displayed on the machines?

My library carries Playboy. Of course you have to be over 18 to view it.

Re:They will keep trying (2)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653646)

Judging by your opinons i'd say you dont have children.

Re:They will keep trying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653670)

Judging by your comment, I'd say you can't take care of yours.

Re:They will keep trying (5, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653740)

Judging by your opinons i'd say you dont have children.

I can not speak for him, but I share his opinion and have raised a quite sucessful child. He heven spells better than me ;-)

As a responsible parent, I gave him rules, even for the web, monitored his activity and disciplined him accordingly. Taking my parenting responsibilities seriously, I wanted to keep the "village" out of my decisions for his upbringing as much as possible.

In my opinion, the people that need a "nanny state" are the ones that raise little vandal brats, then run back to the government asking for even more nannying to obfuscate their own lack of attentiveness, shirking even more of their own responsibility.

Re:They will keep trying (1)

glhturbo (32785) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653822)

Well, I have a six-year old son, and I object to filtering mechanisms on library computers. If my son happens to be walking past a "goatse" display, you can bet he's going to come to me with questions. How do I know? Because that's the way I rasied him. I will teach him why it is offensive, and try to help him understand that there are some sick people in the world. Of course, I'll also ask the librarian to change the URL (if for some reason I can't do it myself).

I don't believe shielding children from things is the way to teach them. Obviously, I'm not showing off the stuff to him, but if it happens to come his way, I can teach him about it, instead of having him try to form his own conclusions because mommy and daddy won't talk about it... Of course I would prefer it if we lived in an idyllic world, but we don't, and my son needs to learn that we don't, so he can cope with it better when he is on his own...

Re:They will keep trying (1)

edack (152979) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653879)

Well I have 4 childrenaged 17 to 6. I also DO NOT want the government, federal or otherwise restricting my daughters access to any information. PERIOD. that is MY job as a semi- responsible parent.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility in this country (USA)? Can't parents take responsibility for their kids? Or are they to busy being soccer moms and dads and scout leaders and whatever else they can think of to get the kid out of their hair and into some activity where the parent doesn't have to deal with the kid.

He's telling the truth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653910)

"Well I have 4 childrenaged 17 to 6. I also DO NOT want the government, federal or otherwise restricting my daughters access to any information. PERIOD. that is MY job as a semi- responsible parent.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility in this country (USA)? Can't parents take responsibility for their kids? Or are they to busy being soccer moms and dads and scout leaders and whatever else they can think of to get the kid out of their hair and into some activity where the parent doesn't have to deal with the kid."

No BS!

I posted the nude pix of his 17 yr old and 6 yr old daughters to the web from a library but now I can't view them!

Re:They will keep trying (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653653)

I'll buy that when I can press charges against the library for distributing porn to a minor. This isn't about First Amendment free speech. There isn't a law that says you can force me to pay for public library in order to provide you with material to get your jerk on.

Re:They will keep trying (3, Interesting)

MrAl (21859) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653659)

I agree that it's my duty to filter what my child sees. However the one place that should be a safe place to drop the kid off is the library. Do we really want to discourage children spending time at a place where they can learn?

Parents have little enough time - forcing them to spend what they have watching what their kids see at a place that should be a safe haven is going to discourage discovery and learning on the behalf of the kids.

Re:They will keep trying (5, Insightful)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653831)

Sorry, the library is not an alternative to child care.

I've worked at a library, and except for specifically designed children's programs, it's not someplace you should just drop your kid off anymore than you'd just drop them off at the mall without supervision.

Furthermore, the library is not just for your child. It's for the community as a whole. And as such it should serve the community as a whole. No, I don't want someone to be surfing for porn from the library, but I do want someone to be able to do research on breast or testicular cancer while at a public library. Currently the two are mutually exclusive - there is no way to block only the porn sites.

Re:They will keep trying (2, Interesting)

MrAl (21859) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653904)

The library isn't childcare. But if my daughter wants to spend some time looking for books on subjects that interest her while I run a few errands, I won't be able to do that if I'm forced to watch her every activity. I resent the fact that you insinuate I'm just dumping my kids off because it's an alternative to childcare.

The legal stipulation for regulating strip clubs is based upon "community values". You're right, the library is for the community. So maybe we should stop the federal government from deciding what goes in my local library and have a public vote on the issue.

Re:They will keep trying (4, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653877)

Agreed, libraries should be safe environment for children where they can walk past the computers without seeing porn.

However, they are not your babysitting service. Children should not be "dropped off" and left to fend for themselves until they are old enough to deal responsibly with the rules therein;

- keep quiet and do not disturb others
- keep away from the homeless people wandering through the bathrooms (here they do at least)
- realize there is material for everybody there, with different points of view
- know how to check out and return books in an undamaged state

Watching books and managing the library is the responsability of the librarians, not watching the children of irresponsible parents who like to "drop them off" there.

Re:They will keep trying (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653900)

It's interesting that you should bring this up since the actual librarians don't feel that their facilities should be used as free daycare centers. My son(s) should not be subjected to intellectual deprivation simply because you can't find the time to be bothered.

It quiet, bookish librarians that are persuing this, not just some cabal of sexually deviant liberal lawyers. They (librarians) appreciate the value of academic freedom.

Besides, a law such as this clearly oversteps the bounds of legitimate federal authority. If you want your local library to act as net.nanny, the appropriate authority is your city or state government.

Library isn't day care (2)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653905)

The library is NOT a day care center. It is a community resource, for adults and children. The legitimate, protected speech of adults should not be blocked because you can't spend the time to watch what your kids are doing.

And considering the open, relatively unsupervised nature of most libraries, is that really where you want to leave your kids alone?

WTF? (5, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653911)

I agree that it's my duty to filter what my child sees. However the one place that should be a safe place to drop the kid off is the library.

What the hell? Your second sentence is completely at odds with your first one! First you accept responsiblity for filtering the data your child gets. Then you follow that up with a claim that you should be able to shirk your responsibilities by dropping the little tyke off at the library.

Do we really want to discourage children spending time at a place where they can learn?

There is so much wrong with that sentence ... where to start. No one is talking about discouraging children from going to the library. Hell, if kids think they can look at nude pictures, they'll probably beg to go to the library. So the problem isn't on their end, it's with you. You're choosing to discourage them because of your personal beliefs. Second, they will be learning at the library it's just that you're afraid of them having access to material that you don't like. It sounds kind of funny but when a child sees some dirty picture, they are learning that such material exists. Filters or no filters, they will continue to learn at the library.

Parents have little enough time - forcing them to spend what they have watching what their kids see at a place that should be a safe haven is going to discourage discovery and learning on the behalf of the kids.

Hey, the library is not a babysitting service. You're going to have to make a choice here. What's more important: monitoring what your children see or your free time. Don't give us this "safe haven" crap. A library is full of information. If you don't want you kids to have access to certain kinds of information, then be prepared to take the responsibility yourself.

GMD

Why would you slur the chinese like that? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653741)

"ANY chink in the 1st amendment "

Although the 1st amendment was written by men of European extraction, its sentiment would be expressed by any right thinking person, including those of Asian ancestry.

Why you think having a Chinese person involved lessens the Bill of Rights says more about your racism than anything.

Frankly, I'm appalled that a decent human could even say something like that.

Jurisdiction (5, Insightful)

Dannon (142147) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653834)

It's not just a matter of the 1st amendment, as I see it. It's also the 9th and 10th that are at issue here.

My local library is paid for with my municipal tax dollars, and managed by my city government. So, under what principle does the Federal Government have any say in how my local library manages its business?

If I think my library should be using censorware, I can walk on down to city hall at the next town meeting, and bring it up. If I don't like the censorware my library is using, I can do the same. Or, for that matter, I can volunteer to work at the library myself. If someone in D.C. doesn't like the policy my community has chosen, tough beans. It's our library, not theirs.

But for longer than I've been alive, the Federal government has been taking more and more decisions away from local governments.

the outcome (1, Interesting)

k3v0 (592611) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653591)

I wonder if the outcome will be to alter the way one accesses the site (age verfication) or push for more acceptable filtering software.

Hm... (4, Insightful)

The-True-Necromancer (102822) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653592)

This seems like if the US Congress doesn't get it's way they'll try to get around the thing somehow. I'm all for protecting children from things but shouldn't it be the parents job do decide morality to their kids?

Re:Hm... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653695)

I'm all for protecting children from things but shouldn't it be the parents job do decide morality to their kids?

Yep. There's a more fundamental issue that i'm gonna raise though... it's all very well to 'protect' children from criminals/harm, etc, but i believe that it's fundamentally different to 'protect' them from something non-physical. If they happen to stumble across a porn site... so what? Why are people so conservative? They WILL learn about this stuff some time, they're pretty damn unlikely to be accessing porn sites much ANYWAY, why this ultra-protectiveness? Sounds to me like the government wants to trojan this software in to allow for future Chinese-style political maniuplation.

While (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653601)

While I agree with the sentiment it is good to see US judges making good judgements. I am from Sweden and our judges came to similar conslusions a few yeas ago; however, apparently that liberality has been abused lately so we are to see new legislations.

Do it China style (0, Troll)

comic-not (316313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653605)

Mandatory registration for computer users. Big brother control for all activities. Anybody against the scheme is unpatriotic or even a terrorist. Give us security and tax cuts! We need no stinking freedoms.

There's only one question... (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653606)

Will the librarian turn off the controls at the legitimate request of an adult or child. If so, there's no debate and no abridgement of free access.

Otherwise, I see absolutely no harm in having tools that slow down teenagers from leaving goatse.cx sitting on library computers as a "joke" that my 5 year old daughter has to walk through.

Re:There's only one question... (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653672)

A right that you have to beg for isnt a right, its a privelage.

Also, how can you know that the link you are trying to click doesn't have porn in it, or in fact is what you were looking for?

Re:There's only one question... (2, Troll)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653738)

A right that you have to beg for isnt a right, its a privelage.

Yeah, and you also have to ask permission to see rare books, and to climb ladders to get at the tall shelves. And of course, let's not forget about midgets who can't reach the tall shelves.

By your logic, any abridgement of "instant access" is an abridgement of your rights, which is just silly.

Re:There's only one question... (5, Interesting)

Kamel Jockey (409856) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653681)

I see absolutely no harm in having tools that slow down teenagers from leaving goatse.cx sitting on library computers as a "joke" that my 5 year old daughter has to walk through.

How about a compromise solution? I'm sure anyone who is all for unfiltered access can certainly agree that there is content that is completely inappropriate for a child to view under any circumstances. So... how about setting up separate banks of computers in the library instead? One could be completely unfiltered, and accessible only to adults, and the other could be in the children's section, with filtered access, and hopefully a requirement that parents actively supervise their children's web-surfing.

Re:There's only one question... (0, Redundant)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653724)


My gosh, an intelligent and well-thought out compromise! Quick, MOD this guy down!

Re:There's only one question... (0, Redundant)

Tsali (594389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653791)

Where's my mod button! This is a great idea!

Just like smoking and non-smoking sections. If you are overly conservative, you can think of it as smoking and nonsmoking in hell sections, so it has to fly!

Re:There's only one question... (0, Redundant)

nizcolas (597301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653827)

Will the adult section be hidden behind a velvet curtain?

Re:There's only one question... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653873)

"How about a compromise solution? I'm sure anyone who is all for unfiltered access can certainly agree that there is content that is completely inappropriate for a child to view under any circumstances."

Certainly not. Just because most of US society has a witch-hunt mentality with regards to sex does not mean everyone does. I would rather my children be uncensored from anything on the internet. If they see something of a sexual nature, I'd much rather encourage them to talk to me about it rather than hide it from me. Telling kids not to view pornography and trying to prevent them from seeing it just guarantees that it is attractive to them and that they will be sure not to talk to you about it.

doesn't matter (2)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653721)

Then the problem with that is that it is up to the librarian to decide what is legitimate. That brings the librarian's personal values into the mix, they should be irrelevant.

NO. (2, Flamebait)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653733)

The cesnsorship wont stop the problem you just described. AS a matter of fact, it will make it worse. I have no problem with reaonable requests to not leave goatsex open on the computer when i log off. Fair enough. But when im told I have to ask permisson to TURN OFF filtering on machines that destroy my first amendment rights, on equipment MY TAX MONEY paid for, fuck you. I will do my damndest to remove that software and reset the background picture to nude pictures of earnet borgnine.
How bout a simple check box when you log on?
I am an adult, therefore i wish to turn off censorship on this machine. yes/no. Yeah, youll have 13 year olds looking at neekid women. SO what? By the time their old enough to be interested in it, theyre old enough to look at it.
(No, im not a parent. Keep your kids out of the library if they cant behave themselves)

Wheres the money for training, set up, licensing (3, Insightful)

MichaelPenne (605299) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653744)

going to come from?

Maybe you haven't noticed, but most libraries are overworked and underfunded as it is.

Requiring them to purchase & maintain new software will likely lead to many canceling Internet Access altogether.

As far as your five year old, isn't she a little young to be wandering around the library by herself?

Re:There's only one question... (3, Insightful)

glhturbo (32785) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653753)

What if the "legitimate request" comes from a teenager who is lying? Then the librarian has to decide how trustful the teenager is. That's not a librarian's function.

As far as "goatse", have all of the computers face the librarian's desk. It won't take too long for the site to be changed... If you are worried about your daughter not seeing these things, or hearing these things, then don't take her to the shopping mall on a Saturday night. Want to know how many times I heard the "F" word last time? Is it offensive to me, yes. Do they have the right to say it, yes...

And I do have a 6-year old son. I teach him right and wrong, and I try to be with him in situations where this may come up. Whether or not I'm with him, if he asks questions, I try to be honest with him while still telling him what is wrong with it.

Re:There's only one question... (5, Informative)

Irvu (248207) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653875)

Actually that provision exists in the CIPA. The Justices noted it but still considered the law a problem because
  1. although the librarians were required to turn it off they may not want to.
  2. this would force everyone to get clearence from a librarian and basically announce to the world at large what they are looking at before they do so, opening them up to censure.
  3. Many systems block sites "invisibly" or in ways that will prevent legitimate adults from ever knowing that they exist and thus being unable to ask for the provision to be turned off.

To which I would add two more reasons why that is an issue:
  1. If it can be turned off all the time, it can be accidentally left off, hacked or spoofed thus making the system even less effective in the face of determined teenagers.
  2. In the face of recent USA Patriot rulings on librarians being forced to divulge recently secret information this is one more thing that librarians can be forced to log and then divulge.


One other problem with the act that has been noted by many groups including the federal government is that the CIPA imposes the same standards on Teenagers as it does on your five-year old. While on the surface that seems (legally) reasonable it falls down in the face of teenagers doing school reports on breast cancer, etc. The rules for Teenagers really should be different. If I have to do a report on HIV in Health class it makes no sense for me to be banned from seeing the materials. Moreover, how are teenagers supposed to learn to deal with this stuff if they never see it until they turn 18?

I agree with you that children need to be protected from harmful materials online, just as they need to be protected from harmful people on the street, and from playing with handguns. However I beleive that the federally mandated systems in the CIPA and others will do more harm than good for the reasons above and because no software can make the kinds of appropriate decisions that parents can.

You might also see the American Library Association's page [ala.org] on the issue and the report of the COPA committee (a congressional task force) here [copacommission.org] . Note I do not necessarily agree with all of what they say however.

funny.... (0, Troll)

adamb0mb (68142) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653615)

Does anyone else think it would be funny if a guy walked into the library... and started 'doing-his-bidniz'?

Why else would you look at porn? If you don't get to get your jollies from it... its just torture to look at.

Would love to see how they're going to do this... (1)

barfarf (544609) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653616)

... they'll probably end up blocking some legitimate sites in the process. Besides, if some kid really wants to get access to porn, they'll generally find a way to do it - they don't need a library.

Take action now!! (4, Informative)

updog (608318) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653619)

You can go here [eff.org] and take action against this now!

Forget porn filters... (2, Funny)

Dareth (47614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653625)

if they overtun the need for filters, maybe than can mandate plastic keyboard covers!!!

Geeks have children? (0, Troll)

PseudoThink (576121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653626)

I don't think so. And yet this will still undoubtedly incite all the usual comments about censorship, pr0n, and beowulf clusters.

Perhaps more useful:

SIPA - Slashdot Internet Protection Act (protecting old web servers from being Slashdotted)

not to be confused with

SIPA - Slashdot Information Protection Act (protecting Slashdotters from trolls and redundant, uninteresting, or obvious posts, like this one.)

Big deal (-1, Insightful)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653635)

The FBI already knows what sites you're going to at the library, thanks to the Patriot Act.

Funny, I was watching Seven recently, and Morgan Freeman's character gets an FBI agent to get some library records of people who have checked out certain characters. Brad Pitt's character says "how is that legal?" and basically Morgan says it's not, but who cares.

now, with the patriot act, it IS legal [cla-net.org]

blatanly legal, as the Bush administration and his boy Ashcroft thumb their noses at you.

Escape From New World Order Futile +1, Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653636)


Rejoice and make war your life.

For more information, please see Naqoyqatsi [naqoy.com]

and then write a complaint letter to the
Cheney-Rumsfeld [whitehouse.org]
administration

Thank you and have a war-filled week,
- Woot

uh what is the adult to children ratio? (1)

ccgr (612619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653643)

I personally think that machines that are in the view of everyone should have porn filters. I eman it's pretty sad for people to get their kicks in the librarys anyways. That should be looked at in the privacy on someone's home. Anyways having experience in working at schools and their libraries, some kids don't "intend" on going to porn sites but accidently do. Anyone remember the whitehouse.com, nasa.com instead of .gov porn sites? Anyone get locked into looking at those sites because of the tricks the sites use to keep you there? Thos can be disturbing for a child to innocently stumble upon. If libraries do leave the computers unfiltered they should at the very least not be in public view. Perhaps in one of those study rooms. Just my 2 cents.

Re:uh what is the adult to children ratio? (1)

redragon (161901) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653739)

The issue isn't blocking pornography as far as I'm concerned. It's the blocking of information that has incorrectly been blocked by a filter.

Suppose there is someone without any other access to the internet at the library wishing to read up about possible birth control methods. If the word penis or vagina is in there, my best guess is that it will be blocked.

At the same time I don't really agree that you should force that person to look at those web sites in view of everyone.

Perhaps a solution would be to have several different sets of computers, several that are "kiddie safe," and others that are un-touched. I do agree with you that people shouldn't be looking at porn in the library, but who chooses the clasification is the problem. Of course lewd acts should be prosecuted...

I think the issue is beyond porn. Porn is easy for people to unite against, harder to identify.

Cheers.

Are computers & internet even NEEDED in librar (1)

ckotchey (184135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653754)

I agree with you, but I'd even take the step a bit farther, although I'll admit some ignorance on my part (never having used a library-based computer)...and also to play devil's advocate. Namely... do libraries even NEED computers? Isn't the role of a library to be a repository of information in physical form? (i.e. books, magazines, newspapers, and the like)? Do the computers somehow enhance this ability? Or is it simply a case of the library simply being a default location to set up free computers for personal use? If so, isn't this possibly stretching the role of libraries into a place where they may not necessarily need to be, thus burdening the lowly taxpayer with additional costs?
It seems to be following the same chain of logic that is leading public schools into roles they were not originally intended for (babysitters, daycare, whatever...) and therefore doing nothing to help their original role (i.e. teaching kids) but increasing the tax burden on the local population.
Wow, I hope I didn't stray too far off track.

Re:Are computers & internet even NEEDED in lib (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653818)

My kids, while in the library doing research on whatever, also use the computers there. If you haven't noticed, they are a useful tool.

Also, a LOT of kids have no PC at home. The library is one place they can go to get some stuff done. The price of 2 or 3 PC's in a branch lib is minimal compared to the overall library costs.

If there is any respect for the Constitution ... (2)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653644)

Then CIPA will be overturned like the CDA was, and the COPA should have been (parts of it were incorrectly supported, though it's enforcement was blocked).

But that is one hell of a big if. You can drive a truck through that if and never see the sides.

No matter what (1)

L33t-Geek (614706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653648)

No matter what the outcome of this case is im sure they will find a way to limit rights in a "public" library. All I have to say is thank god BigBrother (US Govt) hasnt started coming after the home user yet about this. I can only see a few years down the road the govt offering software for filters on your home machine to "Protect" your children... when this happens i will move to canada and just settle for hearing the word eh (sp?) used way to much...

Um, sure... (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653752)

No one sees any difference between using a public computer, in a public library, funded by public dollars and using a private computer, in a private home, funded by private dollars.

Can we adopt some sort of Slashdot ban on horrible "slippery slope" arguments?

Re:Um, sure... (1)

L33t-Geek (614706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653808)

I just think that as long as porn is legal then they should not be filtering it. I am in no way advocating the porn industry (or canada for that matter) i think that it should be your choose what you do in the public library. Filters almost always block sites that it should'nt, that is the only reason I think the filters are wrong... that and the hole big brother thing.

Re:Um, sure... (-1, Flamebait)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653835)

...i think that it should be your choose...
...should'nt...
...that and the hole big brother thing...

I take it you don't actually spend much time in the library do you?

Re:Um, sure... (0, Redundant)

L33t-Geek (614706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653914)

My grammmer isnt great... I know this. But making a personal attack on me because you are out of points to make is childish. I cant spell and I dont give a damn. I do give a damn about this topic. So if youll excuse me I have some more comments to read.

Censoring porn vs. Censoring everything. (5, Insightful)

Corvaith (538529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653655)

What I don't understand is why the government hasn't undertaken to write some software that really will just filter out things that are sexually explicit--perhaps with a way of turning it off with the help of an administrator, for if someone needs to get to materials that are educational as opposed to entertainment.

I don't know of any existing software that doesn't try to block you from going a million other places, too. Sites on homosexuality. Sites on alternative religions. It seems like most of the filters have been put together by people who are less interested in protecting children than promoting an agenda.

The opposition to this would probably be far less if there were some kind of guarantee that legitimate informaiton was not going to be blocked along with all the so-called 'smut'. I have nothing against telling people they can't browse porn from a public library... but I do have something against the government telling public libraries that they can't let kids find out about Wicca or gay rights or whatever they might want to really learn about, just because the filter says it's bad.

Re:Censoring porn vs. Censoring everything. (1)

L33t-Geek (614706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653716)

Your Right on. Anyone who had ever been on a network with Websense running at default config will know that it blocks tradition religion and contempory religion. It blocks sport and all sorts of whacked up stuff. Hell, basiclly the only website you can hit is http://www.google.com if it wasnt for there cached pages there would be nothing you can read. I say we all take a stand on this issue.

Re:Censoring porn vs. Censoring everything. (5, Informative)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653786)

"What I don't understand is why the government hasn't undertaken to write some software that really will just filter out things that are sexually explicit"

Primarily because there is no accepted and defined line of "what is sexually explicit?". Nudity? Well...what about the statue of David, or the roof of the Sistine chapel?

Sexual activity? What's sexual activity?

Penetration? OKay...fine, but then you have to allow in all of the BDSM "Tie em up and beat em, but don't fuck em" films.

"Purient Interest"? OKay...what's that? The best that the Supreme Court has come up with is "I know it if I see it"...I don't think they've developed the computer that can see and process yet.

See the problem?

Re:Censoring porn vs. Censoring everything. (3, Insightful)

deblau (68023) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653793)

What I don't understand is why the government hasn't undertaken to write some software that really will just filter out things that are sexually explicit

This cannot be done, because "sexually explicit" is too vague a concept to write a software spec around. It means different things to different people, and computers tolerate exactly zero ambiguity in their programs. Also, definitions of the phrase which rely on other vague terms like "lewd", "lascivious", and "vulgar" also suffer the same problem. It works fine for lawyers, but computers just don't get it. Ergo, you'll never see a successful filter.

make it easy and make it work (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653662)

One of the things I think of off hand to make filtering of explicit content would be to create a new TLD, such as .xxx . If every site that is deemed pr0nographic used the .xxx tld instead of .com/net/org/foo then it would be a simple matter of having filter software that would just reject any DNS request for that TLD.

Of course, getting all the pr0nmeisters to change their domain registrations, etc. voluntarily would be hard (or would it?) , but this is just something that I've thought of in a few minutes.

Of course, when my child starts to use the 'net more (she's only 2, but already mousing around my Gnome desktop on my Slackware box), I don't intend to rely on software to keep track of where she goes on the 'net and what she does - that is my job as a responsible parent.

Nope. (5, Interesting)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653790)

How bout the other way around? Force all the child safe sites to .kid? DOnt like that? Why do you think its so much better to force the sex busisness to .XXX?

Re:make it easy and make it work (1)

wantedman (577548) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653796)

that wouldn't work at all 1. Why would a business, exp. one as shady as the pr0n industry want to limit their business... (type in sex, get sex.com, won't work with your scheme) 2. ISP may block .xxx to "save the children" denying your "rights"... 3. sites that may be adult, but not xxx, might be placed there(like hate sites), which might give ISPs a reason to ban all .xxx sites.... I think this was actually proposed, but for these reasons, it was decided to stop this from happening

Re:make it easy and make it work (3, Insightful)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653799)

One of the things I think of off hand to make filtering of explicit content would be to create a new TLD, such as .xxx . If every site that is deemed pr0nographic used the .xxx tld instead of .com/net/org/foo then it would be a simple matter of having filter software that would just reject any DNS request for that TLD.

The problem with that is - who decides what is porn and what's not in a global .xxx domain? A guy in Amsterdam? A mullah in Saudi Arabia? An art gallery director in San Francisco? The PTA in Dumptruck County, Alabama?

Remember - this is a top-level domain that's meant to encompass all "porn" - who decides what makes the cut?

And for legit sites not interested in the ghetto? (3, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653838)

There are a number of sites that filtering firms designate as forbidden that are legitimate adult forms of art, literature and discussion. And most of them would be highly offended/dismayed to be asked to step into the ghetto of .xxx . And they should not have to.

And pr0nmeisters would never volunteer for it because it would be restraint of trade.

So, what DO we do? (5, Insightful)

pknoll (215959) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653676)

There's a legitamate problem to be solved here. I don't like their solution, but I will refrain from critisizing it until I come up with one of my own.

It's not just a question of parenting and observation of your child's activities anymore; adult content isn't something you have to go looking for anymore. It lands in my inbox every day, thanks to spammers. Must I forbid my children from using the computer at all? That's not a good solution either.

I, for one, would rather see them focusing efforts on keeping the adult sites from using "push" marketing tactics and pass enforcable laws against the spammers.

We all pine for Judge Borke (2)

LM741N (258038) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653687)

He was the very expert we needed for all of these anti-porno vs. free speech debates.

Re:We all pine for Judge Borke (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653747)

Waye toe goe, Mr. Quayle, nice try, but the man's name is 'Bork'.

beware any cause... (5, Insightful)

venomkid (624425) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653689)

...that tries to convince you it's "for the children."

It seems to be a convenient way to suppretitiously legislate morality-based attacks on personal liberty.

Re:beware any cause... (1)

venomkid (624425) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653745)

or maybe even surreptitiously, depending on how long you've been staring at your monitor...

Re:beware any cause... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653798)

Yeh, now remember that, and then listen to how many Democrats use a variation of that phrase.

Let Me Guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653690)

5 to 4 in favor of blocking.

It seems the court likes to dance in 5/4 time, generally speaking.

Scalia being the tempo change near the coda.

Double standard? (0, Troll)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653697)

There are people of legal age that attend highschool (18 in my neck of the woods) yet no one is bawling for the right to look at porn in schools. how is this any different?

Re:Double standard? (4, Insightful)

laigle (614390) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653821)

Nobody's bawling for the right to view porn here either. They're complaining about mandatory filters that can't discern between porn and normal sites because they're simply keyword based (ie, if you run a site on breast cancer it sees breast and you're blacklisted) and because these filters are often intentionally used to block web sites that have been deemed governmentally unsanctioned for your viewing, such as the Planned Parenthood website or the ACLU site. If there were an effective way of just filtering out the porn sites that would be great. But what this law mandated wasn't that, it was broad incompetent and/or malicious filtering which blocked legitimate sites.

Re:Double standard? (3, Informative)

Trekologer (86619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653848)

This is not about the right to look at porn. The proponants of this law and filtering in general want you to believe that. However, that is not what this is about. Filters do not just filter porn, they filter unpopular speech, the very speech that needs the most protections from censorship.

waste of money! (2)

smd4985 (203677) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653707)

the bush administration should not be wasting our tax dollars on seeking an appeal to the lower court ruling by escalating this case to the supreme court. CIPA is OBVIOUSLY flawed and the supreme court will quickly affirm the lower court ruling. instead of wasting our tax dollars and the justices time they should be thinking of better ways to combat this issue (ie use the money to educate parents and/or children).

lets hope for a favorable conclusion to the eldred case.

Re:waste of money! (2, Funny)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653782)

the bush administration should not be wasting our tax dollars...

Yeah, how dare that ol' meanie administration actually tries to enforce laws! Boohoo!

Protect the children...right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653711)

I could not really give a shit about this problem as longs as the US plans to hit Iraq kids with BOMBS - even though every other country in the world (forget UK, which is part of the US in this context) seems to disagree. It is about the time for your "leaders" to realize that they are not alone in this world.

Hey junior (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653783)

Keep up the smart-mouth and your country is next.

We're not afraid of puny countries like your where you sell your sister into prostitution to pay for the gay porn you must have (Hey Meeeester! Do you want to buy my Seeeester? How about my muuuuther? Che is a vuuurgin!)

In other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653713)

Seatbelts were banned from passenger vehicles because they sometimes don't work.

Re:In other news (2, Insightful)

vondo (303621) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653886)

More like "Seat belts were banned because in 80% of accidents, the belt seized and wouldn't allow people to escape a burning car."


The problem with these filters isn't what they let through, but what they block. (In addition to them being federally mandated as opposed to the library's own choice.)


Seriously, these filters are really stupid. At my local library, you get the choice when you sit down to use filtered or un-filtered. For kicks, I chose filtered, then tried to find a book I wanted in the library's own catalog. My request was blocked because the book was titled "The First Sex," a book about how women are about to take over the world.

Remember, it is the Sepreme Court of the UNITED ST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653748)


That Sandra Day O'Connor is one choice piece of ass. I'd let her pound my gavel.

Sad news ... Super Mario dead at 21 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653766)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - video game character Mario Mario a.k.a. "Super Mario", was found dead in his NOA home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his video games, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an Italian icon.

I wouldn't be watching that filth (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4653795)

In a PUBLIC library, even adults shoudn't.

It's a library for god sakes... (2, Insightful)

jlharris_50010 (529143) | more than 11 years ago | (#4653816)

I guess I don't know why this is such a big deal. Why can't a library enforce its usage policy with a filter. This argument appears earlier, but you don't see a library having a "porn day" where they show porno's all day long. How is blocking access to pornographic sites any different? It doesn't infringe on free speech because you can find your own way to look at porn... just not at a library.
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