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Internet Censorship & Libraries Essay

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   Libaries across the nation are in a dilemma, should they filter what information is available to it's visitors via the Internet? This scenario is being debated all across the United States. Many states are arguing over whether or not the library has the authority to limit what information is accessible via the Internet computers at the library. The argument is over the First Amendment right of Free Speech. There are family groups who are actually in favor of allowing unfiltered access on the Internet, not what one would think. These groups also support the notion of parents being with their children while they are on the Internet, not something that all parents have the luxury of being able to do. Other groups want the public Internet access points to be filtered, making the claim that any child at anytime can be harmfully exposed to Internet information that they may incorrectly understand. I will be showing options on what the local library should do, and explaining how I think the issue should be addressed from a topology standpoint as well as a technical one.

 

 

Public Libraries

 

Libraries in the United States have been battling censorship since the American Library Association issued its first Library Bill of Rights in 1939. This document proclaimed the American Library Association's policy on intellectual freedom. With this bill libraries have been successful in defending their collections against censorship and supporting their right to provide unrestricted access to information for all users. Now the battleground has shifted from books to electronic information, mainly the Internet. Censorship of books has decreased, and has in turn shifted and gained much more attention in ...


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Unknown. (1998). City Officials to consider filtering Internet at public libraries. [Online]. Available: http://texnews.com/1998/texas/new1115.html. [1998, Nov.15].

Wallace, Jonathon. (1997). Labelling, rating and filtering systems on the Internet. [Online]. Available: http://www.spectacle.org/cda/rate.html. [1997, Sep. 02].

Wallace, Jonathon. "Purchasing of Blocking Software by Public Libraries in Unconstitutional: A Briefing Paper," available at http://www.spectacle.org/cs/library.html

Michels, Spencer. "Easy Access? Should on-line porn be available at local libraries?" Transcript available at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cyberspace/July-dec97/library_8-7.html [Aug 7, 1997].

 

Libraries struggle to control public Internet terminals. [Online]. Available: http://cnn.com/TECH/computing/9901/25/library.porn.ap/ [1999, Jan, 25].

 


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