Other types of organizations that offer publicaccess computers to children or youth groups might. Web filtering for libraries is necessary for cipa compliance and will ensure. Impacts on schools libraries staff and the economic impact. Filtering software makes the internet safe for children.
The software company, specializing in child protection software, offers libraries an ideal internet filtering program called iprotectyou. Leslie scherer, director of the wallingford public library in wallingford, conn. The court, in a decision written by chief justice rehnquist, ruled on whether public libraries use of internet filtering software violated patrons first amendment rights, as well as whether cipa was a valid exercise of congress spending power by requiring filters for any library who wanted to receive federal funds for internet access. This item appears in the following collections volume 25, number 1 2006 search repository. To use software filtering properly would mean creating a process for deactivating it on a casebycase basis, she says. The educators speak out the childrens internet protection act cipa passed in 1999, requires schools qualifying for federal erate funding to use filtering technology to block access to materials that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors. How about ditching that expensive filtering software youre using now and subscribe to librarydoor content filtering, firewall and network monitoring that works better, costs less, and comes with tech support people rave about. Freespeech advocates fight filtering software in public. This item appears in the following collections volume 25, number 1 2006.
At the paterson free public library, about 20 miles west of new york, director cynthia czesak has installed software filtering devices only on computers in the childrens area. Legal memo written by a florida county attorney on whether the library can implement filtering software to restrict access to sites on the internet and whether. Internet filtering software for schools and libraries. Libraries that employ filters that block constitutionally protected material deemed harmful to minors and do not allow adults to disable filters, or fail to provide an effective unblocking system, may open the door to years of litigation and significant legal expenses. Its strength and suitability for libraries lies firstly in its advanced capability to distinguish between undesirable sites and those of a suitable nature, and secondly in the power it gives. Applying acceptable usage policies is also a straightforward task that requires no it skills. Why blocking software is wrong for public libraries executive summary the internet is rapidly becoming an essential tool for learning and communication. An authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
In a nutshell, the childrens internet protection act requires public libraries to install internet filtering software on all of its computers public access and staff if the library uses federal money to purchase computers that will access the internet or to purchase internet access. American library associations resolution on the use of internet. By 2000, before congress enacted cipa, almost 17% of public libraries used such software on at least some of their internet terminals, and 7% had. Publicly supported libraries are governmental institutions subject to the first amendment, which forbids them from restricting information based on viewpoint or content discrimination. The debate finds the protectors of first amendment rights pitted against those who have deep concerns about child safety. The childrens internet protection act cipa and the neighborhood childrens internet protection act ncipa passed congress in december of 2000.
Signal filter is a processing library for noisy signal filtering. Schools and libraries subject to cipa must certify that the institution has adopted an internet safety policy that includes use of a technology protection measure filtering or blocking software to keep adults from accessing images online that are obscene or child pornography. Filters might block sexually explicit text or photographs, hate speech, pages meant to incite violence, instructions on building weapons, and so forth. Filtering and the first amendment american libraries. In may, a threejudge panel in philadelphia ruled that. Contentcontrol software, commonly referred to as an internet filter, is software that restricts or controls the content an internet user is capable to access, especially when utilised to restrict material delivered over the internet via the web, email, or other means. The act allows adult library patrons to request that a librarian disable the filtering software.
Law requires content filtering on school and library networks. No case involving the use of filtering software by libraries exist. Internet filtering software offers some control, but its use remains hotly contested by many. The librarys blocking software lets you know that you are not allowed to access a certain webpage because it has been filtered out by the networks firewall. Libraries cannot use erate funds to purchase filtering software or appliances. Filtering software uses a series of preset rules to block internet content deemed undesirable. The american library association forcefully condemns the use of filtering software in libraries. Internet filtering laws in the united states web filtering.
Burt said his impetus for starting filtering facts was an american library association meeting in san francisco in july 1997. Cipa requires public libraries that participate in the lsta and erate programs to certify that they are using computer filtering software to prevent the onscreen depiction of obscenity, child pornography or other material harmful to minors. In this context, there is no such thing as too much information. Representatives from net filtering software firms, public libraries, and library journals meet to hash out the contentious issue of how public libraries can. This law imposes requirements on schools and libraries that receive funding from the erate program. Supreme court said on tuesday that it would hear a challenge to a controversial law placing filtering software in public libraries. Jun 20, 2016 the dangers of internet filtering by romeo rosales, jr. In the library with the lead pipe welcomes audrey barbakoff, a librarian at the milwaukee public library, and ahniwa ferrari, virtual experience manager at the pierce county library system in washington, for a pointcounterpoint piece on filtering in libraries. The following sites can help you get up to speed on the issue. The first amendment and internet filtering in public libraries.
In the span of a single generation, the internet has revolutionized the basic functions and operations of libraries and schools and expanded exponentially both the opportunities and challenges these institutions face in serving their users. See resolution adopted by ala council, july 2, 1997. Select filtering software that is transparent in its classification system and that allows the library to finetune the categories of content that are blocked. Further filter internet access by time of day, protocols, and file types. Libraries are conflicted on the issue of internet filtering software. Internet filters and public libraries freedom forum institute. Also known as censorware, the development of this software began in the early 1990s. According to cipa, a library that accepts erate funds to access the internet must have a policy of internet safety that includes the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with internet access that protects against access through such computers to visual depictions that are. The solution can be administered from a webbased control panel which can be accessed from a laptop, computer, or tablet from any location.
Libraries and internet filtering software webjunction. The narrow focus of the supreme court ruling may set the stage for continuing controversy and more litigation as libraries across the country install filtering systems and respond to patron requests for access to blocked. Search queries on qwant search engine filtering info. The aclu has published several comprehensive studies about software filtering technology and internet censorship. Infopeoples library filtering page catch up on the history of libraries and internet filtering complete with glossary terms, how filters work and the best practices, and the site includes related resources. Filtering and the first amendment american libraries magazine. Some libraries that employ contentcontrol software allow the software to be deactivated on a casebycase basis on application to a librarian.
While cipa requires technical filtering measures, these will never be sufficient to completely protect students from inappropriate content. Provide the name and annual cost of the content filtering software. But the dream of universal internet access will remain only a dream if politicians force libraries and other institutions to use blocking software whenever patrons log on. Web content filtering service for public library spiceworks. Senate panel hears pros and cons of filtering software for.
Webtitan offers libraries an exceptional level of control over the content that can be accessed via their wired and wireless networks. The flexibility of webtitan cloud for wifi enables libraries to adopt policies that allow visitors to request the unblocking of certain webpages or websites if they have been caught by the filter. Library use of blocking filtering software creates an implied contract with parents that their children will not be able to access material on the internet that they do not wish their children to read or view. Proponents of filtering in public institutions say that the software is necessary to prevent libraries from becoming gateways to online peep shows. Cipa does not apply to schools and libraries receiving discounts only for telecommunications service only. The childrens internet protection act cipa was enacted by congress in 2000 to address concerns about childrens access to obscene or harmful content over the internet. Opponents of filtering software claim that the filtering imposed by an institution such as a school or library is censorship. Webtitans internet content filtering for library wifi allows libraries to comply with state and federal government regulations but not overly censor the internet. Provide a full list of the categories of websites blocked.
For most libraries, filtering software is not feasible because it blocks important information, said maria schneider, the librarys public affairs director. When internet access came to public libraries, the issue of whether and how to filter out access to pornography followed close behind and just wont go away. Librarians by nature want to provide patrons with access to as much information as possible. The struggle between students and administrators for effective content filtering is a catandmouse game that will never end. Childrens internet protection act fact sheet for public. Knowing there is no benefit to internet pornography in public libraries, the court continued, especially because public libraries have traditionally excluded pornographic material from their other collections, congress could reasonably impose a parallel limitation on its internet assistance programs. Schools and libraries subject to cipa must certify that the institution has adopted an internet safety policy that includes use of a technology protection measurefiltering or blocking softwareto keep adults from accessing images online that are obscene or child pornography.
They argue that the protection of minors is a compelling government interest of the highest order. Libraries will be unable to fulfill this implied contract, due to the technological limitations of the software. Internet filtering laws in the united states are mostly introduced at the state level, although federal legislation has been introduced for schools and libraries the childrens internet protection act cipa. The dangers of internet filtering public libraries online. It is possible to filter by category or keyword and block specific webpages or entire websites. The american library association affirms that the use of filtering software by libraries to block access to constitutionally protected speech violates the library bill. Part ii describes the legal background with respect to bookbanning and internet protection. But congress also learned that filtering software that blocks access to pornographic web sites could provide a reasonably effective way to prevent such uses of library resources. Web and wifi filtering for libraries could not be any easier. Since the use of filtering software for library computer terminals has become a subject of debate, the pros and cons of incorporating this. The four cipa provisions that affect k12 institutions require the creation of an internet safety.
Policy on public use of the internet the new york public. Internet content filtering helps libraries meet digital inclusion goals. Cipa does not require the tracking of internet use by minors or adults. N2h2 filtering faq for libraries pdf, 62 kb n2h2 now has an faq for public libraries that specifically address know areas of concern for libraries, such as unblocking at individual workstations, submitting anonymous request to the library for unblocking, and configuring different levels of filtering for minors and adults. The american library association fought cipa in the courts and took the position that the use of filtering software by libraries to block access to constitutionally. Chapel hill library to add internet filtering software to computers. Most web filtering software allows blocking of sites by subject. In summation, libraries considering the use of filtering software should consult their legal counsel prior to any such deployment. The use of filtering software in public libraries mit. Library filtering remains controversial baselinemag. Alaska libraries that do not receive erate funding need not filter, though it. In sum, the court acknowledges that use of filtering software furthers public libraries legitimate interests in preventing patrons from accessing visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography, or in the case of minors, material harmful to minors and that it helps prevent patrons from being unwillingly exposed to patently offensive. Faife committee on freedom of access to information and freedom. Libraries are places of inclusion rather than exclusion.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors, and are not endorsed by their employers. A senate panel heard from supporters and opponents of a bill that requires certain schools and libraries to use web filtering software. Pornography on public library computers is a real problem, but a seemingly obvious solution, filtering technology, comes with issues of its own. Libraries in the usa have had to face legal challenges when they do not use filtering software and users of the library have been exposed to offensive material through library internet connections. Libraries and schools may find that implementing a content filtering solution on all of their computers can benefit them financially, as this will help them comply with the cipa and qualify for federal funding for technologyrelated purposes. Many organizations choose to deploy some form of software for website content filtering for wifi in a library due to the cost advantage and ease of administration such solutions offer. Law requires content filtering on school and library. It provides a convenient way to get rid of the noise in raw signals like blob tracking coordinates for example. Windows packet filter winpkfilter is a high performance packet filtering framework for windows that allows developers to transparently filter view and modify raw network packets at the ndis level of the network stack with minimal impact on network activity and without having to write any low level driver code windows packet filter includes ndis 3. To this end, burt founded filtering facts, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the use of filtering software in public libraries. Internet filter software for schools has evolved significantly since the passage of the children. Nor can the library guarantee that the filtering software will not restrict access to sites that may have legitimate research or other value. Supreme court, in a 63 ruling, declared the childrens internet protection act constitutional. Filtering software is too crude and broad in its effect to avoid this problem, unless the library has the funds or staff to have multiple terminals segregated by users ages.
Given the facts and the law, the board of supervisors of kern county is obligated under the constitution to remove the filters from the libraries. The debate over the advantages and disadvantages of internet filtering in libraries is likely to go on for some time to come, although for many libraries the decision is now becoming less about first amendment freedoms and more about money. How rating and blocking proposals may block free speech on the internet. Website content filtering for wifi in a library can be achieved using a hardware, software, or cloudbased solution. Home web filtering libraries, archives, museums at alaska state.
The library cannot and does not guarantee that the filtering software will block all obscenity, child pornography, or materials that are harmful to minors. Computer filtering software is marketed as a means to block cyberbullying, access to sexually explicit material, and violent videos. Jan 01, 2000 approximately six out of seven public libraries do not use filters on any of their computers. In addition, libraries that receive an erate discount for internal connections or internet access must comply with cipa. Dec 10, 2009 schools and libraries are using dynacomm ifilter as their web filtering software of choice to protect their internet users from in. Internet filtering at schools is problematic the atlantic.
Filtering software that libraries use indiana university. The library s blocking software lets you know that you are not allowed to access a certain webpage because it has been filtered out by the networks firewall. However, the more computers that are used, the more labor intensive it can be to install a content filter on each device and to monitor access to the internet via personal mobile devices. Do you employ the use of content filtering software on the pcs based in your libraries which are connected to the internet and intended for use by the users of your library. In may 1998 livermore public library, california became the first public library to be sued for failing to protect children from pornography 5. Librarian leads the charge in defending filtering software. Impacts of cipa ethics of internet filtering for libraries.
The dangers of internet filtering by romeo rosales, jr. This file contains a list of filtering software used in libraries. There is no right to view internet pornography in public. You need to be informed about the current status of filtering issues to be able to make informed recommendations to your administration and school board. While schools and libraries should consult the full text of the cipa pdf to learn more about what kind of a content filtering system will help them. Libraries and the internet toolkit advocacy, legislation. Advantages and disadvantages of internet filtering in. Cipa imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for internet access or internal connections through the erate program a program that. At the core of the ongoing debate is a law passed by congress in 2000 that mandates all public libraries and schools that receive federal funds for internet access install blocking software. For libraries with a limited number of internetconnected devices, implementing a software based solution can be straightforward. Marias peace of mind marias children really want to use the internet in the nearby public library for some of their homework projects. In a 200page decision, the judges wrote that in view of the severe limitations of filtering technology and the existence of these less restrictive alternatives including making filtering software optional or supervising users directly, we conclude that it is not possible for a public library to comply with cipa without blocking a very. Warning to kern county ca libraries about using internet. With schools and libraries across the country facing budget shortfalls and cutbacks, somethings got to give.
While some local libraries in our communities have installed filtering safeguards mostly on childrens computers many library boards refuse to even consider filters, claiming that doing so violates first amendment free access to all information or that filtering software. Filtering software within the library setting many of the arguments against internet filtering in libraries are primarily based on civil liberties and the unimpeded right of access to information, particularly in the u. Why blocking software is wrong for public libraries. Statement on library use of filtering software advocacy. Using filtering software is one way to address these concerns and try to ensure the safety of children using public library internet resources. Pros and cons of filtering software the childrens internet protection act cipa is a federal law established in december 2000.1279 1340 870 37 796 1326 759 716 184 399 1367 963 1264 1470 277 131 218 266 594 338 1011 499 834 346 116 251 1448 666 849 76 429 796