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Supreme Court supports library computer filters

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    The following article, attributred to Tini Locy and Joan Biskupic of USA Today, appeared on page A3 of the Tuesday, June 24, 2003 edition of The Arizona
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2003
      The following article, attributred to Tini Locy and Joan Biskupic of USA
      Today, appeared on page A3 of the Tuesday, June 24, 2003 edition of The
      Arizona Republic. Whatever one thinks of pornography, the real danger of
      this ruling is that filters could be used to censor other things as well,
      such as sites the government considers to be subversive.

      --Kevin Walsh

      PORN BLOCKS TIED TO FUNDING OK

      Washington--Congress can require public libraries that get federal funding
      to install computer filters that block access to Internet pornography, the
      Supreme Court ruled Monday.

      In a 6-3 decision, the high court said that by attaching such a condition
      to funding, Congress is not forcing libraries to violate their patrons' First
      Amendment rights.

      The ruling is a victory for parents who worry about the availability of
      pornography online and use of the Internet by child predators. It also is
      the first time in three attempts that Congress has prevailed in its efforts
      since 1996 to shield children from sexually explicit materials online.

      Previously, the high court rejected a law that made it a crime to send
      indecent messages online to anyone under 18 and a statute banning "virtual"
      pornography.

      This time, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the majority, Congress
      legitimately tied its efforts to millions of dollars in federal funding for
      libraries. "Congress has wide latitude ot attach conditions to the receipt
      of federal assistance in order to further its policy objectives," he wrote.

      Siding with Rehnquist were Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia and
      Clarence Thomas. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer joined the
      majority but said adults should be able to ask librarians to disable the
      filters.

      The dissenters were Justices David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul
      Stevens.
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