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Sunday, June 2, 2002
Federal Court Rejects Government Censorship in Libraries, Citing Free Speech Rights of Patrons
Last week Children's Internet Protection Act was overturned in U.S. District Court. CIPA was designed by Senator's McCain and Hollings to legally extort librarians in the United States to curtail the use of adult speech in those libraries which receive federal funding. Although, at least one library had decide to forego any future federal funding as a result of this law, most libaries would be forced to employ bad software to sustain that funding. In complying with this law libraries would be denying adult speech.

Aside from the ridiculous nature of this law, for instance libraries could be forced to filter their own card catalogs, I made a declaration in this case because it offends me deeply that this law restricts access to online communities for sexual minorities who must use libraries to get online.

To be realistic, when it comes to content that's dangerous, you can't do better than a book. The internet can be dangerous, to be sure, but all the danger written in cyberspace has already been written on paper. The real danger with the internet, and this is why these well meaning but completely clueless Senators wrote the law, is that the people on the internet can be extremely dangerous. But people on the internet can also be wonderful and sharing. In fact thousands of people all over the world meet in online communities every day.

To do damage to such communities, sexual minorities were some of the first to colonize the internet, because of non-sensical laws like CIPA is just a shame. I hope McCain and Hollings are embarrassed.

6/2/02:11:23:28 PM PST    comment

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