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Library porn...and i thought I was low.

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No more library porn for you! :laugh:


Fox News

Friday, May 31, 2002

PHILADELPHIA — Public libraries that carry out the Children's Internet Protection Act block access to Web sites that contain protected speech, three federal judges said Friday in overturning the law.

"Any public library that adheres to CIPA's conditions will necessarily restrict patrons' access to a substantial amount of protected speech in violation of the First Amendment," the judges wrote in the 195-page decision.

The new law would have required public libraries to install Internet software that filters out smut or risk losing federal funding starting July 1.

The judges, who heard nearly two weeks of testimony in April, wrote that they were concerned that library patrons who wanted to view sites blocked by filters might be embarrassed or lose their right to remain anonymous because they would have to ask permission to have the sites unblocked.

Any appeal of the decision by 3rd U.S. Circuit Judge Edward R. Becker and U.S. District judges John P. Fullam and Harvey Bartle III would go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Department lawyers argue that Internet porn is so pervasive that protections are necessary to keep it away from youngsters, and that the law simply calls for libraries to use the same care in selecting online content that they use for books and magazines.

They also point out that libraries can turn down the federal funding if they want to provide unfiltered Web access.

Attorneys for the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union contend the law is unenforceable, unconstitutional, vague and overbroad.

They claim Web sites on issues such as breast cancer and homosexuality can get mistakenly categorized as porn and blocked by the filtering programs.

The Children's Internet Protection Act was the third anti-Internet-porn law brought before federal judges for constitutional challenges.

The 1996 Communications Decency Act made it a crime to put adult-oriented material online where children can find it. It was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The 1998 Child Online Protection Act required Web sites to collect a credit card number or other proof of age before allowing Internet users to view material deemed "harmful to minors." The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals barred enforcement of that law, saying the standards were so broad and vague that the law was probably unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court partially upheld the law in May, but did not rule on its constitutionality as a whole. It remains on hold for further action in lower courts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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