US Supreme Court to decide library Net filtering case

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether requiring public libraries to put Internet filtering software on computers in an effort to shield children from pornography violates free speech.

The high court's agreement to hear the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) appeal in an ongoing debate over the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) could potentially set new standards for online speech.

CIPA, signed into law in 2000, requires that public libraries install "technological protection measures" on computers or risk losing some types of federal funding. The law was immediately assailed by a number of libraries, library patrons and civil liberty groups, who called it unconstitutional. Not only does the filtering requirement stifle free speech, the groups said, it also serves to deepen the digital divide, restricting Net access on computers used by people who often cannot afford to have them at home.

However, the government has labelled the law a necessary step in protecting children from online pornography and other 'harmful" content. But despite these claims, a three-judge panel in Pennsylvania agreed with the libraries and civil rights groups last May, ruling CIPA unconstitutional.

In its decision, the panel said that the law would "block access to substantial amounts of constitutionally protected free speech whose suppression serves no legitimate government interest."

The DOJ appealed the ruling, sending it to the Supreme Court. The high court is not likely to decide the case until next year.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?