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February 28, 2007


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Justin Walsh

I know that this issue is a hefty one. A friend of mine on Law Review recently wrote an article based on filtering of content such as myspace and facebook at schools, a similar issue in terms of the constitutional arguments. His first draft clocked in at 110 pages, with 30 of that being the rules surrounding First Amendment issues in this area. Definitely not an easy issue to tackle for any public entity.


Librarians, though sometimes scholarly, are not Consititutional scholars.

P.S. Did you know that not only are they required to give you access to whatever you want on the computers, they are also required to obtain whatever book you demand? (Just kidding.)


Dag, I insulted librarians, but I capitalized constitutional!

David Nieporent

That's an overstatement of what the Supreme Court said in the ALA case. It upheld a federal law requiring blocking software, based in part on the fact that the law (CIPA) specifically allowed libraries to disable filters for adults. It did not hold that it was okay to block legal content for adults.

(Rehnquist's opinion implied that it was, but Rehnquist's opinion only picked up 4 votes. Kennedy separately concurred, conditioned on the premise that libraries would unblock the filters for adults.)

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