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Supreme Court backs library porn filters

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The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that filtering Internet content is a must in order for libraries to receive certain types of federal funding.

Free speech crusaders cried as the top court handed down a 6-3 decision in favor of filtering on Monday. The court argued that the Internet changes too fast and has too much content to be monitored manually. Filters are required to keep children safe from porn and other such smut.

This decision supports the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which passed in 2000. CIPA called for libraries to block nasty Internet sites from youngsters or give up federal funds.

In 2002, a panel of judges ruled that CIPA was unconstitutional. Now the Supreme Court has said, "think again."

The U.S. wants to maintain the pure, pristine state of its youth. Blocking large breasts and exposed behinds is a must even if it means some information about the Holocaust, Emma Goldman or the KKK goes missing.

Should adults want to have a look at the "bad" sites, two judges suggested they ask their local librarian for permission. Even if you have the look of a porn-fiend in need of a fix, the librarian is to turn the filter off.

"Concerns over filtering software's tendency to erroneously 'overblock' access to constitutionally protected speech that falls outside the categories software users intend to block are dispelled by the ease with which patrons may have the filtering software disabled," the court wrote in its decision.

Librarians now hold the key to public Internet access, which seems downright odd. It's been a while since we asked for permission to use "all" of the Internet, but apparently it's something we should get used to. ®

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