The Supreme Court ruled this week that requiring federally funded libraries to install Internet filters to block pornography was not a violation of free speech. Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act, any library that receives federal money to provide public access to the Internet must equip its computers with software to screen out raunchy material. The justices said librarians are free to offer unfiltered Internet access—they just can’t take federal money if they do. Opponents of the policy, including many librarians, say that the filters are so imprecise that they block Web sites with any kind of sexual content, including many dealing with medicine and the arts. “This is electronic book burning,” one said.
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