Corante

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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Jason Schultz
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Wendy Seltzer
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Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

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April 21, 2005

RIACLU Studies Obvious

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Here's a stunner: the Rhode Island ACLU has found that libraries inconsistently apply Internet filtering. They overfilter, don't know the law, don't permit the filters to be turned off by adults, et cetera. Librarians are not cops. They shouldn't be. Laws that try to force librarians to act as cops are... work with me here.... STOO PID. The underlying law, CIPA, should be thoroughly trashed as soon as possible, SCOTUS decisions to the contrary notwithstanding.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Speech


COMMENTS

1. Seth Finkelstein on April 21, 2005 7:11 PM writes...

Yes! Yes! You are utterly and completely right!

Now ... how ... ? :-(

Permalink to Comment

2. Crosbie Fitch on April 22, 2005 7:51 AM writes...

How?

Quite easily.

Enlightened authors simply ensure they have a filter-triggering image on their website.

Instead of some pointless black-ribbon 'freedom from censorship' campaign, websites display something that will trigger the filters.

When librarians are inundated by requests to enable access to upstanding sites such as Corante, then they will simply disable the filters (or ensure it's bloody easy for adults to do so).

Incidentally, is there an adulthood shibboleth for the web? There are all these 'please type in the following characters to prove you aren't a computer' thingies, but I wonder if there's one to weed out minors? There must be a better one than "Click here if you're over 18".

Now as to a particular filter-triggering image... could be quite a '15 minutes of fame' opportunity for the right person (who doesn't mind being spread across all the greatest sites on the web).

Permalink to Comment

3. Dr. wex on April 22, 2005 9:33 AM writes...

But that "trigger filtering" image idea assumes that "filtering" means the same thing to even a reasonable fraction of human beings. My son, for example, sees naked human bodies all the time - that doesn't bother me. I would rather he didn't see (without a parent around) some of the disturbing images on news sites, such as crash aftermaths and fires, or blood-spattered victims of violence. I know other parents have the opposite view. No simple image is going to do it. One reason filter programs fail is their attempt to be overbroad and generalize. (There are a myriad of other reasons, I know.) Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

Permalink to Comment

4. cjovalle on April 22, 2005 4:11 PM writes...

We'd also like to protect the anonymity of the patron as much as possible, which is one of the problems with age-verification (or authentication in general).

Permalink to Comment


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