Magazine article American Libraries

Filtering Fracas in San Jose

Magazine article American Libraries

Filtering Fracas in San Jose

Article excerpt

In spite of the San Jose (Calif.) Public Library's detailed report in April on the ineffectiveness of software filtering, City Councilor Pete Constant insisted at a May 14 council meeting that the library take some measures to restrict pornography on its public computers. Constant had requested last October that the library reconsider its no-filter policy in the light of a local TV news report that purported to document instances of patrons viewing pornography at library computer terminals.

However, the library is a joint-use facility with San Jose State University, whose administration is opposed to web filtering of any type. The San Jose Mercury News reported May 15 that SJSU President Don Kassing said in a letter to the city that installing filters would "violate the spirit of our joint operating agreement by restricting intellectual freedom."

SJPL's April 2 "Internet Filtering Software Tests" report concluded that each filter it tested "blocked a wide range of constitutionally protected content in its attempt to block other content" and was "ill-equipped" to deal with images on search engine result pages, e-mail attachments, RSS feeds, and non-English content. …

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