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February 09, 2004

CIPA Article in First Monday


First Monday--one of the best journals on the Web--has an outstanding, must-read article about CIPA: "Potential legal challenges to the application of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in public libraries: Strategies and issues," by Paul T. Jaeger and Charles R. McClure.

These gentlemen speak truth to justice, outlining not only short-term implementation problems but issues that touch the heart of our profession, pointing out that librarians "need to be aware of the true nature of the dilemmas that CIPA creates in libraries"--such as forcing librarians to be "speech gatekeeper[s]"--and stressing the many limitations of filters.

With librarians rolling over on the filtering issue as a done deal, it's good to read a critique of CIPA that doesn't rush to conclude that filtering is palatable or inevitable, and that focuses not only on the potential damage to the First Amendment CIPA presents, but on the many possible challenges to this new law.

Like most items published by First Monday, "Potential Legal Challenges" is a fairly chewy read. Set aside the lightweight blogs today, and make time to absorb, think about, and discuss McClure and Jaeger's excellent article. The First Amendment you save could be your own.

Posted by kgs at February 9, 2004 11:26 PM

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(Caveat lector: Feel free to follow Karen's advice and go read the CIPA analysis on First Monday. I can't think about the USA PATRIOT Act and CIPA at the same time without wanting to take to a fainting couch, so... [Read More]

Tracked on February 10, 2004 10:14 AM


Wow. Chewy indeed. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Eli at February 10, 2004 09:09 AM

I've long thought CIPA was still fight-able, if not win-able. But nobody seems to want to do what it would take :-(.

Remember, I had to quit censorware research because I just couldn't get support.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at February 10, 2004 10:12 AM

Interesting document. What jumps out at me is "there is no such thing as "un-bonified research". What would that be? Who gives the blessing that makes it "bonafide" ? It can't possibly be a librarian. How can librarians be put in that position?

Posted by: Bob Turner at February 17, 2004 09:22 AM