[Politech] David Burt: 65 percent of libraries now filtering Internet [fs]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Jan 13 2005 - 09:49:41 PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Public library filter use increases to 65% after CIPA
Date: 	Thu, 13 Jan 2005 10:55:54 -0600
From: 	Burt,David <david_burt@private>
To: 	Declan McCullagh <declan@private>

[You may republish any portion of this e-mail.  For a bio of me
describing the history of my involvement in the library filtering issue
since 1997, see http://www.securecomputing.com/speaker_bio.cfm?Speaker=48 ]


The first survey numbers for public library compliance with the
Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) were just published in Library
Journal’s Annual Budget Report, which surveyed 424 public libraries.
Unfortunately, this isn’t available on-line yet, but I got it through
Lexis/Nexis.  Here is the relevant excerpt:

  “As for the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which ties
receipt of E-rate discounts to filtering the Internet, 59.5% of
respondents said they complied. A slightly larger percentage (65%) said
they filter at least some Internet terminals.   It was predicted that
smaller libraries might not choose to comply with CIPA, given the
limited savings; also, it is believed people in smaller, close-knit
communities are less likely to flout rules of acceptable Internet usage.
Indeed, only 44% of the smallest libraries (serving fewer than 10,000
people) filter any terminals, while more than three-quarters of
libraries serving more than 100,000 people filter.   Of those
responding, 62% apply for E-rate discounts. Some 85% of libraries
serving more than 500,000 people apply for discounts.”

Budget Report 2005, Library Journal, January 15, 2005

Here’s how this stacks up to earlier surveys:

Year    Libraries filtering        Source

1998    14%                             National Commission on Library
and Information Science

2000    24%                             National Commission on Library
and Information Science

2002    43%                             Library Journal

2004    65%                             Library Journal

CIPA went into effect for public libraries in July, 2003.  So you can
see this resulted in a big jump from 43% to 65%.  What’s also
interesting here is that 59.5% say they “comply with CIPA” which should
mean that 59.5% of public libraries are now filtering for ALL patrons,
including staff as is required by CIPA.

What this data doesn’t say is how CIPA is being implemented in
practices.  When the Supreme Court upheld CIPA in ALA v. U.S. (see
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/02-361.pdf) there were 5
separate opinions, including Justice Kennedy’s concurrence that
suggested libraries should disable (or unblock filtered material) for
adults.  However, neither the Supreme Court nor the FCC (which is
charged with implementing CIPA) specifically directed libraries to have
such disabling policies.

It is unclear how many libraries allow adult disabling of filters,
though two recent press accounts documented how some public libraries
were going different ways.  The Phoenix Public Library recently
rescinded a disabling policy after patrons were having the filters
disabled to access child pornography (see
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0106wvglenlibrary06.html ), while
the New York Public Library complies with CIPA and allows adult
disabling, and does not prevent patrons from accessing pornography (see



I think for now libraries will continue to implement their own policies,
because I sense little enthusiasm from either the free speech or
pro-family groups for another round of court battles on this


*David Burt*

Public Relations Manager

*Secure Computing® *

/Securing connections between people, applications, and networks™/

www.securecomputing.com <http://www.securecomputing.com/>


1-206-892-1130 (Direct Phone)

1-800-971-2622 (Main Phone)

1-206-683-9508 (Mobile Phone)

1-206-834-1788 (Fax)

David_Burt@private <mailto:David_Burt@private>

* *

*Secure Computing Corporation, Seattle Office*

900 Fourth Avenue, Suite 3600

Seattle, WA 98164

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