by Mike Masnick

Internet Filters? Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad

from the depends-on-your-point-of-view dept

The NY Times is making fun of both the ACLU and the government for what appears to be contradictory positions on internet filters. They point to two big cases in the past two years, where each side appears to take an opposing viewpoint. In the recent ruling on porn blocking, the ACLU argued that filters were fine and we don't need a law to stop online porn. The government argued the opposite viewpoint, saying filters were not effective by themselves. However, last year, the ACLU argued that filters were a terrible way to stop porn in the case over whether or not libraries could be required to put internet filters in place in order to receive federal funds. However, when you look at the details, the positions aren't as contradictory as the NY Times would like you to believe. The ACLU believes that no one should be forced by the government into using filters. However, if someone (or some organization) decides to use them on their own, that's perfectly reasonable. The government's position is just as internally consistent as well -- looking for any way to stop children from accessing porn. The difference is that the two sides disagree on how effective the means are, and whether or not they block out certain other constitutional rights.

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