And Now The Government Says Filters Don't Work?

from the depends-on-the-situation-apparently dept

It's always fun to see how arguments change over time. A few years ago, when the federal government put in place a rule that schools and libraries needed to put internet filters on all computers if they wanted to keep receiving federal funds, there was a lawsuit claiming that filters don't work very well and they tend to block out lots of perfectly legitimate content. The government, on the other hand, argued that filters work well enough and there was nothing wrong with mandating them. Eventually, the Supreme Court agreed, and said the federal government could mandate filters. Now, in a separate case concerning the "Child Online Protection Act" (which has been bouncing around the courts for 8 years), that has been twice hit by Supreme Court injunctions over the likelihood that the law is unconstitutional, it seems that the ACLU will be arguing that filters are just dandy as a solution to protecting kids, while the federal government (thanks to data a bunch of search engines freely handed over) will be arguing that filters suck and are ineffective. So, which is it? Either filters are ineffective and useless at protecting kids or they're important tools that need to be in place to protect our kids? Apparently, it all depends on which court case we're dealing with at the moment.
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  1. identicon
    Nicholas, 24 Oct 2006 @ 12:34am

    Okay I'm from Australia not from the US and let me tell you. Filters are awful. They ban just about everything from Google Image search to web hosting, e-mail services, forums, chat, irc, msn, aim, etc... Virtually everything on the internet. I'd much rather use my internet at home. Now you might say you should only do homework. WELL half of those sites are filtered too.

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