Tuesday, March 27, 2012

District Ordered To Replace Internet Filter That Blocks Gay Sites

The New York Times (3/27, Winerip, Subscription Publication) reports that under the 2000 Children's Internet Protection Act, schools must use Internet filters to block inappropriate content. However, some of these filtering programs discriminate against gay rights websites. "'These filters are a new version of book-banning or pulling books off the shelf,' said Pat Scales of the American Library Association." Meanwhile, "over the last year, the American Civil Liberties Union has asked officials from hundreds of school districts around the country to make changes in their Internet screening systems to eliminate bias, said Anthony Rothert, a civil liberties lawyer based in St. Louis." However, the district in Camdenton, Missouri, refused to do so, and the ACLU sued it last year. The Times notes that a Federal judge has ruled that the district must replace the screening system with one that does not discriminate against pro-gay websites.

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