February 06, 2012
What are the boundaries of the free access to information? That’s currently
a hot topic in Washington, with a public outcry over a Seattle public library’s refusal to block
pornographic material from public computers. Meanwhile, Wenatchee area libraries are being sued by the ACLU of WA
over their aggressive obscenity filters on computers.
Last week Seattle PI reports a
Seattle woman complained that she was at the Lake City library with her kids, when she saw a man watching hard-
core porn on a computer. She asked the librarian to move the man to a more discreet location. The librarian
refused, saying the library is not in the business of censorship.
local libraries take a decidedly different track, employing internet filters that detractors claim block even
legitimate sites on health, guns, music, and other topics. The ACLU is suing, asking the North Central Regional
Library system to allow adults who request it free access to the internet, no questions asked. The ACLU originally
filed their law suit in 2006, and it is ongoing.
Today we will look at this issue from
both sides, starting with the ACLU of WA. Isaac Kaplan-Woolner has more with spokesman Doug