June 24, 2003

CIPA - "but the censorware can be turned-off"

I keep hearing "but the censorware can be turned-off for adults". Justice Souter put it best, in his dissent:

First, the statute says only that a library "may" unblock, not that it must. ... In addition, it allows unblocking only for a "bona fide research or other lawful purposes," ... and if the "lawful purposes" criterion means anything that would not subsume and render the "bona fide research" criterion superfluous, it must impose some limit on eligibility for unblocking, ... ("[C]ourts should disfavor interpretations of statutes that render language superfluous"). There is therefore necessarily some restriction, which is surely made more onerous by the uncertainty of its terms and the generosity of its discretion to library staffs in deciding who gets complete Internet access and who does not. ...

Bluntly, if the censorware could be turned-off on request, what would be the point of the law in the first place?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on June 24, 2003 01:55 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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