August 29, 2003

More reactions to American Library Association CIPA statement

More discussion worth noting, in reaction to the American Library Association's statement on CIPA:

A posting by Michael Gorman:

Dear Colleagues

One of the depredations (and consolations) of age is that the world becomes increasingly unrecognizable. Filterers are conmen and conwomen. Censorship is anathema to our profession. What in the name of Jumping Jehosaphat are we doing even contemplating trying to evaluate which brand of filtering snake oil is "better" than other brands? A pox on them all and a pox on censorship.

Peace, Michael

And another comment of Melora Ranney Norman:

Were we unprepared for the CIPA trial?

If the basis of our case was in whether the technology *works* or not, then perhaps.

If the basis of our case rested upon the foundation that censorship (and by extension, censorware) in libraries is unconstitutional and wrong, then perhaps not.

Where it seemed useful to discuss how badly the technology works, we relied upon independent studies, which might be seen as a reasonable attempt at objectivity, so I am not entirely convinced that we've been derelict in this regard. There appeared to be a general consensus that censorware significantly overblocks and underblocks. We all agree that we don't have access to the blacklists, and we don't know what's being de-selected. As far as I can tell, the prevailing argument seems to be that none of this matters--that something is better than nothing--so what more can we hope to prove? I'm not 100% opposed to studies, I just don't see exactly where folks hope to go with that. ...

So where do we put our limited resources and energy now? Do libraries have to censor, and must we now study how to censor best? Is that a priority now? These are difficult questions.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on August 29, 2003 11:59 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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