Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Idaho House Passes Bill That Requires Filtering on All Public Library Computers

Idaho House passes bill on library Internet use. (Idaho Statesman, 3/14/2011)

Public libraries would have to block offensive content on computers, such as pornography, under legislation approved by the Idaho House.

Lawmakers approved the measure Monday on a 63-7 vote, sending it to the Idaho Senate for consideration.

Republican Rep. Mack Shirley's bill would require public libraries to install computer software to filter obscene materials and other content deemed harmful to minors. A previous version of the bill would have withheld public funding for libraries that don't comply, but that section was dropped amid concerns over how the state would enforce it.

Critics of the bill say it would require libraries to buy costly software that is designed to filter offensive content but may not always be successful. Shirley contends free filtering software is available to public libraries for this purpose.

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