A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘Internet filtering’

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The Dangers of Internet Filtering

So you are at your public library about to download or view information for a research paper, and then it happens: The library’s blocking software lets you know that you are not allowed to access a certain webpage because it has been filtered out by the network’s firewall. You are immediately disappointed because you know the information you are trying to access is harmless and poses no threat to minors; however, according to the library’s firewall, the webpage has been categorized as “adult,” allowing you no access to the page. This is not only a disappointment but also a disservice to many students who are simply trying to access informational resources.

Net Neutrality

Net Neutral?

In an editorial in the November 2014 MIT Technology Review[1], the writer concluded that “the open Internet is in danger. But not from lack of neutrality—from the prospect of FCC regulating it like a 20th –century utility.” The article proceeded to provide a brief commentary on “network neutrality.” This refers to the concept that service providers should not block data from particular websites, charge content providers for delivering content, or set paid “fast lanes” i.e. charging extra to some people for faster services while others get stuck in “slow lanes.”

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Who Defines Acceptable Material?

Patrons of Orland Park Library sparked a national debate last November, on acceptable material available in their library, specifically pornography on the Internet. Some patrons were shocked and outraged they were able to see (and therefore their kids were able to see) adult patrons viewing pornographic material on the computers.