June 23, 2003

PETER LEWIS WRITES on the Supreme Court’s library internet filtering decision:

Sure, some kids will use the Internet to search for porn, just as they’ll snoop for dad’s collection of Playboys out in the garage. I suspect that if they are blocked on the library computers, they’ll simply use someone else’s computer. (Or, they’ll hack around the software.) Meanwhile, everyone else at the library wanting to use the Internet will be assumed to be a pervert, especially those who ask that the software filters be disabled.

Another issue: Whose filter will the libraries use? The software has to be compiled by someone whose value judgments are trustworthy.

Indeed. But the real lesson is that librarians who don’t like being bossed around by the feds should think twice about accepting federal money, which always comes with strings.