The software that was being used to block web sites is X-Stop by Log-On Data Corporation. A major problem with the software is that it blocks sites that should not be blocked based on the Libraryís Policy. Sites including, The Safer Sex Page and the Books for Gay and Lesbian Teens/Youth page were blocked.
A Loudon non-profit organization sued the library under the accusation that the policy violates the first amendment because it discriminates against protected speech on the basis of content. The library lost the case.
We have concluded that the United States would and did rule on the side of the plaintiff (independent party). Sited violations by the defendant were that the filtering software did not zero in enough, it restricts adults, and contains insufficient safeguards to review blocked sites. The use of the filtering software has been deemed unconstitutional by the US government. Germanyís government has had a history of blocking material from its public especially when it pertains to influencing children. We also determined that Saudi Arabia would support the libraries use of the software since they block a great deal of public information using a gateway controlled by a single group. The KACST seeks to protect Muslim values, traditions, and culture by blocking influential content.
We determined that both Germany and Saudi Arabia would be in favor of
the public library's use of filtering software, while the United States
ruled against it.
EFF - Another Victory for Free Speech on the Internet
Freedom House: Press Freedom Survey 2000
The Internet in the Mideast and North Africa
Arab Media: Saudi internet rules
A Brief Look At Internet Censorship
Silencing The Net - Summary
EFF Statement on Loudon Ruling -
Memorandum Opinion & Order in Loudon Co. Library Case -
Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition
News Release from Congressman Rick White (R-WA)
Last updated 2001/12/26
Created by "Group 8", CS 3604, Fall 2001.