Beyond City Limits
Unlike that on affirmative action, the news from the Supreme Court wasn't so good for intellectual freedom this week: The court ruled 6-3 to uphold the Children's Internet Protection Act, the third attempt by Congress to use federal power to crack down on cybersmut. CIPA, which requires libraries to install Internet filtering software or lose federal funds, had been in limbo since it was passed in 2000; a federal district court had sided with the American Library Association that the legislation imposed unconstitutional barriers on freedom of expression, since Internet filters often mechanically block sites that aren't anything close to pornographic. (Austin Public Library offers both filtered and unfiltered Internet access at each of its branches.) Conservatives, who normally object to having decisions made for them by government-run machines, hailed the CIPA ruling: Said Focus on the Family, "The truth is that many libraries have become dens of significant danger to children and adults alike." -- M.C.M.