|Rep. Peter Breen|
Internet Screening in Public Libraries Act: HB 2689 requires internet filters on public library computers to prevent the viewing of hard-core pornography on those computers. Breen emphatically stated that, “I’ve heard from many moms over the years that adult men are regularly viewing hard-core pornography on public library computers, in full view of children and others. This is an abuse of taxpayer resources and creates a hostile environment for public library employees and patrons. No child should have to walk past obscene and abusive material in order to take advantage of the educational opportunities available at their public library.”
- Source: "Breen Files First Bills Promoting Individual Freedom and Open Government," by Illinois Review, Illinois Review, 19 February 2015.
Prediction: the usual excuses will be laid out by ALA/ILA as to why the bill should fail.
- It's overbroad, which it is not as it tracks the federal Children's Internet Protection Act [CIPA] law.
- It takes away local control, but it actually restores local control from ALA/ILA that has effectively taken away local control by massively pressuring libraries to follow ALA diktat.
- It violates freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and intellectual freedom, but CIPA has already been ruled to be constitutional by the US Supreme Court that ruled that pornography may be completely blocked with filters without violating the First Amendment. See United States v. American Library Association (link), 539 US 194 (2003). By the way, in Illinois, Internet porn in public libraries is illegal under existing state law (link).
- Internet filters do not work well. The reality is ALA was forced to admit library Internet filters work well (link) and the Federal Communications Commission recently revealed library filters work really well, communities should get to decide whether to use them, and librarians need to reconsider old grudges against filters (link).
Both those predictions are easy to make because both have already occurred and have successfully misled people. Examples and more:
- "In Protest, Illinois Libraries Turn Off Internet or Filter Heavily," by LJ Staff, Library Journal, 16 May 2007.
- "Action Needed on Filtering Legislation (Illinois SB2784)," by Eric Edwards, Health Science Librarians of Illinois, 3 February 2014.
- "Illinois Librarians Fight Porn Filters with Internet Shutdown; Smith and Varenhorst Decry a Planned Protest by Illinois Librarians Against HB 1727 That Will Use Public Funds and Facilities to Advance Private Political Goals," by David E. Smith, Christian Wire, 14 May 2007.
- "Children's Internet Protection Act Author Ernest Istook Interviewed," by Dawn Hawkins, National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly Morality in Media), 17 April 2012.
They do complain but you won't hear it in Library Journal or ALA's own American Libraries. What the CIPA author said about sexually harassed librarians never made it into library media. They are protecting the very policy that harms communities and creates hostile work environments for librarians. When they do write about it, they mock it, like calling it "poppycock" (link). Are you a sexually harassed librarian? Your library media is working to bury anything that could help you.
It is really good that federal and state legislators are speaking up for sexually harassed librarians. Bravo, Representative Peter Breen.
Now it's time for the people of Illinois to expect ALA/ILA to promulgate the usual false astroturfing and to stop letting them control your local communities. If you won't do it for yourselves, do it for the sexually harassed librarians forced to work in hostile work environments—Illinois public libraries.
NOTE ADDED 7 MARCH 2015:
Exactly as I predicted, the Illinois Library Association has pulled out the exact same tried and true lies to mislead people yet again:
- "Oppose Mandatory Statewide Public Library Filtering Legislation (link)," by Illinois Library Association, 25 February 2015.