The Letter by Fernando Botero

Libraries and schools are obviously aware of the implications of the CIPA, but the ordinary citizen needs to be aware of this controversy because it represents the long-running battle over freedom of speech. Our judicial system is based in common law, and every decision made sets a precedent for further decisions. Many times, the court will rule against laws that propose a threat to freedom of speech, so the outlook is favorable for opponents of the act.

Both the ALA and CPLA have filed suits. Currently, the ACLU has bought some time by winning an injunction that allows libraries to delay making a decision on compliance. The ALA had a victory when the court denied the government's motion to dismiss their complaint. ALA v. United States will take place on March 25, 2002.

All of the legal information and updates are easily found on the Web sites included in the bibliography.

Another important thing citizens need to be aware of are the numerous recommendations of parents, organizations, federal commissions and even Internet filter companies. They all agree that there are many ways to protect children from the darker side of the Web. Education is the primary suggestion, and libraries and schools are encouraged to hold meetings and forums to discuss making the Internet a safe place for children.

Author Bibliography Awareness Precedent Internet Filters Censorship