Loudoun County Libraries


Case Type:

Actual.

Exigence:

Arguing that online porn can create a sexually hostile environment for library patrons and staff, the Loudoun County public library installs "blocking" software on their networked computers, preventing users from accessing child pornography, obscenity, and materials deemed harmful to minors. It further requires that all computer terminals be located within view of the staff, who are empowered to ask anyone viewing pornography to leave the library. A group of local citizens, supported by the ACLU, sues, arguing that the regulations are unconstitutional.

Audience:

You, a citizen of Loudoun County; and you, the trial judge.

Possible
Constraints:

Check out the court papers and statements from the plaintiffs, Mainstream Loudoun, from the defense attorneys, and from an anti-filtering watchdog group, Censorware.

National opponents of filtering in public libraries:

National proponents of filtering: A rare neutral view:

Decision:

In November, 1998, a federal court judge determined that the library's policy was unconsitutional; the decision is now online. As of the end of 1998, the library board has adopted a new policy, allowing voluntary filtering for adults and requiring parental waiver forms for children; see the Freedom Forum report.

Related
issues:

Offense
Internet
Other special places
Sex


Notes:

None.


For help
with these categories.

Copyright © 1998 Jean Goodwin. All rights reserved.
jeangoodwin@nwu.edu
Last updated 27 January 1999
The Free Speech website,
http://faculty-web.at.nwu.edu/commstud/freespeech/
Free Speech Home