Library internet filtering in Washington State
October 15, 2008 at 9:37 AM
A federal district court has certified a question to the Washington State Supreme Court on the issue of filtering Internet access in public libraries. The case, Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library District, revolves around the impediment to access for adult patrons to websites that are blocked by filtering software. This issue was notable in the US v. ALA (American Library Association) case which dealt with CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act). In that case, the court held that filtering must be turned off for adults patron, at their request, without significant delay. As the free-speech provisions in the Washington State Constitution are more expansive than the US Constitution, there is a question whether filtering poses an unacceptable obstacle to information access for adult library patrons.
Notable cases involving Internet filtering in public libraries:
US v. ALA, 539 U.S. 194 (2003)
Miller v. NW Region Library Bd., 348 F. Supp. 2d 563 (M.N.D.C. 2004)
Mainstream Loudoun v. Board of Trustees of the Loudoun County Public Library, 24 F. Supp. 2d 552 (E.D. Va. 1998)
Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library District (district court opinion)