WATPA: FW: CIPA Decided!

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From: Norm Jacknis (norm@jacknis.com)
Date: Fri May 31 2002 - 23:10:23 EDT

Two Items on today's CIPA decision:

1) CIPA Decided!

Concluding that "we are constrained to conclude that the library
plaintiffs must prevail in their contention that CIPA requires them to
violate the First Amendment rights of their patrons, and accordingly is
facially invalid," the three-judge panel sitting in the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania ruled Sections 1712(a)(2) and 1721(b) of the Children's
Internet Protection Act to be facially invalid under the First Amendment
and permanently enjoined the government from enforcing those

See http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/02D0415P.htm
or http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/02D0415P.zip
or http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/us03011.shtml
Don Wood
Program Officer/Communications
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800-545-2433, ext. 4225
Fax: 312-280-4227

2) The three-judge panel issued a decision today holding that the CIPA
statute is facially unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment.

The three-judge panel permanently enjoined the FCC and LSTA from
withholding funds from public libraries who have chosen not to install
filters on all terminals. Public libraries thus are not required to
install filters on their computers in order to receive funds from either

The opinion was unanimous. The opinion was written by Chief Judge
Becker of the Third Circuit and joined by U.S. District Judges Fullam
and Bartle.

The Court held that the CIPA statute is unconstitutional because the
mandated use of filtering on all computers will result in blocked access
to substantial amounts of constitutionally protected speech.

The Court found that filters both overblock (block access to protected
speech) and underblock (allow access to illegal or unconstitutional

The Court held that less restrictive alternatives exist to allow public
libraries to protect children from material that is illegal for them to
access. The Court found that public libraries can - and indeed that
many do -- use the following less restrictive alternatives: (1) filters
offered as a choice for families to use for their own children at the
public library; (2) education and Internet training courses; (3)
enforcement of Internet Use policies by library staff; and (4) placement
of terminals, use of privacy screens or utilization of recessed

For more information, see www.ala.org/cipa

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