AZ libraries, schools face new obscenity law on Aug. 1

Full article here:
June 25, 2012
Associated Press

School and public libraries in Arizona are preparing for a tough new state law aimed at filtering obscene online content.

The new law, which takes effect Aug. 1, establishes consequences for those entities that don’t have a strict policy against such materials. The state can withhold 10 percent of its funding if the school or library doesn’t comply.

Under the law, schools and libraries must filter and block questionable websites from minors and the general public.

They also must establish a policy to enforce the ban on these materials, and they have to make the rules available to the public.

If an adult needs to access blocked material, the library may lift the filter if it is for research purposes. Other states, such as Washington, don’t allow temporary lifts for material such as porn.

The law previously required schools and libraries to prevent minors from “harmful material” on the Internet. Now, it specifies that it must block minors from gaining access to “visual depictions that are child pornography, harmful to minors or obscene.”

“It just makes it a little more clear and a little more stringent,” said Rep. Steve Court, R-Mesa, who sponsored the bill.

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