April 26, 2011

First Amendment does not provide right to view pornography in NYC public libraries


Washington, DC (April 26, 2011)–The First Amendment does not protect pornography viewing in public libraries according to the US Supreme Court, contrary to statements by New York City library spokespersons.

“The New York City Public Library System is more than ten years out of date and wrong on its porn-on-every-library-computer policy,” said Patrick A. Trueman, President and CEO of New York-based Morality in Media. In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), clarifying that public libraries are free, and encouraged, to ban porn from computers. The Federal Communications Commission, which oversees CIPA, provides a great explanation of the law: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.html.

Libraries that accept federal funding, as the New York City libraries do, must have blocking or filtering measures in place. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to materials that are: (a) obscene, (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

“The New York library authorities seem too much influenced by the pro-porn American Library Association which unsuccessfully and unwisely challenged CIPA,” said Trueman. There is NO First Amendment problem in blocking porn at libraries, the U. S. Supreme Court said in upholding the law. United States v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003)

“What is the message that the ALA and the New York Library System are trying to convey to patrons, particularly to children? “ asked Trueman. “Porn is demeaning, depicts violence, particularly rape, and portrays girls and women as mere sexual objects with no self worth. Parents should storm library board meetings demanding protection from the scourge of pornography and until a policy change comes, keep their kids away,” concluded Trueman.

Author: Morality in Media   204/26/2011

Further Reading