November 26, 2014

California: San Jose Revisits Library Computer Filtering

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From the San Jose Mercury News:

Five years after San Jose officials rejected calls to block pornographic imagery from the city libraries’ computers citing the slippery slope of censorship, the city’s new chief librarian has quietly been revisiting the idea.

City librarian Jill Bourne said she generally does not favor censorship of the Internet on public computers, except when it comes to complying with state laws that protect children from pornography.

“To me this is not a political issue,” she said. “It’s an operational issue.”

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Filtering hadn’t been looked at in over five years,” she discovered. “The filters are evolving very quickly.”

She and her staff selected two filtering programs for test runs. One is Websense, a software program already on most city computers that protects the machines against cyber crime and malware and prevent users from viewing sexual or other inappropriate content. The other is SquidGuard, a free “open-source” program designed to control access to specific types of content on Web sites. Either would filter at a fraction of the cost cited five years ago, some $45,000 a year just for the children’s computers.

Even those on the council who opposed filtering are intrigued by Bourne’s new research.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: San Jose Public Library Commission Materials (Memos, Reports) About Internet Filtering from 2008

See Also: San Jose Public Library Computers – Internet Access And Use Policy

See Also: Take a Look at Some of the Blacklists that Will Work With Squid

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.