Sunday, March 15, 2009
Internet Filtering Software
The Corporation of the City of Cambridge wants to force the Cambridge Public Library to install and use Internet Filtering Software on their computers. Councillor Tucci put forward the following Internet Filtering Proposal found in the City of Cambridge's Council agenda of February 9, 2009.
Councillor Tucci - Internet Filtering Software On Computers
WHEREAS there is no law in Ontario prohibiting pornography and other sexually explicit material from being viewed on computers in public schools and libraries;
AND WHEREAS there are public schools and public libraries that do not use
internet filtering software on computers that blocks such inappropriate material;
AND WHEREAS significant changes have occurred with respect computer technologies, software and programs that could filter access to inappropriate, explicit sexual content;
AND WHEREAS parents in the province of Ontario have the right to ensure
their children are protected from pornography and other inappropriate material available on the internet in their public schools and libraries;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council of The Corporation of the City of Cambridge petitions the Honorable M. Aileen Carrol, Minister of Culture, the Honorable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario and, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to require all public schools and libraries in Ontario to be required to install internet filtering software on computers to avoid viewing of sites with inappropriate, explicit sexual content;
AND FURTHER THAT the motion once approved be forwarded to all MPPs representing Waterloo Region, to the Leader of the Official Opposition, to the Leader of the 3rd party and, through AMO, to all other municipalities for their consideration.
In 2004, a Cambridge man was arrested for using a city library computer to download child pornography, according to a story in The Record. In the fall of 2008, the Cambridge Public Library Board twice rejected the call for the use of filtering but promised to review the situation as technology advances. The City of Cambridge refused to force the library to purchase filtering software in January 2009. Cambridge Public Library is the only library system in Waterloo Region that doesn't use filters. The issue has been raised once again. Cambridge Council voted 4-3 to support Tucci's recommendation, calling on the Province of Ontario to force libraries to use Internet blocking software.
Cambridge MPP Gerry Martiniuk is pushing a private members' bill (Bill 128) that would put internet filtering rules in place. Private members bills are rarely passed into law. Councilor Gary Price, who sits on the Cambridge library board, pointed out that libraries have a mandate to provide free access to legal information and that filtering software can block legal sites as well as questionable ones.
Below is the text from Bill 128 which is relevant to schools and public libraries:
Every school board is required to ensure that every school of the board has in place technology measures on all of the school’s computers to which a person under the age of 18 years has access. The technology measures must do the following:
1. They must block access on the Internet to any material,including written material, pictures and recordings, that is obscene or sexually explicit or that constitutes child pornography.
2. They must block access to any form of electronic communication, including electronic mail and chat rooms, if the communication could reasonably be expected to expose a person under the age of 18 years to any material,including written material, pictures and recordings, that is obscene or sexually explicit or that constitutes child pornography.
3. They must block access to any site on the Internet or to any form of electronic communication, including electronic mail and chat rooms, if the school has not authorized users of the computers to access the site or the communication or if the site or the communication could reasonably be expected to contain material that includes personal information about a person under the age of 18 years.
A school is required to have a policy on who are authorized to use its computers to which a person under the age of 18 years has access and to monitor the use that persons under the age of 18 years make of those computers.
Public Libraries Act
The Bill amends the Public Libraries Act to make amendments that are similar to those that the Bill makes to the Education Act, except that the duties of a school board are those a board with respect to every library under its jurisdiction and the duties of a school are those of a public library.
Read an article which gives alternatives to internet filtering.
The Pelham Public Library challenges you to take the Banned Book Challenge. This challenge will run until June 30, 2009.