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« The Chains of the Constitution and Legal Process in the Library: A Post-Patriot Reauthorization Act Assessment | Main | From Red Light to Green Light: Copyright Issues in Digitizing Photographs in Library Collections »

March 17, 2008

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The biggest problem we are facing now as parents and concerned citizens trying to protect our children are the many "Tube" sites on the internet. These sites allow children to become members of the sites without any authentication and do not require proof of age, all while delivering various kinds of questionable content including child pornography and incest videos. One of the largest offender of these "Tube" sites is www.xhamster.com. This site allows a child instant access to materials that are illegal for minors, allows them to post their own photos and videos, thus exploiting the children further, and encourages sexual encounters and promiscuous behavior. All this while not requiring any form of Adult Verification. These types of sites all post copyright infringing adult materials by their users requiring no proof of ownership of said materials. These sites must be stopped. If Adults of Questionable character like to visit these vulgar sites, that it is their prerogative, but a child must never be exposed to such material so easily and quickly. It is vital that if you read this post, that you share this information with other concerned citizens and organizations that might be able to do something about this completely overlooked crime against children. Act NOW!

Could you please post the current definition/Supreme Court legal status of child pornography? We are in the process of trying to prove that the book Kaffir Boy is inappropriate required reading for 14 yr olds in our school district. If the excerpt that has led to this book being banned elsewhere is construed by definition as child pornography, I believe we will win our argument and can replace the original manuscript with the age appropriate revised edition of Kaffir Boy. Thank you for your help.

Thank you Doug. When I have a moment, I'll post the current definition/Supreme Court legal status of child pornography.

As quick note, the Supreme Court determined that child pornography was not free speech in New York v Ferber in 1982
http://supreme.justia.com/us/458/747/index.html
and the case to watch today is U.S. v Michael Williams http://docket.medill.northwestern.edu/archives/004381.php

Mary:

According to Proquest Historical Newspapers, Michael Kernan of the Washington Post quoted Judith Krug in 1981 as saying

"Child pornography, using children's bodies for commercial purposes is a terrible thing. But you're not ever going to eliminate child pornography by censoring the product. That just salves your conscience for you. But that child who was used -- that child has been destroyed. Taking the pictures off the market isn't the answer."

Censored: America's libraries vs. the book zealots. The Washington Post; Jan 31, 1981; pg. G1, G3. Retrieved Mar. 24, 2008.

No corrections or references are attached to the online PDF of the story.

I agree that libraries are not law enforcement agents. Library staff should not be monitoring their patrons' Internet use on the small chance they could be looking at child porn. If it comes to the library's attention, however, it is a crime, just as it would be if the library patron brought child porn into the library as 8 x 10 glossies.

I don't know of the 1981 article you refer to, but am sure that if such a statement exists, it must have been a misquote.

Mary, the American Library Association says:

"As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws. Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts...."

http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/challengesupport/dealing/internetusepolicy.pdf

That seems to me to be a smoking gun in the Lindsay, CA, firing of librarian Brenda Biesterfield for reporting a child p*rn viewer to police against library policy. See stories and blogs at http://del.icio.us/plan2succeed/LindsayCA

From a legal point of view, what are your predictions about possible implications of this vis-a-vis the ALA? Vis-a-vis the library for following this ALA policy recommendation? Vis-a-vis the government for allowing the library autonomy to apply this ALA policy recommendation even where it clearly violates common sense, community standards, the law, and/or court decisions?

Also, the library supervisor revealed that other child p*rn incidents have occurred before, which obviously never came to the public's attention. David Burt reports libraries suppressing information about child p*rn viewing. See http://filteringfacts.org/2008/03/16/341/ What are the legal implications about that?

Are their any factual implications, such as an effect on the ALA's claim that, "Material that might be illegal is such a minuscule part of what is available that we have to remember — and I mean not only librarians but everybody has to remember not to let it overshadow the incredible wealth of information that is available in this medium." "Easy Access?" by Spencer Michels, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (1997-08-07) http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cyberspace/july-dec97/library_8-7.html

Didn't Judith Krug, the ALA's de facto leader, say in a 1981 Washington Post article that child p*rn should be legal?

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