Over at the ACLU blog, staff attorney Chris Hansen discusses First Amendment issues related to Internet filters, software to block access to certain Web sites, usually ones with sexual content. Here’s an excerpt, but you should go read the full post and watch the video interview with Hansen.
People are talking about internet content filtering, especially since the ACLU won its case against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which tried to censor all speech about sex from the internet. […]
Filtering has been shown to be quite successful in blocking sexual sites, but at a price — it over-blocks. As much as 20 percent of all internet content can be over-blocked by some filters, including valuable nonsexual material. Reports by the Kaiser Family Foundation (PDF), Consumer Reports, and the Free Expression Policy Project (PDF) have all found that filters improperly block important web sites about health, sex education, civil rights, and politics.