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MAINSTREAM LOUDOUN, et al. ) ) Plaintiffs ) v. ) Case No. CA-97-2049-A ) BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE ) LOUDOUN COUNTY LIBRARY, et al. ) ) Defendants. )
Kenneth C. Bass, III (VSB #1021)
VENABLE, BAETJER AND HOWARD, LLP
2010 Corporate Ridge, Suite 400
McLean, Virginia 22012
Counsel for Defendants
July 18, 1998
1. My name is Donna Rice Hughes and I am currently the vice president of marketing and public relations for Enough is Enough, a national non-profit organization whose principle operating priority is making the Internet safe for children.JRun Server Name: nutch1 pageload time: 47ms
From March 1994 until July 1998, I served as the organization's communications and marketing director. In this capacity, I developed and managed Enough is Enough's communications including the newsletter, direct mail, PSA and media relation's programs and was instrumental in the creation and design of the web site. Additionally, I worked in the area of public policy and have been the organization's key spokesperson on the issue of Internet safety for children. I have highlighted below many of my efforts at Enough is Enough on the issue of child safety in cyberspace.
I served in a leadership role regarding Enough is Enough's efforts on the issue of computer pornography and child safety on the Internet. I was instrumental in the development of a three-pronged strategy to make the Internet safe for children through promoting a shared responsibility between the public, the technology community and the legal community. Since 1995, I have given over 1000 media interviews on the issue of Internet safety for children. Broadcast television appearances on the issue include Crossfire, Dateline, CBS This Morning, The View with Barbara Walters and CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, CNBC and Fox newscasts. Additionally, my views on this issue have been featured in print publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Jose Mercury News. I have given dozens of online demonstrations to print and broadcast journalists on the ease of access by children to online pornography.
I have spoken publicly in educational and professional forums across the country on the dangers of computer pornography and sexual predation and the importance of Internet safety for children.
I have provided factual information with respect to the online dangers to children of pornography and predator activity to members of Congress and their staff.
I represented Enough is Enough on the steering committee for the Internet Online Summit: Focus on Children, in December of 1997. The Summit was a joint effort by a coalition of industry, education, government, law enforcement and nonprofit organizations working together to make the Internet safe for children. I served as co-chairperson of the Summit's education task force and co-chairperson of the Child Advocacy subcommittee. I developed and introduced an "ISP Pledge To Children" for consideration as a summit deliverable item. It was adopted in part and renamed the "Zero Tolerance Policy" against child pornography on the Internet. Vice President Al Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno announced the "Zero Tolerance Policy" as a summit deliverable item. Finally, I was asked to present a portion of the Summit's "America Links up" public awareness campaign along with Secretary of Education Richard Riley and Jake Winebaum of The Walt Disney Company.
I am currently on the steering committee for the Summit's public awareness campaign, America Links up: Kids Online Week scheduled for September 1998.
2. I have just completed my first book, Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace (Revell, 1998) to be released in September 1998. I have had editorials published on the subject of Internet safety for children in USA Today, The Washington Times, and The Los Angeles Times.
3. In 1980, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. degree in Biology. I was also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board honor and leadership societies.
4. The defendants in this case have asked me to render testimony on the types of, locations of, and ease of access to pornography available to minor children with unrestricted Internet access. At the trial, I may use a CD-ROM or diskette to demonstrate the ease of intentional or unintentional access to pornographic content by minor children on the Internet.
5. I am not being compensated for my time in this case.
6. I have not previously provided expert testimony in a court case.
Every child in America deserves a safe, educational and rewarding online experience. The Internet offers tremendous benefits to children, and some very real dangers. Unfortunately, the worst types of pornography are invading our homes, libraries, and schools via the Internet. Child pornography, obscenity and harmful to minors content are easily and freely accessible to minor children who have unrestricted access to the Internet and online services. Like the real world, the virtual cyberworld contains many sites with sexual, violent, and other content that are inappropriate for children. While inappropriate material also exists beyond the Internet, the unregulated nature of the Internet makes it more difficult to keep illegal and harmful material out of the hands of our children.
As illustrated by following reports, some of the highest traffic in cyberspace is to pornographic sites:
According to the Washington Post, adult sites generate an estimated one billion dollars in revenue yearly.1/
"Adult" entertainment on the Internet is the third largest sector of sales, surpassed only by computer products and travel.2/>
Most ISPs provide public access to hundreds of Usenet newsgroups, which are specifically reserved, for posting explicit and extreme categories of pornography (i.e., alt.sex.snuff.cannibalism, alt.sex.bestiality, alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.teens, etc.). All these are as freely accessible to an intrepid 10-year-old as to an adult.3/
In its project "Innocent Images," FBI personnel acknowledged in 1997 that the Bureau has a database of at least 4,000 cases of child pornography being distributed online.4/
In 1995, police arrested Robert Thomas, a pornographer operating an international computer bulletin board service (BBS) called "Amateur Action." They seized over 5,000 images featuring the exhibition of child genitals in addition to violent, bestial, hebephiliac, and other forms of hardcore pornography. Computer analysts confirmed over 2,000 cities around the world where these images had been downloaded.5/
TYPES OF PORNOGRAPHY
Pornography can be thought of as all sexually explicit material intended primarily to arouse the reader, viewer, or listener. Each category of pornography has a specific legal definition established by the courts. The following types of pornography are accessible by any child with unrestricted Internet access:
MATERIAL HARMFUL TO MINORS
Material harmful to minors represents nudity or sex that has prurient appeal for minors, is offensive and unsuitable for minors, and lacks serious value for minors. Harmful to minors material is often referred to as soft-core pornography.
Obscenity is graphic material that is obsessed with sex and/or sexual violence, which is prurient patently offensive, and lacking in serious value. It is often referred to as "hard-core" pornography and includes close-ups of graphic sex acts, penetration clearly visible, group sex, bestiality, torture, incest and excretory functions. There are federal and state obscenity laws that criminalize distribution of obscenity on the Internet, but they have not been vigorously enforced.
Child pornography is material that visually depicts children (real as well as computer-generated) under the age of 18 engaged in actual or simulated sexual activity, including lewd exhibition of the genitals. Child pornography laws were recently amended to include computerized images or altered (morphed) pictures of children, and counterfeit or synthetic images generated by computer that appear to be of real minors or that were marketed or represented to be real child pornography.
CHILDREN'S ACCESS TO PORNOGRPAHY IN CYBERSPACE
Any child with unrestricted Internet access can view adult pornography, content prosecutable as obscene, and child pornography. Pornography, which is legally restricted to adults in the print and broadcast media, is not currently restricted by a federal statute to minor children online. In addition, children navigating cyberspace have free and easy access to material prosecutable as obscene and child pornography, both of which are illegal for adults in the United States. The details are appalling... pictures of women having sex with dogs, horses, and snakes; graphic visuals of men engaged in sexual acts with children, and the rape, torture, and mutilation of women.
Kids can be exposed to such content on the Usenet Newsgroups, the World Wide Web, in chat rooms and via e-mail. For the purpose of this report, I will limit the scope of children's access to online pornography to the World Wide Web and Usenet newsgroups. Due to the nature of the cyberspace, the examples of Internet searches and web addresses may vary according to such factors as the choice of search engine and the calendar date.
THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Many commercial porn sites ask, "Are you 18?" If a curious child or teenager responds "yes" and clicks on "enter", free teaser images can appear on the screen for sample viewing before a credit card or adult password is requested. Some of the pornography commercially available on the Web is of the hard-core variety, and nudity and soft-core pornography are available as well. Child pornography and paraphilic content such as bestiality are also offered by commercial web pornographers. Pornographic commercial web operators target their marketing, placing notices in Usenet Newsgroups while running ads and teasers that pop up on search directories such as Yahoo! Children can access such pornography both intentionally and unintentionally.
Sexual curiosity among children is one reason the adult community has traditionally accepted the responsibility to protect children from exposure to age-inappropriate content or activity. By typing in words such as "sex", "hard-core", "penthouse", "naked", into a search engine, curious kids can be linked to thousands of sexually explicit web sites. Additionally, searching for a specific web address such as "hustler.com" will directly link a child to the Hustler Magazine web site.
Example A: "sex" search
A deliberate search on "sex" yielded 9,120,490 documents matching a query via Alta Vista. Hot links to most of these commercial sites display free pictures depicting graphic sex acts, homosexual sex, group sex, paraphilic and hebophilic pornography.
Example B: bestiality.com
A child can even access, both intentionally and unintentionally, free pictures of adults engaged in sexual activity with animals including fish, donkeys, horses and dogs at www.bestiality.com.
Example C: "The Torture Chamber"
A curious teenager can view free pictures of women being raped, tortured and bound at the "torture chamber" web site. The following welcome is found at this site,"Welcome to The Torture Chamber. We do not promote violence against women, we just want to make it possible for men to exercise their wildest fantasies. We are the leading bondage and sex crimes provider on the internet...." (www.hiddenpix.com/torture/)
Example D: Child and or Teen Pornography
The following web sites contain free photographs of material prosecutable as child pornography. On July 17, 1998, http://www.teenaction.com/ displayed the message,"Warning! Age of Innocence contains nude images of adolescent girls" followed by numerous photographs of nude girls. Also on July 17, http://www.teenqay.com displayed free images of teenage boys engaged in homosexual activity.
Protection of children should not depend solely on a child's self discipline. A reporter shared with me how her nine-year-old son did a search for Beanie Babies. While he found many links to Beanies, "Hot Cyber Babes!!" also appeared in the list. The constant need to say "no" conflicts with a child's natural curiosity. If a child, out of curiosity or carelessness, clicks on such links, he or she may be exposed to material that can never be erased from that child's mind.
Children can inadvertently access pornography on the Web in several ways:
1. Key Word Search:
Children using Internet search engines such as Yahoo or Web Crawler to locate innocent information will often find links to pornographic sites which display free and accessible "teaser" images. In an effort to increase traffic to their sites, pornographic Web site operators use popular, seemingly innocent terms. When children key in their favorite search terms, pornographic sites pop up along with the sites the children are searching for. Search engines don't distinguish between an adult hit and a child's hit.
Example E: "toy" search
An innocent search for "toys" can yield numerous links to child appropriate sites, but also to inappropriate sites such as "Horny Housewives and their Boy Toys" which posts numerous free pornographic images at http://housewives. nudepictures.com/
Example F: "boys" search
An innocent search on "boys" can lead to www.bovs.com which is a pornographic site featuring young males engaged in homosexual activity.
Example G: "watersports" search
Both adults and children may not be aware of the pornographic term for urination, "watersports". An Internet search by a child for "watersports" could expose that child to pornographic images depicting urination. On July 17, 1998, a "watersports" search on the Excite search engine yielded 7,853,638 query matches. One hundred percent of the first thirty search results were links to sexually explicit web sites including sites advertised as Watersports" and "teen" pornography.
II. "Stealth Sites"
Some pornographers deliberately disguise their content to drive Internet traffic to their commercial web sites as shown in the following three examples:
Example H.: Mirror sites
A child searching the Web for information on the White House could locate the official White House site by knowing and typing in the correct URL, whitehouse.gov. However, if the child typed in whitehouse.com instead, even by mistake, a sexually explicit pornography site would appear.
Example 1: Spelling errors
Due to a spelling error, a kid searching for "shareware" could be linked to sharware.com, a pornographic site offering free sexually explicit images.
Example J.: Misuse of Brand name
An innocent search on "cartoons" can bring up links to wholesome cartoons as well as sexually explicit cartoons depicting popular "Disney" cartoon characters at http://www.cartoons.base.orq.
Pornography found in the newsgroups is typically free of charge since Usenet newsgroups are primarily non-commercial. Child pornography, paraphilic pornography and obscenity have proliferated on Usenet in two primary ways. First, due to the free advertising possibilities, commercial pornographers operating on the Web or through a commercial Bulletin Board Service (BBS) post content in Usenet newsgroups to advertise their services and entice people to subscribe. Second, Usenet newsgroups provide an avenue for pornography collectors to upload and post their collections in exchange for new material.
Pornography in the newsgroups can be found in two primary hierarchies:
alt.sex and alt.pictures.binary.erotica. These hierarchies contain graphic images of obscenity and child pornography as well as stories, messages and requests for pornography. Such sexually explicit content can be both intentionally and unintentionally accessed by children through any Internet Service Provider offering a full newsgroup feed. The following are examples of free pornography images available to children accessing Usenet new groups:
Example K: A:\bat.jpg
A degradation image found in the alt.sex.bondage hierarchy depicting the sodomy of a bound female with a baseball bat.
Example L: A:\dualpee.jpg
A pornographic image depicting men urinating into the mouth of a woman who is also urinating. Many such images are found in the alt.sex.watersports hierarchy
Due to the unregulated nature of the Internet, minor children with unrestricted Internet access can be exposed to sexually explicit content. In the history of telecommunications media in the United States, both legal and illegal sexually explicit content has not been so easily accessible by children with so few restrictions. Defending minor children from harmful pornography goes beyond questions regarding censorship to how society should behave responsibly in protecting the innocent minds and hearts of children. A shared responsibility between the public, the technology industry and the legal community is necessary to bring our nation's children safely and confidently into the important frontier of cyberspace.
Attachment l: I have included personal testimonies concerning children's exposure to pornography in instances of unrestricted Internet access in libraries.
Some of the information in my written testimony has been taken from my book, Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace (Revell, 1998) and from reports and materials I have previously prepared for Enough is Enough.
1. Washington Post quoting Interactive Weekly, 30 March 1997, p. C4.
2. John Simons, "The Web's Dirty Secret," U.S. News & World Report 19 August 1996),52.
3. Randall E. Stross, "The Cyber Vice Squad," U.S. News & World Report 17 March 1997, 45.
4. Tod Lindberg, "Unmolested Molesters," Weekly Standard, April 14, 1997,18.
5. Laura J. Lederer, "National Legislation on and International Trafficking in Child Pornography," 2nd ed. (Minneapolis: Center on Speech, Equality, and Harm, University of Minnesota, 1997),1.
Submitted July 18, 1998 by Donna Rice Hughes
[The testimonials are uneven - very uneven - in format and typeface. Some are copies of email sent to Hughes or Enough Is Enough. Typos, odd spellings, etc. in these testimonials are so in the original. M.S.]
October 20, 1997
In April of this year our local public library installed the Internet on four computers. In May my 17-year-old son went to the Newburgh Free Library to do research for a school project. After waiting about 20-30 minutes for a terminal, they asked a librarian when one would be available. She said, "I'll have that boy get off. He's been on for over 4 hours." Neither my son nor his friend had ever used the Internet, so they just started pushing the back button trying to get a clear screen. Screen after screen of hard-core pornography kept popping up. Most of it was pictures of men in women's lingerie demonstrating various ways to masturbate. They said, "Hey, help us with this. We don't want to look at this stuff" to the librarian as she was walking by. She said, "Sorry, there isn't anything I Can do about it" and kept walking.
When my son came home and related this to me I was horrified that this could be happening in a public library! And even though my son was disgusted, also, he told me there was nothing I could do about it, because "it's a free country." I was more horrified!!
The next morning I called the library and was told that there really wasn't anything they could legally do about it! That night my son and his friend went back to the library to work on their report, and the same boy was on the Internet looking at pornography again. I asked him how he know, and he said, "You could see it from the other side of the room."
I find it very hard to believe that our founding fathers intended to protect the rights of perverts to display pornography in our public libraries when they wrote the Bill of Rights. What about the rights of parents who want to bring their children to the library without risking exposing them to such filth? How low is our great nation going to sink under the guise of "freedom"?
Not really knowing what I could do, I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper to express my anger. I was surprised at the Immediate attention it drew from the community, including anonymous phone calls from library employees thanking me for speaking out. I soon realized that, in fact, something could be done about the situation, and so began my effort to effect a change of policy at our library.
On September 4 I was in the same library doing research on filters and one of the librarians unwittingly told me of an incident that had happened within the previous two weeks in which "an older boy and a younger boy were looking at pornography together on the same computer." She said that in that case they had a security guard tell them they had to get off the computer because they could only have one person on a terminal at a time because of the small space. She said, "Unless we can find some other reason like that, there really isn't anything we can do." She said that teenagers accessing pornography was a "real problem."
I support the First Ammendment, but in a civilized society with freedom comes responsibility. People should not have the right to access pornography in a publicly-funded family institution. Libraries have a duty to protect innocent patrons, their employees, and, most especially, our children from obscenity!
59 Silver Spring Rd.
New Windsor, NY 12553
xxxxxxxx, CA xxxxx
April 22, 1998
Dear Senator John McClain and others concerned:
I am writing this letter to you as a concerned parent of two teenage boys, enrolled in a California Public School in North Eastern California. This is a small rural area.
We received a phone call from the schools Vice Principal on February 17, 1998 informing us that our oldest son who is 15 years old and a freshman had broken into the school over the previous week-end. The reason for the break-in was to log onto the World Wide Internet to view pornography. Our son learned of the possibility of doing this while in class, during school hours from other boys who had been "on line" unsupervised we were all shocked, after all who in the world would have thought our own school system would not protect our children - we learned of course, that there were no filters or software intact!!
Our son has always been a responsible, well liked and conservative young man. our family went through a very heartbreaking time together. Yes - the break-in was very wrong and we were very careful to be sure we got that across to him. However we feel that the pornography being available was the enticement that led to this act and to his leaving behind a very inappropriate gesture for his female teacher.
Our son had to agree to HIV testing (He has not even been sexually active). He was subjected to the spiel of the Public Health Worker which was administering the test. While she was administering the test she spoke to him in a very graphic marmer regarding sexual things which he did not even understand, asking him about how many sexual partners, same sex and otherwise he had had and directing instructions at him which were very contradicting to how he has been raised. He would turn to me and ask "what does she mean mom?"
He, his father and I had to go before a probation assessment worker, where he was read his rights as if he might be arrested. We were given contracts which we were to fulfill and then report back to the probation officer. These were regarding community service work, an apology letter and a monetary restitution, these we felt were fair.
The school principal also gave him a five day suspension which greatly impacted his grades- he also lost his place with the High School baseball team for which he was a pitcher, he has lost respect from the faculty that once thought of him as a very well mannered and well liked student.
We feel that reasonable precautions such as filters should be in place to at least try to prevent access to objectionable material for our young people.
Thank you for your concern regarding this issue.
Subj: Letters from parents
Date: 98-04-23 02:11:42 EDT
Dear Enough is Enough,
This is a summary of the official complaints made by patrons related to public viewing of internet porn. I was the mom in Washougal who overheard a young teen girl talking about dating and chat rooms. That concerned me since there have been numerous reports of rapes and abductions of teens who met "lovers" on the internet over the last few months.
When the librarian noted also that "regulars" do come into the library just to view porn, it outraged me. Why should I as a woman be forced to pay for another's addiction, when that addiction sometimes leads to violent acts against women and children? Like smoking, the secondary harmful impacts of pomography, documented nationwide in studies of adult businesses, make it material not suited for public buildings.
That's when I said, enough is enough.
Margaret Tweet, mom
I recommend for mothers to request formally in writing under open records laws any and all complaints filed about the internet since it has been in place in the library.
Staff complaints or any who quit as a result of porn to minors.
Ft Vancouver Main and Mall have two terminals near desk.
Other branches small with terminals recently moved away from desk to provide privacy to users. Children are still in the areas however.
6-28-96 -Boy & girl 10 & 12 viewing porn, older man points it out to the mother. She defends her son.
7-10-96-Stations side by side. Boy viewing porn, commenting aloud to friends. Older man registers complaint
3-97 Boy 10 -12 years old viewing porn.
Patron comment: "I object to public funds going to this poor use.
Can anything be done?"
4-22-97 Ridgefield- boy, approx. 13 years old looking at pics of naked women.
Patron comment: "Children should not be allowed to view naked women or men on Internet at a public Iibrary. .. This is a very poor use of library funds and very offensive."
5-29-97- Vancouver Main branch. Two males printed out hard core pornography off the Internet and were distributing to other patrons. Her 11 year old son brought it home.
Patron: Very unhappy that the library does not monitor what people can look at on the internet.
5-27-97-Vancouver Main branch- Several teen boys printing out internet porn.
Patron:Mom with a 14 year old son. Wished to be present at the next board meeting to express her Concerns about porn on the internet to the board.
5-28-97-White Salmon - Boy approx. 14 viewing porn.Woman and her young son walked past and were exposed to it. The boy at the computer said he was just hitting the back button & it came up.
Patron: Asked about policy for minors on the intemet. Unhappy.
6-18-97- Cascade Park, no incident report, but a news article in the Columbian
Teen ogling cybersmut. 3 year old girl walks by and looks at the screen.
Patron:She has no qualms about people looking at smut all they want at home, but she would like to see public access to it restricted. "I was shocked, and I don't get shocked easily. It's too open and there are too many young people in the library"
Library:Can't limit First Amendment rights. Kids have same rights. Not illegal.
Filters not an option since block breast cancer information etc.
6-6-97 White Salmon-12 year old boy viewing porn.
Patron:"Does the library approve of this? Doesn't a child need a permission slip?"
7-10-97- Boy 14 who has committed a sex offense. Mother feels he uses the intemet for stimulation. She has seen what he has printed. She wants him to have no access at any branch. Father is ill, and mother works full time and cannot know where he is every minute.
7-10-97-Vancouver main - Two machines dedicated to porn viewing today at 1:30 PM. Children are exposed to this garbage.
Patron: "What about blocking these web sites? If there is no law prohibiting this in an open public place, isn't allowing it to be hanging right out there in the open sending a message to little children? No wonder the nation is in such a mess!"
7-10-97- Vancouver Main-Kids seen viewing porn
Patron: Older man.As a former busdriver, trained to watch out for kids.
Library: Not in loco parentis. New privacy screens from ALA on the way. Other patrons should not be looking at another patrons screen.
Patron: He perceives it as a threat to kids.
7-17-97- Patron exiting screen and porn pops onto screen.
Library: Bookmarks may have created the problem. Ubrary tries to delete bookmarks to manage the situation.
8-29-97-Boy 14 uses internet to get porn. He is on probation and was in jail this summer. She was especially upset since he had gotten a book from U of Montana that had pictures of naked children & adults. She returned it.
He is a jr. high school student, and both parents work.
Library:Agreed to cancel the card.
-21-97- 7:30 PM Girl at other internet terminal was in adult chat room.
Patron: School teacher- notified the desk
Library: different than school. We don't interfere.
Patron: Would library interfere if an adult were interfering with a child?
Library: of course. Can't interfere with the internet though.
10-18-97- White Salmon. Boy printed porn on the internet
Patron: mother. Realized her responsibility as a parent, but thought that it was inappropriate material for kids to get at the library.
other patron joins- uncomfortable with porn being easily accessible to children.
11-5-97-Evening- two pre-teen boys printed out porn from the intemet. One motioned a patrons 6 year old daughter who was at the check out with her mom to come over. He gave her a porn printout of a scantily clad woman with bare breasts in an inviting position. She returned with the picture to show it to her mom .
12-97 Washougal - Boy & girl 12-14 surfing intemet for chat and sexually explicit while commenting aloud
Patron: (Who was there researching the new adult business ordinances in the city.) "Isn't that illegal to give minors porn? It is for adult bookstores."
Library: rebukes patron for going over to look at what was on the screen.
Patron: They were invading my privacy with their comments.
Library: Censorship. Laughing at the patron for her concerns.
Patron: What about illegal child pomography? What steps do you take to prevent that?
Library: Comment form provided. Letter written December 97, address confidential requested.
Never shared with the board despite repeated follow up calls until April, 1998.
Requested filtering software.
1-23-98 White Salmon- Vancouver Juvenile Rehab. Counselor came to library with juvenile client. He had been accessing pornography. Counselor requested the library not to allow the teen internet access.
Library: Library staff cannot police who uses the internet.
Town Hall- One group of at risk youth who used to go to the library no longer do after some members of the groups were found to be accessing porn on the internet.
One staff who quit their job rather that provide pornography to minors.
SUMMARY of 18 reported incidents at total of 10 branches 16 incidents involve boys. 14 incidents estimated in 10 -14 age range. 2 involving girls under 18.
In conclusion, several observations can be made about the impact of porn in a library.
Conversations with over 100's of parents on the issue over hte last 3 months are also taken into account.
-Porn distributed to youth without parents' knowledge.
-Several incidents of teens at risk of offending that were accessing porn.
-Many adults consider porn to youth harm,
-Many adults expect the library to protect young people.
-Many who do not agree with porn for youth, deeply resent that value system forced on the community by the library
-Patrons ABSOLUTELY DO NOT CONSIDER PORN A LEGITIMATE USE OF THEIR TAX DOLLARS AND WANT THE MONEY INVESTED IN BETTER MATERIALS.
-Parents who work would like to be able to keep their kids away from porn, but can't.
-Porn to patrons creates a deep divide among staff, and also patrons.
MULTNOMAH Public Library, Portland Oregon
-Porn left on screens and tables, some staff and patrons strongly dislike
-Porn users hog the temninals for long periods of time according to a librarian there
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Subject: Letters from parents
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
TO: Medina County District Library - Board Members and Staff
RE: Illegal Child Pornography Freely available on Unmonitored and Unblocked Internet Terminals at the Library
FROM: Chris Williams, Ph.D. Brunswick 2/16/98
I request that the MCDL Board Minutes note that I have presented the Board with a list of several Internet web sites containing illegal photographs of hardcore child pornography that are freely viewable on the Library's Public Internet terminal:
[Below is a handwritten note referring to two starred URLs above. M.S.]
* These sites appear to have disappeared.
I have been informed there are numerous other such sites dealing with child pornography, including some focussing on bondage or torture Federal law makes it a crime even for adults to possess or distribute any child pomography.
The Medina County District Library's current Internet policies include:
* providing juveniles free Internet access without parental permission
* no active monitoring of Internet terminals
* the use of "privacy screens" to prevent staff from seeing what patrons are viewing
* no Internet blocking or filtering software
* refusal to even anonymously log or track Internet activity
In light of the illegal child pornography that is available at each of the library's Internet terminals, such policies are clearly irresponsible, and quite possibly in violation of state and or federal laws. I strongly urge the Library Board to act responsibly and without delay to protect our community from such harmful materials.
Enough is Enough note: The Medina County District Library has an Internet acceptable use policy. However, this letter demonstrates that even with acceptable use policies in place, hard-core child pornography is accessible if filtering technology is not implemented.