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November 26, 1998

LIBRARY TAKES PCs OFFLINE OVER FREE SPEECH RULING

By CBR Staff Writer

After a US district court judge ordered a library in rural Virginia to take filtering software off its internet access computers yesterday (CI No 3,546), the library chose instead to take its computers offline. Loudoun county library had ordered the use of X-Stop filtering software to block public access to offensive sites. Residents, web publishers and the ACLU took the county to court, where Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that the library’s policy violated adults’ First Amendment rights to free speech. The library’s board of trustees is meeting next week to decide whether to appeal or change the policy, and whether to provide internet access at all. Meanwhile, the library terminals are down.

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