Both ALA andThe National Coalition Against Censorship (http://www.fepproject.org/policyreports/filters2intro.html) highlight a 2006 Public Policy Report from NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice which examined filtering products used in public schools between the early 1900’s and mid 2000’s.
o This document is an update of The NCAC’s 2001 Document, “The Internet: A Public Policy Report,” and reiterates that the highly imprecise nature of Internet filtering continues to be a problem.
o Overly broad parameters are commonly set for “unacceptable” categories which block categories such as “politics,” “intolerance,” and “alternative lifestyles”
o Keyword blocking continues to be the most common method of filtering despite claims that technology has improved through use of “adaptive reasoning technology.”
o The NCAC also provides a Fact Sheet with information about legislation including CIPA and COPA and filtering issues, available at http://www.ncac.org/education/schools/issues.cfm#internet
· Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) continues to voice similar concerns about Internet filtering at schools: http://www.eff.org/
· Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use (CSRIU) Director Nancy Willard, describes continuing problems related to school filtering:
o Filters overblock, denying students and educators access to valuable information
o Filters underblock, in some cases allowing objectionable material through. But their presence offers educators a false sense of security that leads to less oversight of student Internet use.
o Centralized filters do not provide educators with immediate override as stated in CIPA, thus causing restriction to content beyond the letter and spirit of the law.
o Broad keyword blocks in many cases result in viewpoint censorship, which was clearly declared unconstitutional in Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v Pico.
o With the advent of Web 2.0 resources, filtering becomes even more of an issue as it denies educators and students access to online collaborative sites and services.
o Dependence on filters rather than teaching safe and smart Internet use hampers students’ ability to be safe online when not at school.