SALEM NEWS ONLINE
ACLU | March 6, 2013
In a consent judgment signed Tuesday, a federal district court-ordered the Salem Public Library to stop blocking patrons’ access to websites related to minority religions that the library’s web filters classified as “occult” or “criminal.” Blocking access to material based solely on viewpoint is a violation of the First Amendment.
Judge E. Richard Webber entered the judgment in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri on behalf of a Salem resident who was blocked from researching websites discussing minority religions’ ideas about death or death rituals.
“Even libraries that are required by federal law to install filtering software to block certain sexually explicit content should never use software to prevent patrons from learning about different cultures,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU-EM.
The resident had originally protested to library director Glenda Wofford about not being able to access websites about Native American religions and the Wiccan faith.
“Judge rules Salem Public Library can’t block website content”
(5 KDSK | March 6, 2013)
“Missouri library agrees not to block witch websites”
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Robert Patrick | March 6, 2013)
“‘Access Denied’: Net Filtering in Rhode Island Schools”
(Bookshelves of Doom | March 14, 2013)