A library in Washington state is facing a lawsuit against an over-zealous CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act)computer filtering system. Under the act, implemented by the US government in 2004, public libraries that receive E-rate computer funding must block web images that are deemed sexually explicit and therefore inappropriate for children.
If a library refuses to use the filtering software there's a limit to the funding they receive. Filtering software isn't that discriminating, though, and many programs block innocent images too - including health education pages and technology news site The Register. Some even block filter advocate and House Majority Leader Dick Armey's official site, for obvious reasons.
The American Libraries Association brought a successful suit in 2002, arguing that the ruling broke the First Amendment, but the Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2003 and CIPA still stands. The new suit is being brought by adults who can't remove the filters for their own internet use.
It's unlikely to be successful though - Congress suggested last month that social networking sites like MySpace and Bebo should be added to the list of blocked sites as well. I know there's a risk of kids being approached by paedophiles masquerading as 13-year-old girls, but surely the US government has a better method of stopping paedophiles than banning kids from the web?