June 28, 2001
On behalf of the AALL Executive Board and members, President Robert Oakley authorized a $5,000 contribution from the Association's Government Affairs Fund toward the American Library Association's recently filed suit in federal district court to overturn the Children's Internet Protection Act.
The act mandates the use of blocking technology on computers in public and school libraries that receive federal funding to purchase computers and/or Internet access. AALL concurs with the ALA that CIPA is unconstitutional because it restricts access to constitutionally protected information on the Internet at public and school libraries. Because no filtering software successfully differentiates constitutionally protected information from illegal information on the Internet, CIPA denies users—not just children—access to information they need and want. And so, CIPA will also affect public law libraries that receive federal funding for technology. These already underfunded public law libraries will forgo the much-needed federal funds rather than accept the chilling restrictions of CIPA, according to AALL.
"The federal government should not be subsidizing commercial filtering companies by forcing libraries to buy technology that doesn't work," said ALA President Nancy Kranich.
"AALL is pleased to have the opportunity to support the American Library Association in this important lawsuit," Oakley said.
The ALA is partnering with library associations, local libraries and library users to oppose CIPA and protect intellectual freedom and equity of access. AALL's $5,000 contribution goes toward the ALA CIPA Legal Defense Fund, bringing the ALA closer to its goal of raising $1.3 million to cover the costs of challenging CIPA.