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Public libraries will have to install Internet-filtering software if they want to continue receiving federal funding, thanks to a Supreme Court decision last week. Reversing a District Court ruling, the Supreme Court determined the filtering provisions in the Children's Internet Protection Act don't violate First Amendment rights. The act provides libraries with discounted rates for Internet access as well as federal grants to pay for that access, as long as Internet filters are in place. The American Library Association opposed the ruling but was relieved that it included a provision for librarians to turn off filters at the request of adult patrons. The association estimates half of public-library systems don't have filtering software and expects some to reject federal grants rather than install filters, depending on the cost of the software.
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