Arrows In My Quiver: More thoughts on Internet filtering

16 Nov

You may remember in my last post, I opined about the importance of fighting for less restrictive Internet access in schools. 

Though it may seem counter-intuitive to some, I believe part of keeping students safe is to allow greater access to the Internet and social networking tools with proper supervision and guidance.  How else will students learn to use these tools safely and appropriately?  Continuing to pretend these don’t exist during school hours and then leaving them to their own devices on these sites is a non-solution (because they WILL still use them).

But, as LeVar Burton would say, don’t take  my word for it. Check out this great thirty-second interview with Helen Adams, chair of the AASL Intellectual Freedom Committee (h/t Dr. Marilyn Arnone)
Source: Adams, H. (n.d.). 30 Second Thought Leadership. American Library Association. Retrieved November 16, 2011, from ]

But the issue of Internet censorship goes way beyond the school library walls: It matters in your own home.  Did you know there is a bill on the fast track in Congress right now that could encourage governmental and corporate censorship of some of your favorite social networking sites?  It’s called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and it could allow corporations to block the domain names of web sites that are “capable of” or “seem to encourage” (Lifehacker) copyright infringement.  For example, if someone shares a copyrighted video on YouTube, the intellectual property owner could potentially order the blockage of the entire YouTube site, thus holding YouTube responsible for what each user posts. 
One dangerous component of this legislation is that it blocks domain names, but not IP addresses, so it will be very easy to get around the restrictions, making it virtually useless against piracy, but a highly effective method of censorship.   You can learn more details from this video posted to Vimeo by Fight for the Future (also available at that Lifehacker link above):

Source: PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
Learn more and take action at

2 Responses to “Arrows In My Quiver: More thoughts on Internet filtering”

  1. Marilyn Arnone November 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    The video paints a scary picture. We all need to dig deeper to find out all the potential ramifications of SOPA. Excellent follow-up to your previous post on filtering.

    • bkbiblio November 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      Thanks! I think it’s especially frustrating how few people are truly aware of these kinds of things when they are going on, and to make matters more confusing, the bills have names that seem to mask their intention to the voting public.

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