Q6 - Porn filters in public libraries
Many public libraries have refused to install filters to block hard-core pornography, terrorism and suicide promotion websites from their computers. Children and others have been exposed to such sites, despite claims of librarian supervision.
Would you support a requirement for public libraries to install filters to block pornography and other harmful websites?
|Christian Democratic Party
The State Library of NSW notes that a public library has a role as an unbiased source of information and ideas and it does not support the use of sensoring software as it inhibits free access to information and it does not provide adequate protection for children from all harmful material on the internet. (source: State Library New South Wales Internet Policy Guidelines for NSW Public Libraries - November 2011).
The use of data surveillance in Australia is limited by the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (Cth).
Liberal - National Party
Public libraries across NSW are operated and managed by local government authorities. Local councils are responsible for the management and operations of public libraries. Each Public Library operates under the Library Act 1939 and the Library Regulations 2010.
Policies in relation to the access of internet content in libraries are developed by each LGA. The Library Council of NSW has published guidelines on access to information and internet policy, which LGA's are strongly encouraged to use when developing their own internet policies.
The Library Regulations 2010 sets out rules of operation for public libraries including a provision for the removal of persons from the library. This applies to offensive (but legal) use of the internet. The use of public library internet to access illegal content is a Police matter.
Access to internet content in public libraries is a matter for local councils and any introduction of software should be considered alongside the guidelines provided by the Library Council of NSW.
Such filters are ineffective, easily circumvented by even reasonably-determined effort, and hinder the use of technology for learning and development. While use of such programs at home is the responsibility of parents and guardians, we do not support efforts by Governments to filter the internet.
Authorised by: David Phillips, FamilyVoice Australia, 4th Floor, 68 Grenfell St, Adelaide SA 5000