Friday, September 08, 2006

Libraries Losing Webporn Fight

Internet pornography is rifle in public libraries across Australia, with most powerless to stop it. A survey by the Australian Family Association has found 76% of public libraries are having problems with members accessing pornographic websites, mostly "low-grade" material. Of the 60 libraries surveyed, 98% had no "effective" filtering, and 77% had no filtering.

Family Association vice-president Mary-Louise Fowler yesterday said libraries were meant to be places of safety and learning, not red-light zones full of adult sleaze. "It seems many libraries have simply given up the fight, and by their acquiescence they are allowing their venues to become porn galleries for children", she said. The survey comes amid increasing pressure on the Federal Government to force Australian internet service providers to outlaw pornographic websites.

Local Government Association of Queensland executive director Greg Hallam said it was absolutely unacceptable if hard-core pornography was being accessed from public libraries. But he said most people used council internet services for "good and proper" reason. "The bulk of the people who actually frequent libraries are children under 10 and adults over 60. So we would think those accessing pornography would be in a minority" he said.

Internet access at Brisbane City Council's 33 libraries was recently reviewed after a 12-year-old boy allegedly viewed offensive material , sparkling a police investigation. The boy was allegedly shown a graphic on-screen image by a man in his mid 40s at the Indooroopilly library.

The Courier Mail

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