Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Laguna Beach Pubic Library

KTLA 5 news story entitled,
"Library Porn."
Laguna Beach Public Library.  Eight homeless guys watch pornography on one of the public library's Internet computers, one is masturbating, and children are nearby.  The library's reaction?  It is their First Amendment right!  It might as well be called the Laguna Beach Pubic Library.  See for yourself:

Since when is pornography "information"?

Did you see how the library said pornography (excuse me, "information") in public libraries was legal and cannot be controlled?  That is false.  Yes, it is legal, but no, libraries are not obligated under the First Amendment to provide porn and it can be controlled with Internet filters (privacy screens and acceptable use policies do almost nothing).  See, for example, Library Porn Removal Roadmap.  As it stands now, porn is freely available at the Laguna Beach Public Library.  Why not just advertise that if it is a First Amendment right?

KTLA 5 poll showing
most people want
Internet filters.
But what the library said is more than false.  Over eight years after US v. ALA approved blocking porn in public libraries, in part for the very common sense reason the attorney said in the KTLA News report, it is simply a lie.  The library knows or should have known it is lying to the community.  It can block porn, legally, it just simply refuses to do so.

The question is, will the community/government allow the library to continue to get away with this lying?  At right is a graphic of a KTLA News poll showing most people want filters on public library computers.  It is what the people want.  Should the community have an anything-goes library policy enforced by lying librarians or should citizens insist on compliance with the law and the installation of filters on all computers, not just anything less that 100%?  Will the government act to legally protect the people or will the librarians lobbying quiesce the politicians?

And let me remind the government that where your library acts outside the law, and it is doing just that by defying US v. ALA and perhaps by defying local law, you have the right to require the library to comply with the law without worrying about piercing the library's veil of autonomy.  The library may not act autonomously to violate the law.  The government must act in such a case.

Will the library continue to endanger more children, patrons, and library employees?  We shall see.  Let me know if anyone would like my assistance in ridding that community of this particular danger.  And it is a danger, let alone a cause for potential legal liability.

By the way, it was purely concern over legal liability that led a library to finally kick out an "Occupy" trespassers encampment.  See Library Kicks Out Occupy Encampment.  Maybe the issue of potential legal liability will lead the government to require the library comport with the law—especially where I will be sending this post to the local and county governments so they are put on notice of potential harm.  Prior notice may affect any damages awarded.  If the government does nothing and the library is allowed to continue to serve pornography and a resultant crime leads to legal redress, the government's damages will likely be established and/or increased, and I will provide expert testimony.


Based in part on this incident in Laguna Beach, it now appears an LA TIMES EDITORIAL SUPPORTS REASONABLE MEANS TO FILTER OUT PORNOGRAPHY!

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