Many libraries follow ALA advice and, among other things, essentially end up defrauding the E-rate program that is funded by the "Universal Service Charge" that appears on all our telephone and Internet bills [EN 4].
A New Jersey library even set policy, following ALA guidance, ensuring children in the children's section of the library retain unfiltered access to the Internet despite an 11 year old boy viewing porn there [EN 5].
An Illinois library caught covering up child porn crimes was awarded for passing an ALA-like policy protecting child pornography viewing where the policy was passed during the Lincoln's Birthday holiday, a move ruled illegal by the Illinois Attorney General. But that didn't stop ALA's wish to hold the library's policy up as a model for other libraries. Hence, the library was literally awarded for breaking the law to facilitate child pornography viewing on the Internet [EN 6].
Not All Libraries Follow ALA's Child Porn Facilitation Advice
Library Journal or ALA's own American Libraries.
Timberland Regional Library Is the Latest to Facilitate Child Porn
Unfortunately, the latest such library to be caught facilitating child pornography and breaking the law is the Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA:
- "Winlock Man Held on $100,000 Bail After Arrest for Child Pornography; Jailed: FBI Investigation Finds That Donald Lee Schnacker Used Cellphone App, Library Internet to Access and Trade Images," by Natalie Johnson, The Chronicle (Greater Lewis County, WA), 24 December 2015:
A Winlock man was arrested Tuesday after an FBI investigation revealed that he was allegedly using a social networking site and public library Internet service to send and receive child pornography.
Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt ordered Schnacker held on $100,000 bail. "This is clearly a community safety issue," he said.
Hunt said he was particularly concerned about the allegation that Schnacker had used public Wi-Fi to access the images.So the library's Wi-Fi was used for child porn trafficking.
Further investigation showed that Schnacker accessed his Kik account from an IP address assigned to the Timberland Regional Library.
Library Partly Responsible for Child Porn Trafficking; Defrauds CIPA
Turns out the library may be partly responsible. Why? It follows ALA guidelines that facilitate child porn and defrauds the E-rate program as a result. The library is literally breaking the law to facilitate access to child pornography.
Here's the proof. To collect E-rate funding for "Internet Access" under the Children's Internet Protection Act [CIPA], libraries must follow certain procedures to block images of Internet pornography, for example, requiring patrons to ask for Internet filters to be disabled if needed [EN 8]. In violation of that law, the library policy advises that the library "allows adults to turn off filters without staff intervention. [EN 9]" That violates CIPA. Yet the library still obtained E-rate funding for "Internet Access" in violation of the law. Someone had to certify that the library was in compliance with the law when it is clearly stated in policy that it cannot not be. In 2013, the library obtained $14,616 in E-rate funds for "Internet Access" in violation of the law [EN 10]. Same for $12,600 in 2014 and $29,400 in 2015. That totals $56,616 in fraud.
Is it fair to send a man to jail for using an attractive nuisance created by the library in breaking the law and not stopped by the municipality that failed to stop the library from breaking the law? If he goes to jail, is it fair that the library gets away with it and continues to violate the law, facilitate child pornography crimes, and defraud the federal government while doing so? Will sending him to jail stop this from happening again in a case such as this where the library facilitates a crime and the municipality lets it go on?
Today is Christmas
Today is Christmas. It is a day libraries are closed nationwide. On the few days libraries are closed nationwide, those are the few days libraries are not facilitating child pornography by following ALA guidance.
This Timberland Regional Library matter reported yesterday is just the latest instance. Had the library followed the law [EN 11] instead of ALA guidance [EN 1], chances are the trafficking of child pornography might never have happened in the first place. In other words, defense attorneys ought to consider whether 1) public libraries following ALA guidelines, 2) the municipalities that let them get away with lawlessness [EN 11], and 3) perhaps ALA itself are partially at fault.
The Law Should Hold Sway In a Public Library, Not ALA Guidance
The moment people realize the law should hold sway in a public library, not ALA guidance, that's the day ALA loses its ability to facilitate child pornography in public libraries nationwide.
|Killing the ghost of the ALA that facilitates child porn in libraries:|
"The Ghost of Judith Krug Continues to Haunt America's Libraries Today"
[EN 1] "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy," by Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, 26 March 2013, emphasis in original:
Libraries and librarians are not in a position to make those decisions for library users or for citizens generally. Only courts have constitutional authority to determine, in accordance with due process, what materials are obscenity, child pornography, or “harmful to minors.”[EN 2] "A Patron is Viewing What Appears to be Child Pornography On a Library Computer; What Should be Done?," by Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, LTD, Library Law, 27 April 2011:
As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws. Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material.
Accordingly, even if the library employs a computer technician who could demonstrate that the patron was viewing child pornography on the computer, this is not a reportable criminal offense, the library's computer technician is not under any statutory reporting obligation, and the Library's Records Confidentiality Act may be violated if such a report is made.[EN 3] "Ongoing Survey of Law Enforcement re: ISP's Responses to Subpoena and Search Warrant Requests," by Frank Kardasz, Ed.D., Dr. Frank Kardasz (Ed.D.), 12 February 2008.
3. In July 2007 a Colorado Internet crimes against children investigator reported that Denver Public Libraries destroy data after each patron logs off of the libraries computers. Investigators are unable to obtain any information about library computer users. In the past year, three child pornography cases have been unresolved due to lack of information. Arizona investigators report the same situation at Phoenix Public Libraries. Child pornography incidents that have been traced to public libraries are often unresolved because libraries do not enable simple logging features that retain basic information about computer users.See also: "Child Porn Trafficking in Public Libraries; Libraries Actively Thwart Child Porn Investigations," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 24 June 2009.
And see: "School Library Child Porn Arrest Story by Associated Press Features Police Expert Dr. Frank Kardasz, Thanks to SafeLibraries," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 10 March 2013, quoting from source:
Frank Kardasz, retired commander of the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said his task force worked dozens of cases involving people viewing or trafficking child pornography while using public and college library computers.
The problem is tough to police because of the imperfect nature of Internet filtering devices and pushback from free-speech advocates who believe adults should have the right to view adult pornography in libraries, he said, adding that any place offering wireless Internet connections "is an opportunity for child pornography offenders to traffic contraband images."
"My experience is that some, not all, libraries underreport the offenses because they do not wish to bring attention nor police involvement to their facility," said Kardasz, founder and director of the Phoenix-based Cyberspace Child Protection Campaign. "Also, because many offenders are nefarious enough to avoid apprehension, there are probably more offenses occurring than we are aware of."[EN 4] "In the Matter of Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries, WC Docket No. 13-184," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 16 September 2013.
[EN 5] "Library Approves Unfiltered Computers in Children's Section," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 21 November 2015, quoting the Westfield Memorial Library Board of Trustees:
The Special Ad-Hoc Committee to Examine the use of Filtering Computers in the Children's Section of the Westfield Memorial Library recommends no additional changes at this time. The committee further recommends that if additional Internet accessible computers are added to the Children's Section that a 50% ratio of filtered and non-filtered computers be maintained.[EN 6] "Orland Park Public Library Still Covering Up Child Porn," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 21 November 2015.
[EN 7] "Commonwealth v Crayton: Librarians Report Child Porn and Preserve Computer Evidence for Police," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 28 December 2014, regarding the Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA.
[EN 8] United States v. American Library Association, 539 US 194 (2003).
[EN 9] "Compliance Measures for Children's Internet Protection Act and Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act," by Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees, Timberland Regional Library, 18 February 2004.
[EN 10] "Search Commitments," by Schools and Libraries (E-rate), Universal Service Administrative Company, undated.
[EN 11] Existing state laws have language in place the precludes porn in public libraries. ALA never, ever reports this as it would completely and instantly destroy its ability to facilitate child pornography in public libraries. For example, in Washington, the home state of the Timberland Regional Library that facilitates child porn trafficking as seen in The Chronicle story, RCW 27.12.210 states that library boards of trustees may only do "acts necessary for the orderly and efficient management and control of the library." According to the US Supreme Court case US v. ALA [EN 8], pornography has traditionally been blocked from public libraries. So pornography is obviously not "necessary for the orderly and efficient management and control of the library." The municipality should act to force the library to comply with the law and can do so without piercing the library's veil of autonomy to act within the law. To the extent municipalities fail to stop ultra vires actions of libraries such as by facilitating child pornography in violation of the law, municipalities may and should become a target for defense attorneys in addition to libraries.