Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: pornography

May
6th

Internet filtering at public libraries walks a fine line

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Legality should not be confused with good public policy. Case in point: The seal of constitutionality the state Supreme Court granted a library district’s overzealous Internet filter on Thursday.

In a 6-3 decision, the court blessed the five-county North Central Regional Library District’s blanket use of Internet filters on library computers. The majority ruled that filtering adult patrons’ Internet access is not a violation of the state constitution’s free speech protections.

The court’s analysis may well be correct. No less than the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that libraries have a legitimate interest in filtering Internet content to protect minors from pornography. Under federal law, libraries are required to take such steps to receive federal assistance.

But the federal law – and potentially the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld it – was predicated on the idea that libraries could disable filters for adult patrons upon request.

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Sep.
17th

Strange but true: Child porn on McNeil Island

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

One of the seven sex offenders busted for child porn Thursday at the Special Commitment Center had been twice convicted of child rape.

Another of sexual assault, indecent liberties and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Another of lewd and lascivious acts toward a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and indecent liberties.

You get the idea.

Ordinary sex offenders don’t wind up in the center on McNeil Island. They constitute a tiny fraction of all such criminals. They must have proven themselves to be compulsive career predators. They must clear the high legal hurdle for commitment: a formal court finding that they continue to pose a dire threat to society as “sexually violent predators.”
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