Brief on Behalf of Partnership for Progress
on the Digital Divide in United States v. American Library Association
On February 10, 2003, FEPP submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court
on behalf of a coalition of nonprofits and youth media organizations in
a constitutional challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
CIPA requires that all libraries and schools receiving certain federal
funds or discounts for Internet connections are required to install filters
on all computers, for adults and minors alike. The case challenged only
the library provisions of CIPA.
The brief notes that even at their least restrictive settings, filters
wrongly block tens of thousands of valuable, non-pornographic Web pages,
including public health sites, political sites, and job search and career
sites. This puts people who depend on libraries for Internet access -
including lower-income citizens, the elderly, the disabled, and residents
of rural areas - at a discriminatory disadvantage compared to people with
computers at home or work.
The brief argues that filters "undermine public libraries' core
functions as information providers and conduits for participation in democratic
Signers of the brief include Partnership for Progress on the Digital
Divide, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Harlem Live, Pacific
News Service, Peacefire, Rock Out Censorship, TRUCE, and Wiretap Magazine.
Read the brief.
On June 23, 2003, the Supreme
Court upheld CIPA.