A few weeks ago, my husband, a security consultant, met with a city about finding vulnerabilities in their network. When he met with the city’s library director, one of the questions he asked was, “You don’t filter your public computers, do you?” My husband texted me immediately after his meeting to say, “You should be proud of me. I told them to keep their public computers unfiltered.”
There is some irony to this. He is, after all, the same man who used to be responsible for blocking access to Web sites at his former company, but his stance on filtering makes complete sense. His company had an Internet policy for its employees, for one, and he kept constant vigilance to make sure nothing got past the filters that shouldn’t and that innocuous sites were still accessible. His stance is that filters should not be used in a public setting, especially when constant modifications cannot be made, because it infringes on First Amendment rights.