More states propose filtering legislation

South Dakota, Arizona waiting for governors to sign bills restricting access in public schools; Arizona would limit access in public libraries as well

\nIf several state legislatures have their way, it will be easier\nthan ever to prevent children from obtaining access to Internet\nmaterial some consider harmful.

Critics, however, say this venture also will block Web sites\nthat could be used for research or educational purposes.

South Dakota Gov. William Janklow recently signed into law\na bill that requires public schools to install filtering software\non all computers, or that requires the schools to subscribe to\nan Internet provider that automatically has filtering software.\n

All state public schools also must construct a policy that\nsets up guidelines for minors' access to the Internet by Jan.\n1, 2001.

Arizona is waiting for Gov. Jane Hull to sign a similar bill,\nbut that law will require public libraries to limit access, also,\nand to establish an Internet policy by Jan. 1, 2000.

States with filtering legislation currently pending are: Arkansas,\nCalifornia, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia\nand Wisconsin. States that have enacted laws before this year\nthat regulate online speech include: California, Connecticut,\nFlorida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico,\nNevada and Oklahoma.\n

Fall 1999, reports