CIPA trial recesses until Monday

Contacts: Larra Clark


ALA Archived News Release

Originally posted March 29, 2002

The government called the last of this week’s witnesses in the American Library Association’s legal challenge to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The trial will continue Monday, starting at 9:15 a.m. EST. The three-judge federal court panel heard testimony today from:

  • Beverly James, of Greenville (S.C) Public Library, who testified about her library’s use of blocking software
  • Norman Belk, of Greenville (S.C) Public Library, who testified about his library’s use of blocking software
  • Blaise Cronin, of the University of Indiana, who testified to the roles libraries play

“Once again, government witnesses conceded key points in the ALA’s case,” said ALA attorney Theresa Chmara of Jenner and Block. “Like Ft. Vancouver (Wash.) librarian Candace Morgan, Mr. Cronin testified that legal information should be freely available on the Internet in libraries for users.”

CIPA and the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) were signed into law December 21, 2000. CIPA mandates the use of blocking technology for public libraries that seek Universal Service discounts (E-rate) for Internet access, Internet service or internal connections, or that seek Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to purchase computers for Internet access or to pay for Internet access. The ALA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed lawsuits challenging the law in March 2001. The cases were combined and are being heard by a three-judge panel made up of two district and one appellate court judge. People for the American Way is serving as supporting counsel for the ALA challenge.

The trial is expected to conclude April 3. The judges will likely rule by early May so libraries will have time to prepare before E-rate and LSTA deadlines fall.

For more information and updates on CIPA and the legal challenge, please go to
ALA's CIPA website.

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