Court panel hears final witnesses in CIPA trial

Contacts: Larra Clark


ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

April 3, 2002

Court panel hears final witnesses in CIPA trial

The federal court three-judge panel today heard from the final witnesses in the American Library Association’s (ALA) legal challenge to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The government brought two witnesses to the stand:

  • David Ewick, of Fulton County (Vir.) Public Library, who testified to his library’s use of Internet blocking technology
  • Don Davis, of the University of Texas at Austin, who testified to the roles libraries play
  • Cory Finnell, an independent consultant formerly employed by blocking technology firm N2H2, who testified to his testing of blocking systems used at Westerville; Greenville, S.C.; and Tacoma, Wash., public libraries.

Finnell, who testified on Monday, was called as a rebuttal witness today by the government. The ALA and American Civil Liberties Union did not call any rebuttal witnesses.

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 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.

Final arguments from all parties will be heard tomorrow morning. Proposed findings of fact and legal briefs are due to the court by April 11, and each of the parties will have one opportunity to respond to these findings and briefs by April 18. 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 the
CIPA Web site.