Schools and libraries must begin using internet filtering software next year to protect children from pornography or risk losing federal money, thanks to a mandate approved by Congress Dec. 15 and signed into law by President Clinton a week later.

"We are signing it with some reticence," White House spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said of the filtering mandate, which appeared as an amendment attached to the education spending bill. Smith explained that Clinton okayed the filtering mandate because the spending bill was long overdue.

The new law has many school and

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