Public libraries cannot be forced to use internet filters designed to block pornography, three federal judges ruled May 31 in overturning a new federal law. Although the ruling does not directly affect schools' use of filtering software, some legal experts believe the court's findings might encourage students to challenge the law as well.

In a 195-page decision, the judges said the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)—which mandates that both schools and public libraries receiving federal eRate funding must use internet filters on their computers—went too far because filters also can block access to sites that

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