A divided Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Congress can force the nation's public libraries to equip their computers with internet filtering software.

The blocking technology, intended to keep children from accessing pornographic web sites, does not violate the First Amendment even though it shuts off access to some legitimate, informational web sites, the court ruled.

Because libraries can disable the filters for any patrons who ask, the system is not too burdensome, the court said.

The 6-3 ruling upholds a 2000 law—the

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