South Carolina Sets Up Program to Test Filters

South Carolina Sets Up Program
to Test Filters

South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges signed a bill October 10 that sets up a pilot program to test whether or not Internet filtering software is able to block pornographic sites without hindering access to legitimate sites. The measure requires the state Budget and Control Board to deliver a final report by December 1, 2001.

In addition, the new law requires all public, school, and public university libraries to “adopt policies intended to reduce the ability of the user to access Web sites displaying information or material” deemed obscene by state statute. It also has a provision that allows adult library patrons to request unfiltered access for “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific purposes.”

Rep. Graham Barrett (R-Westminster) said in the October 11 Anderson Independent-Mail that the bill is a compromise from other legislation that would have paid for all public libraries in the state to install filters. “We as a state have no hard data to say that Internet filters either work or don’t work,” he said.

Meanwhile, state Republican Party Director J. Sam Daniels blasted the program. “This does nothing to protect children now,” he said. “I think [Gov. Hodges] knows he’s trying to cover for his boys for voting wrong.”

Posted October 16, 2000.