Gambling, cyber security, and dangers to children who frequent social networking sites are important ongoing debates.
Many government-mandated attempts to regulate content have been barred on First Amendment grounds, often after lengthy legal battles.
However, the government has been able to exert pressure indirectly where it cannot directly censor.
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet.
Individuals and groups routinely use the Internet, including e-mail, to express a wide range of views.
These restrictions take the form of requirements for Internet safety policies and technology that blocks or filters certain content from being accessed through the Internet (Jaeger et al. The requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act do not apply to libraries that do not receive funding for Internet access through LSTA, ESEA, or the E-rate discount program.
No library is required to seek or accept such funding.
In some cases these are encouraged or required by the state and used by state agencies.
In others they are voluntarily implemented by private operators (e.g., internet service providers).
Recent court filings, news reports, and online posts, however, have begun to shine a spotlight on libraries’ filtering policies and practices.
According to legal complaints, some libraries are denying users access to websites that discuss Wicca and Native American spirituality; blacklisting websites that affirm the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities while whitelisting sites that advocate against gay rights and promote “ex-gay” ministries; and refusing to unblock webpages that deal with youth tobacco use, art galleries, blogs, and firearms.
School librarians, teachers, and even Department of Education officials are openly complaining that the overzealous blocking of online information in schools is impairing the educational process.