The San Antonio Library Board has voted to install filters to block any attempts to access pornography on publically available library computers, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The issue has been brewing for a decade. A measure passed by Congress provides additional federal funding to libraries which install filters, but library officials felt that free access to the Internet was important. It also said patrons using library computers to view porn was not a serious problem, and library employees were instructed to walk through the library and make sure no offensive material was being viewed on the computers, which all face outward toward the library.
"The filters will block any sites with adult images that are considered obscene," the library's Caitlin Cowart told 1200 WOAI news.
The Library Board in this case has the final say, and she says the library will immediately begin working with the city to obtain the needed software.
"Develop and purchase technology to implement the filers," she said.
Councilman Ron Nirenberg urged the Library Board to install the filters.
So who will make the decision on whether that picture of Charlie Hunnam without his shirt on is 'obscene' or not? Cowart says that will be made by the technology itself, and library staffers won't have to review every web site to determine whether or not it constitutes pornography.
"The technology programs that are used to filter the content makes the decision on which sites are considered obscene and which are not," she said.