Aaron has put out something called Aaron’s Censorware, which is a simplistic approach to the problem of libraries providing a way to filter content.
From what I understand, most librarians are against the filtering software, but risk not receiving federal funding if they don’t install filtering software. Last week while listing to a radio program on the subject, some of the problems mentioned were the fact that the big software filtering companies are closed, and aren’t exactly sharing their list of ‘unapproved’ sites, which are of coursed based on their biases. Librarians are often free-speech supporters, and just handng over the decision of what is and is not appropriate to a privately held company that would reveal much isn’t very appealing. (Not to mention the fact that libraries would have to fork over money to one of these companies to get the filtering software.) The perfect solution would appear to be a collaborative project, an open-source filtering package for libraries. The libraries could contribute to a master list sites they feel should be filtered, and each library would be free to pick and choose from the list. In addition concerned citizens with expertise in open-source, and a keen interest in freedom and libraries could work with librarians to install and configure the software.
So really, how crazy does this idea sound?