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PRESS RELEASES

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25 June 2003

NALIS PROHIBITS THE VIEWING OF PORN AT LIBRARIES

The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) categorically states that it strictly prohibits the viewing of pornographic material at its libraries. NALIS, since the introduction of Internet services in 1998, has been extremely vigilant and has taken a zero tolerance approach to patrons caught breaking the rules and regulations regarding use of the Internet facility. Our Internet usage policy, which prohibits the viewing of pornographic sites is posted in each library. At the National Library, NALIS provides a Server which filters all websites on a daily basis. This service ensures that all sites containing pornographic material are blocked for use in the library. In addition, our Internet usage policy is outlined to each user, on the screen, before access to the Internet is granted. NALIS is currently in the process of installing filtering software at all of its libraries.

Despite our filtering system, NALIS is unable to block pornographic material obtained via email since doing so will violate an individual’s right to privacy of email. Staff will continue to monitor the display on screens at libraries to ensure that rules and regulations regarding pornographic material are obeyed.

An investigation was launched into the alleged viewing of pornographic sites by two teenage students at the Diego Martin Public Library, as published on June 16, 2003 in the Trinidad Express, Letter to the Editor entitled “Internet Porn in public library”, signed by “Scared Parent.” Checks at the Diego Martin Public Library revealed that the computer usage and Internet “history” showed no record and evidence of this prohibited activity.

We at NALIS share the concerns expressed regarding the proper use of the library facilities. Your comments are valuable to us in improving our services. We ask however, that all reports be specific if NALIS is to address the given situation. Please contact us by telephone at 624-4466 or 624-1130 or email us at nalis@nalis.gov.tt.

We continue to urge all citizens to use the facilities for individual and national development.


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