(05/02/2002)
The blocking of The Hur Herald by the West Virginia Department of Education because their filter program said it was linked to a pornographic site has been lifted, according to Calhoun Middle/High School Principal Roger Propst.

The Herald has no ownership or promotion of such sites.

The State Department of Education said with advanced technical knowledge, the Herald site could have been used to access inappropriate material, although no evidence of such problems existed.

Local school officials and administrators with Calhoun schools were mystified by The Herald being blocked, and requested the block be lifted.

The State Department of Education did not accept responsibility for the problem, stating the filter program was doing its job and it was up to The Hur Herald to correct technical problems at an out-of-state server. The Herald said it has no control over the server company. The filtering program has reportedly blocked other innocuous sites.

The Herald objected, stating such blocking was a violation of First Amendment rights and free speech. The Herald said it was not responsible for the problem, saying the filter program is creating harm to sites which have done nothing wrong.

The American Library Association, the West Virginia Library Association and the ACLU are challenging the filter laws, based upon their ineffectiveness. Legitimate sites can be victimized and put out of business.


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