State legislator wants universities to install Internet filters

ARIZONA — Students in Arizona’s public universitiesmay soon be facing restrictions on their Internet use if two billsintroduced in the state’s legislature in January are passed.

The bills, proposed by Rep. Jean McGrath, R – Glendale, arean attempt to prevent university students and employees from usingcampus computers to access pornographic Web sites.

The first bill, HB2024, would require public colleges in Arizona to installInternet filtering software on all university-owned computers.The purpose of these filters would be to prevent students fromviewing “sexually explicit material” online.

The second bill, HB2025, would prohibit students from using the Internet forany reason other than “specific educational purposes.”The bill would require public colleges to implement new rulesand policies regarding Internet use among students.

Some critics of HB 2025 bill say it is too vague. Kelly Dalton,co-director of the Arizona Students’ Association, said she isworried that the term “educational purposes” is fartoo broad. Dalton said she is concerned that the bill could preventstudents from using the Internet for extracurricular activitiesor for checking e-mail.

HB 2024 is currently up for discussion within the Arizona House,and it is expected to be voted on by the entire House next week.

HB 2025 is currently being held in the House Public Institutionsand Universities Committee.