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Children Internet Protection Act

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Children Internet Protection Act

Children Internet Protection Act The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: ✓ obscene; ✓ child pornography; or ✓ harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal. Whether a school or library filters any content besides the visual depictions defined in the law is a local decision. However, libraries that filter other content open themselves to potential legal challenges based on the blocking of constitutionally protected content. The law, while defining the type of images that need to be blocked, does not specify any particular software (client) programs, such as a Web browser, email, or chat software which must come under the scrutiny of the TPM. The term 'technology protection measure' means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions defined in the act. Recently, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) urged Congress to update CIPA to include requirements regarding appropriate behavior on social networking and chat room sites. Librarians and many educators feel that banning websites is censorship the same as banning books. Others feel that filtering software restricts

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