Introducing…The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

CIPA ConsultingWhat is CIPA?

Executed by Congress in 2000, the Children’s Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted to address concerns regarding children’s access to harmful content on the Internet. CIPA is required by all schools and libraries that receive discount Internet access through the E-rate program—a program that provides schools and libraries with affordable rates for certain communication services and products. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued rules implementing CIPA early in 2001, and updated the rules in 2011.

Requirements of CIPA

CIPA requires that all schools and libraries receiving discounts offered by the E-rate program must have an Internet safety policy with technology protection measures. The protection measures must block and/or filter Internet access to anything that is obscene, pornographic and/or harmful to minors. Schools and libraries are required to provide reasonable notice, and hold at least one public meeting to address their proposal before they adopt an Internet safety policy.

All schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to create and utilize an Internet safety policy that addresses the following:

a)     Unauthorized access, including ‘hacking’ and any other unlawful activity performed online by minors;

b)     The safety and security of minors regarding electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of electronic communications;

c)     The access of inappropriate content on the Internet;

d)     Measures to restrict minors’ access to harmful materials on the Internet; and

e)     Unauthorized use and disclosure of personal information regarding minors.

Before schools and/or libraries can receive E-rate funding, they must certify that they’re compliant with CIPA regulations.

Additional points:

  • CIPA doesn’t require that minors’ Internet activities be tracked.
  • An authorized person is allowed to disable the blocking or filtering measure if needed for bona fide research or lawful purposes.
  • CIPA doesn’t require schools and/or libraries to comply if they’re receiving discounts for telecommunications services only.

Do you have questions about CIPA or any other technology used in our school system?  Call us today, as your trusted technology support company we can help you navigate the complex world of technology.

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