CIPA - Children's Internet Protection Act

CIPA was signed into law on December 21, 2000. To receive support for Internet Access, Internal Connections, and Basic Maintenance services, school and library authorities must certify that they are enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes measures to block or filter Internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions.

CIPA requirements include the following three items:

1. Internet Safety Policy

Schools and libraries receiving universal service discounts are required to adopt and enforce an Internet safety policy that includes a technology protection measure that protects against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or — with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors — harmful to minors.

The Internet safety policy must address all of the following issues:

For schools, the policy must also include monitoring the online activities of minors. Note: beginning July 1, 2012, when schools certify their compliance with CIPA, they will also be certifying that their Internet safety policies have been updated to provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness, and response.

2. Technology Protection Measure

A technology protection measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. The school or library must enforce the operation of the technology protection measure during the use of its computers with Internet access, although an administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the authority with responsibility for administration of the school or library may disable the technology protection measure during use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purpose.

3. Public Notice and Hearing or Meeting

The authority with responsibility for administration of the school or library must provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address a proposed technology protection measure and Internet safety policy. For private schools, public notice means notice to their appropriate constituent group. Unless required by local or state rules, an additional public notice and a hearing or meeting is not necessary for amendments to Internet safety policies.