What is CIPA?
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by the United States Congress in 2000 to restrict children’s access to obscene and harmful online content. Schools and libraries must comply with its requirements in order to remain eligible for the E-Rate discount program, which makes telecom and information technology more affordable for these organizations.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, CIPA requires schools and libraries to meet the following requirements:
Certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. An Internet safety policy must include technology protection measures applied to all computers that are accessed by minors that blocks or filter Internet access to pictures that are obscene, are child pornography, or are harmful to minors.
Adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities of minors, and must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior.
Adopt and implement a policy addressing:
- access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet;
- the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;
- unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
- unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
- restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.