Protection Act and this Planning Guide
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted as part of the Consolidated
Appropriations Act of 2001 . CIPA requires all schools receiving funding through
the E-rate program and technology funding through Title III of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act to comply with certain requirements. CIPA was enacted
to address Congress's concern that "(a)lthough the Internet represents
tremendous potential in bringing previously unimaginable education and information
opportunities to our nation's children, there are very real risks associated
with the use of the Internet." As Congress found, "(p)ornography,
including obscene material, child pornography, and indecent material is available
on the Internet ."
On April 5, 2001,
the Federal Communication Commission issued regulations for the implementation
of CIPA . As of the date of this writing, the Department of Education has not
yet issued regulations. The Schools and Libraries Division , which is charged
with management of the E-rate program has complete information for schools regarding
timelines and certifications.
The Basic Requirements
The CIPA statute
was a late session merger of two similar statutes that were pending before Congress,
the Children's Internet Protection Act and the Neighborhood Children's Internet
Protection Act. As a consequence, the statute itself contains several different
provisions that have slightly different requirements. The basic requirements
Enforce a policy
of Internet safety for minors that includes monitoring the online activities
of minors and the operation of a technology protection measure that protects
against access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography,
or harmful to minors .
Enforce a policy
of Internet safety with respect to adults that includes the operation of
a technology protection measure that protects against access to visual depictions
that are obscene or child pornography .
Adopt an Internet
Safety Plan that addresses the following elements:
- Access by
minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.
- Safety and
security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms
of direct electronic communications.
online access by minors, including "hacking" and other unlawful
disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors .
notice and hold a public hearing regarding the Internet Safety Plan .
This Planning Guide
addresses the wide range of issues that districts will have to consider to achieve
compliance with CIPA. The primary focus on the Guide is on the substantive issues
related to the development of a comprehensive plan to address concerns regarding
the safe and responsible use of the Internet by young people. The Guide also
presents positive strategies to address concerns related to the use of Technology
Protection Measures, most specifically the concern of the prevention of access
to appropriate material.
This Planning Guide
will not address technical issues of compliance related to filing deadlines,
certification requirements, and the like. Information on these issues is readily
available from the Schools and Libraries Division.
The entities that
must comply with CIPA requirements include public and private schools, districts,
and a variety of consortiums. This Planning Guide has been framed in the context
of the requirements of a public school district, with authority over individual
schools. Other entities, such as private schools, will need to consider the
recommendations in the context of their particular situations.
This Guide presents
an analysis of some of legal considerations, including liability, copyright,
and first amendment issues, in addition to issues related to compliance with