What the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Requires
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the federal government 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. Schools subject to CIPA have two additional certification requirements: 1) their Internet safety policies must include monitoring the online activities of minors; and 2) they must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing:
(a) access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet;
(b) the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
(c) unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
(d) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
(e) measures restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.
Schools and libraries must certify they are in compliance with CIPA.
- CIPA does not apply to schools and libraries receiving discounts only for telecommunications service only;
- An authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
- CIPA does not require the tracking of Internet use by minors or adults.