CIPA is know as the “Children’s Internet Protection Act” and was adopted to enforce a baseline Internet safety policy to protect minors from visual depictions that obscene, child pornography or in general harmfull to minors. Learn more about Web Filtering

FCC requires K-12 Public Schools to have safety policies and practices in place to help minor students learn appropriate online behavior. The FCC also calls out social networking as potential for good learning experiences if properly utilized. For CIPA compliance a school must create an Internet safety policy that must cover and control:

  • Minors access to inappropriate, obscene or pornographic sites and material
  • Minors access to hacking and other unlawful activities
  • Unlawful dissemination of personal information regarding minors
  • Log files of users activity  (attempts and prevention)

NEW----Beginning July 2012, School CIPA Security policy must include monitoring the online activities of minors.  Previously just filtering was required, and now logging and archiving is essential. As schools choose technology products to become CIPA compliant they should be aware of the products ability to actually meet certification to avoid any liability for non-compliance.  Meeting certification standards within a school policy is in general a process by which the school calls out how they plan to monitor, control and prevent access, how they plan to account for breaches, store log files, discipline abuse, train teachers, address social media sites, YouTube and other online video and media representations of content. BorderLAN Network Security provides custom CIPA security templates for schools who are interested in CIPA compliance with BorderLAN products. These days more often than not schools believe they are protected with CIPA with a generic web filtering technology, which does do not address some of the current issues of internet security, offsite devices, ipads, logging and usage, cyberbullying, social media, youtube and more.

A school must be able to Block or Filter Internet access. A policy under CIPA must be in place with computers with Internet access including tablets, ipads and other web enabled devices.  A teacher, supervisor or other authorized person must also have the ability to over-ride or otherwise disable the technology protection measure when in use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

Public hearing

The school responsible for Internet Access and filtering should also provide a public notice and hold a public hearing or meeting to outline the security policy or proposed technology plan. Amendments to the security policy does not require a public hearing unless required by local or state rules.

CIPA Funding of Telecommunications Equipment and Services

Schools may request funding for Internet Access, Internal Connections, or Basic Maintenance services when they are compliant with CIPA using FCC form 486.  Funding is NOT available to pay for Internet filtering technologies, filters or subscriptions for software, rather only for the telecommunications side of the internet access.