Children's Internet Protection Act Background

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. CIPA imposes certain types of requirements on any school or library that receives funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications technology more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. In early 2001, the FCC issued rules implementing CIPA.

What CIPA Requires

  • Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the 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 to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).
  • Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal. Schools subject to CIPA are required to adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities of minors.
  • 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.

CIPA Update

On August 11, 2011 the FCC released its long-awaited CIPA rule revisions incorporating the E-rate provisions of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act enacted in 2008. The most important aspect of the new Order (FCC 11-125) is that Internet Safety Policies – required of all applicants applying for discounts on anything more than telecommunications services – must “…include monitoring the online activities of minors and 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.”
Select other aspects of the Order include the following:
  • The new Internet Safety Policy requirement becomes effective for FY 2012, the E-rate funding year beginning July 1, 2012.
  • Applicants, who have existing and properly adopted Internet Safety Policies, will not be required to hold new public hearings to amend their policies.
  • The Order clarifies that the determination of what matter is considered inappropriate for minors is a local decision and found that social network Websites (e.g., Facebook and MySpace) do not fall into one of the categories that must be blocked.
  • Applicants must retain Internet Safety Policy documentation — including both the Policy itself and the adoption records — for at least five years after the end of the funding year that relied on that Policy.
  • The FCC clarified “…that selecting a telecommunications carrier as a service provider does not absolve schools and libraries of their obligation to adhere to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements when they use USF funding to obtain discounted Internet access service.”
  • Although CIPA requirements mandate filtering school or library computers used to access the Internet, the FCC acknowledged that there was confusion as to CIPA requirements pertaining to the on-site use of portable devices owned by students and library patrons. The FCC indicated that it intended to seek public comment on these issues in a separate proceeding.
You can find out more about CIPA or apply for E-rate funding by contacting the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD). SLD also operates a client service bureau to answer questions at 1-888-203-8100 or via email through the SLD website.


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U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Dear Colleague Letter Harassment and Bullying (October 26, 2010)

Background, Summary, and Fast Fact

By alerting staff to potentially dangerous incidents, such as self-harm, abuse or attempts at predator grooming, Securus provides compliance with the DCL factsheet.

Not only is evidence captured to provide appropriate help to a child who is at risk, pupils also learn what online behavior is unsuitable and how to stay safe.

Installing Securus shows you are committed to your duty of care and reassures parents that their children are protected from harm at school.