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Page history last edited by Staci Cox 15 years, 6 months ago

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)


(Sue's section)


Please note that if your district's filter is blocking educational sites that your students need for research, you may be able to have the sites cleared.  Contact your technology coordinator or a representative from the IT department for more information.  You will most likely be asked to provide the URL, details about the site, and provide information about how it relates to the educational needs of your students.  If you feel that your district's filter is too restrictive, consider petitioning for an entire category of sites to be cleared.


Home Filters


Oftentimes, librarians are approached with questions about Internet filtering software for use in the home.   Many parents are rightfully concerned about their children accessing inappropriate content while using home computers.  If people seek your advice, it is a good idea to discuss the pros and cons concerning home Internet filters, and remind them that no software is foolproof.  Nothing can take the place of adult supervision.


Examples of pro filtering arguments include:

  • filters provide an extra layer of security,
  • filters can provide useful reports of a child's online activities,
  • filters give parents the ability to set time limits or block children from sending personal information,
  • filters are appropriate for parents who take a "trust, but verify" approach to Internet use.


Organizations that support Internet filtering include Filtering Facts, Enough is Enough, Family Research Council, and American Family Association.  Visit any of these organization's web sites for more information about their viewpoints.


Examples of anti filtering arguments include:

  • decisions about what web sites to block is based on the individual filtering software company's definition of what is offensive or inappropriate, which may or may not mesh with your family's values,
  • most companies will not publish or release lists of their blocked sites or keywords it deems inappropriate,
  • overblocking can be a problem (accidental blocking of safe and legitimate web sites),
  • filtering restricts free speech and universal access to information.


Organizations that generally oppose Internet filtering include National Coalition Against Censorship, Peacefire, the American Library Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union.  Visit any of these organization's web sites for more information about their viewpoints.


If a family has determined that home filtering is appropriate for them, an excellent resource is GetNetWise.  It provides unbiased reviews of individual filters, and even provides a tool to help families determine which filter is the right selection for their household.

Comments (1)

Staci Cox said

at 12:55 pm on Jul 25, 2008

Sue, I decided to create an entirely new page for filtering. It was my instinct to delete everything from the old one and start from scratch, but I thought I'd leave it active in case you disagree. I've left space at the top for you to add the information about CIPA.

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