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> From:    Don Korte <dkorte@ESU7.ORG>
> Subject: Internet filters - what does CIPA require?
>   Can someone please tell me what an internet filter is required to
> do?  What, specifically,  are schools required to block under CIPA, the
> Children's Internet Protection Act?  My district is now in the process
> of switching filters, again.  Many, student appropriate, sites are now
> being blocked.  We have been told by the district technology director
> that this is because of the new filter's system of categorizing sites.
> So far I have seen nothing blocked as either pornography or for sexual
> content, only for games, hobbies, free sites, advertising, etc.  Does
> CIPA require this?  So far today this filter has trashed one teacher's
> lesson plan and given another an anxiety attack.  Does CIPA require that
> the internet be made "safe" for students, or that they be provided a
> safe environment?  Does NCLB require filters, or does my director of
> technology have his laws confused?  Are all web sites bad until proven good?
I was sick all last week and am responding to this late.

CIPA requires a filter that blocks access to obscene material, child
pornography, and material that is harmful to minors. NOTHING MORE.

The regulations also note that it is assumed that the filters will not be
totally effective.

Your technology director is overblocking. If you can get for me the name of
the filter and the categories that he is selecting I would be willing to
provide you with an analysis.

What far too many technology directors are doing is overblocking based on
the assumption that CIPA requires this -- or to avoid any possible trouble.
In many cases they are denying access to material that students have a
constitutional right to access.

Check Jamie's article and mine on this site:


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

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