Children's Internet Protection Act

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a law that place restrictions on the use of certain funding available through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and on federal E-rate discounts for Internet services in public libraries and schools. CIPA requires that the library have an established Internet safety policies and technology which blocks or filters visual depictions from being accessed through the Internet in the library.

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (N-CIPA) passed Congress in December of 2000. Both were part of a large federal appropriations measure (PL 106-554).

Although CIPA compliance impacts specific use of funds from three federal programs (E-rate, ESEA Title III [TLCF], and LSTA), compliance with under the E-Rate program, which provides direct discounts on Internet access, is more complex than LSTA.

Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act

The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act added an additional requirement to CIPA. However, the major impact was for schools. In the E-Rate program, schools that certify compliance with CIPA must also "certify that their CIPA-required Internet safety policies provide for the education of students regarding appropriate online behavior including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and regarding cyberbullying awareness and response." A Report and Order [ PDF ], released on August 11th, describe the requirement in more detail. A Small Entities Compliance Guide [ PDF ] helps libraries implement these new requirements.

For further information, contact:
Paul Kissman
Library Information Systems Specialist
617-725-1860, x238
Page last updated on 06/11/2015