CIPA which is short for Children Internet Protection Act is a law in United States that was signed in December 2000.
CIPA has been designed and formulated keeping in mind the safeguarding of children against content on the Internet that is pornographic or explicit or objectionable in nature.
The law had been signed off by the then President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton.
The law was specifically signed to address the increasing concern over the explicit and objectionable content that was available on the Internet and to keep children away from such content while they are browsing the Internet through school or college network.
The US government has a funding scheme for e-programs to schools and colleges across the US.
But for schools and colleges to be eligible for this scheme, they have to be CIPA compliant.
The types of categories of web content that are to be blocked under CIPA compliance are:
- Video and image Search
- Hate and racism
- Adult content
- Swimwear & lingerie
- Alcohol & Tobacco
Schools and colleges need to make policies of internet access in such a way that the URLs that fall under any of the above categories should be blocked.
Either they can invest in software based solution that is installed on each system or a central server or a hardware based solution that is able to enforce the CIPA policy over the perimeter of the network.
The schools and colleges across the US who wish to be CIPA compliant the gain the funding for the internet programs, need to keep logging enabled for all the Internet activity and they also need to monitor the online activities of the minors.
Only monitoring needs to be performed and ‘tracking’ of activities is not mandatory.
Being CIPA compliant also enables the schools and colleges to be protected at a much higher level from legal law suits of the parents who might be concerned with the content their children are having access to while using the internet at the school or college.