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ERIC Number: EJ1073945
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1094-9046
Filtering beyond CIPA: Consequences of and Alternatives to Overfiltering in Schools
Batch, Kristen R.; Magi, Trina; Luhtala, Michelle
Knowledge Quest, v44 n1 p60-66 Sep-Oct 2015
The article is divided into three sections. The main section, "Filtering beyond CIPA: Consequences of and Alternatives to Overfiltering in Schools" (Kristen Batch) describes factors that contribute to the overimplementation of CIPA. Internet filtering is a routine practice in public schools and libraries. The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) does not require that all schools and libraries install filters, only those that accept certain types of federal funds or discounts for the provision of Internet access. Although CIPA grants these institutions the flexibility to develop filtering policies appropriate to their communities, many institutions are filtering well beyond the requirements of the law. Schools, in particular, do not limit filtering to visual images as the law mandates, and routinely block access to broad swaths of information that all users are entitled to view (Chmara 2010). Increasingly, schools block access to entire social-media and social networking sites and to any websites that are interactive or collaborative, such as blogs or wikis (AASL 2012). They also rely (mistakenly) on filtering to deal with issues of hacking, copyright infringement, and cyberbullying, denying access to certain websites and technologies. The American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy and Office for Intellectual Freedom, with support from Google, Inc., recently conducted a study to investigate, in part, the broader impact of CIPA on achieving educational and social objectives for the twenty-first century. Drawing on extensive research, interviews, and input from over thirty experts and practitioners, the study "Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children's Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later" identified an overreach in the implementation of CIPA. This overreach restricts access to information and learning opportunities for students, and disproportionately impacts those without a home broadband connection or smartphone. This article summarizes the main findings from the report and four recommendations for actions the ALA should undertake to help schools and libraries align filtering practices with the requirements of the law. The second contribution, "I'm being Required to Install an Internet Filter. What Should I Do?" (Trina Magi), details the steps that can be taken to minimize the impact of filters--such as exercising care in choosing filtering software and also in installing and maintaining software. Other strategies described include developing a well-crafted policy for responsible Internet use, and implementing a program to educate students about online behavior. The final contribution, "Banned Websites Awareness Day" (Michelle Luhtala), offers a discussion of Banned Websites Awareness day, which directs national attention to Internet filtering's impact on teaching and learning.
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A