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Filtering-Related Links

This page includes links to updates and publications that provide information and guidance about various filtering-related issues.

If you are monitoring changes and announcements about the E-Rate program, we suggest that you subscribe to the SCHOOL-IT List. We monitor several sites and belong to a number of organizations that monitor all E-Rate/SLD activity and post those updates on the list as they become available.

  • Children's Internet Protection Act--Read the text of the Act as passed (PDF)

  • CoSN's (Consortium for School Networking) CIPA Compliance Document--Attached is a document that will help you understand the federal mandatory filtering provisions that became law in 2001. Given the many uncertainties about this provision, we hope this document helps to provide valuable information to education technology leaders.

  • Cybertelecom tracks all Internet related legislation. They already have a comprehensive CIPA section. This may end up being one of our best resources to track the implementation of this law.

  • Filtering Information--This site, sponsored by N2H2--which sells filtering solutions--looks like a fairly good resource.

  • American Library Association (ALA)--This Web site is a joint effort of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Washington Office to provide you with information about ALA’s activity regarding CIPA.

  • COPA--In October 2000, the Federal Commission on Online Child Protection (COPA) issued a report on protecting children in their online experiences, in which they evaluate the positive vs. negative attributes of each of the technologies along with user cost and cost to sources of otherwise harmful to minors materials and adverse impacts on privacy, First Amendment values and law enforcement. It's worth taking a look at this, despite the fact that filtering has since been mandated.

  • OMB Watch--Promoting Government Accountability:
    MORE ON COPA and CIPA--For detailed information on requirements associated with the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) and the Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA), see the OMB Watch Web-site, linked from the title above. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the responsibility for enforcing COPA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates CIPA. COPA requires U.S.-based Web-sites that collect personal information from people under the age of 13 to obtain permission from parents or guardians before asking for such data. The CIPA law which goes into effect this year requires schools and libraries prove that Internet access to objectionable material is not available to any user under 17 years of age.

  • Network/Internet Security--There is an active network/internet security initiative based at Champlain College with very strong expertise, and connections to outside national experts, even though several of those experts actually live in Vermont. Gary Kessler, from Champlain College, lists some resources on his security webpage. He also maintains a listserv (email him at kumquat@sover.net to be added). This goes beyond filtering, but contains some good information.


Check Out Examples of Content Screening Software

Please note: by listing, we are neither endorsing these products, nor implying products not included are in any way inferior to those that are, but merely providing easy access to some of the many products available for your review.

  • Bess

  • CyberPatrol

  • CyberSitter

  • Cyber Snoop

  • FutureSoft's DynaComm i:series
    DynaComm i:filter is used in a number of school districts around the US. Check out their page specifically for CIPA information and filtering as well as their white paper on content security in the K-12 world

The March 2001 issue of Consumer Reports® Online offers some assistance in choosing filtering software in its feature report DIGITAL CHAPERONES FOR KIDS--Which Internet Filters Protect the Best? Which Get in the Way?

According to their report, parents of the 26 million U.S. youngsters who surf the web have the primary responsibility for protecting children when they go online at home. They cite a recent survey by Jupiter Research, which showed

. . . seven out of ten parents handle the issue by being present when their kids go online. Only 6 percent use stand-alone filtering software, products that promise to steer kids clear of undesirable material. Does that small minority know something? Can a technological fix substitute for a parent's watchful eye? In 1997, when we first tested this kind of software, the answer clearly was no. But since then, the number of software filters has grown from a handful to well over a dozen. Internet giant America Online (AOL) comes with parental controls that filter content. Is the present generation of filtering software any better than its predecessors?

To read what Consumer Reports® found out, click on the article title above. Also check out the link (located within the above-referenced article) to a related story: Should the government require filtering?


Some sites containing further information, as well as links to many other filtering products available:

  • 411Kidz (All About Kids)
  • Peacefire is an anti-censorship group for teens and young adults (see what the targeted-for-blocking generation is saying . . . )
  • Families Against Internet Censorship Another voice (obviously) in opposition to filtering, this group believes parents are the "people best suited to decide what their children should and should not see."
  • EPIC's (Electronic Privacy Information Center) Bill Track page tracks privacy, speech, and cyber-liberties bills in the 108th Congress.

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Last modified: September 24, 2003