Talk:Children's Internet Protection Act

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COPA - District Court discusses filters[edit]

All. ACLU v. Gonzales, US District Court E.D. Pa., 22 March 2007, spends pages discussing filters and the ACLU expert saying how wonderful filters are. The judge agrees. Someone should update this page with information from the case. This post is to get everyone thinking in that area about what changes could/should be made. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 01:50, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

State CIPA-like laws should be a subsection[edit]

All. State CIPA-like laws should be a subsection here too, and I'd like to start people thinking in that direction by adding this Talk section.

For example, Virginia just passed a state CIPA-like law. I will provide the information below for the purpose of illustrating the issue I raise as people decide whether or not to include a state CIPA section and why. I do not expect the proposed state CIPA section of this CIPA page to be this voluminous:

Kaine signs library bill; The legislation requires public libraries to block obscene material with Internet filters. By Michael Sluss

RICHMOND -- Gov. Tim Kaine has signed legislation requiring public libraries to install Internet filters on their computers to block access to pornography and other obscene material.

The bills (HB 2197 and SB 1393) require libraries that receive state funds to install the filters, but allow adults to have the filters disabled for research or for other legitimate purposes. The bills passed both houses of the General Assembly with solid majorities, and Kaine announced his support of them on Thursday.

Fewer than half of the library systems in Virginia have the filters installed. Supporters of the legislation said the filters will protect children from viewing obscene material and keep others from using taxpayer-funded computers to distribute pornography or solicit children.

"Now parents, regardless of where they live in Virginia, will soon have the assurance that their children cannot be subjected to cyber-porn at their local, neighborhood library," said Senate Majority Leader Walter Stosch, R-Henrico County, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill.

Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, said the legislation "brings our publicly funded libraries on board with other child protection measures already passed by the General Assembly." The Family Foundation has been pushing for such legislation since 2004.

"In a world where nearly every day we hear another story about a child being exploited by a sexual predator over the Internet, we need to do everything we can to protect kids," Cobb said in prepared statement.


Kaine Signs Bills Into Law

Computers in public libraries will be required to have Internet filters, and crime victims must be given time off from work to testify in court under two bills Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) signed into law.

The Internet legislation, meant to shield children from pornography and violent material, allows library employees to disable the filters for adults who are conducting research.

Kaine said yesterday that he also signed legislation to improve access to higher education for military members and their dependents.

Tim Craig

Internet Filters, Harrisonburg, Reporter: Kelly Creswell

There's a federal law already in place that mandates that libraries have to use internet filters or else they won't receive federal money. But still about half the public libraries in Virginia decided not to use the filters because they felt it was restricting citizen's rights. But a new state law doesn't even give public libraries the option. The libraries have to have internet filters or there will be no state funding and most public libraries rely on state funds. The new state law doesn't affect the way Massanutten Library operates.

"Massanutten Regional receives $440,000 in state aid every year, so essentially there's not a choice with this, we do have to filter, and we'll continue to do it," says Library Director Phil Hearne.

Library Director Phil Hearne disagrees with the law, saying it restricts a citizen's right to freedom of information. But Hearne says these filters aren't perfect. "Say for example I wanted to do research on the pros and cons of pornography, I would come over to this work station type on the word pornography and click the search button, but the filter wouldn't let me access the Internet." But Senator Mark Obenshain says the new law is very reasonable.

"If somebody is doing legitimate research, and finds that the filter is inhibiting their ability to do that," says Senator Mark Obenshain. "We wrote into the law, a provision that requires the library to disable it just upon their request, so I think it's a very reasonable approach to a very real problem."

And that problem is to watch out for younger children. But Hearne says there are other ways to stop people from looking at obscene material.

Filters aren't the only solution," says Hearne. "It's really, the best solution is staff monitoring, simple as that and we've always done a good job with that."

The Massanutten Regional Library Director says he rarely has a problem with people looking up pornography. But the library does have a policy. He says his staff gives out one warning if they find a person looking at inappropriate material, and if that person is caught again, they are banned forever from using computers at the library.

Thanks for your consideration. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 15:31, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

I added a new sub-section on State laws to the Internet censorship in the United States article. Jeff Ogden (talk) 23:32, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


What's really funny is that cipa means "Pussy" in Polish. ;-)

Yeah xD What they cannot change children's to kid's? It's not UK o_O. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

External links section is way off-topic[edit]

The external links section of this article is ranging all over the place and probably needs to stick to the topic of the law at hand and/or its implementation. Here are the links that are there that I have moved here. I'd assert that the lists of people pro and anti-filtering is not directly relevant to a CIPA article and the studies abotu youth and pronography likewise aren't. They may belong on an article about filtering or pornogrphy but they're really not relevant here and unless the long lists are somehow cited, it seems like original research and/or non NPOV. Since one of the frequent editors of this page -- User:LegitimateAndEvenCompelling -- is also a contributor or owner or operator of two of the linked sites (in the "organizations supporting CIPA" section) SafeLibraries and Plan2Succeed I'd like to hear from other editors of this page as well. Thank you. Jessamyn (talk) 03:45, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Reports and Studies on Protecting Youth on the Internet

Organizations Opposed to CIPA and Internet Filtering in Public Libraries and Schools:

Organizations Supporting CIPA and Internet Filtering in Public Libraries and Schools:

I agree. Good move, Jessamyn. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:54, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Controversy Absent?[edit]

I just got directed to this CIPA thing today when I discovered that the local public library won't allow a parent to let his kid use his card to get unfiltered internet access. There is effectively no way for a person under 18 to get free unfiltered access, and that utterly alarms me since it's passed down from the federal level. So I came here looking for info, but I don't see much information about, well, the "controversy" section I expected to find. I see that this got challenged in like 2001 but eventually upheld and thus still active. I see links to what looks like legalese sites (the text of the bill, some coverage of law cases), but no obvious links to, say, a list of the things that my hypothetical children couldn't do because of this bill. (E.g., I couldn't assign my (hypothetical) homeschooled 16-year-old the task of using the library computers to research certain types of Japanese manga (comic books), since they have many "obscene" pictures in them; she couldn't choose to research nude models in order to improve her drawing anatomy, or pictures of women going through natural childbirth. And the idea of a 16-year-old patron having to call a librarian over to "unlock" the "hentai manga" site is an invasion of privacy, especially when I, as parent, am fully willing to let my child have full access.)

Anyway, it would be very nice to see here some links to sites that actually point out the problems with this bill, in a normal, conversational, "angry blog" sort of language - not legalese. Thank you. Kilyle (talk) 09:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

So far as I am aware, no challenge has yet been brought under this law.
A challenge under other laws relating to Internet filters in public libraries has been brought, however. See, for example, "Washington Supreme Court Weighs Whether Library Can Refuse To Disable Internet Filter; First Legal Challenge to Application of CIPA; ALA Offers Support to Plaintiffs, But WLA Stays Neutral," by Norman Oder, Library Journal, 7 July 2009. Note, despite the title, CIPA itself has not yet been directly challenged. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 03:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to have to "me-too" this question. The article seems to mostly ignore opposition to the bill, and seems biased towards it in bits. Koltar1237 (talk) 17:37, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Bona fide section is misleading[edit]

This is the existing paragraph in the existing wiki page:

As noted above, the text of the law authorized institutions to disable the filter on request "for bona fide research or other lawful purpose," implying that the adult would be expected to provide justification with his request. But under the interpretation urged by the Solicitor General and adopted by the Supreme Court, libraries would be required to adopt an Internet use policy providing for unblocking the Internet for adult users, without a requirement that the library inquire into the user's reasons for disabling the filter.

As written, that is misleading. It misleads one to think the bona fide requirement carries no weight since librarians may not ask for justifications. It is true that librarians may not ask for justifications, but it is not true that the bona fide requirement carries no weight. It is still required, only a librarian may not first seek justification.

For example, suppose a library patron asks to unblock site xyz. The librarian must unblock the site without making a determination of whether the request is or is not for bona fide research of other lawful purpose. The patron then visits the site. Suppose that site is, for the sake of argument, a child pornography sex site and the patron begins masturbating evidencing that the unblocked site is NOT being used for bona fide research or other lawful purpose. At that point the librarian may, among other things, reapply a block by some means to that site.

Why? Because the law says unblocks may only be done "for bona fide research or other lawful purpose." In other words, those words have meaning. They do carry weight.

Further, there are lots of libraries that unblock various sites in accordance with CIPA but later reblock that after it becomes apparent that the user is not using them for bona fide research or other lawful purpose. And there has never been a case under CIPA challenging this reapplication of the filters. Further, without that language, CIPA-complaint libraries would have no basis to reapply blocks on things such as pornography sites.

I propose redrafting the misleading paragraph according. Here is my suggestion, bolding used just to show the difference:

As noted above, the text of the law authorized institutions to disable the filter on request "for bona fide research or other lawful purpose," implying that the adult would be expected to provide justification with his request. But under the interpretation urged by the Solicitor General and adopted by the Supreme Court, libraries would be required to adopt an Internet use policy providing for unblocking the Internet for adult users, without a requirement that the library inquire into the user's reasons for disabling the filter. However, upon later determination that a site is not being used for bona fide research or other lawful purpose, the filter may be reapplied.

And references can be given to cases of people being prevented from accessing sites in CIPA libraries after first getting the site unblocked.

Any comments? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 17:51, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

My take on this is that a library could, but is not required to reenable filtering if they learn that an adult library patron is not engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purpose. And that exactly what bona fide research or other lawful purposes are is very unclear. For adults the only content that is illegal is obscenity. That would seem to make viewing all other content, including content that might be indecent but not obscene, an "other lawful purpose".
As to your examples, there are laws other than CIPA to deal with inappropriate behavior in a library.
The ACLU wrote a memo back in 2003 that talks about some of these issues. See The memo includes the following:

Finally, neither the statute nor the decision provide any guidance on whether libraries can or must insist a patron turn blocking software back on if the librarian sees examples of obscenity or child pornography on a screen as they pass by. In other words, neither the statute nor the decision provide any guidance on the role of ""tap on the shoulder"" policies for those patrons who have asked that the software be turned off (or, for that matter, for the patrons using the software but finding examples of underblocking).

Jeff Ogden (talk) 23:55, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Spanish name[edit]

A translation of the bill's name is:

  • Protección de Menores de Internet [1]

WhisperToMe (talk) 03:53, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Prevalence of filtering[edit]

There is some info and stats in:

  • Filtering and the First Amendment ALA, April 2, 2013. "April 2012, a federal district court in Spokane, Washington, issued a decision that brought all the misunderstandings and confusion about CIPA to the forefront. The lawsuit, Bradburn et. al v. North Central Regional Library District..." + "Snapshot of Filtering in School Libraries" By Helen R. Adams
  • Access Denied: School Librarians’ Responses to School District Policies on the Use of Social Media Tools Jeffrey DiScala, School Library Research Volume 16. 2013. ISSN: 2165-1019 ( American Association of School Librarians) "Shortly before this study was conducted, Wikipedia was added to the list of resources blocked by the school district. This decision was sufficiently overt that each school librarian mentioned it without being asked."
  • Filtering in Schools American Association of School Librarians, 2012. "Uses and Types of Filtering (...) When asked whether their schools or districts filter online content, 98% of the respondents said content is filtered. (...) Who and What Gets Filtered (...) The survey found that 68% of the decisions to unblock a site are made at the District level and only 17% of the decisions are made at the building level." + a lot more stats!

Maybe some barcharts (Template:Bar box)? --Atlasowa (talk) 18:17, 15 October 2014 (UTC)