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What do schools and libraries need to do to qualify for the e-rate discounts as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)?

Expert Answers

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The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) allows schools and libraries to get discounts on internet access.  In order to qualify for these discounts, the schools and libraries must meet a number of requirements.  These requirements are meant to prevent children from being exposed to material on the internet that is harmful to them.  They are also meant to prevent predators from gaining access to minors who are using the internet. 

The things that the schools and libraries must do are found at this link.  Among these are requirements saying that schools and libraries must:

  • Prevent people from accessing pictures that are obscene, that involve child pornography or which (in the case computers accessible to minors) are harmful to minors.
  • Implement programs that keep track of what minors are doing on the internet.
  • Educate minors about what behaviors are and are not proper when using the internet.

The schools and libraries must also create policies about internet use that address such issues as:

  • Preventing minors accessing inappropriate material.
  • Ensuring the safety of minors when they use chat rooms and other types of communication where they might be exposed to predators.
  • Ensuring that minors are not engaging in hacking.
  • Making sure that minors’ private information is not misused.

Once the schools or libraries have done these things, they may receive the discounts as set out in the law.

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