The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) went into effect on April 20, 2001. These laws place restrictions on the use of funding that is available through the Library Services and Technology Act, Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and on the Universal Service discount program known as the E-rate (Public Law 106-554). These restrictions take the form of requirements for Internet safety policies and technology which blocks or filters certain material from being accessed through the Internet. The deadline for complying with NCIPA was July 1, 2002 for those libraries receiving 2002 E-rate discounts for Internet access or internal connections. The deadline for compliance with CIPA was July 1, 2004, following the Supreme Court ruling in 2003.

Find information below for librarians with questions about CIPA at their libraries, scholars interested in the legislative history of CIPA, or those interested in the ALA's position on CIPA. The site is divided into four major areas, with further subdivisions within each:

  • Legal History: This section details the history of CIPA, beginning with its inception, and following it through the legal challenges brought against it. If you are looking for historical information or documents (such as legal briefs, etc) related to CIPA, check in here.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): A variety of questions that are commonly asked by libraries and the public about implementation, LSTA, applicability, and some sample scenarios.
  • Background Resources: ALA background information on related topics such as filtering and other federal Acts, links to other resources that have useful information for librarians about CIPA, and federal regulations and guidance for CIPA.
  • Archival materials: News articles, reports from the field, tools and worksheets that can be used to determine how best to make your CIPA policies work.
  • CIPA Briefs: CIPA legal briefs