Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet:

A Guide for Educators

 

Nancy Willard

Responsible Netizen Institute

P.O. Box 50412

Eugene, Oregon.97405

http://responsiblenetizen.org/publications

© 2002 Nancy Willard

Permission granted for the NTIA to post on the CIPA Comment website.

Permission granted for the reproduction and distribution of this material for non-profit, educational and research purposes.

 

Key Chapters Related to Filtering Concerns and Comprehensive Strategies:

 

Introduction

Rationale for Change

Compliance with the Children' Internet Protection Act

Social and Educational Strategies for Protecting Children on the Internet

 

Introduction

 

The Internet has emerged in the last decade as an extremely important conduit for information and communications. The objective of schools is to prepare students for active and effective participation in society. The information and communication resources of the Internet have become an essential component of this preparation. Schools are uniquely positioned to serve as the primary vehicle through which young people can develop the knowledge, skills, and motivation to use the Internet in a safe, responsible, and effective manner.

 

Most schools are placing primary reliance on filtering software, in the false hope that by installing a technology "quick fix" they have done their job in this area. They have not. School officials are using filtering as a surrogate to fulfill important responsibilities of education and supervision. Such misplaced reliance has been the result of intense pressure exerted by politicians and the influence of the technology industry--which likes to think that technology tools can solve all human problems.

 

Two events occurred in May 2002 that cast much-needed light on the advisability and constitutionality of such reliance. In early May, the National Research Council (NRC released a report entitled Youth, Pornography and the Internet[1]., which strongly advocated for the recognition that neither technology nor public policy are going to be able to effectively address the dangers and concerns present on the Internet. Rather, the NRC urged that the primary focus must be shifted to social and educational strategies.

 

In late May, the ruling was issued in a case that the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union brought challenging the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), ALA v. US[2]. While this ruling is not directly applicable to public schools, the findings and analysis lead to the conclusion that the use of commercial, proprietary-protected Internet filtering software in schools presents concerns that students are being unconstitutionally restricted from access to appropriate material on the Internet.

About this Guide

We, as society, are too often willing to believe that a technological "quick fix" will solve the problem. When we believe in the sufficiency of the technological "quick fix," we fail to engage in the more important actions that are necessary to effectively address the underlying concerns. Far too many decision-makers, educators, and parents believe in a myth--that the installation and use of a "technology protection measure" will protect children against access to potentially harmful material and people on the Internet. The unfortunate result of the belief in this myth is false security, which leads to complacency, which results in the failure to adequately protect our children by preparing them to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner.

 

This is not to say that there is no role for technology tools in the establishment of an environment that supports the safe and responsible use of the Internet by young people. Technology can be used to establish safe places for younger students, and to reinforce accountability on the part of older students. The concern is that a strategy that places primary reliance on technological "quick fixes" will fail to address the far more important issues of education and supervision.

 

It is clearly time for public schools to shift from a technological "quick-fix" approach where school officials have abdicated decision-making authority to third party companies that are not held publicly accountable to a comprehensive education and supervision approach--an approach that protects young people by preparing them to effectively deal with the concerns and dangers that are present on the Internet.

 

And that is what this Guide is all about--a transition to a comprehensive education and supervision approach to assist students in gaining the knowledge, skills, and motivation to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner.

Core Components of a Comprehensive Approach in School to Support the Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet

Focus on the Educational Purpose

Use of the district Internet system should directed to those activities which support education, enrichment, and career development, with the option of limited "open access" times. Districts must support the educational use of the system through professional development, technical and instructional support, Internet-based lesson plans and an educational web site.

 

The best way to promote the safe and responsible use of the Internet is to ensure that teachers are prepared to lead students on exciting, educationally-enriching learning "adventures" on the Internet. When the computers are being used for such activities, the opportunity for misuse is significantly limited.

Clear Policy that is Well-Communicated to Students 

Students should have a clear understanding of the kinds of activities that are and are not considered acceptable. Students should be aware that they have a very limited expectation of privacy when they use the Internet at school. They should have a full and complete understanding of the degree to which their activities will be monitored, how this monitoring will occur, and the circumstances under which a specific investigation of their online activities will occur.

 

The policy should address access to inappropriate material, the safety and security of students when using electronic communications, illegal and inappropriate activities, and the protection of student personal information. The policy should address responsibilities of both staff and students.

 

The policy should serve as the foundation for the district's education program regarding the safe and responsible use of the Internet--not simply just another document included in the start-of-school informational packet.

Safe Internet Places for Younger Students

The primary focus for elementary students should be on maintaining a safe and secure environment. Elementary students should use in the Internet is an environment that specifically restricts their use to sites that have been previewed to determine their appropriateness and educational value. If it is ever necessary for a student to seek information on the more open Internet, such access must only occur with ":over-the-shoulder" adult supervision. Elementary students should use electronic communications in a fully secure environment, such as a classroom e-mail account. Elementary students must know that there is the possibility that they may encounter material on the Internet that "yucky" and that if they ever have concerns about what they encounter, they should turn off the computer and tell a teacher. A variety of technologies can be used to assist in the establishment of safe Internet places.

Education About the Safe and Responsible Use

Teachers, administrators and students should receive instruction related to the safe and responsible use of the Internet. Education for students should be appropriate to their age and understandings. Young people should be empowered to independently handle a wide range of interactions and activities on the Internet that could be harmful to their safety and well being. Educating older students regarding how to avoid the inadvertent access of inappropriate material and appropriate, effective responses if they accidentally access such materials, especially if the site has "trapped" them and will not allow them to exit, is essential. Further, it is necessary to address why such materials are considered to be inappropriate. Additional safety concerns include being the target or recipient of sexual predation, hate group recruitment, invasion of personal privacy, Internet fraud and scams, harassment, stalking, and harmful speech.

 

We also must address other issues related to the responsible use of the Internet by young people. In addition to the intentional access of potentially harmful material, these issues include copyright infringement, plagiarism, computer security violations (hacking, spreading viruses), violation of privacy, Internet fraud and scams, harassment, stalking, and dissemination of harmful speech or other violent or abusive material. We must prepare young people to understand their responsibilities as Cybercitizens.

Supervision and Monitoring

Student use of the Internet should be supervised by teachers in a manner that is appropriate for the age of the students and circumstances of use. The type and level of monitoring is somewhat dependent on the circumstances of the school. Supervision and monitoring must be sufficient to establish the expectation that there is a high probability that instances of misuse will be detected and result in disciplinary action. When students are fully aware that there is a high probability that instances of misuse will be detected and result in disciplinary action, they are unlikely to take the risk of engaging in such misuse. The existence of effective monitoring, and student knowledge of such existence is generally sufficient deterrent for misuse.

 

In small schools with a limited number of students, limited number of computers, and low level of Internet traffic, an approach that involved staff supervision and staff review of Internet records will likely be sufficient to establish the expectation of high probability of detection of misuse. With larger schools, more students, more computers, and a higher level of traffic, supervision and staff review of Internet usage logs will likely not be sufficient to achieve a high probability that instances of misuse will be detected. The lower the probability that misuse will be detected; the greater the temptation for engaging in such misuse. This is where the use of a technology tool becomes an appropriate consideration. Technology tools allow for the more effective and efficient review of Internet usage and significantly enhances the probability that instances of misuse will be detected.

 

While it is not possible for districts to enforce a wide range of individual family values when students are using the Internet in school, districts can address parent concerns and support student Internet use in accord with personal family values by allowing parents to have access to their child's Internet use records upon request.

Appropriate Discipline

Misuse of the Internet by students should be addressed in a manner that makes use of the "teachable moment" both for the individual student and other students in the school. The focus of such instruction should be on the reasons for the rule--the issues or concerns the rule is designed to address--rather than a focus on disobedience.

Conclusion

We cannot resolve the real concerns of student misuse of the Internet by reliance on technological "quick fixes." By developing a comprehensive approach to address such concerns, schools can help young people develop effective filtering and blocking systems that will reside in the hardware that sits upon their shoulders.


Rationale for Change

 

The Case Against Filtering--In Brief

The overwhelming evidence from the NRC Report, the ALA trial, and other reports demonstrates the following[3]:

 

     Young people are not being provided with instruction in safe Internet skills and dealing with unpleasant Internet experiences. As a result, they have essentially been left on their own to deal with the more harmful aspects of the Internet.

 

     Filtering software is blocking access to substantial amounts of educationally-relevant material. This results in substantial frustration and interferes with the effective instructional use of the Internet.

 

     Processes to override the filter to provide access for students and teachers to material that has been inappropriately blocked are not effective, efficient, or timely. As a result, such requests are not being regularly made. The decision by the filtering company to block access to certain material is generally the final decision in most schools.

 

     By installing commercial filtering software school officials have entrusted all preliminary decision making and, by default, the vast majority of all final decisions to commercial filtering companies, essentially abdicating any role in the decision-making process. Such abdication is made worse by the following:

 

-     The blocking decisions made by filtering companies are not being made by professional educators or librarians.

 

-     Category definitions and blocking decisions of the companies are made without reference to local community or school standards.

 

-     Lists of blocked sites, as well as the specific methods that filtering software companies use to compile and categorize lists, including search/block keywords and blocking processes, are considered proprietary protected information.

 

-     There is no vehicle to ensure public accountability on the part of the commercial filtering software companies. Such companies are not subject to freedom of information/access to public records laws. Their board of directors cannot be held accountable to the citizens of a community through an election process.

 

-     Several filtering companies have extensive marketing relationships with conservative religious organizations who are representing to their constituents that the filters are functioning in accord with their religious values. Another target market for many filtering companies is employers in government and business. Filtering software companies are also aggressively pursuing contracts to provide filtering services for repressive regimes in other countries. It is unknown how the existence of such other markets may be impacting the  blocking decision-making of these companies.

 

-     There is substantial evidence, from a variety of sources, that supports the conclusion that filtering companies are engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

 

Given the above factors, it is highly probable that when the question of the constitutionality of the use of commercial, proprietary-protected, filtering software is litigated, the result will be a ruling that such use is unconstitutional. To prevail, proponents of such filtering would be forced to demonstrate that the concerns of youth access to harmful material are so compelling that it is reasonable for school officials to delegate authority to private companies to make decisions regarding what students may and may not access, when such companies are not held publicly accountable for their decision-making, are not blocking access to materials based on educational standards, and are engaging in viewpoint discrimination. When the National Research Council, after  two-year in-depth study of the issue, refers to such technologies as "quick fixes" and criticizes school officials for using filtering as "surrogates" for the more important responsibilities of education and supervision, arguments made by filtering proponents simply will not be convincing.

Compliance with CIPA?

Obviously, the first question that will emerge is whether or not it is possible for public schools to avoid using commercial filtering software and still be in compliance with CIPA. CIPA requires the use of a "technology protection measure" to "protect" against access to material defined by the statute as unacceptable[4]. The NRC Report discussed a variety of technologies that they noted can be used to "protect" against access to inappropriate material[5]. Presumably, any of the technologies discussed by NRC would fulfill the CIPA requirement. The compliance issue is discussed in full in the chapter entitled Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act. The technologies are further described in the chapter entitled Technology Protection Measures.

 

It appears that it should be possible to comply with CIPA by using technology protection measures other than commercial filtering software[6]. Alternatively, if CIPA requires that school districts abdicate all decision-making authority to commercial filtering software companies, then the law is clearly unconstitutional.

 

This Guide seeks to assist school administrators in the development of a comprehensive approach to help young people gain the knowledge, skills, and self-control independently  use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner and is in compliance with CIPA.

Continued Use of Filtering Software?

While the underlying focus of this Guide is to encourage a shift to a more comprehensive, education and supervision-based approach to addressing concerns of the safe and responsible use of the Internet, it is recognized that in some schools, districts, regions, and states it is not currently possible to discontinue such use. For some schools and districts, the decision to use filtering software has been made at a higher level and, at this point in time, change is not possible. Recommendations are set forth in the chapter entitled Being a Change Agent, for encouraging change at a higher level.

 

Further, it is not recommended that a district terminate the use of filtering software prior to implementing many of the recommendations contained in this Guide. It can be anticipated that upon the removal of filtering software, some enterprising students will seek to explore their perceived new freedoms. Systems must be in place to prevent and address such "testing." These issues are addressed more fully in Transition to a Comprehensive Approach.

 

It is not necessary to terminate the use of filtering software to implement the recommendations contained in this Guide. However, after the recommendations have been implemented, it is probable that the continued use of filtering will be found to be unnecessary.

The Case Against Reliance on Commercial, Proprietary-Protected, Filtering Software--In More Detail[7]

 

Need for an Educational Approach

Filtering software is not infallible and it is not present on every computer that young people will have access to. Ultimately, the ONLY way to protect  young people from the dangers present on the Internet is to prepare them to make safe and responsible choices[8]. Misplaced reliance on filtering software places young people in the position of greater vulnerability and risk at those inevitable times when they will have access to the Internet through an unfiltered system.

 

On May 8, the National Research Council (NRC) released its report entitled Youth, Pornography and the Internet[9]. A major conclusion of this report was:

 

(S)ocial and educational strategies to develop in minors an ethic of responsible choice and the skills to effectuate these choices and to cope with exposure are foundational to protecting children from negative effects that may result from exposure to inappropriate material or experiences on the Internet.

 

In the preface to the report, Dick Thornberg , former Attorney General and committee chair, indicated that the report would "disappoint those who expect a technology 'quick fix'" and chided school officials and others for seeking "surrogates to fulfill the responsibilities of training and supervision needed to truly protect children from inappropriate sexual materials on the Internet. "

 

The report noted that much of the focus of attention has been on technology solutions and public policy. "Technology solutions seem to offer quick and inexpensive fixes that allow adult caregivers to believe that the problem has been addressed, and it is tempting to believe that the use of technology can drastically reduce or eliminate the need for human supervision.[10]" But that technology is not a "substitute for education, responsible adult supervision, and ethical Internet use.[11]"

 

No technology protection measure is or ever will be 100% effective in protecting young people from exposure to material that is potentially harmful. There is simply too much material on the Internet, with more material posted every second, for any technological system to be truly effective. Virtually every young person will, at one time or another, have unsupervised access to the Internet through an unfiltered, unblocked, and unmonitored system. Any time a technology is created that seeks to block access to material, another technology will emerge to get around such blocking actions. Technically proficient young people can easily obtain information on effective strategies to get around these systems.

 

Schools have become the universal location where young people are learning about the Internet. Certainly, then, schools should have an important obligation to help young people learn to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner regardless of the presence or absence of any kinds of protective technologies. Schools are also an important conduit of information for parents -- many of whom are not as technically literate as their children.

 

Interestingly, when the NRC Committee asked educators a slightly different question from the one above "What is the benefit of having filters?" In virtually every school the committee visited the primary reasons offered for filters were to avoid controversy in the community and to avoid liability for exposing children to inappropriate material[12].

 

Essentially, it appears that the primary reason schools have filters is not to protect kids--but to protect the school. This is unacceptable.

 

The most concerning finding in the NRC Report is the degree to which young people have had to learn Internet safety skills on their own. As noted:

 

Virtually all of the high school students to whom the committee spoke said that their "Internet savvy" came from experience, and they simply learned to cope with certain unpleasant Internet experiences. They also spoke of passing their newfound expertise down to younger siblings, hence becoming the new de facto educators for younger children in the "second wave of digital children[13]."

 

While it can be expected that young people are going to have superior technical skills than most adults, but the fact that caring adults appear to be totally lacking in this picture should raise significant concerns.

 

Constitutional Concerns

It is probable that the use of commercial, proprietary-protected Internet filtering software in schools will ultimately be found to be unconstitutionally restricting student access to material on the Internet.

 

On May 31, 2002, the US District Court for the Third Circuit issued its ruling in a case that the American Library Association, American Civil Liberties Union, and others brought challenging the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act[14] (CIPA), ALA v. US[15]. The court ruled that CIPA was unconstitutional because the actions required under the law would violate the constitutional rights of library patrons, adults and minors, to access constitutionally protected material on the Internet[16]. 

 

In brief, the court found:

 

     Filtering software blocks access to substantial amounts of material that is constitutionally protected for minors.

 

     Filtering software companies are not blocking in accord with local community standards.

 

     There are lesser restrictive alternatives that can be implemented to address the very real concerns of youth access to inappropriate material on the Internet (these are the same social and educational alternatives that the NRC Report advocates).

 

     The ability to override the filtering software does not cure the constitutional defects.

 

The ruling in ALA is not directly applicable to the situation of the use of commercial filtering software in schools because the court applied what is called a "strict scrutiny" standard. It is probable that the standard of analysis that will be applied will be that such use must be reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns and not result in viewpoint discrimination.

 

Courts generally grant significant deference to the authority of school officials to make decisions for their local school community. This deference is grounded in the perspective that the business of school is conducted in an open environment, where information about how decisions are made is readily available, and that school officials can be held publicly accountable to their local community for their decisions.

 

When school officials delegate authority to  commercial filtering software companies to make the determinations of what material students can and cannot access on the Internet , there is no access to information about how such decisions are made and there is no public accountability on the part of the company for such decisions. Such delegation of authority is made under the following conditions:

 

     Blocking decisions are not being made by professional educators or librarians.

 

     Category definitions and categorization decisions of the companies are made without reference to local community or school standards.

 

     Lists of blocked sites, as well as the specific methods that filtering software companies use to compile and categorize lists, including search/block keywords and blocking processes, are considered proprietary protected information.

 

     There is no vehicle to ensure public accountability on the part of the commercial filtering software companies. Such companies are not subject to freedom of information/access to public records laws. Their board of directors cannot be held accountable to the citizens of a community through an election process.

 

     Several filtering companies have extensive marketing relationships with conservative religious organizations. The primary target market for many filtering companies is employers in government and business. It is unknown how the existence of such other markets may be impacting the  blocking decision-making of these companies.

 

Under such circumstances, the delegation of authority and abdication of responsibility by school officials will likely not be considered to be reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.

 

Overblocking Concerns

Many appropriate sites are inappropriately blocked by filtering technology. This over-blocking is preventing students from accessing material that is constitutionally protected. The over-blocking also results in significant frustration and interference with effective instruction and learning. This concern is most relevant for high school students.

 

The court in ALA determined that the use of filtering software was not narrowly tailored to further government interests. The court noted

 

(A)s discussed in our findings of fact, every technology protection measure used by the government's library witnesses or analyzed by the government's expert witnesses blocks access to a substantial amount of speech that is constitutionally protected with respect to both adults and minors.[17]"

 

The NRC Report also stated the following:

 

(F)ilters can be highly effective in reducing the exposure of minors to inappropriate content if the inability to access large amounts of appropriate material is acceptable[18].

 

In various site visits conducted by the NRC committee students "often reported that information on blocked sites might have been useful for legitimate academic research purposes" and teachers reported that "educationally relevant sites were blocked regularly[19]."

 

The finding is also in accord with the findings of the Children's Online Protection Act Commission[20].

 

This technology (referring to server-side filtering) raises First Amendment concerns because of its potential to be over-inclusive in blocking content. Concerns are increased because the extent of blocking is often unclear and not disclosed, and may not be based on parental choices. ... There are significant concerns about First Amendment values when server-side filters are used in libraries and schools[21]."

 

The finding is also in accord with a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project entitled The Digital Disconnect: The widening gap between Internet-savvy students and their schools[22].

 

While many students recognize the need to shelter teenagers from inappropriate material and adult-oriented commercial ads, they complain that blocking and filtering software often raise barriers to students’ legitimate educational use of the Internet. Most of our students feel that filtering software blocks important information, and many feel discouraged from using the Internet by the difficulties they face in accessing educational material[23].

 

In sum, there is no question that the use of commercial filtering software results in the inability to access a wide range of perfectly appropriate, constitutionally-protected material, including material that is likely to be educationally-relevant. It is unknown the degree to which such over-blocking is the result or technical inadequacies, inadequate decision-making processes, or the potential of bias, which will be discussed below.

 

Unfortunately, the processes that must be followed within a district to override the system to provide access to an inappropriately blocked site are generally so time-consuming and cumbersome, most teachers and students simply give up on their attempts to access the material at school. Students are advised to access the material through their unfiltered system at home or to go to the public library to obtain the material.

 

Such over-blocking results in frustration and interference with effective instruction and learning. Additionally, districts should consider the cost to the district of staff time spent addressing the inadequacies of the filtering/blocking technologies that have resulted in over-blocking. 

 

Viewpoint Discrimination

School officials may not prevent students from accessing information based on inappropriate viewpoint discrimination[24]. If it is not permissible for school officials to engage in viewpoint discrimination, then it is clearly impermissible for school officials to implement the use of commercial filtering software if the commercial filtering company is blocking student access based on viewpoint discrimination.

 

There is ample evidence from multiple sources that commercial filtering software is restricting student access to materials based in inappropriate viewpoint discrimination.

 

The court in ALA noted:

 

Given the speed at which human reviewers must work to keep up with even a fraction of the approximately 1.5 million pages added to the publicly indexable Web each day, human error is inevitable. Errors are likely to result from boredom or lack of attentiveness, overzealousness, or a desire to 'err on the side of caution' by screening out material that might be offensive to some customers, even if it does not fit within any of the company's categories[25].

 

The NRC Report noted:

 

While the extent of overblocking and underblocking will vary with the product (and may improve over time), underblocking and overblocking result from numerous sources, including the variability in the perspectives that humans bring to the task of judging content[26].

 

And:

 

Filter vendors have many incentives to err on the side of overblocking and few to err on the side of underblocking[27].

 

The Henry J. Keiser Family Foundation conducted a survey addressing teen use of the Internet to find health information. This survey found:

 

(N)early half (46%) of 15 to 17-year olds who have sought health information on line say they have been blocked from sites that are not pornographic[28].

 

The companies may also be engaging in intentional viewpoint discrimination that would not be detectable without full and complete access to information the companies protect as proprietary.

 

Complaciency

The decision to install a Technology Protection Measure may lead to complacency with respect to supervision and maintaining a strong focus on educational uses of technology resulting in the use of taxpayer-supported technology resources primarily for "Internet recess."

 

In many schools, filtering has become the substitute for professional development and requirements for appropriate supervision that are necessary to ensure that tax-payer resources are being used for effective educational purposes. 

 

A study published by N2H2, a filtering software company, demonstrates this concern. N2H2 analyzed data relating to student use through their system[29]. The report presents disturbing implications related to the degree to which the Internet is being used in schools for actual instructional related purposes. N2H2 studied the top 300 sites by number of page views. These 300 sites accounted for "roughly half" of the total page views. N2H2 considered their data to present a "representative picture of use." N2H2 indicated that an analysis of data by average per-page viewing time presented the best approach to analyzing how students were using the Internet. N2H2 provided the data in terms of categories and average viewing time. Additional calculations of percentage of viewing time (last column) were added by the author of this document.

 

1. Instructional, Reference & Computing

60 seconds

16.7%

2. News & Sports

58 seconds

16.2%

3. Business & Finance

52 seconds

14.5%

4. Commerce & E-Services

51 seconds

14.2%

5. Music, Games & Fun

48 seconds

13.4%

6. Portals & Search

46 seconds

12.8%

7. Communities

44 seconds

12.3%

 

Here are N2H2's definitions of the categories, followed by comment:

 

Instructional, Reference, & Computing. Sites that could be use for specific instructional purposes by teachers or students, general research and reference resources, and computer network resources.

 

One may ask why computer network resource sites were included in this category, since such sites are clearly not instructional purpose sites. If computing sites, which tend to be very popular, were eliminated from this category, this would decrease the percentage of time spent on instructional sites below the already abysmally low 16.7 %.

 

News & Sports. Online versions of national news, sports magazines, local news.

 

Some of this access may be directly class-related, other access would be considered appropriate within an educational purpose as appropriate independent study.

 

Business & Finance. Financial news sites and online brokerage firms.

 

Some instructional activities may involve access to business news and finance sites. (It is hard to determine the value of this category. One might query whether N2H2 was also collecting staff usage data.)

 

Commerce & E-Services. Commercial sites offering products or online services.

 

It can be assumed that most of this access was not for instructional related purposes.

 

Portals & Search. Sites that attempt to branch out and connect users with content.

 

The amount of time that such portals and search sites was used for instructional related purposes is probably roughly equivalent to the overall use levels.

 

Music, Games, & Fun. Sites geared towards entertainment and leisure.

 

These are "Internet Recess" sites. It can be assumed that most of this access was not for instructional related purposes.

 

Communities. Sites providing content targeted to specific demographic groups and typically containing a large amount of user generated content such as chat and message boards.

 

It is also likely that much of this activity was not for instructional related purposes.

 

N2H2 was only able to classify the data by its descriptive criteria. N2H2 had no data on how such sites were actually being used. It is true that innovative teachers can make effective use of entertainment or commerce sites for instructional activities, but based on anecdotal reports, it is not likely that much of all of the reported use in the non-educational categories was for teacher-directed activities.

 

What we can reasonably conclude, based on this limited data, is less than 16.7% of student use was on sites that were clearly instructional related. It is also highly probably that  a good portion of the 54.4 % of student use in the Business and Finance, Commerce and E-services, Music, Fun & Games, and Communities categories was not for instructional related purposes, rather were "Internet Recess" activities.

 

Unfortunately, as there are no research funds available to investigate these issues further, this assessment and analysis cannot be considered definitive. It is unknown what the usage patterns are in schools without filtering. But at the very least, it is not accurate to conclude that the use of filtering software is reinforcing educational use of the Internet.

 


Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act

 

 

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001[30]. CIPA requires all schools receiving funding through the E-rate program and technology funding through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to comply with certain requirements. CIPA was enacted to address Congress's concern that "(a)lthough the Internet represents tremendous potential in bringing previously unimaginable education and information opportunities to our nation's children, there are very real risks associated with the use of the Internet." As Congress found, "(p)ornography, including obscene material, child pornography, and indecent material is available on the Internet[31]."

 

On April 5, 2001, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued regulations for the implementation of CIPA[32]. The Schools and Libraries Division[33], which is charged with management of the E-rate program has complete information for schools regarding timelines and certifications.

The Basic CIPA Requirements

The CIPA statute was a late session merger of two similar statutes that were pending before Congress, the Children's Internet Protection Act and the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act. As a consequence, the statute itself contains several different provisions that have slightly different requirements. The basic requirements are:

 

1.   Enforce a policy of Internet safety for minors that includes monitoring the online activities of minors and the operation of a technology protection measure that protects against access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors[34].

 

2.   Enforce a policy of Internet safety with respect to adults that includes the operation of a technology protection measure that protects against access to visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography[35].

 

3.   Adopt an Internet Safety Plan that addresses the following elements:

 

a.   Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.

 

b.   Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.

 

c.   Unauthorized online access by minors, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities.

 

d.   Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.

 

e.   Measures designed to restrict minors’ access to materials harmful to minors[36].

 

4.   Provide public notice and hold a public hearing regarding the Internet Safety Plan[37].

 

Most school districts in the country are in compliance with CIPA, or have declined to participate in the E-rate program and thus do not need to comply with CIPA. As noted, this  Guide fully embraces the components of the Internet Safety Plan required under CIPA, as these provide an excellent framework for the development of policies, regulations, and instruction to address the safe and responsible use of the Internet by students.

Questions Regarding Constitutionality of CIPA

On May 31, 2002,  the US District Court for the Third Circuit issued its ruling in a case that the American Library Association, American Civil Liberties Union, and others brought challenging the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act[38] (CIPA), ALA v. US[39]. The court ruled that CIPA was unconstitutional because the actions required under the law would violate the constitutional rights of library patrons, adults and minors, to access constitutionally protected material on the Internet[40].  This ruling has been appealed to the U.S Supreme Court.

 

It is important to note that CIPA was not ruled unconstitutional from the perspective of schools. The provisions requiring the development of the Internet Safety Plan were not challenged, nor were they ruled unconstitutional. However, as much more fully outlined in "Constitutionality (and Advisability) of the Use of Commercial Filtering in Public Schools," the findings of fact and legal analysis presented in ALA raise significant concerns regarding the constitutionality of the use of commercial, proprietary-protected filtering software in schools.

 

In brief, the use of commercial, proprietary-protected filtering software in public schools is likely not to be constitutional because such use requires school officials to delegate authority for decision-making regarding whether material on the Internet is appropriate or inappropriate to third party private companies that  protect information about their processes and what they are blocking as confidential information and, therefore, are not held publicly accountable. Further, such products are preventing access based on viewpoint discrimination. The ability of school officials to override the filters does not cure the problems because of the impositions such process place on students seeking sensitive material and because such processes are not timely.

 

The question of whether CIPA is likely to be found to be unconstitutional is a separate question. If, under CIPA, it is possible to use technology  protection measures other than commercial, proprietary-protected filtering software to achieve compliance, then CIPA may not be considered to be unconstitutional. If CIPA requires the use of commercial, proprietary-protected filtering software then it is highly probable CIPA will be considered unconstitutional. All of these questions are likely be addressed through litigation at some point in time.

Complying with CIPA Without Using Commercial Filtering Software

It appears that is possible to comply with CIPA and not use commercial proprietary-protected software. However, there are likely to be different legal opinions on this question. Therefore , this issue must be  ultimately be decided by a school district after consultation with their legal counsel.

 

The following is information that supports the position that school districts may use technology protection measures other than commercial proprietary-protected filtering software to comply with CIPA.

Statutory Provisions

CIPA requires that districts certify they are using a Technology Protection Measure. Technology Protection Measure is addressed in two ways in the CIPA statute:

 

... (T)he operation of the Technology Protection Measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that protects against access through such computers to visual depictions that are--(I) obscene; (II) child pornography; or (III) harmful to minors; ...[41]

 

TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION MEASURE.--the term 'Technology Protection Measure' means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to material (the prohibited material)[42].

 

The term "filter" has become a generic term to cover products that seek, in some manner, to screen Internet traffic and block access to material that has been deemed to be inappropriate. A question is whether the term "filter" necessarily includes the concept of "block." The specific terms of the statute are "blocks or filters." The statute also uses the terms "protect against access" not "prevent access." Presumably, therefore, any technology that either filters traffic or blocks traffic and is used for the purpose of protecting against access to inappropriate material would be considered appropriate.

 

The CIPA statute also contains the following provision:

 

LOCAL DETERMINATION OF CONTENT.-- A determination of what matter is considered inappropriate for minors  shall be made by the school board, local educational agency, library, or other authority responsible for making the determination. No agency or instrumentality of the United States Government may--

(A) establish criteria for making such determination;

(B) review the determination made by the certifying school, school board, local educational agency, library, or other authority; or

(C) consider the criteria employed by the certifying school, school, school board, local educational agency, library, or other authority in the administration of subsection (h)(1)(b)[43].

 

If the definition of Technology Protection Measure  is read two provisions is read in conjunction with the provision for local determination of content, it becomes apparent that school districts should have the ability to select a Technology Protection Measure that allows the district to establish the criteria for making the determination for what material is considered inappropriate. This presumably means that technologies other than ones that protect what they are doing as confidential proprietary information would be acceptable. 

FCC Regulations Related to Technology Protection Measures

The FCC also address the issue of Technology Protection Measures in the development of regulations for CIPA. With respect to the type and effectiveness of Technology Protection Measures, the FCC stated:

 

33. Some commenters have requested that we require entities to certify to the effectiveness of their Internet safety policy and Technology Protection Measures. However, such a certification of effectiveness is not required by the statute. Moreover, adding an effectiveness standard does not comport with our goal of minimizing the burden we place on schools and libraries. Therefore, we will not adopt an effectiveness certification requirement.

 

34. A large majority of commenters express concern that there is no Technology Protection Measure currently available that can successfully block all visual depictions covered by CIPA. Such commenters seek language in the certification or elsewhere “designed to protect those who certify from liability for, or charges of, having made a false statement in the certification” because available technology may not successfully filter or block all such depictions. Commenters are also concerned that Technology Protection Measures may also filter or block visual depictions that are not prohibited under CIPA.

 

35. We presume Congress did not intend to penalize recipients that act in good faith and in a reasonable manner to implement available Technology Protection Measures.  Moreover, this proceeding is not the forum to determine whether such measures are fully effective.[44]

 

It is significant that the FCC has specifically stated that there it has not established any effectiveness standards. As noted, the statute uses the terms "protects against access," not "prevent access." This should mean that districts may chose from newer technologies that hold better potential for addressing the underlying concerns, even if those products are not entirely effective in preventing all access, rather are useful in protecting against access.

Comments Senator McCain, Chief Sponsor of CIPA

The following are comments made in a press release issued  by Senator McCain, the chief sponsor of CIPA related to matters of types of technologies:

 

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Washington, D.C. – Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today made the following statement in response to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) court challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act:

 

"The Children's Internet Protection Law, which passed the Senate 95-3 and has consistently enjoyed enormous bipartisan support, simply ensures that schools and libraries across the country have the technology they need to protect children from harmful material on the Internet. This law gives communities the freedom to decide what technology they choose to use and what to filter out. It does not dictate any specific actions be taken by communities or apply a federal standard, it simply requires them to have some technology in place to protect children if they are using federal funds for Internet access[45].

NRC Report--Analysis of Protection Technologies

The NRC committee was charged with the task of conducting a study of "computer-based control technologies" and other approaches to address the concerns of pornography on the Internet[46]. The NRC committee conducted a full study of various technologies that  "can be used to protect or limit children's exposure to inappropriate sexually explicit material on the Internet[47]." Note the use of the term "protect," which is the same term as in the CIPA legislation.

 

Table 12.1, of the NRC Report, entitled Technology-Based Tools for the End User, is perhaps the most comprehensive list of the types of technologies that function, according to the NRC, to protect against access to inappropriate material.  Presumably, the types of technologies contained on this list are ones that a school district could consider adopting to comply with CIPA[48]. The types of tools and description of function provided by NRC are as follows in columns 1 and 2. Column 3 is additional material I have provided that describes more specific technologies of the type noted, with a specific focus on technologies other than proprietary-protected products[49].

 

Technologies are discussed more in depth in the chapter "Technology Protection Measures."


 

Type of Tool

Function

Comment

1. Filter

Block "inappropriate" access to prespecified content; typically blocks specific web pages, may also block generic access to instant messages, e-mail, and chat rooms.

- Filtering based on first party content labeling [e.g., Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) set to block access to sites that have labeled themselves as adult sites--a combination of  technologies1 and 3].

- Filtering software where processes and blocked list are not confidential.

- Filters that can be set to "warn" but not block.

2. Content-limited access

Allow access only to content and/or services previously determined to be appropriate.

- Subscription services.

- Proxie Server.

- ICRA system set to allow access to predefined list of sites.

 

3. Labeling of content

Enable users to make informed decisions about content prior to actual access.

Content labeling(3) is an activity that can support filtering (1) and content limited access (2). ICRA is leading the effort in content labeling.

4. Monitoring with individual identification

Examining a child's actions by an adult supervisor in real time or after the fact.

- Filtered monitoring tools filter Internet traffic and report on traffic that is suspected to be in violation of policy[50].

5. Monitoring without individual identification

Watch the collective actions of a group (e.g., a school) without identifying individuals.

Without the ability to identify specific individuals, the effectiveness of this technology would be in question.

6. Spam-controlling tools

Inhibit unsolicited e-mail containing sexually explicit material (or links to such material) from entering child's mailbox.

Spam-controlling software is, unfortunately, a must at some location within the e-mail communication system[51].

7. Instant help

Provide immediate help when needed from an adult.

The NRC Report indicated that this technology, which is not currently in use, is not designed to prevent exposure, but to operate after the fact.

 


FCC Regulations Related to Local Control

Lastly, there are several provisions in the FCC regulations that addresses local control, including the following:

 

With respect to the overall rules:

 

2.   We adopt these rules with the goal of faithfully implementing CIPA in a manner consistent with Congress’s intent.  We have attempted to craft our rules in the most practical and efficacious way possible, while providing schools and libraries with maximum flexibility in determining the best approach.  Moreover, to reduce burdens in the application process, we have designed rules to use existing processes where applicable.  We conclude that local authorities are best situated to choose which technology measures and Internet safety policies will be most appropriate for their relevant communities.[52]

 

A Cautionary Note

In ALA, the libraries presented evidence regarding the operations of three of the top selling commercial filtering products, N2H2, WebSense, and Secure Computing. The government had the opportunity to present evidence that libraries could respond to CIPA using technology protection measures that are not commercial filtering software products, but did not argue the case on this basis. Some of the technologies recommended for use in schools, such as filtered monitoring technologies, would be considered inappropriate for use in a public library.

Conclusion

Given the FCC's regulations, the recent NRC Report, and the ruling in the ALA case, it can be considered highly improbable, if not inconceivable, that the FCC would intervene at a community level to tell a school district that it had no choice under CIPA but to delegate control to a third party company to decide what its students could or could not access on the Internet.

 


Social and Educational Strategies for Protecting Children on the Internet

 

NRC Report

Findings and Observations

The NRC Report, Youth Pornography and the Internet concluded that social and educational strategies are "foundational to protecting children[53]."  The following are the findings and observations about social and educational strategies contained in the NRC Report:

 

    Social and educational strategies directly address the nurturing of character and the development of responsible choice. Because such strategies locate control in the hands of the youth targeted, children may make mistakes as they learn to internalize the object of these lessons. But explaining why certain actions were mistaken will help children learn the lessons that parents and other adults hope they will learn.

 

     Though education is difficult and time-consuming, many aspects of Internet safety education have been successful in the past several years. While it is true that Internet safety education, acceptable use policies, and even parental guidance and counseling are unlikely to change the desires of many adolescent boys to seek out sexually explicit materials, parents are more aware of some of the other dangers (such as meeting strangers face-to-face) and know more about how to protect their kids better than ever before. (This is true even though more needs to be done in this area.) Children are better educated about how to sense whether the person on the other end of an instant message is "for real." Many of them have developed strategies for coping, and children with such strategies increasingly understand the rules of the game better than their parents. Little of this was true 5 years ago.

 

     Social and educational strategies are generally not inexpensive, and they require tending and implementation. Adults must be taught to teach children how to make good choices in this area. They must be willing to engage in sometimes-difficult conversations. And, social and educational strategies do not provide a quick fix with a high degree of immediate protection. Nevertheless they are the only approach through which ethics of responsible behavior can be cultivated and ways of coping with inappropriate material and experiences can be taught.

 

     Social and educational strategies have relevance and applicability far beyond the limited question of "protecting kids from porn on the Internet." For example, social and educational strategies are relevant to teaching children to:

 

- Think critically about all kinds of media messages, including those associated with hate. racism, senseless violence, and so on;

- Conduct effective Internet searches for information and navigate with confidence;

- Evaluate the credibility and motivation of the sources of the messages that they receive;

- Better recognize dangerous situations on the Internet;

- Make ethical and responsible choices about internet behavior--and about non-Internet behavior as well; and

- Cope better with exposure to upsetting and disturbing experiences and material found on the Internet.

Outline of Social and Educational Strategies

The NRC Report included Table 10.1 Social and Educational Strategies for Protecting Children on the Internet. This Table outlines the techniques and strategies addressed in the report. The following is the table taken from the report. This will be followed by some commentary on the use of these strategies in schools.

 

 

Description

One Illustrative Advantage

One Illustrative Disadvantage

Parental Supervision

Active, in-person supervision of child's Internet use

Provides closest connection to the values that the parent wishes to impart to child

Probably not feasible to provide constant active supervision of child's Internet access, especially as child gets older

Peer Assistance

Help provided by sibling or peer mentor acting as a guide to the child's use of the Internet

Provides guidance and influence to which children may be more responsive (compared to parental advice or assistance)

Older siblings may younger one into trouble; non-family peer mentors may spend little time with child

Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs)

Statement explicating in detail what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable use of the Internet and what consequences flow from the latter

Provides clear behavioral guidelines for child about what should and should not be done

Infractions of AUP may not be discovered; without concerted effort may become just one more form to be filled out

Internet Safety Education (ISE)

Explicit instruction on what constitutes safe Internet behavior and how to recognize dangerous and inappropriate situations

Provides clear guidance to child about how to conduct himself or herself on the Internet

No obvious forum in most existing curricula to include ISE

Information and Media (I/M) Literacy

Facility in using critical reasoning skills to obtain information sought and to evaluate the content of information that is received

Emphasized critical reasoning skills that are valuable in many contexts other than Internet use

No obvious forum in most existing curricula to include I/M literacy

Compelling Content

Develop content specifically designed to appear to children that is non-commercial and educational and/or positive in orientation

Availability of such material would help to divert children's attention from inappropriate material and experiences

Child market not preferred by most businesses because adult market is more lucrative

Media Campaigns

Initiatives featuring media spots and public service announcements about the nature of the Internet, the potential dangers of Internet activity for children, and parental options foe exerting influence

Can contribute a basic awareness of the issues in a broad segment of the population

Absent follow-through in other non-media channels, significant constructive behavioral changes in parents are unlikely

 

Comments

The following are my comments on the material provided by the NRC and recommendations for how these findings have been incorporated into the comprehensive approach presented in this book.

 

Parental Supervision

To make this report applicable to schools, this section should likely have been entitled "Adult Supervision." Nonetheless, the importance of supervision when students are using the Internet in school is clear. Supervision helps to keep students focused on the educational purpose of their use, provides a disincentive for misbehavior, ensures that an adult is present and can provide assistance if a students encounters a disturbing situation, and can detect and respond to instances of intentional misuse.

 

Peer Assistance

It is clear that many young people know far more about life on the Internet, including self-learned protective strategies, than many adults. Many young people turn a deaf ear to adults seeking to impact Internet safety education because the adult is simply "don't get it." Educators can make excellent use of the wisdom of youth. When offering Internet safety education, the more effective strategy will be for the instructor to encourage class discussion and exchange, rather than engaging in lectures. Additionally, technically-experienced students can be used as lab monitors to provide technical assistance, as well as help to ensure that student use is in accord with the Internet Use Policy.

 

Acceptable Use Policies

The most significant concern related to AUPs (which in this book are referred to as Internet Use Policies) is that they have become simply one more form that has to be signed. Most of the students the NRC committee members spoke with could not recall any of the provisions of their school's policy. This does not meet the requirements of the basic component of a comprehensive approach of a clear policy that is well-communicated to staff and students.

 

Internet Safety Education

This is clearly one of the most critical issues that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, in most schools there is a perspective that safety concerns have been solved by the installation of filtering. Failure to address important safety skills leaves students at greater risk and vulnerability at the inevitable times when they have access through an unfiltered system. This is the equivalent of having adult crossing guards at every crosswalk on the way to school, but failing to warn children about dangers posed by moving vehicles and the important safety skill of looking both ways prior to crossing the street.

 

In addition to safety education, schools need to teach about the responsible use of the Internet. These issues are two sides of the same coin.

 

Regardless of the perception that there is no obvious forum for the introduction of this material into existing curricula, there is clearly a need for such education.

 

Information and Media Literacy

It simply should not be considered acceptable to send children out into the world without a grounding in information and media literacy. There are so many media influences seeking to mold the attitudes and behaviors of young people (as well as the rest of us). Such education should be integrated into the curriculum at all levels.

 

Compelling Content

In addition to the need for more compelling educational content, there a need for a better portal to such content. It should not be necessary for every school district to "reinvent the wheel" in the establishment of a district web site that supports instructional activities.

 

The NRC notes that this content should be non-commercial but then notes that for businesses, the child market is not as lucrative as the adult market. Based on materials that address issues of marketing to kids on the Internet, there appears to be a full appreciation of the market potential presented by youth on the Internet. Unfortunately, far to many companies on the Internet today are seeking to make money by providing content that is exactly the opposite of what the NRC is proposing--content rich with sex and violence that seeks to sell products and services to teens.

 

There certainly is a need for creative enterprises to develop additional positive, engaging, good quality content and activities that are of interest to teens.

 

Media Campaigns

Unfortunately, virtually all of the media campaigns to date have focused on the need for concerned parents to install filtering software. As filtering software has now been recognized as only a "technology fix" there is a need for information programs that will help parents empower their children to make safe and responsible choices when they use the Internet.

 

Because schools are the universal location where young people have access to the Internet and because many parents have acquired a computer and established Internet access at home for the purpose of supporting their child's education, it seems reasonable to conclude that schools should bear an important responsibility of helping to educate parents.

 

 

 



[1] National Research Council. Youth, Pornography, and the Internet (Dick Thornburgh & Herbert S. Lin, eds., 2002), available at http://bob.nap.edu/html/youth_internet/. At the time of the writing of this Guide, the NRC Report is available only in prepublication format. This presents difficulties providing appropriate page citations. Therefore all citations of the NRC Report will reference the section of the report. Additionally, the text in the prepublication copy is subject to further editorial corrections. This report will be referred to through out this Guide as NRC Report.

[2] American Library Association, et. al. v. United States, No. 01-1303 and 01-1332. In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/02D0415P.HTM. The version of the court ruling most available to readers does not have official court page numbers, Therefore, citations to the court ruling will be in accord with the sections of the ruling.

[3] The assertions set forth in this Introduction are supported by the findings in the NRC Report and the ALA case. These findings are set forth in detail in the "Analysis of the Constitutionality (and Advisability) of the Use of Commercial Filtering in Public Schools."

[4] Under CIPA, the Technology Protection Measure must protect against access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors. The following are the definitions of these terms provided in the statute:

Obscene. The term 'obscene' has the meaning given such term in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code (47 U.S.C. 254 (h)(7)(E))

Child Pornography. The term 'child pornography' has the meaning given such term in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code (47 U.S.C. 254 (h)(7)(F))

Harmful to minors. The term 'harmful to minors' means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that -- (i) taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appears to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; (ii) depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable to minors, as actual or simulated sexual act or sexual conduct, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or lewd exhibition of genitals; and (iii) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors. (47 U.S.C. 254 (h)(7)(G))

[5] NRC Report Chapter 12.

[6] This issue is discussed in "Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act" and "Technology Protection Measures."

[7] An even more detailed analysis of these issues is presented in "Constitutionality (and Advisability) of the Use of Commercial Filtering Technology in Public Schools."

[8] This preparation must, of course, take into account the age and abilities of the child, with younger children there is a need for a more protective environment.

[9] NRC Report, supra.

[10] NRC Report at 14.3.

[11] NRC Report at 14.3.

[12] See "District Liability Related to Access Concerns" for a discussion of liability related to access to inappropriate material.

[13] NRC Report at 14.3.

[14] Pub. L. No. 106-554.

[15] ALA, supra.

[16] In ALA, the issue before the court was the constitutionality of CIPA. When courts consider the constitutionality of a federal requirement that is tied to funding, they use a 4-part analysis that was first enunciated in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987). Only one part of this analysis was relevant in the case--that was the question of whether CIPA requires libraries to violate the constitutional rights of their patrons. Therefore, it was necessary to consider whether or not the use of filtering violated the constitutional right of free speech of library patrons. For this reason, the ruling can provide insight into the issue of the use of filtering in schools violates the constitutional rights of students.

[17] ALA at V.B.

[18] NRC Report at ES 8.

[19] NRC Report at 12.1.3.

[20] The Children's Online Protection Act Commission was a commission established by Congress in the Children's Online Protection Act legislation. Their report is online at http://www.copacommission.org.

[21] Final Report of the COPA Commission. Presented to Congress, October 20, 2000. II. B. 3.

[22] Levin, D. & Arafeh, S. The Digital Disconnect: The widening gap between Internet-savvy students and their schools. Pew Internet and American Life. Report released August 14, 2002. The full report is available online at: http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=67. The Summary of the Findings are included in "Educational Purpose. (Pew Report)

[23] Pew Report, supra.

[24] The Court in Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v Pico, 457 US 853 (1982) stated: "In brief, we hold that local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to "prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion." Such purposes stand inescapably condemned by our precedents." Id. at 866-896 (citations and quotations omitted).

[25] ALA at II.E.2.b.

[26] NRC Report at 12.1.8.

[27] NRC Report at 12.1.3.

[28] Rideout. V., 2001. Generation Rx.com: How Young people Use the Internet for Health Information, The Henry J. Keiser Family Foundation. Menlo Park, CA. http://www.kff.org/content/2001/20011211a/

[29] This report is no longer on the N2H2 web site.

[30] The best resource for a copy of the law is a version excerpted from the Appropriations Act that has been placed on the American Library Association web site: http://www.ALA.org/cipa/Law.PDF

[31] Senate Rpt. 106-141 - CHILDREN'S INTERNET PROTECTION ACT Page 2.

[32] FCC, supra.

[33] http://www.sl.universalservice.org/

[34] 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5)(B)

[35] 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5)(C)

[36] 47 U.S.C. 254(l)(1)(A))

[37] 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5)(A)(iii))

[38] Pub. L. No. 106-554.

[39] ALA, supra.

[40] See footnote 16.

[41] 47 U.S.C. 254 (h)(5)(B)

[42] 47 U.S.C. 254 (h)(7)(I)

[43] 47 U.S.C. 254 (l)(2)

[44] FCC, supra.

[45] http://mccain.senate.gov/intfilt01.htm

[46] P.L. 105-314, the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, Title IX, Section 901.

[47] NRC Report at 11.3.

[48] With the exception of Instant Help, which the NRC indicated was an after-the-fact solution.

[49] Written by me, but based largely on the discussion in the NRC Report.

[50] An argument can clearly be made that since CIPA specifically references monitoring, that monitoring tools are not considered technology protection measures. However, the NRC specifically refers to monitoring as a technology for "protecting youth from inappropriate content" (NRC at 12.1.1) which is virtually identical to the language of CIPA requiring a technology Protection Measure that "protects against access." Additionally, there was an article about a filtered monitoring technology in the New York Times where the issue of CIPA applicability was  addressed, as follows: "But the lawmakers who drafted the Child Internet Protection Act, as it is known, said they wanted the law to be flexible enough to allow alternatives to simple filtering, so long as the goal of preventing children from encountering forbidden material can be met." Schwartz, J. Schools Get Tool to Track Students' Use of Internet. The New York Times, 05/21/2001. The reporter who wrote this story affirmed to me that one of the lawmakers he interviewed for this story was Senator John McCain, the senator who introduced this legislation..

[51] I would also advocate making it a felony to send porn spam to the K-12 e-mail address.

[52] FCC , supra.

[53] NRC Report at ES9.