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[OS:N:] Re: School Filtering




Hi folks,

I run a high school network, and this probably refers to CIPA - the Children's Internet Protection Act. It requires filtering to be installed in schools and libraries if they want to continue to receive federal E-Rate funding, which is essentially discounts on telecommunications fees, equipment, etc. For instance, based on our demographic, our school is eligible for a 40% discount on telecom services, including phone bills and our T1 line.

The NICE thing about CIPA, however, is the form of that content filtering is a completely local decision. Schools can be as loose or tight with the filtering as they want. In my case, I don't subscribe to the filtering service from our hardware vendor for two reasons: it's expensive and it's too restrictive. Instead, I have an option of what keywords I want to block, what domain names, etc. This also means if a legit site is being blocked, I can have the problematic keyword removed from the filter in minutes, if not seconds.

So it's not quite as bad as it sounds. However, if I remember correctly, public libraries took it to court and no longer have to comply with CIPA to get their E-Rate funding, but as the article mentions, this is being appealed.

I'm kind of surprised CNN is only just getting to this. I had to certify that yes, I have filtering in place in compliance with CIPA requirements, in order to get my E-Rate funding _last summer_. This isn't new to schools at all.

""Dale Alexander, the information technology director for Albuquerque,
New Mexico, public schools, was not exactly a fan of filtering software
for blocking pornography and other Web sites deemed inappropriate for
children.

But when Congress required it of schools that receive certain technology
grants, Alexander had no trouble deciding whether to install the
software -- up to $14.7 million was at stake..."

http://www.cnn.com/2002/EDUCATION/09/17/school.web.filters.ap/"


Take care,
Mike Oliveri
Technology Director
Gardner-South Wilmington High School
MOliveri gswhs grundy k12 il us
(815) 237-2176


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