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To Filter By Law, But How Much?. 2007 Sally Hawkes Arkansas State Library. Original Query AAIM List.

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To filter by law but how much

To Filter By Law,But How Much?


Sally Hawkes

Arkansas State Library

Original query aaim list
Original Query AAIM List

  • “I was discussing ACT 903 with a friend and the conversation lead to the subject of a Librarian's responsibility when a patron was going intochild porn sites. It was directed  more to a public librarian situation, but it made me start wondering.  So I'm turning to friends from AAIM.

  • I don't know if  public users sign a contract limiting use that provide “discipline"  for such actions or not.  

  • Are there laws governing a public librarian giving police information about a person getting into kiddie porn? 

  • Should  the public librarian report this type of use to the police, or do they have to wait for the police to investigate? 

  • Would another library user be able to make a report?   

  • I know that in a school setting we would inform the administration and tech person.”


  • Patron access to Internet sites

  • Differences between school and public libraries

  • Filtering laws

    • State

      • 6-21-107

      • 6-21-111

    • CIPA & NCIP

    • COPA

  • Policies


  • Laws address access by minors

    • “harmful to minors” and “inappropriate for minors”

  • Filtering is a choice for public libraries

    • No state law

    • Acceptable Use Policies only

    • CIPA or LSTA compliance, if necessary

  • Schools must filter by state and federal law

    • All schools get E-rate discount through APSCN/DIS

State law arkansas code 6 21 107
State Law Arkansas Code 6-21-107

  • (a) The board of directors of each school district in this state shall develop and adopt a written policy concerning student and staff use of computers owned by the district in accessing the Internet. The written policy shall state that a system to prevent computer users from accessing material harmful to minors shall be established and maintained for all public access computers in the school district. The policy shall be implemented by August 1, 2001.

  • (b) The written policy shall include provisions for administration of punishment of students for violations of the policy with

    stiffer penalties for repeat offenders, and the same shall be incorporated into the district's written student discipline policy.

  • (c) Students shall sign a computer use agreement form outlining proper and improper use of public access computers prior to being allowed to access the computer equipment.

State law arkansas code 6 21 111
State Law Arkansas Code 6-21-111

Section 2

  • (b) A public school that provides a public access computer shall equip the computer with technology that seeks to prevent minors from gaining access to material that is harmful to minors or obtain Internet connectivity from an Internet service provider that provides filter services to limit access to material that is harmful to minors. Standards and rules for the enforcement of this subsection shall be prescribed by the State Board of Education.

  • (c) A school board by a majority vote and after an opportunity for a notice and comment period of at least thirty (30) calendar days may vote to exclude the public schools under its authority from the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

Federal law cipa
Federal Law CIPA

  • Children’s Internet Protection Act

    • Declared constitutional June 2003

    • Implementation began July 1, 2004

  • Protection against materials harmful to minors

    • Libraries may override filter for adult users

  • All computers are to be filtered, not just those used by children

Federal law ncipa
Federal Law NCIPA

  • Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act

    • Addresses a different area than CIPA

    • Focuses on what has to be included in a school or library’s Internet policy

    • Applies only to E-rate

Federal law copa
Federal Law COPA

  • Children’s Online Protection Act created to replace 1997 Communication Decency Act which was declared unconstitutional

    • Prohibits the transmission of any material over the Internet deemed “harmful to minors,” if the communication was made for a commercial purpose

    • Challenged by the ACLU

  • The Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed the law was unconstitutional because of its reliance on “contemporary community standards”, so was overbroad.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision in May 2002.

    • The reliance on “community standards” alone didn’t make the law unconstitutional.

  • The matter was returned to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for additional consideration.

    • “The Child Online Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 231, is facially [violative] of the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution” March 22, 2007 LOWELL A. REED, JR., Sr. J.

Basics of cipa ncipa
Basics of CIPA & NCIPA

  • A school or library must have some type of filter or blocking technology on all of its computers with Internet access. The filters must protect against access to certain visual depictions (CIPA requirement).

  • A school or library must have an Internet safety policy and hold a public meeting to review the policy (NCIPA requirement).

Cipa compliance federal law
CIPA Compliance Federal Law

Filtering under cipa
Filtering under CIPA

  • Technology Protection Measure (TPM or Filter) must protect against access to visual depictions that are:

    • 1. Obscene: This is defined in a reference to section 1460 of title 18, U.S. Code.

    • 2. Child pornography: This is defined in a reference to section 2256 of title 18, U.S. Code.

    • 3. Harmful to minors: This is applicable only to Internet access by minors. It is defined in CIPA and means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

      • a. taken as a whole, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;

      • b. depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and

      • c. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Ncipa policy
NCIPA Policy

Issues to be addressed by the policy

  • 1. Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and the Web;

  • 2. The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;

  • 3. Unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking," and other unlawful activities by minors online;

  • 4. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors; and

  • 5. Measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.

    The Internet Safety Policy must be adopted after holding at least one public hearing or meeting.

Local determination
Local Determination

  • “Harmful to minors” or “Inappropriate to minors”

  • CIPA = Harmful to minors

    • Any person less than 17 years of age

  • NCIPA = Inappropriate to minors

    • Definition is determined by school or library board or administration

Overriding filters
Overriding Filters

  • Any authorized school or library staff may disable the TPM to allow adults to have unrestricted Internet access for any lawful purpose

    (CIPA section 1721 (6) (D)).

  • Such staff authorization is granted by the school or library's governing body.

  • The disabling language for the E-rate is applicable to adults only (age 17 or older).

  • Note: Even without CIPA, there is no constitutional protection for anyone to view obscene images, and child pornography, regardless of its medium, is clearly illegal.

8e6 filter from dis
8E6 Filter from DIS

  • Arkansas School Default:

    • Alcohol; Anarchy; Chat; Criminal_Skills; Cults; Drugs; Gambling; Hate_Groups; Obscene_&_Tasteless; Public_Proxies; Personals; Pornography; R_Rated

  • Descriptions of categories


  • Schools can adjust categories

    • Must comply with state and federal laws

Not compliant
Not Compliant?

  • Under CIPA, the FCC can require a library to reimburse its E-rate discounts for any period of time it was out of compliance.

  • However, the FCC has stated that it is not in a position to make a legal determination that an image is obscene.

Student patron awareness
Student/Patron Awareness

  • Acceptable Use Policy

    • Is it posted?

      • Online or print copies near computers?

    • Does the student/patron have to sign the agreement?

  • Warning Banners

    • Online or print copies posted?

    • Required for all state agencies

Warning banners
Warning Banners

  • This is the Arkansas State Library computer system.  This computer system, including all related equipment, networks and network devices (Specifically including internet access), are provided only for authorized Arkansas state government use.  The ASL computer system may be monitored for all lawful purposes, including ensuring that their use is authorized, for management of the system, to facilitate protection against unauthorized access, and to verify security procedures, survivability and operational security. Monitoring includes active attacks by authorized ASL entities to test or verify the security of this system.  During monitoring, information may be examined, recorded, copied and used for authorized purposes.  All information, including personal information, placed on or sent over this system may be monitored. Use of this ASL computer system, authorized or unauthorized, constitutes consent to monitoring of this system. Unauthorized use may subject you to criminal prosecution. Evidence of unauthorized use collected during monitoring may be used for administrative, criminal or adverse action.  Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring for these purposes.


  • Do you have a copy of the school district’s written policy concerning student and staff use of computers owned by the district in accessing the Internet?

    • When was the last time the policy was revised?

    • Does the policy cover reports by parents to outside authorities?

  • Are copies of all policies about Internet use posted in the library, online or in print?

  • Who signs the student/patron agreement, parents or student/patron?

    • Is it part of another publication or a separate document?

  • Who keeps the copies of student/patron signed agreements?

    • Are the agreements signed each year?

  • Does your school use the 8E6 default or has it been modified?

  • Who is responsible for overriding the filter for adult users?


  • CPPA, COPA, CIPA: Which Is Which?

  • Latest Information on CIPA

  • Coping with CIPA: A Censorware Special

  • FAQ on E-rate and the Children's Internet Protection Act, CIPA

What s coming
What’s Coming?

  • Utah and Virginia have passed state CIPA laws

    • Filtering attached to purchase of equipment and Internet connectivity purchase with state funds

  • DOPA

    • Deleting Online Predator Act

    • Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK).

    • The act requires schools and libraries that receive federal E-rate funding to protect minors from online predators.

    • Kids would be banned from using social networking sites like MySpace, as well as chat rooms and blogs. And critics are saying that's a constitutional violation.

Sally hawkes

Sally Hawkes

Arkansas State Library