On August 12, 2011, the FCC issued an Order based on the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act updating the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The rules were published in the Federal Register on September 13th, 2011 and will become effective on July 1, 2012.
The new CIPA guidelines add some additional requirements to schools and libraries that receive E-rate discounts. These additional requirements focus on educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including:
- Interacting with other individuals on social networking websites,
- Interacting with others in chat rooms, and
- Cyberbullying awareness and response.
Applicants seeking E-rate funding for any services beyond basic telephone service will need to certify they have updated their Internet Safety Policies to addresses these issues.
The FCC has acknowledged that there are questions regarding CIPA as it pertains to portable devices and has indicated they will seek public comment in a separate proceeding.