[Libs-Or] INFORMATION: Diverse Contributors Revisit CIPA: 10 Years Later

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 10 00:57:19 PDT 2013


Diverse Contributors Revisit CIPA: 10 Years Later
Posted on August 9, 2013 by Marijke Visser

Recently the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and Office for
Intellectual Freedom (OIF) hosted day-and-a-half symposium to look at how
libraries have implemented the requirements of the Children's Internet
Protection Act (CIPA) over the last 10 years since the U.S. Supreme Court
upheld the law's constitutionality. Symposium participants reviewed old
issues (such as the fact commercial filtering companies decide what is
blocked and do not share this information with libraries and schools), as
well as new ones (inhibiting user-generated content) that have emerged as
the internet and technology tools continue to evolve.

The OITP/OIF partnership is a natural. Both offices are deeply concerned
with ensuring the public-whether minors or adults-has equitable access to
digital resources and information. As the names imply, together these
offices offer a comprehensive view of the technical, intellectual and
policy issues impacted by internet filtering.

The symposium, the midway point in a larger project on CIPA (funded by
Google, Inc.), brought together 35 experts representing school, public, and
academic librarians, as well as representatives from educational
associations, education technology, IT networking, and non-profit policy
organizations and think tanks.

We began our work with a background paper that reviewed the legal history
behind CIPA and some of the court cases that have since arisen. The
preliminary research also reviewed filtering technologies and how they
might have (or not) improved during the subsequent 10 years of CIPA.
Perhaps most importantly, the paper began to consider potential long-term
impacts of filtering on both minors and the broader general public,
especially now that collaborative, interactive online activities have
proliferated our common culture, and so many of our daily activities
require internet connectivity and digital literacy. What if your
*only*access to online information is filtered access?

Symposium participants delved into these topics and unearthed others to aid
both OITP and OIF in understanding to what extent filtering remains an
issue for meeting student, teacher and community information needs and how
it may be more negatively impactful now than in the early years of CIPA.
Though the first day of the symposium was "closed door" to allow for
necessary open and frank discussions, the second day included two Google
Hangouts (archived on the ALA Washington Office YouTube
in which symposium participants shared much of the previous day's
discussions. While many of us are familiar with the challenges librarians
face in weighing CIPA requirements, implicated federal funding for
libraries, and deep-seated library values, the symposium provided a
multi-faceted lens of collective expertise and insights how access to
information has changed over the past decade and areas where we need more

It is clear that filtering has broad ramifications for individual and
societal success. In fact, we are at a critical juncture where technology
use has become such an integral part of how we learn, communicate, develop
competencies, and ultimately compete in the global economy. We must guide
policy - federal, state, and local - so that it is flexible enough to
mirror pedagogical shifts and keep pace with technological advances.  OITP
and OIF will produce a final white paper sharing background, key findings
and recommendations from the symposium later this fall.

Where will we stand in 2023?


*Diedre Conkling**
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude."--Maya Angelou
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