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Saturday, 5th July 2014

Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later

Source: American Library Association

From Executive Summary:

What do Hotmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Facebook, and National Geographic have in common? They offer content and services that millions of Americans use every day to communicate, share content, and seek information. They also may be filtered under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (47 U.S.C. 254), making them inaccessible to children and adults who rely on internet access provided by public libraries and schools...

Drawing on extensive research and on presentations and discussion during a national symposium and two online forums held in July 2013, this study identified an overreach in the implementation of CIPA—far beyond the requirements and intent of the law. This overreach stems from misinterpretations of the law, different perceptions of how to filter, and limitations of internet filtering software. The net result is over-filtering that blocks access to legitimate, educational resources while often failing to block the images proscribed by the law. Over-filtering limits access to information and learning opportunities for both children and adults, and disproportionally impacts those who can benefit most from public library and school internet access—the 60 million Americans without access to either a home broadband connection or smartphone.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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