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Filtering

Introduction

Today, virtually every Utah school has Internet access. This technology has brought extraordinary resources for education and research in the classroom; unfortunately, the Internet has become a host to a vast collection of inappropriate resources. While no solution is guaranteed to deny access to all such sites, the use of filtering software makes access to the Internet by teachers and students much safer.

What is Internet Filtering?

Internet Filtering, also known as Internet Content Management, enables the local school district to manage the type of web content end-users (e.g., students) can access. Utah school districts currently provide Internet filtering for their schools and have done so for many years.

Internet Filtering Legislation

Congress passed the Children's Internet Protection Act, commonly known as CIPA. CIPA consists of three areas: Technology Protection Measure, Internet Safety Policy and Public Notice and Hearing. The first requiring there be a method in place to block bad content for minors and a means to un-block content for adults.

The second area requires each school or library to adopt and implement an Internet Safety Policy (Pub. L. 106-554) that addresses:

  1. Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide 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 "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors online
  4. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors
  5. Measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors

The third area requires each school or library to notify its public of the policies.

How does Internet Filtering Work?

Internet Filtering functions as a combination traffic-cop and bouncer. The filtering software checks a user's web page request against a list of web site addresses that have been deemed inappropriate for the school setting. If the web page's address appears in the list, that page is not allowed, and the end-user is notified that the content is not accessible.

Educator Responsibilities

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, no filtering solution is 100% effective. Utah educators must take the initiative to:

Navigating the Internet Safely

The Internet is a wonderful educational tool, however at times it can be difficult to find the resources you and your students need. Below are some tips on how to safely and efficiently navigate the World Wide Web.

When a Relevant Web Site is Blocked

Sometimes an educator will find an educational web site from home or the local public library only to discover that it is blocked at school. When this happens, educators should contact their district technology department to request the web site be unblocked.

Likewise, educators should inform the district technology department of web sites that should be blocked.

For more information, please contact Utah Education Network at 1 (800) 866-5852 or security@uen.org

If you are a district or regional technology coordinator and have questions regarding filtering, call the UEN Operations Center at (800) 863-3496 or (801) 585-7440

© Utah Education Network in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education and Higher Ed Utah.
UEN does not endorse and is not responsible for content on external websites linked to from this page.
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