Policy: ASAP21-R3
Title: CIPA Content Filtering Policy
Date: 7/8/2002 Revised:3/9/2005 Revised: 11/12/2008 Revised: 7/22/2012
Distribution: All ASA Clients


The Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN) is a statewide education network administered by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA), a state non-profit corporation. ASA provides connectivity and Internet access to K-12 public school systems and many public libraries within the state of Alabama. By July 1, 2002 all public school systems and public libraries that receive E-rate funds were required to be compliant to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), an act signed into law by Congress on December 21, 2000.

"No public school or public library may receive discounts unless it certifies that it is enforcing a policy of Internet safety that includes the use of filtering or blocking technology". - (CIPA 12/21/2000)

ASA utilizes a vendor-supplied content filtering service that is available to "all" AREN clients. This service may be used as the "Technology Protection Measure" referenced in CIPA.

"A Technology Protection Measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. It must protect against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors harmful to minors. It may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes." - (CIPA 12/21/2000)

Additional requirements for CIPA compliance were implemented on July 1, 2012. Internet safety policies must now be updated to additionally "provide for the educating of minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness, and response."

The use of the ASA content filter does not make a public school system or a public library fully "CIPA compliant".
Additional steps (i.e. design and implement an "Internet Safety Policy", provide public notice and hold a public hearing etc.) must be taken by the public school or the public library as outlined within CIPA.


    1. The ASA's current content filtering solution refers to the Technology Protection Measure in use by ASA for AREN Internet web access at any point in time.
    2. ASA must have in its possession at the time of activation a valid "ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering" and a SLD Form 479 from the respective public school system or public library.
    3. The ASA content filtering service provides for filtering according to various profiles available to clients (i.e. public libraries, elementary schools, high schools, etc.). The default profile will block Internet web sites classified under the current CIPA requirements:

      "block or filter Internet access for both minors and adults to certain visual depictions. These include visual depictions that are (1) obscene, or (2) child pornography, or (3) with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors, material that is harmful to minors" - (CIPA 12/21/2000)



  1. The filtering software vendor includes provisions for reviewing and classifying all web sites that have not been classified. If a filtered client reaches an obviously inappropriate site, the vendor will automatically update to block the site within 72 hours. This automatic update occurs because lists of all unclassified sites are sent to the vendor for classification and review on a daily basis.
  2. In order to expedite filtering of unclassified or improperly classified sites, manual changes can be requested through the helpdesk or through the Filter Management Interface.
  3. Filtering changes should normally be made by the client’s designated filtering coordinator. The filtering coordinator is usually the school system's technology coordinator or the library's network manager but may be any person designated by the school superintendent or library administrator on the ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering.
  4. A distributed management interface for the AREN filtering system can be accessed at http://filter.asc.edu. The filtering coordinator should contact the helpdesk and request instruction in the use of this interface if it is not currently being used. The helpdesk can provide authentication credentials for the coordinator and instruction in the use of the tool.
  5. No action will be taken by ASA personnel to change filtering profiles, unblock sites, or block sites until a client's filtering coordinator has requested such action via the AREN helpdesk. Most changes of this type should be made directly by the client’s filtering coordinator through the distributed management interface at http://filter.asc.edu. Using this interface allows clients to make their own changes without having to contact the AREN helpdesk.


  1. ASA CIPA Content Filtering FAQ will provide additional information about how content filtering will be implemented.
  2. The AREN client who wants to utilize the provided content filtering must sign an ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering and a signed copy SLD Form 479.
  3. The ASA Agreement for Activation of CIPA Content Filtering and signed SLD Form 479 should then be mailed or faxed to:

    Alabama Supercomputer Authority
    Center for Commerce
    401 Adams Avenue
    Suite 764
    Montgomery, AL 36130
    (334) 242-0100
    (fax) 334-242-0637



  1. ASA's content filtering solution is designed to block inappropriate web sites as defined by current CIPA guidelines. This solution does not filter inappropriate content contained in email or chat rooms.
  2. ASA will strive to provide a content filtering service that is useful and current and will attempt to address problems where the filtering service is found to be deficient.
  3. ASA assumes no liability in the event that the content filtering service is not 100% effective. ASA also assumes no responsibility for the currency of the filter or the content provided through it.
  4. All ASA clients are responsible to abide by the ASA Acceptable Use Policy (ASAP20).
  5. ASA clients may add additional content filtering to their own networks in addition to the one provided by ASA.
  6. ASA clients may discontinue their use of ASA's content filtering service with written notification and with proof of use of an alternative content filtering technology protection measure.