SafeLabs CIPA Compliance White Paper

CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) in the US requires all K-12 schools and libraries to comply to specific standards to be eligible to receive E-rate funding; an approximately $4 Billion federal fund to “obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access”.

CIPA compliance is handled through Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and details can be found at https://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step05/cipa.aspx

There are similar laws and acts in most other countries and besides that it is the will and intention of most institutions dealing with children to provide them with a safe online experience.

CIPA requires compliance to these items where SafeLabs helps:

1. Technology Protection Measure

A technology protection measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters internet access that can be “harmful to minors”.

SafeLabs Solution

Institutions are free to choose other details of what type filters they adopt. SafeLabs VPN provides an acceptable ‘Internet Filter’ for compliance to above mentioned requirement.

2. Internet Safety Policy

This internet safety policy must address all of the following:

  • Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the internet and World Wide Web;
  • The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;
  • Unauthorized access including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
  • Measures designed to restrict minors’ access to materials harmful to minors.

SafeLabs Solution

“Internet Safety Policy” is a matter of policy and requires institutions to come up with “Acceptable Use Policy”, “Privacy Policy” and other related policies and engage students, teachers and administrators to ensure compliance to those policies.

When a child is online, its safety and security requires ‘protection of privacy’ and ensuring that the child does not ‘disseminate personal information’. While others like name, gender, age etc. are a matter of compliance through child education, mentoring, coaching and then monitoring for compliance, one of the most important information that disseminates automatically is the child’s current IP Address.

This single item which get disseminated automatically communicates to any adversary substantial details about the child’s current location and vicinity among others.

SafeLabs addresses this risk through applying a VPN that totally hides and protects the child’s IP address. As such this should be treated as a critical requirement for any ‘child protection’ system.

CIPA Compliance Checklist

Issue 1) Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web

SafeLabs helps by blocking access to major adult domains.

Issue 2) The safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications

SafeLabs ‘Dedicated Machine’ VPN servers enable institutions to setup their own policies and block domains and applications.

Issue 3) Unauthorized access including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online

SafeLabs suggests handling them through acceptable use policies.

Issue 4) Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors

SafeLabs hides the IP address of the child protecting one of the most important aspects of child’s privacy. SafeLabs suggests handling other aspects through acceptable use policy and its compliance.

Issue 5) Measures designed to restrict minors’ access to materials harmful to minors

SafeLabs depends on the technology developed by major search engines including Google and Bing to index and classify all content and images. Such checks are implemented in their ‘Safe Search’ options. While search requests pass through SafeLabs servers, ‘Safe Search’ is forcefully turned on. This only shows results which pass the criteria set by search engines.

In this case, SafeLabs depends on the technology and compliance of these search engines to bring their results inline with ‘material harmful to minors’.

If any search result passes through the Safe Search Criteria or any Ad is shown pointing to some third party domain, when the child clicks on it, if the domain is in the blacklist, access is still denied providing a second layer of safety and security.

Operating Cost of Compliance

With most other on-premise systems, there is a constant requirement for administrators to maintain systems, blacklists, whitelists etc.

SafeLabs is a totally cloud based solution. All it requires is a compliant wi-fi router that sends all traffic to our hosted servers. This makes any system connected to the wi-fi router as safe and no further installation is necessary on individual systems.