Short for the Children's Internet Protection Act, signed into law in December 2000. CIPA is designed to safeguard children against objectionable or harmful material on the Internet. CIPA amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the Communications Act of 1934. The amendments direct schools and libraries to have in place a policy of Internet safety and a technology-based method of blocking access to visual depictions on the Internet that are obscene, child pornography or harmful to minors.
In 1997 the Federal Communications Commission established the Universal Service Fund to guarantee that all schools and libraries had access to affordable Internet access regardless of location or economic condition. Only organizations that are compliant with CIPA can receive Universal Services funding.
The Children's Internet Protection Act is also referred to as the CHIP Act.