What is CIPA?
On July 23, 2003 the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) adopted an order that updates regulations pertaining to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for libraries. This order was adopted to reflect the recent Supreme Court decision in American Library Association Inc. v. United States issued on June 23, 2003.
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires the filtering or blocking of certain visual depictions and requires libraries to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy and operate "technology protection measures" (blocking and filtering) if they receive:
- ● E-rate discounts for Internet access, Internet service, or internal connections;
- ● Funds under title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to purchase computers used to access the Internet or to pay the direct costs associated with accessing the Internet; or
- ● Funds under the state grant programs of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to purchase computers used to access the Internet or to pay the direct costs associated with accessing the Internet
Libraries which are subject to CIPA must undertake efforts in Funding Year 2003 (the current year) AND be compliant by the start of Funding Year 2004, July 1, 2004, in order to receive discounts.
- ● Compliance is the enforcement of an Internet safety policy that includes the use of a technology protection measure, such as filtering software, blocking software, etc.
- ● Libraries that are not in compliance with CIPA this year (FY 2003) and will not be undertaking actions in order to be compliant by 2004 are not eligible for E-rate discounts on Internet access or internal connections in Funding Year 2003. However, they will not be required to return funds received during the period between July 1 and the effective date of the Order.
- ● As established in the original FCC rules, CIPA does not apply to E-rate discounts for any service classified by the E-rate program as telecommunications.
The source for the above information is the ALA web site (www.ala.org/cipa
2. Does my library have to install Internet filters?
If your library receives E-Rate discounts for Internet access, Internet service, or internal connections or LSTA state grant funds for computers or accessing the Internet, then to continue to qualify for those funds you need to install filtering software.
What distinguishes InfoWorks Technology Company as a preferred vendor of Internet filter products for libraries and schools?
InfoWorks Technology Company has been serving libraries for over ten years, providing software tools to automate and support various library functions. Also, InfoWorks has been providing internet security / privacy solutions to a more general market for over ten years. With the recent CIPA ruling creating a need for a library and school focused internet filter solution, this generated interest from the public library and school community to have InfoWorks combine these two areas of expertise to develop an internet filter solution specifically designed for the public library and K-12 school environments and needs. Additionally, InfoWorks has partnership relationships with the leading ILS vendors, providing software tools which supplement their primary system offerings. Many of them either directly endorse the CyberSetting solution, or are including CyberSetting in their internal "preferred product" evaluation initiatives currently in process.
What distinguishes CyberSetting from other available Internet filter products?
CyberSetting has been developed specifically for libraries and schools with guidance from CIPA regulations. As such, it is designed to be as un-intrusive as possible and still be in compliance with CIPA requirements. This means that it has to be exceedingly easy to disable upon request of the library patron. This is clearly a priority of the CIPA ruling, and demanded by the library community to as best possible maintain their mission of equity of access and intellectual freedom.
Also, CyberSetting is an appliance approach that is a turnkey plug and play installation. All necessary hardware and software is provided, it installs onto the network quickly and is operational in minutes.
What is InfoWorks' commitment to adjusting CyberSetting to the needs of the library and school environments?
Because CyberSetting was developed specifically for the library and school environments, thus there isn't the need to adjust or modify it as much as is the case with most available filters that were originally designed for other environments - home, commercial or other - and now being offered to libraries as well. This is the basis of our emphasis on CyberSetting being a "Different Content Filter" - that CyberSetting is specifically created for use in the libraries and schools.
CyberSetting was designed with key library and school considerations in mind. First and foremost, the value of librarianship including promoting intellectual freedom and equity of access of information is recognized. This has driven our creation of a filter that can be most easily disabled whenever desired so as to best possible protect these values. This ease of disabling capability is also a key component of the CIPA mandate. Not only does this ease of disabling help to protect the libraries' core values, but also minimizes the filter's impact on library and school staff time. Additionally, filter administration is very simple and straightforward, including a library or school's customization of the filter profiles and blocking lists, recognizing such a need for the practical use of a filter in the operating environment of a library or school.
6. Is CyberSetting CIPA compliant? What is the process used to categorize a website? Does CyberSetting block pages based on the content of images or does it rely on text?
Yes, it is CIPA compliant. We use a web robot that searches the web continuously. For optimal filter effectiveness for creating and updating our block list relative to CIPA requirements, our sophisticated search process uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, analyzing keywords, cross-links, and graphic and page characteristics to get a weight on a page or domain. Based on the pre-set parameter of the weight, the robot categorizes the page or site and generates the filter's pre-defined block list. Based on this block list and additional customizable lists (block lists and trusted site lists), CyberSetting acts accordingly on each specific website access attempt. The filter can be set to block images only if desired. However it is our belief and experience, including feedback from libraries other library-focused organizations that our enhanced approach is more effective, reducing the over-blocking and under-blocking occurrences that libraries and CIPA wish to minimize.
What categories of Internet material can CyberSetting filter?
While the primary focus of CyberSetting is to provide filtering according to CIPA mandate (obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors...), we have added other filter categories (violence, gambling, audio-video, etc.) in response to those added interests and needs at some libraries and schools. The library or school can simply choose to include or exclude any of these additional categories within the filtering profile. Different filtering profiles can be set-up for different workstation groups. This flexibility allows the filter to be implemented according to specific local needs, interests and policy. CyberSetting can also filter block by file type, by extension - which applies to all categories.
Can the library or school make adjustments to customize what Internet sites are blocked or not blocked?
In addition to having the flexibility to set up different filter profiles based on your needs as referenced in preceding question, the library or school can easily add specific Internet sites to either a blocked list or non-blocked list. Also, an individual PC or group of PCs can be set up with a profile to restrict Internet access to only a list of specific Internet sites if this is desired.
Does the product support blocking by protocol or activity, e.g. e-mail, chat, games, peer-to-peer transactions, etc.?
Yes. CyberSetting can block by file type and by extension - which applies to all categories.
For example, a filter profile can be configured to also block chat-rooms, music downloads, etc.
What features does CyberSetting offer that would assist schools and libraries in minimizing over-blocking and under-blocking?
With CyberSetting, the individual library or school has the ability to add specific websites to either a custom blocked list (blacklist - to address under-blocking) or trusted list (white list - to address over-blocking). Also, libraries and schools have the capability and freedom to share their custom block lists and trusted site lists, to customize CyberSetting. And as described earlier, the sophisticated search process utilized by CyberSetting results in greater accuracy with blocking - less over-blocking and under-blocking - than do many filters.
How is the filter updated to keep current?
Twice weekly, the library or school's CyberSetting server will automatically log into the InfoWorks Technology download server to obtain the filter updates. This process is transparent to the library or school, with no action required at the install site. System customizations made by libraries and schools including added Internet site lists are not impacted in this updating process.
If a patron, student or staff member tries to access a blocked site, how are they informed of this?
While CyberSetting comes with a standard blocked site notification message, the library or school will have option to customize this message. The standard notification alerts the patron, student or staff member that the site they have just attempted to access is blocked by filter technology. They are instructed to obtain a pass-code from staff members to disable the filter.
Is your block page customizable? If so, describe how this can be done.
Yes. CyberSetting system administrator will be able to easily modify the "block page" to say whatever is appropriate for library or school policy. This can be done with authorized browser-based access to the administrator module. For example, you may choose to specifically reference CIPA mandate, reference the school or library's own Internet Usage Policy, and provide specific instruction for getting password for unfiltered access.
How easily is the filter disabled upon library patron or other user request?
With an authorized user name and password, any patron/user can disable the filter immediately. When a patron/user receives a customizable "blocked site" message on their PC screen, the screen will prompt for a pass-code to disable the filter for site access. Library or school policy will dictate how this pass-code will be provided.
Does CyberSetting filter have ability to be disabled for a single workstation as well as for multiple workstations?
Yes. A single workstation on a network will likely be disabled at that particular workstation with use of a pass-code, as described in prior questions. Groups of workstations or the entire network can be simply and quickly disabled through the CyberSetting system administrative screen. This can be accessed via a browser from any workstation on the network, with proper access authorization.
Can CyberSetting filter disabling for a public access PC be administered from a staff PC?
Yes, the library has the option to configure CyberSetting for disabling to be managed from the staff PCs. This option allows library staff to disable an individual public access PC filter from their staff PC. The filter will automatically re-enable after a set time allowance, or alternatively can be remotely re-enabled from the staff PC at any time.
Can the filter be easily disabled by staff without their having 'administrator privileges'?
Yes. Single PC filter disabling is a very simple process as described earlier in this document. Any staff member that the library or school wants to entrust with pass-code information (strictly for individual PC filter disabling) can support this process. As described earlier, the library patron can do it without requiring staff assistance (other than staff providing a pass-code to the patron/user). Disabling (or modifying) the filter for groups of PCs is also simple enough for any non-IT trained staff member to administer; again it would be more a matter of library/school policy entrusting staff members with this authorization.
Does CyberSetting support simultaneous different blocking or filtering configurations for individual workstations or groups of workstations?
Yes. Up to five different filter profiles can be defined and activated by libraries/schools. For example, the staff PCs or adult section could be configured for minimal CIPA filtering requirements using porn category only; another group of PCs could be configured to also filtered to block chat-rooms, music downloads, etc., and perhaps a children's area could be configured to allow access only to a "trusted only" white list of known child-friendly websites.
System Support, Training and Management
Our main library provides the library systems and technical support for other branch libraries. Can a single CyberSetting system support the filtering requirements for more than one library?
Yes, CyberSetting can be installed in a way that supports this common scenario.
How much training is required in order to administer CyberSetting?
Basic disabling of the filter for a specific workstation is very simple and will require only written instructions to quickly review and reference, or otherwise minutes of in-person training/review as part of reviewing general library/school internet access / filter policy.
This is also true for modification of filter profiles, categories, and library/school specific blocked / non-blocked site lists. While these functions may be restricted to more limited staff, this does not require network or general IT system expertise.
Approximately how much on site time will be required of local staff in order to support library users where CyberSetting is in use?
Minimal time. Each request potentially takes seconds for staff member to provide password to patron/user.
Is remote administration of CyberSetting supported?
Yes. Administration of CyberSetting is web browser-based. Through a browser, the administrator and/or other staff can access CyberSetting administration functions remotely with proper authorization, without any security/integrity risk to other network/library system components.
How secure is the software from user disabling?
To disable or modify the entire CyberSetting filter requires authorized system administrator username and encrypted password to access. To disable a single workstation requires authorized login and encrypted password as established by administrator. The disabling of the filter at a single workstation is only effective for a pre-defined amount of time, at which point the filter is automatically re-applied (current user can re-enter pass-code upon need).
Should removal of this product be required, describe the ease and completeness of this process.
CyberSetting is a turnkey solution. It is simply "unplugged" from the network and the filter is removed. This may require gateway or proxy settings to be modified for network workstations, a simple process.
What type of technical support is offered for this product? Does it require an additional fee?
General technical support is available at no cost. First level of support is through web-based support request, with second level phone support available as needed.
What are the hours for technical support?
Initial web-based support is available 7 x 24. Support response is targeted for same day or within eight business hours.
What is involved with initial system installation; what are the resource and time requirements for this?
CyberSetting is a plug-and-play appliance solution. This means it is quickly and easily installed right out of the box, with only minor profile set-up required. InfoWorks Technology Company will contact appropriate resource at the library prior to shipping to understand network configuration and appropriately pre-configure the system. It can be installed and operational in minutes.
Does your company offer a turnkey solution, server or software? What additional hardware and/or software are needed for proper performance?
CyberSetting is a turnkey appliance solution. All necessary hardware and software are provided. The library does not need to install software on any other devices or install any other software on the server provided with CyberSetting solution. The CyberSetting server installs on the network and is operational in minutes, operating as a proxy server.
What Operating System and Network Platforms is CyberSetting compatible with?
CyberSetting is completely operating system and network independent, compatible with any system environment. All operating systems are compatible, because with CyberSetting no additional software is installed on patron or staff PC workstations. CyberSetting is a complete turnkey system, utilizing its own Linux-based server, running independently of other systems on network.
What server software is compatible with CyberSetting?
Any separate server software will be compatible, because with CyberSetting no additional software is installed on patron or staff PC workstations. CyberSetting is a complete turnkey system, utilizing its own Linux-based server, running independently of other systems on network.
Is CyberSetting compatible with integrated library systems or school IT systems?
Yes, it is compatible with all library and school systems, because it operates independently.
Which browsers are compatible with CyberSetting? Which is/are preferred?
All browsers…CyberSetting is network, operating system and browser independent.
How does CyberSetting work with hardware and software based security applications?
It runs independently, without conflict or impact to security.
How does disabling of filter impact other security or general software on PCs?
It is completely independent, with no impact to any other security or other software on PCs, on network, or on any network servers. Security and integrity of workstations and network is not in any way compromised with use of the filter or through process of disabling the filter.
What other costs will contribute to the total cost of ownership of CyberSetting?
Training will be minimal. Staff time to administer and support use of filter with patrons should also be minimal. It is a turnkey appliance, and no other system components need to be provided by the school or library.
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