Digital Citizenship is currently a ‘hot topic’ in education circles in the United States, placed at #3 on the Tech Trends for 2017. At the core of the debate is the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) dating from 2000. This law demands that all schools that receive federal funding for Internet access install blocking software to filter materials that are ‘obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors’.
Some feel that this has been interpreted in a heavy-handed fashion at school and district level, to the extent that a ‘Banned Websites Day’ was held in September 2016. A statement issued by the American Association of School Librarians explained the reasoning behind the awareness-raising event: