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CPSR Electronic Communications Policy

Executive Summary and Table of Contents

Report of the CPSR Electronic Communications Policy Group

December 11, 1999


1. This report contains the product of the Electronic Communications Policy (ECP) Group. The Group was established in August 1999 at the request of the Chairman and President of CPSR to develop a CPSR EC Policy and Net etiquette ("netiquette") guidelines. In addition to this Executive Summary, the report consists of: i) Proposals for a CPSR Electronic Communications Policy (ECP) (Attachment 1); ii) Proposed organizational arrangements for ECP implementation (Attachment 2); iii) FAQ explaining the need for an ECP (Attachment 3) and iv) Voluntary "Netiquette" guidelines (Attachment 4).

2. CPSR's Electronic communications Policy (ECP) defines rules of usage for employees, volunteers, members, and non-members of CPSR-owned or -sponsored electronic communications facilities. The terms "electronic communications facilities" includes servers which host CPSR systems, email communication systems, websites, discussion lists, chat rooms, telephone, voicemail and facsimile systems, computers, modems, and other technology that may be used for electronic communications. The core of the ECP is the following Mandatory Policy Provisions (See Attachment 1 for details). CPSR:

  • a. does not, as a policy, monitor the electronic communications of individuals except insofar as they take place on CPSR lists and in established CPSR groups. However, as CPSR is legally accountable for its facilities, it is the owner of information generated through its facilities, some of which constitute official program/administrative records.
  • b. does not and cannot guarantee that communications over its facilities will remain inviolate from observation by persons not intended to receive them.
  • c. communications facilities are for the conduct of CPSR program activities and business. They may not be used to download, post or otherwise illegally distribute information that violates intellectual property rights or other laws, nor may they be used for proselytizing religious or political organizations or for advancing commercial interests without prior written CPSR approval. They may not be used to send "flaming," harassing, libelous, slanderous, threatening, sexually explicit, obscene or pornographic representations or depictions, or ethnic or religious slurs. The only exception to this rule is in the case of a Board-sanctioned program activity of civil disobedience (e.g. anonymous communication, "indecent" speech, parody speech, or encrypted communication).
  • d. does not sell, rent or otherwise share email addresses or other personally identifiable information about its members; nor does it collect information about viewers of its website.

3. Violations of ECP may result in disciplinary measures, including removal from membership and/or use of facilities and, for employees, possible dismissal and termination of benefits. Organizational arrangements for administering violations of mandatory policy provisions are covered in Attachment 2.

4. Implementation of EC Policy is currently the domain of the Publications Committee, which is already charged with handling the content of the web site, or another Board-designated body. The product of Publications Committee (or other Board designated body) deliberations shall be recommendations to the Board. Ultimate authority rests with the Board of Directors.


Created by nbrigham
Last modified October 29, 2005 01:29 PM

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