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CPSR Newsletter Vol 18, No 2
Volume 18, Number 2 The CPSR Newsletter Spring 2000

Report of the CPSR Electronic Communications Policy Group -- Executive Summary by Rick Barry, Group Moderator

Executive Summary -- December 11, 1999

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

  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 are the following Mandatory Policy Provisions (See Attachment 1 for details). CPSR:

    1. 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.

    2. does not and cannot guarantee that communications over its facilities will remain inviolate from observation by persons not intended to receive them.

    3. 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 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 information, ethnic or religious slurs or images. 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).

    4. 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 the domain of the Personnel Committee which is already charged with handling confidential human relations issues, or another Board-designated body. The product of Personnel Committee (or other Board designated body) deliberations shall be recommendations to the Board. Ultimate authority rests with the Board of Directors.

[1] ECPG membership was announced on the Activist List and open to all interested parties. Of 15 individuals who became members, including two consultants, one dropped out and about a half dozen were active. Current members: Christine Ardern (consultant), Richard E. Barry (Group Moderator), Jean Camp, Jes Cornette, Susan Evoy (Dep.Dir. CPSR), Hans K. Klein, R.J. Magyar, Dianne C. Martin, Aki Namioka, Steve Teicher, David A. Wallace (consultant, Univ. of Mich), Joel Wolfson, Peter Wood, and Coralee Whitcomb.

What's inside...

© Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717
Palo Alto, CA 94302-0717
Tel. (650) 322-3778
Fax (650) 322-3798

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