[Drew rightly pointed out that some kind of intro or summary is needed here. Anyone?]
Tech Ops had a rousing conversation in person last week about policies. We’ve got an urgent need to create some, not just for public consumption but as a real guide for some of the issues we face. Below is our current draft for three policies:
- Dispute Resolution
We invite all of OWS to review these policies and comment below.
Preamble to All Digital Property Policies
Policies for Digital Properties of Occupy Wall Street are managed by the Tech Operations Group. “Digital Properties” include nycga.net, databases, social media accounts and any other digital property designated as belonging to Occupy Wall Street. Digital properties not managed by the Tech Ops Working Group are not owned by Occupy Wall Street. Your registration with any digital property means that you agree abide by the relevant sections of these policies.
Occupy Wall Street digital properties are community resources administered by the NYCGA Technology Operations Group. Policies include: Privacy, Terms and Conditions of Use, and Dispute Resolution.
Digital properties and resources managed by official working groups, but not strictly speaking owned by the NYCGA, may choose to adopt these policies. This can include social media accounts, Google Groups, websites and any other kind of digital property. The method is simple: record that decision in your minutes, and inform us at tech at nycga.net. Include the names and contact info of at least two administrators from that group.
1. Information We Collect
Registration to use our digital properties may include a username, email address, and other fields. You can also choose to add additional personal information in your user profile, including one or more profile photos.
We may collect information that you do not explicitly submit. For example, we may log your browser-type related information, IP address, requested URL, referring URL, and timestamp. If you create an account, subscribe to a mailing or make a donation (for example), information relating to your activity on the Website, such as the date and time at which you register and the text of the comments and contributions you make on NYCGA.net, and the time that you make them, is displayed in your profile and can be viewed by other users, whether or not they are logged into an account.
Information that is not publicly visible, such as internal messages delivered within NYCGA.net, may be viewed by administrators under certain conditions. Other information viewable by administrators may include list and group memberships, event registrations, and donation records.
2. Use of Your Information
Personal information such as your username and an optional profile photo may be visible to users in conjunction with messages or other postings that you contribute to NYCGA.net or other digital properties. Users may also view your profile, and any personally identifiable information you have included in your profile, by clicking on your username when you post on NYCGA.net. Your email address will not be visible to users who view your profile. If you are concerned with the privacy of your personal information, we recommend that you do not register with NYCGA.net.
We may send emails to the email address you provide in your profile or send personal messages to your NYCGA.net account. You may unsubscribe from our email database without giving up access to the NYCGA.net site. As long as you have a valid NYGCA.net account, you may receive messages.
Every time you visit a web page, you send a lot of information to the web server. Most web servers routinely maintain access logs with a portion of this information, including browser-type related information, IP address, requested URL, referring URL and timestamp data, which can be used to get an overall picture of what pages are popular, what other websites link to our digital properties, and what web browsers visitors are using. We use this information to diagnose and resolve technical problems, administer our digital properties and otherwise provide the highest possible level of service to you. In addition, we use this information to perform statistical analyses of user behavior and characteristics. In very rare instances, we may use this information to correlate usernames and IP addresses of edits in investigating abuse.
Regardless of whether you are registered or logged into your account, anytime you visit our sites you can be identified by your IP address. This is a series of numbers which identifies your Internet address. Depending on your connection, this number may be traceable only to a large Internet service provider, or more specifically to your school, place of business or home.
3. Transfer of Information
Except where otherwise specified, all text and certain other content found on our digital properties is available for reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-commerical ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see the Terms and Conditions of Use policy for more information about such rights.
We will notify you when information about you may be provided to third parties in ways other than explained above, and you will have the option to prevent such information sharing.
4. Links to Other Websites
6. Controlling Your Personal Information
You should be aware that when you voluntarily disclose personally identifiable information (e.g., your real name or email address) through messages, forums, postings, or in other areas of our digital properties, that information, along with any substantive information disclosed in your communication, can be collected and used by third parties and may result in your receipt of unsolicited messages from other posters or third parties. Such activities are beyond our control. We strongly encourage you not to post any personal information that you expect to keep private.
As a registered NYCGA.net user, you can modify some of the personal information you have included in your profile by logging in and accessing your account. You cannot, however, change your username once you have registered. Upon your request, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to delete your NYCGA.net account and the personal information in your profile; however, it may be impossible to remove your account without some residual information being retained. Registered users who wish to close their account should contact tech [at] nycga.net. [flagging an issue here. why not link instead to instructions for doing this on your own?] can someone insert this info here?
We try very hard to protect our users’ information. User accounts are password-protected. We use industry standard security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data. These include internal reviews of our data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures, as well as physical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to systems where we store personal data.
We limit access to your personal information to administrators, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve our services. These individuals are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, up to and including criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.
8. Editing of Content
Registered users are able to add, modify and delete certain text and other content found on NYCGA.net and other digital properties. Some areas of NYCGA.net contain editing history functionality which records and stores every change made to a webpage. All such changes are viewable by both registered and unregistered users, regardless of whether the changes there are additions, modifications or deletions of content and whether they are made by a registered user or a representative of TechOps. Thus, content that has been added to a webpage within NYCGA.net may permanently be accessible for viewing by our users who look at the editing history of that webpage, even if such content had been deleted after being posted on NYCGA.net. Only an administrator can permanently delete information and there is no guarantee that this will happen. Content that has been deleted can also be reinstated if a registered user or administrator chooses to revert to such content in the editing history. Please keep all of this in mind when posting and editing information.
NYCGA.net offers personal messaging functionality, enabling its registered users to quickly communicate with each other while on NYCGA.net. At this time, registered users cannot opt-out of personal messages initiated by other NYCGA.net users. Accordingly, if you are concerned about receiving possible unsolicited personal messages from TechOps or other NYCGA.net users, we recommend that you do not register with NYCGA.net.
Personal messages sent among NYCGA.net users are private and can only be viewed by the recipient and the sender of the message. TechOps adminstrators can access private messages and may do so under the conditions outlined in Section 3 of this policy.
10. Mailing Lists
We manages email database software. We may use that software to send you messages. Your email address may end up on our email database for a variety of reasons, including offline signup, transfer of a working group list that you subscribed to, or registration to an event. Regardless, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that your email address is not exposed to other subscribers, and that you are not added to lists without your advance permission. The one exception is a low frequency, general list used by the New York City General Assembly. This list is ‘opt-out’ and you may unsubscribe at any time.
11. Use by Children
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) severely restricts what information can be collected from children under the age of 13. Accordingly, children under the age of 13 in the United States are prohibited from registering for a NYCGA.net account, posting or editing any content on NYCGA.net or providing any of their personal information but are otherwise permitted to access and view the information provided on NYCGA.net with the permission and supervision of a parent or guardian. We do not knowingly solicit information from any child under the age of 13. Should a child whom we know to be under 13 in the United States send personal information to us, we will use that information only to respond directly to that child (or a parent or guardian) to inform him or her that he or she cannot use our digital properties.
tech [at] nycga.net.
NYCGA Technology Operations Group 50 Broadway, 12th Floor New York, NY 10012
When we receive formal written complaints, it is our policy to contact the complaining user regarding his or her concerns. We will cooperate with the appropriate regulatory authorities, including local data protection authorities, to resolve any complaints regarding the transfer of personal data that cannot be amicably resolved.
Terms and Conditions of Use
We encourage the public to participate and collaborate with each other using NYCGA.net and other digital properties established by Occupy Wall Street.
Be advised that all postings, including any links to 3rd-party sites, shall be subject to limited monitoring for violations of this and any other policy.
The following types of content are considered inappropriate for posting on NYCGA digital properties:
commercial; self-promotional; prurient; abusive; discriminatory speech, including but not limited to, hate speech based on race, gender, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, religion or disability.
If content is determined to be inappropriate, such content either will not be posted or will be removed from the website. Such action will be taken in order to maintain the effective operation of our forums for civil, constructive and thoughtful discourse. If a Participant notices that his or her content is not posted within 48 hours of submission, and he or she wishes to dispute the determination, such Participant may request an explanation of rejection by emailing tech at nycga.net.
Participants should note the following prior to posting content:
(b) Any comments submitted for posting by a Participant may be rated and/or otherwise commented upon by other members of the public.
(c) By using this digital property, a Participant hereby acknowledges that he or she has read, understands and agrees to be bound by the terms as outlined herein, as well as with any applicable laws and regulations relating hereto.
Actions Taking Place Away From Our Digital Properties – But Stemming From Them
It may happen that abuse takes place not using digital properties fully under our control. Examples:
- Abusive communications sent between individuals who met each other on our properties, and would not otherwise be in mutual contact.
- Efforts to respond abusively in ‘real life’ based on behavior that originated on our digital properties. (Otherwise known as ‘stalking’ behavior.)
- Requests from a working group to remove a disruptive individual or restrict disruptive behavior that otherwise does not violate this policy.
In such instances, our administrators have the option of addressing those actions as violations of this policy.
This Policy Not An Alternative to the General Assembly/Spokescouncil
The Tech Operations Group will not take action on issues that are appropriately under the purview of other groups and bodies. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Deciding that a group deserves to exist/not exist
- Determining that particular voices are inconsistent with Occupy Wall Street’s message and intentions
- Requiring that opinions expressed conform to NYCGA resolutions
Dispute Resolution Policy
As part of enforcing these policies and maintaining NYCGA digital properties, administrators empowered by the Tech Operations Group may take action in response to violation of our policies. These actions may include:
- Direct contact to investigate an incident
- Removal of content previously posted
- Suspension of deletion of an account
- Removal from a mailing or discussion list
- Removal of permissions on a site, as they related to posting, commenting, receiving or sending messages, creating documents, and any other feature as applicable.
- Forwarding of an issue to the General Assembly or Spokescouncil
The Tech Operations Group is committed to transparency. To that end, disciplinary actions impacting registered users or subscribers of NYCGA digital properties will be recorded here (insert link), unless doing so might reasonably contribute to additional harm against OWS or another individual using this site.
Decisions made by our administrators may be appealed. The process is simple: send an email to tech at nycga.net with the “APPEAL” appearing first in the subject line. When this happens, a standing Appeals Committee of the Technical Operations Group will review the issue and make a determination. Decisions of this committee can be appealed to the General Assembly or Spokescouncil by an approved Working Group. There is no other recourse.