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Tue, 11/13/2012 - 23:22 -- Richard Damon

Here is the current privacy policy of the list. It describes your rights to your postings, the way the list software handles your private information such as your e-mail address, and the topic of anonymity.


  • List owner: the person who runs the list, plus anyone who is designed to run the list while the list owner is on vacation or otherwise unavailable.

  • Lurker: one who subscribes to the list but has never posted a message.

  • Post: to send a message to the whole list by e-mailing the message to

  • Subscription: your voluntary agreement to receive Arlington list messages

  • Subscription information: your e-mail address and certain preferences such as whether you receive individual messages or digest messages

You have the right to remain a lurker
Until you post a message to the list, your identity as a member of the list is secret. The list software prevents other list members from knowing who is a member of the list. Only the list owner has access to the list membership records. The list owner will make best reasonable efforts never to reveal the existence of your subscription as long as you are a lurker.

You have the right to subscribe anonymously
The only personally identifying information the list software stores about you as part of your subscription is your e-mail address, optionally your name, and some preference settings such as whether you prefer individual messages or digest messages. Other than your name, the list software does not store personal information about you other than that which is part of your e-mail address. There is no policy that requires you to provide your real name as part of your list subscription, and as long as you never post a message, you will never be asked for your name. If you post a message anonymously, you should expect that fellow list members will ask you for your name, because there is a general expectation among the list that providing your real name makes your words more credible and adds to the level of civility and community that we expect from each other. You will never be removed from the list by the list owner solely because of your anonymous status, but you may be removed from the list without prior notice if you anonymously post messages which violate list policy or otherwise cause harm to the list in the judgment of the list owner.

Personal information retained by the list software
The list software retains your e-mail address, your name if you provide it, a number of non-identifying personal preferences such as whether you prefer individual messages or digest messages, and the contents of all messages you post to the list. No other information is retained. All messages you post to the list are archived and available to anyone who subscribes to the list. Your archive queries are stored and displayed only to you. The archives are protected from access by the Internet at large, but anyone may subscribe to the list and then access the archives. Information in the archives may not be modified.

Access to your subscription information
Access to your e-mail address and your preferences is password protected, so others are prevented from accessing it. Only you and the list owner are allowed to access this information. This information will never be shared with anyone without your prior permission.

Risks of spam
If you never post a message to the list, there is no way for anyone, whether a member of the list or not, to obtain your e-mail address, so there is no risk of getting spam as a result of your list membership. If you post a message to the list, it is possible, though unlikely, that another member of the list will use your e-mail address to send you spam, or will forward your message to someone else who use your e-mail address to send you spam. If you join the cast of characters, a public web page, you expose your e-mail address to the public, and your e-mail address may be obtained for the purpose of sending you spam.

Ownership of your postings
By posting a message to the list, you retain your copyright but grant (1) a non-exclusive license to all list members to forward that message by e-mail to anyone, and (2) a non-exclusive license to the list owner to maintain an archive. These two rights you grant by posting to the list constitute the only exceptions to the normal protection afforded by the copyright you retain to your words, so any other use of an e-mail you send to this list requires your prior permission. Any use of your posting without your permission, beyond the two licenses granted here, is a matter between you and the person who uses your posting improperly, and you agree to hold the list owner harmless.

After you leave the list
The list software erases its information about you when you leave the list. Archived messages previously posted by you are retained indefinitely and continue to be subject to the above "ownership of your postings" policy.

Best efforts of the list owner
The list owner makes best reasonable efforts to enforce the above policies. However, the list software may contain defects which compromise your privacy, and the password protection of secret information may be compromised by a determined attacker. You agree to hold the list owner harmless in the event that your privacy is compromised.