Telecommunications, and, more particularly, computer to computer telecommunications, has e

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<1> N*Y*S*A Ethics statement Telecommunications, and, more particularly, computer to computer telecommunications, has experienced major growth in the last two years. We expect that growth to continue in the years to come. Of particular interest is the growth of computer-based "bulletin boards." These systems have proliferated within the last few years, parallelling the growth in distribution of home computers. This has led to the development of a new form of communication between individuals who may never meet, but who can and do communicate with regularity, utilizing the medium of computer bulletin boards. These boards, provided as a public access service by their respective system owner/operators, have had the unique effect of facilitating communication between individuals at the very time when one hears cries that the modern, computerized, highly technological society is destroying the links between individuals and groups, links which are valuable to the health and functioning of that society. What is unclear to both observers and participants, however, is the "governing etiquette" which should be operative in this new format. System operators voluntarily provide a forum for users at their own cost, and each for his/her own reasons. Issues of concern which have been raised within this new "electronic community" center on the type of messages, various legalities, the obligations of system operators and users to each other and the development of a broadly based code to guide both system operators and users in the future growth and development of the medium. The Ethics Committee of the New York Sysops Association proposes the following Code of Ethics to the membership: The Association recognizes that the existence of any bulletin board system is based on the voluntary co-operation of the system operator. This code of ethics is based on the assumption of the mutual goodwill of the member systems and their users. Whenever the term "system" is used herein, it shall be construed to include the owner of the system and any persons to whom the owner has extended operator privileges. Wherever the term "user" is used herein, it shall mean any person who avails him/herself of access to a system. 1. Nothing illegal is allowed on the system. This includes messages about pirating/trading, allowing the downloading of pirated software, and the sharing of illegal phone access codes for "phreaking". 2. Nothing offensive to the users, either by way of language or ethnic references is allowed to remain on the system, and is actively discouraged by the Sysops. 3. N*Y*S*A and its member boards promote, respect, and support the free and uncensored sharing of information, opinions, ideas, and communication in general through their message bases and text-file sections (bulletins, news, etc.) for all users within the limits described above. 4. The member boards agree to continue to be mutually supportive in the running of their boards and maintaining the standards described above. 5. Member boards shall indicate their membership in N*Y*S*A on their system by both displaying the N*Y*S*A code of ethics AND adhering to it. 6. Sysops may join N*Y*S*A by applying for membership at any BBS already a member, and upon acceptance, will be admitted to membership by having their board included on the official list displayed on the member boards.


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