Website: Walter Gregg (walt.gregg.juneau.ak.us)

Copyright, Terms of Use, and No-Privacy Policy

It's conventional wisdom that websites should have a copyright notice, spell out terms of use, and have a written privacy policy. I think these may be the most useless pages on the web. Nevertheless, here is mine.

Original work on this website is © Walter Gregg 2002-2013. No claim is made of copyright in work of the U.S. Government or other people's work. Note: Fair use does not include harvesting addresses for the purpose of sending unsolicited advertising or bulk messages. This practice is expressly forbidden.

Terms of Use

'By reading this, you agree to buy me a pizza.' -- Glenn Maynard (Jan. 21, 2011)

The following terms of use language is similar to that suggested by Unspam, LLC in the paper entitled No-Email-Collection Flag (2004) (8 page 124 kilobyte PDF available via ceas.cc/2004/163.pdf Jun. 2013). (Technical note: They suggest using 'no-email-collection' as a meta tag link to the copyright page, but I used it as a link relation along with the HTML 4 copyright and HTML 5 license link relations.)

  1. No Email Collection. By using this website you agree that you will not add any of the posted addresses, whether email, postal, telephone, or any other type of address to any type of unsolicited bulk message list. You agree that the addresses have a value not less than US $50 each derived in part from not being receptacles for unsolicited bulk messages and that this is substantially reduced each time an address is added to any list maintained for such purposes. Compilation of these addresses into an unsolicited bulk sending list of any type is a violation of this agreement and is expressly prohibited. Robot visitors are agents of those who control them and they and their operators are bound by these terms. To help robots comply this website may obfuscate some contact information when rendered without javascript and/or without image loading.
  2. Consent to Logging. As a visitor to the website, you consent to having your computer address and fingerprint information such as browser version and operating system recorded in our logfiles.
  3. Venue. You agree that any suit, action or proceeding in connection with these terms of service shall be governed by the laws of Alaska as such laws are applied to agreements between Alaska residents entered into and performed entirely within the state. You consent to the jurisdiction of federal and state courts within Alaska at Juneau. You consent to this venue in any action brought against you or by you in connection with these terms. You also consent to electronic service of process regarding matters under this agreement.

No-Privacy Policy

There can be no assurance of privacy in your browsing. Privacy notices are of doubtful value. See Jay Cline, Are Privacy Notices Worthless?, Computerword (Jan. 26, 2007) (computerworld.com/ action/ article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleid=9009239); and Fred. H. Cafe, The Failure of Fair Information Privacy Practices, Consumer Protection in the Age of the Information Economy (2006) (ssrn.com/ abstract=1156972). But the privacy policy industry calls for notice of data collection, how it is secured, who can access it, whether you can opt out, and what you can do to enforce the policy. See Consumer Reports, Big Browser is Watching You (May 2000); and the U.S. Fed. Trade Comm'n, Fair Information Practice Principles (Jun. 2007) (ftc.gov/reports/privacy3/fairinfo.shtm). Here is this information of dubious value:

  1. Notice. 'Now here's a tail of a simple fool. Just glance at a page or two. You laugh ha-ha but you blush a bit for you realize while you're reading it that it's also reading you.' -- from Han Christian Anderson.
    1. What is collected? By way of example and not by way of limitation, data collected includes your internet address at the date and time of a page view; the page ID; the ID of the page you were previously reading; the search terms you used; and a browser fingerprint. My pages include statcounter.com javascript to capture similar data and more, such as how long you spent on a page and whether you visited it before. The data does not include a personal identifier but your fingerprint may be personally identifiable in actual fact. Similar data is collected by the National Security Agency, search engines, and your employer or internet service provider. Your E-Mail address is collected if you E-Mail me, and possibly your then current internet address.
    2. Who collects the data? The data acessible to me is collected by webhostinghub.com, who hosts my pages; statcounter.com, who provides me with statistical data; and Google.com, who provides me with e-mail service. I may also have access to some data collected by search engines (e.g. via bing.com/toolbox/webmasters and google.com/webmasters).
    3. Who receives the data? The data is received by Walter Gregg; P.O. Box 21963, Juneau, Alaska 99802; walt "at" gregg.juneau.ak.us; +1 907 500 7017. I may share portions of this data if I deem it appropriate or necessary to deal with issues. For example, if you or your computer are spamming, phishing, cracking, or engaged in illegal activity I may disclose pertinent data to system administrators, organizations such as spamcop.net, phishtank.com, and/or law enforcement.
    4. How is the data used? The data lets me try to improve the website by learning such things as how often pages are viewed and in response to what search terms. You can learn more about what sort of statistics are gathered by visting statcounter.com/features. If you e-mail me, I only use your address to communicate with you. I do not use addresses collected to send unsolicited bulk mail. I do not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by this website to any other party for the purposes of sending, or enabling others to send, unsolicited bulk messages.
    5. How is the data collected? Browser page requests include most of the data. Statcounter.com JavaScript requests more. Your E-Mail information is only obtained if you send me one.
  2. Security: How is the data protected? The data is protected by my statcounter, webhostinghub and G-Mail usernames and passwords. I do not publish detailed logs. But it is more accurate to say that your browsing history is not protected. It can generally be accessed by anyone with physical access to your computer; by your employer or internet service provider; by search engines; and by the websites you visit. Some websites even steal browsing history about other sites. See Goodin, Popular sites caught sniffing user browser history, The Register (Dec. 3, 2010) (theregister.co.uk/2010/12/03/browser_history_sniffing/). The FBI can get any of this data with a secret national security letter. The NSA can and probably does file browsing history directly from internet backbones. Since everyone and his brother has access to your browsing history, I can't very well give any assurance of privacy.
  3. Access: Can I at least see my data? Generally, no. Despite the existance of a fingerprint, there is no personal ID with which to retrieve individual data.
  4. Choice: Can I opt out? You can install a statcounter.com refusal cookie (statcounter.com/about/set-refusal-cookie/). However, webhostinghub will still log your visits, as will search engines and whoever provides your internet access. A more effective opt-out may be to browse via an encrypted anonymizing proxy, so that your data is withheld all along the line. Free services that make this possible include the search engines ixquick.com (sans google) and startpage.com (google results). For E-Mail, you can opt out of disclosing your E-Mail address to me by using an anonymous remailer such the free one available via anonymouse.org. However, this doesn't hide your address from your employer or internet access provider; I may not get the message for a few hours; and I won't be able to reply.
  5. Enforcement: Can I complain? Sure. It's hard to see how I could violate my no-privacy policy, but if you want to, you can e-mail me.

Disclaimer

I make no warranty, representation or guarantee as to the content, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information on this site. I expressly disclaim any and all liability for any loss or injury caused, in whole or in part, by my actions, omissions, or negligence in providing this information, including without limitation, liability with respect to any use of this site. Reliance on this information is solely at your own risk. The information may be changed, altered, or removed at any time.

Conclusion

There you have it. My copyright, terms of use, and no-privacy policy page. Arguably, the most useless page on the web.