Boulder Community Network Policy
Version: 1998-01-5. (Previous version,
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*** Like any other organization, BCN has grown over the years. To see
the most recent version of our policies and goals, "About BCN"
The Boulder Community Network is dedicated to providing free community
access to networked community information to promote the
spirit of community and meet the information needs of Boulder County
BCN Management Structure and Policies
BCN is being initially funded and organized by the
University of Colorado, with twin goals of community
outreach and research. Policy is ultimately decided by the
BCN Management Team, consisting of Ken Klingenstein
(Director of CU Computing & Network Services), Oliver
McBryan (CU Professor of Computer Science), and Steve Jones
(CU Associate Dean of Journalism and Mass Communications),
with input from the the BCN Coordinator
and three Advisory Boards: the Community Advisory Board,
the Policy Advisory Board, and the Technical Advisory Board.
Right to Set Policy
The BCN Management Team reserves the right to make any
policy decisions necessary to ensure that the BCN project is
in line with the goals of the University and the other
community organizations participating in BCN.
Endorse American Library Association Statements
BCN endorses the following American Library Association statements
on access to information and their logical extension to on-line
BCN concentrates its efforts on segments of the community
and categories of information that have not yet been adequately
served by the commercial sector, in much the same way that public
libraries and public broadcasting stations operate.
Preference for Open Protocols
Where possible, BCN will use widespread open protocols and formats
(such as TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML) in preference to
proprietary or locally developed protocols and formats.
Distinction Between Provider and Access roles of BCN
For the policies which follow, a distinction needs to be made between
two BCN roles: providing access to information
and providing information itself. This is inherent in the "client/server"
nature of the World Wide Web technology BCN uses.
BCN directly publishes information to the people of Boulder County and
the Internet via a specific server machine known as "bcn.boulder.co.us". This
is the only information which BCN has any direct control over, and thus
the only information which BCN can state any policy for. Information
from the BCN server will be identifiable because the Uniform Resource
Locator (URL) will begin with the sequence "http://bcn.boulder.co.us/".
BCN also provides access to most of the information on the World
Wide Web via public kiosks and dial-up lines.
The initial starting point presented
by these access points is the BCN server, but users can access the rest
of the WWW from this starting point. Any information identified by
a URL which does not begin with "http://bcn.boulder.co.us/" is published
by an organization other than BCN.
Server policies and access policies are treated separately below.
Purpose of the BCN Server
BCN seeks to provide a platform for non-profit and civic organizations
to provide reasonable amounts of
locally-oriented information to the widest possible on-line audience.
Information Providers Agree to Assume Editorial Rights and Responsibilities
In the case of both information published from the BCN
server, and information accessible via BCN, but published from
other non-BCN systems, ultimate editorial and publishing
responsibilities lie with the specific groups and
organizations providing the information (the Information
Providers). Before they are granted the privilege of publishing
information on BCN, Information Providers must sign an
Information Provider Agreement (in preparation, which will
Information Provider Guidelines).
Providing Commercial Information
BCN provides access to both commercial and non-commercial
information via its kiosks and dial-up lines.
But BCN will, at least initially,
concentrate its limited server resources
on information of a clearly non-profit, community-oriented
nature, although we may seek out information of particular
interest from other sources.
We will be evaluating this issue on an ongoing basis, and
reserve the right to include for-profit groups and
information as deemed appropriate in the future, but we
expect that their needs will be best served by other servers.
BCN will provide hypertext references to commercial information from
other servers, but will
seek to do so via information aggregators, such as chambers
of commerce, who agree to provide reasonably open and free
access to a wide variety of organizations.
Management Team can Deny Publishing Privileges
The Management Team reserves the right to deny BCN
publishing privileges to any group or organization that does not
meet the BCN Information Provider Criteria (under development).
Information providers who disagree with a BCN decision may appeal
the decision by filling out a "Request for Reconsideration" form
(in development) and submitting it to the BCN coordinator. The
issue will be heard by the BCN Policy Advisory Board which will
render a decision within 60 days. If the information provider is
still unsatisfied, a final appeal may be made to the BCN management
team, which will render a final decision within 60 days after
the final appeal.
Use of BCN Name and Information
Various other organizations may be interested in serving BCN
information via their own access points and servers. The
following guidelines must be adhered to:
- Information which is produced by BCN will be subject to the following
(c) Copyright 1994,1995 Boulder Community Network: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/
Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this
World Wide Web server and related graphics is hereby granted, provided
that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both
that copyright notice and this permission notice appear. All other
The name of Boulder Community Network or the Boulder Community
Network logo may
not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of
this information without specific, written prior permission.
Boulder Community Network and the Regents of the University of
Colorado make no representations about the suitability
of this information for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without
express or implied warranty.
- Information provided by other Information Providers is subject to
whatever copyrights and restrictions they may indicate.
- Because of the unbounded and interactive nature of BCN and the
World Wide Web, other information access providers will not
be allowed to publicize that they provide access to "BCN" unless
they provide full live World Wide Web access to the full content
of the BCN server and the other linked servers in Boulder County.
In other circumstances, written permission may be granted to other
information providers to use a label such as "Information Excerpted
from BCN" in their promotional material.
The excerpts provided must include the following "core" set of
elements of BCN:
Initially, interactive communication via BCN will be limited to the
capability to send comments to BCN administration and other
participating community organizations.
In the future, we
may explore the possibility of providing "bulletin
board" discussion capabilities for local issues.
We would seek to do this via open protocols like netnews and
in partnership with other local bulletin board providers, both
not-for-profit and for-profit.
Preserve Privacy of Users
BCN will seek to protect the privacy of BCN users by not releasing
possibly revealing information about usage patterns except when forced to
do so by court order.
This part is not yet official.
BCN will not use "cookie" technology or other similar methods to
track users unless that is the best way to deliver some particular
kind of interface, in which case the
application will first get the user's approval. Long-term cookies
will not be used at all.
Concentrate on Service to Local Residents
Our target audience is Boulder County residents; to
ensure that all residents have priority access to BCN, we
hope to restrict future dial-in lines to only Boulder County
usage. Since BCN is on the Internet, those outside Boulder
County can access BCN through the Internet and not tie up
the modem lines.
Priorities of Access to Various Internet Services
The Internet can be used by the general public for a wide variety of
purposes. This policy statement attempts to categorize the various
services that can be provided and identify priorities from a community
information provider standpoint so that
limited dollars can be used most effectively.
For example, we don't want people to be unable to access basic local
information because lots of other people are telecommuting or
using "chat" services from public kiosks and dial-up lines.
Here are the relevant "Service Categories", in priority order:
Providing and supporting individual user accounts and passwords
requires many more resources than providing free anonymous
- Information browsing (read-only, usually no account or password)
- Local World Wide Web resources - "community information"
- Global World Wide Web resources - http, ftp, gopher, nntp
- Local telnet information browsing sources (provided by other
organizations, with their own access methods provided
- e.g. a library card catalog)
- A login server which provides user accounts
- For bulletin board read-write access
- For email
- For chat services
- Full telnet access to full interactive services operated by
other "login service" providers (leaves the door open for
BCN has finite resources. Some of the lowest priority, least
"cost effective" (information per dollar) services are the most
popular: chat, bulletin boards and email.
Providing these popular communications services is also most
likely to duplicate services provided by the private sector.
Note also that within both the local and global WWW resource
categories, some information (e.g. large downloadable movies)
might be viewed as having lower priority than other information
(e.g. bus schedules or proposed legislation).
The emerging world of interactive collaboration protocols
embedded in browsers is making it harder to provide one
service category without also providing others. In cases
where the additional protocols are provided as plug-ins,
it is possible to use these criteria to decide whether
to install the plug-ins on public kiosks.
Policy for Priority Heirarchy of Services
Given that framework, our goal is that
Patron access to services with higher priority should not be
impeded by the provision and use of services with lower
We will work with BCN-affiliated public access sites
to achieve this goal via this implementation proposal:
Pick a set of "high priority" services to which we can provide
unimpeded access via existing funding.
Optionally pick an additional set of lower priority
services for which we do not expect to be able to fund
unimpeded access to everyone, and which we will provide via
different terminals and/or dial-in lines or, if desired, via user
Based on usage information, re-adjust priorities and the split
between the services.
Telnet-to-Lynx Gateway Policies
We provide a service for people who have
telnet access but not WWW access. It allows
people to telnet to bcn.boulder.co.us, log in as "bcn" with no password,
and thereby use the "lynx" browser to access BCN and other WWW sites.
These policies apply to this telnet-to-lynx gateway.
(c) Copyright 1994, 1995 Boulder Community Network: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/
- No support for outgoing telnet (too difficult to prevent
abuse, e.g. telecommuting).
- Try to find a way to provide read-only access to netnews.
(Does this require modifications to lynx?)