[Air-l] ethics question in researching the internet

bakera at ohiou.edu bakera at ohiou.edu
Thu Jun 6 11:32:58 PDT 2002

In regard to the case of an online hate group discussed,  I have a 
general question:  When is an online group "public"?  Would a group 
with no special registration requirement qualify?  Would a group 
where any identifyer can serve as a userid fit, or one that doesn't 
check email addresses?  In any or all of the cases which might be 
"public", is it okay to research them without (a) announcing the 
intent, and (b) without seeking permission of all of the members? 
Are archives of public communities exempt from consent, a question 
already raised?

I have read the latest draft of the AOIR guidelines and still seek 
input from members on these questions.  Thanks.

--Andrea Baker
      Ohio University

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