There are some exceptions and special circumstances, however. They are encoded in the Campbell Revised Statutes (CRS), Section 1.
CRS 001.010 "Confidential" defined. "Confidential" means that a certain communication is intended only for the explicit recipient and not for any other party. The word implies that even the existence of the communication is secret and should be known only to the sender and the receiver. However, "Confidential" does not necessarily imply that the information conveyed in the communication is secret. If you tell me something "in confidence" you can reasonably expect me to follow up on this information, seek to confirm it from another source and use it as I see fit (in the absence of any other agreement between us). "Confidential" means only that I will not reveal that it was you who gave me the information. "Confidential" is roughly synonymous with "off the record" and "not for attribution."
CRS 001.020 "Normally Confidential" defined. "Normally Confidential" means that a certain communication is confidential by default, although there may be reasonable exceptions.
CRS 001.030 Court hearings are not confidential. Unless specifically restricted by law, all proceedings in a courtroom, while being recorded for the record, are not confidential. In my writings, I may report on anything that takes place during these hearings, except that....
(a) The full names of juveniles may not be used.CRS 001.040 Courtroom conversations between hearings may be confidential. Any conversations or events in a courtroom, taking place outside of any formal hearings, are subject to the same rules of confidentiality as those taking place in public areas outside of the courtroom (See CRS 001.050).
(b) Information that might reasonably identify a juvenile to the public may not be used.
(c) Quiet conversations in the back of the courtroom, not recorded in the public record, may still be confidential.
(d) Other restrictions as defined by law.
CRS 001.050 Conversations in public places are not confidential, with exceptions.
(a) Any conversation or event that I am not a party to, taking place in a public area where it can be easily witnessed or overheard by others, is not confidential.CRS 001.060 Implied confidentiality. Any conversation between myself and another party who knows me is normally considered confidential regardless of the venue. "Knows me" is defined as anyone who has seen my website. In other words, if you and I have a conversation anywhere, and I have reason to believe that you have seen my website, then I will normally hold the conversation as confidential, subject only to the exceptions below.
(b) Any conversation between myself another party, who has not met me before and does not know who I am, is not normally confidential. (If someone feels comfortable talking to a stranger, then I feel comfortable reporting what they say.)
(c) Any conversation between myself and another party who knows me, regardless of where it takes place, is normally considered confidential, as discussed in CRS 001.060 below.
(d) Sensitivity will be given to attorney/client priviledge. If I happen to overhear conversations that fall into this category, I will report them only with discretion, especially if they involve cases that have not yet been resolved. [Added 10/24/05]
(a) Exception for public officials. Occasionally, I may ask for an on-the-record comment from someone who is acting as a public spokesperson for their organization. However, when I quote this person or repeat on my website information they have given me, I will normally inform them of the report and give them an opportunity to correct any information that is wrong or remove any information that is "off the record". I will also try to make it clear, whenever I am talking to such an official, whether I am asking for an official response or seeking information "off the record." In general, "off the record" can be assumed unless I say otherwise.CRS 001.070 Email is confidential. Any email I receive is normally confidential. If you send me an email, you can expect that I will not reveal it to anyone, forward it to anyone or publish it on my website without your permission. I will also not normally reveal to anyone that the communication took place. However, this confidentiality is subject to the same restrictions as CRS 001.060 (a+b).
(b) Exception for declared war. If you and I are engaged in an obvious open conflict, anything you say or do may be used against you. Your comments are on-the-record unless we make arrangements otherwise.
CRS 001.080 Website comments may be confidential. If you send me a comment via the comment box on my website, these rules apply...
(a) If you select "No" for "Can we reprint your comments on this website?" then your comments will normally be treated as confidential, like an email. I will use these comments only for my own information and to correct information on my website.CRS 001.090 Soapbox section. The Soapbox section of the website is the normal location where I will post comments by readers. Once you send me a comment and it is posted to the website, it is not normally changeable. Should you change your mind and ask me to remove it, I may comply, but I cannot guarantee this. I will not normally allow you to otherwise change your comments unless you object to some editing that I did to them.
(b) If you select "Yes" for "Can we reprint your comments on this website?" then your comments may be quoted or reprinted, at my discretion, subject to these rules:
(1) I may edit your message.(c) Regardless of whether you answer "Yes" or "No", your email address would be greatly appreciated, as it permits me to ask you questions about what you have said.
(2) I will attribute the quote to whatever name you gave in the "Your Name/Codename" space. (If you do not want your real name used, leave this space blank or make up a code name.) If you use your real name, I may choose to withhold it, or I may conduct a reasonable investigation to make sure you are who you claim to be.
(3) I will never reprint your email address on my website (to avoid attracting spam). Your email will normally be used only for my own direct communication with you.
CRS 001.100 Website comments are a public record. Once your comment has been posted to the website with your permission, we shall consider it a non-copyrighted part of the public record. I and other parties may choose to reprint your comment elsewhere, such as in a book, without asking your permission.
CRS 001.110 "Not confidential" does not imply publication. The fact that I have deemed a communication "not confidential" does not imply that I will publish it. I will still use my discretion.
CRS 001.120 Published information remains negotiable. Even after information is published on my website, it remains negotiable. I will correct any errors that are brought to my attention, and, upon request, I will remove any information that is improperly used.
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