We wanted to take an opportunity to clarify OPRAmachine’s policies for handling requests for removal of content on the platform as well as update some pertinent policies and codify existing practices in response to recent inquiries.
OPRAmachine Policy Statement & Legal Fact Sheet
We will no longer individually respond to demand letters submitted to OPRAmachine where the substance of the letter concerns a demand for the removal of information from OPRAmachine. This document and policy statement shall constitute our official response as well as a resource for those with legal questions or concerns about content posted on OPRAmachine. Under no circumstances will a representative of OPRAmachine participate in any pre-suit settlement negotiations or telephone conferences with potentially adverse legal counsel representing individuals contemplating a claim against OPRAmachine or one of our users. We further reserve the right to publish all such demand letters and submit them to research databases such as the Lumen project at Harvard University. Requests for removal of content contained on the OPRAmachine website
OPRAmachine will only typically remove content from the website that contains Nonpublic Personal Information (NPPI). Ordinarily, OPRAmachine will only remove content from the website if it contains one of the following types of information that can lead to imminent harm of an individual: - Driver license number - Social Security numbers/ other private identifiers - Bank account numbers or information - Computer usernames or password
For the above-identified instances, it is the policy of OPRAmachine to immediately remove the content upon verification of request to prevent harm to individuals. All other requests are solely within our discretion, with a strong presumption that due to the public nature of OPRA requests that they be left up on the site. The removal of material from OPRAmachine represents the professional judgment of the administration and should not be construed as an admission of liability for the contents of same. In instances where a public authority requests the removal of content, in the spirit of cooperation we request that the public authority replace their response with the properly redacted version. All other removal requests are solely within the discretion of OPRAmachine. No removal requests will be entertained via telephone or postal mail. All requests must be made in writing and electronically submitted via the OPRAmachine contact form or via email to email@example.com.
IMPORTANT: the fact that an OPRA request contains the first and last name of an individual, a home address or details about criminal charges (even if they were dropped) shall not be grounds for removal of material under this policy.
Requests to remove a public authority from OPRAmachine
We do not entertain requests from public authorities to be removed from OPRAmachine. Our position is that any written request that is submitted electronically via our platform is a valid request under OPRA. Custodians may not object to the publication of requests on this basis. In the spirit of cooperation, if a public authority suggests that we change their email address to a new or more convenient address for the submission of OPRA requests, it is our policy to comply with such requests as soon as a practicable.
Requests for information about an OPRAmachine user
To protect the privacy of users, it is the policy of OPRAmachine not to disclose information about a user of our platform, including private email address, IP address & geolocation information to law enforcement, private investigators or attorneys aside from what is already publicly available by way of their usage of OPRAmachine without their consent. We will only disclose such information if legally compelled to by being served with a valid court order or subpoena. We will also reserve the right to notify the user of any such request. An individual seeking to contact a user of OPRAmachine should use the “Contact User” link on their profile to send an email to them via a contact form.
Potentially libelous content posted by OPRAmachine users or public authorities
OPRAmachine provides an “interactive computer service” within the meaning of the safe harbor provision of the Communications Decency Act, 47 USC § 230. All OPRA requests and comments posted by users that are accessible via the platform constitute usergenerated content that was created and submitted by individual users of the website, and all responses to requests from public authorities, including publicly released documents are automatically published online by the actions of our users.
OPRAmachine is not the “publisher” of the statements contained within either the OPRA requests or document obtained in response from public authorities within the meaning of 47 USC § 230. We do not endorse any factual assertions or statements of opinion made by users in the course of their actions on OPRamachine. We take no position whether the contents of a request may be actionable against a user of OPRAmachine, but OPRAmachine as a platform is immune from liability and will vigorously defend these rights. To wit, even if a user posts content that a court of competent jurisdiction deems libelous, CDA 230 shields the operators of OPRAmachine from liability.