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National Marine Sanctuaries
Silver Spring, Maryland

Privacy Policy


The National Marine Sanctuaries Web site is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Direct administration of the computer systems is handled by the National Marine Sanctuary Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Information presented on these pages is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate photo and image credits is requested. Agency seals and logos cannot be used without the written permission of the agency.

Visitor information collected by the Web servers is necessary in order to share their contents with visitors. (View visitiors rights under the Privacy Act). The technical information collected (see example below) identifies what part of the Web site a visiting computer wishes to reach, and where to send the requested information once it is found. For site management, this technical information is also used for statistical analysis. Summary statistics are used for such purposes as assessing what information is of most and least interest, identifying usage trends over time, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. This Web site collects no personally identifiable visitor information unless the visitor chooses to provide it.

Any additional visitor information collected on the site is for a specific purpose identified on the site. Submitting voluntary information constitutes visitor consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose.

Electronic mail sent to addresses listed on this Web site is treated no differently than any other electronic mail. All electronic mail transactions are handled by electronic mail servers, and do not pass through this Web site, nor are they monitored or recorded by this site in any way.

This Web site does not use persistent tracking technologies.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs hardware and software to monitor network traffic and to identify unauthorized attempts to add or alter information, or otherwise cause damage or interfere with information delivery. Except for computer security or law enforcement investigations, no attempt is made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs may be stored indefinitely for use in statistical analysis or to protect the security and integrity of the computer system.

Unauthorized attempts to add information or alter information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Please note that other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web sites may have different information collection practices. If interested, please consult their site-specific privacy statements for details on such policies.

If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, please forward them to nosweb@noaa.gov.

Example of information collected by this Web site

Web servers keep a record of their activity in a log file. Every time a visiting computer requests a file from the Web server, a log entry is recorded. A typical log file entry for the Ocean Service Web site looks like this:

10/04/00 13:19:18 OK 200 somemachine.somenetwork.com Mozilla/4.75 (Macintosh; U; PPC) http://othermachine.othernetwork.com/neatsites.html "oceanservice.noaa.gov" :welcome.html 15208

What this entry means:

* 10/04/00 13:19:18 -- Date and time of the request (24-hour clock).
* OK 200 -- Status code of the request. "OK" and a status code of "200" are equivalent; they mean the requested file was successfully found and delivered to the requesting (visitor's) computer.
* somemachine.somenetwork.com -- Internet address (or IP address, in the form of 123.123.123.123) of the requesting computer. The last part of the address, .com, indicates the requesting computer is on a commercial network. Other commonly seen addresses end in .mil (U.S. military), .net (a different category of commercial network), .org (non-profit organization), .gov (U.S. government agencies, state and Federal), etc. Depending on how the requesting computer is connected to the Internet, this may not identify a specific computer.
* Mozilla/4.75 (Macintosh; U; PPC) -- Type of browser used by the requesting computer.
* http://othermachine.othernetwork.com/neatsites.html -- The Internet address of the last site visited by the requesting computer, useful in discovering how visitors found this Web site.
* "oceanservice.noaa.gov" -- The Internet address of this Web site. As it is possible to operate several Web sites on a single computer, the Web server uses this information to determine which Web site should handle the request.
* :welcome.html -- The name of the file requested by the visiting computer.
* 15208 -- Size of the requested file, in bytes.


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