Terms of Service Agreements

EPA negotiates special EPA-only agreements with various social media sites that resolve the legal issues with the standard Terms of Service (TOS) users have to agree to when setting up an account.


Who negotiates TOS agreements for EPA?

You may not accept most standard, on-line terms of service agreements. To do so binds the agency to terms which are unacceptable, or illegal. EPA staff, managers, program or Regional offices cannot negotiate terms of service agreements on behalf of EPA. These agreements must be coordinated with the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) who in turn works with the Office of General Counsel (OGC) and the Office of Environmental Information (OEI).

What TOS agreements does EPA have?

These are the terms of service amendments we've signed, but we're not ready to use all these platforms. If you're interested in using ANY social media tool for your program please contact your Web Council Representative to discuss your options.

The following links are current as of 29 January 2014. All of them exit this site Exit

1 ClassMarker incorporated GSA's Amendment into its standard online Terms.  When you create an account using ClassMarker's online sign-up process the Terms you are agreeing to already incorporates the federal compatible Amendment.
2 For Flickr and YouTube, EPA has only one account.
3 SurveyMonkey incorporated GSA's Amendment into its standard online Terms. When you create an account using SurveyMonkey's online sign-up process the Terms you are agreeing to already incorporates the federal compatible Amendment.

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What do I do if my office wants to use one of the tools/sites on the list?

Contact your Web Council Representative for approval. Your Content Coordinator will ensure that your social media project conforms to your program's goals, and will get approval from OPA's Office of Web Communications before you begin.

What do I do if a tool/site my office wants to use is not on the list?

Contact your Web Council Respresentative to discuss your concept — provide a written proposal for how the tool works for your project. If there are other social media platforms which function similarly provide a reason why you've chosen the tool you want. Your Content Coordinator will discuss your request with OPA's Office of Web Communications. Please note that if EPA works to negotiate a terms of service agreement it can take quite a while, so be patient.

OPA will consider suggestions, but will not sign agreements unless EPA intends to use these sites. Regardless of whether EPA has signed an agreement, though, follow the normal Web governance process: discuss all concepts with your Web Council representatives. If you want to use a social media site or technology, they will work with you and OPA to help you use the tools well and avoid any pitfalls.

Additional Information

The General Services Administration (GSA) has taken the lead to work out many agreements with third party sites. GSA is not signing on behalf of all agencies; rather, they are working on agreements they believe should work for all agencies. Each agency then has to sign their agreement with the third party site. Webcontent.gov has a page with more information about GSA’s TOS efforts, including a list of the agreements GSA has signed.

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