Department employees are required at all times to adhere to certain government-wide standards of conduct and rules of professional conduct that apply to online communications, regardless of whether the employees are at work, off duty, or using government equipment. Department employees should be aware of the following standards in particular:
- Department employees must properly safeguard confidential, privileged, classified, privacy-protected, and sensitive Department information.
- Department employees are generally restricted from publicly releasing any comments or information that may reasonably be expected to influence the outcome of a pending or future trial, including observations about a defendant’s character or their opinion as to a defendant’s guilt.
- Department employees should not make false statements or statements in reckless disregard for the truth about a judge’s qualifications or integrity.
- Department employees should not make comments that can be perceived as showing prejudice based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other protected basis.
Department employees may not engage in anonymous online activity (or use a pseudonym) to engage in conduct or communications that they otherwise would not be permitted to engage in if their identities were known.
[new April 2018]