zaneclark wrote:How official is this interpretation of email groups?
The only thing official is the policy itself.
Let me try again to explain my understanding. There are "groups" in personal email clients that are nothing more then a short cut to placing multiple email addresses in the "to" field. Since there is no prohibition on using email, it doesn't make any sense to me to prohibit the use of a "group" of addresses. It takes more mouse clicks, but you can do exactly the same thing manually. The only concern I can see here is that done improperly, someone may expose the all the email address of the group. That's considered bad form, but I don't know as that's considered a breach of personal information.
On the other hand are "email groups" or "list serve" where you send a single email to a computer and then it copies everyone who belongs to that group. (Yahoo groups and Google groups being a couple of popular examples.) Given that the server is usually 3rd party, and a large group is hard to keep track of, I can see the concern over who may have access to these emails. Much of the same concerns expressed about unauthorized web pages exists with such email groups. So it seems logical to me that's what was intended.
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