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PRE-EARTHQUAKES Policy on non disclosure of information PDF Print E-mail

PRE-EARTHQUAKES Researchers and Scientists as well as Networking Members are requested to respect the following Policy.


Unlike other natural hazards, such as hurricanes, where predicting the location and timing of landfall is becoming increasingly accurate, the scientific understanding of earthquakes does not yet allow for earthquake prediction.

Until now all scientific prediction of earthquakes is probabilistic and current detection and warning systems could cause many false alarms.

As past experiences have taught, in case of earthquake predictions communicated to the population, the public reaction involved significant disruption to normal life with associated costs and stresses. Evacuations for earthquakes or other natural risks (f.i. tsunami waves) are very expensive.

Disseminating earthquake hazard information to general public can sow unwarranted panic, not to mention that false warnings can destroy confidence in the Project activities and damage the reputation of the scientists and researchers involved in the Project.

This is why, considering also the title of the project and the high expectations it can raise, it is unamously agreed by the PRE-EARTHQUAKES network that not all information it holds or can hold as result of the test cases analyses or other project activities should be disclosed publicly.


  1. PRE-EARTHQUAKES community” shall mean the PRE-EARTHQUAKES Consortium Members (Partners’ organizations included in the Grant Agreement) and the Networking Members (organizations signing a Networking and Confidentiality agreement with the PRE-EARTHQUAKES Consortium).
  2. PRE-EARTHQUAKES community member” shall mean the said entities and their researchers, officers, directors, employees, students, professional advisors, partners, associates, employers, affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, company, nominees, representatives, successors, clients, and assigns.
  3. “PRE-EARTHQUAKES hazards information” shall mean the information on possible earthquake risks originated by observations done for the Project.


  1. Any information on possible earthquakes risks originated by observations done for the project that a PRE-EARTHQUAKES community member learns as a result of working for the PRE-EARTHQUAKES Project that is not otherwise publicly available has to be treated as confidential information.
  2. PRE-EARTHQUAKES community members may not disclose PRE-EARTHQUAKES hazards information to anyone who is not directly involved in the PRE-EARTHQUAKES Project or to other persons employed by the PRE-EARTHQUAKES community members who do not need to know such information to assist in rendering services relevant to the Project.
  3. The disclosure, distribution, electronic transmission or copying of the PRE-EARTHQUAKES hazards information is prohibited.
  4. Discussions involving PRE-EARTHQUAKES hazards information should always be held in confidential settings to safeguard the confidentiality of the information. Conversations regarding earthquake hazards information generally should not be conducted on cellular phones, or in elevators, restrooms, restaurants, or other places where conversations might be overheard.
  5. Any researcher, student, employee, volunteer or executive who discloses confidential information will be subject to disciplinary action according to the internal rules of the organization which he/she belongs to, even if he or she does not actually benefit from the disclosure of such information.
  6. In NO case press has to be used to give warnings. Media coverage should concern only the fact that PRE-EARTHQUAKES project works on the topic of seismic precursors.
  7. Should observations done for the project highlight possible risks, information will be confidentially given only to civil protection authorities under the approval of the Project Coordinator and of the Steering Committee as soon as possible. In such case, the PRE-EARTHQUAKES Steering Committee can explore the possibility to provide monitoring at the request of civil protection authorities.

Project funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 263502. This publication reflects the views only of the authors. The EC cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.
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