Technology Standards

Last Updated: 9 September 2021 at 10:20

This article covers the meetinghouse technology standards that act as strong recommendations that will protect technology specialists (TSs) from potential problems that can stem from the incorrect use of technology. For official Church policy, please go to General Handbook: Serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These standards can be adapted to meet the needs of specific areas. Though this is not official Church policy, following these standards will mitigate potential technological issues that may come into play.

1. STANDARDS SOURCE AND REFERENCES

1.1 These standards have been reviewed and approved by the Meetinghouse Technology Committee, the Information and Communication Department, and the Meetinghouse Facilities Department. Inquiries concerning these standards should be directed to the Meetinghouse Technology Coordination Team in the Information and Communication Services Department at Church headquarters.

1.2 See also General Handbook: Serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 29.3.1, 33.2, 34.7.2, 35.4.15, 38.2.1.6, 29.7, and 38.8.

1.3 See also Roles and Responsibilities.

1.4 See also Definitions and Acronyms.

2. SCOPE

2.1 Meetinghouse technologies support worship experiences and help members and leaders fulfill callings and provide access to Church programs (e.g. family history, self-reliance, missionary). These technologies include equipment which enables satellite broadcasts, internet access, computing, webcasting, videoconferencing, printing, and viewing digital content.

2.2 The meetinghouse technology guidelines defined in this document apply to all meetinghouses worldwide unless otherwise documented by area leadership and approved by the Meetinghouse Technology Steering Committee.

2.3 Where ward and stake callings are referred to, the same roles and responsibilities also apply to the equivalent branch and district callings.

3. GUIDELINES THAT APPLY TO ALL MEETINGHOUSE TECHNOLOGY 

3.1 Appropriate  Use  of  Equipment

3.1.1  Meetinghouse technology should only be used for noncommercial, Church-related activities as approved by local ecclesiastical leaders and within headquarters and legal guidelines.   

3.1.2  Only those who are trained to operate meetinghouse technology equipment may do so. Youth may  only  operate  equipment after being  trained and  while being  supervised. 

3.1.3  Use and management of Church technology should adhere to laws and regulations governing data privacy.  

3.2 Funding of  Meetinghouse  Technology

3.2.1  The facilities management  group  (FMG) within the Meetinghouse Facilities Department (MFD) provides meetinghouse technology equipment as directed by the  Office of the  Presiding Bishop  (PBO) and Area Presidencies. Standard meetinghouse technology equipment is included in new building construction. Maintaining, upgrading, and replacing equipment is the responsibility of the FMG,  adhering to MFD and Information and Communications Services (ICS) guidelines and standards. 

3.2.1.1  Equipment which was provided with new building construction or was provided later by the FMG  is replaced when the product  reaches  end of  life. 

3.2.1.2  Equipment under warranty  should be replaced or repaired  according to  warranty  instructions.  This is managed by the FMG. 

3.2.1.3  MFD has established  quantity  and quality standards  for each type of equipment. Standards  depend  on building size, number of units in the building, and local adaptation needs.  

3.2.2  Local unit budgets should not be used to purchase meetinghouse  technology  (see General  Handbook: Serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  34.7.2).  

3.2.3  Local leaders should not seek donations to pay for meetinghouse technology equipment or donations of equipment. If local leaders approve the use of donated equipment, security, inventory, maintenance,  and replacement costs are the responsibility of the local unit.   

3.2.4  Equipment not provided by the FMG is the  responsibility  of  local units to  secure, inventory,  maintain, and replace. 

3.3 Security of  Equipment

3.3.1  Equipment which is not permanently mounted is to be kept in locked rooms with distribution of keys limited to those  authorized  by the stake president. 

3.3.2  All theft and vandalism must be reported to the FMG.  

3.4 Internet  Filtering

3.4.1  Equipment  that accesses the internet (computers, webcast encoders, etc.) must be connected to the Church firewall to ensure that appropriate filtering and security protocols are in place.  Any fire  alarms or other  safety  devices  that require  bypassing the firewall  must be secured against other possible uses. 

3.4.2  If the meetinghouse has only a single clerk computer, and no other computer, tablet, or cell phone is connected to the meetinghouse internet, the software-based firewall which comes installed on clerk computers may be used instead of the Church firewall. 

3.5 Inventory of  Assets

3.5.1  FMG s are responsible for keeping an asset inventory record of meetinghouse technology equipment included in new building construction or provided later by  the  FMG.  This is used to accurately identify and account for equipment that should be in a building. It is also used for planning purposes when equipment needs to be replaced. 

3.5.2  Local units keep an asset inventory record of any meetinghouse technology that has been donated or purchased with local unit funds. 

3.6 Equipment  Mounting 

3.6.1  Physical modifications to a meetinghouse—including the mounting of monitors, cameras, projectors,  or projector screens—may only be done with approval of and help from the FMG and in compliance with MFD standards.  

3.7  Surge  Protectors and  Uninterruptible  Power  Supplies (UPS)  

3.7.1  Church-owned computer and other electronic equipment should be protected with surge protectors. 

3.7.2  The FMG determines if a UPS is required in exceptional circumstances. Where required, the FMG purchases and installs UPS devices. 

3.8 Technical  Support 

3.8.1  The TS is responsible for operating and supporting all meetinghouse technology provided by the FMG. Training and support content  is  available on the meetinghouse technology site. If TSs have any issues operating or supporting the equipment, they should contact the Global Services Department  (GSD). The GSD  may escalate issues to the Church technology team responsible for the solution. The TS works with the FMG when equipment repair or replacement needs to occur. The FMG then manages the repair or replacement as needed and is responsible for warranty service and replacement.  

3.8.2  The TS is responsible for technical support of equipment that is donated or purchased with local unit funds. The GSD  is only trained on Church headquarters–provided equipment and will not support nonstandard equipment.  

3.9 Retiring  Equipment 

3.9.1  Any equipment that has storage capability or includes Church software or settings must be reset in compliance with ICS standards before it is disposed of. This includes having the stake technology specialist completely erase computer hard drives.  

3.9.2  Church computers and other technology equipment being retired from service must be disposed of by the FMG according to MFD standards and local laws and regulations. 

4. COMPUTERS 

4.1 Computer  Equipment  

4.1.1  Computer equipment may include (but is not limited to) desktops, laptops, computer screens, keyboards, and mice. 

4.2  Appropriate  Use 

4.2.1  Computers with MLS installed must be used only for authorized Church-related purposes as approved by the stake president.  

4.2.2  Ward and stake clerks have priority use of computers with MLS installed.  

4.2.3  There should be no expectation of privacy when using Church computers.  

4.2.4  Where possible, computers with MLS should be left in standby or sleep mode and should not be powered off.  This will enable Church headquarters to manage the machine and ensure updates and patches are properly distributed.  

4.2.5  Storing files with Church member-related data on the local hard drive is  prohibited. 

4.3  Passwords

4.3.1  Church  account and MLS passwords must not be shared.  

4.4  Donated  Computers  

4.4.1  Donated computers may not be added to official family history centers.  

4.4.2  MLS may only be installed on Church-furnished computers.   

4.5  MLS  Software   

4.5.1  Each ward or stake authorized to use MLS must ensure it is using the latest version of the software.  

4.5.2  Installing MLS software on home computers is prohibited.  MLS may only be installed on Church-furnished computers.   

4.5.3  Tampering with MLS source code is prohibited.  

4.5.4  All laws governing data privacy apply to the personally identifiable information found in Church records.  

4.6  Other Software  

4.6.1  Only Church-approved, licensed software is permitted for installation on Church computers.  

4.6.2  Church-provided  desktop management  and  desktop security  software must be installed on all Church computers.  

4.7  Date and  Time  Settings

4.7.1  Date and time  system settings  must not be altered on computers while MLS is open.  

4.8 MLS Data and  Membership  Information 

4.8.1  Information about members, donations, and financial transactions is confidential and must be protected from unauthorized disclosure.  

4.8.2  MLS data, database tables, or schemas must not be used or shared to create or assist in the creation of  third-party  software.  

4.8.3  The use of MLS data and membership information in third-party software is prohibited, whether obtained from inside or outside a meetinghouse.  

4.8.4  The use of cloud-based services for storing and/or backing up MLS or any membership-related data is prohibited.  

4.9  Remote  Access of Church  Computers  

4.9.1  Remote access of Church computers  which hold MLS data  is prohibited except by authorized support personnel using ICS-approved management software. Exceptions to this standard  are  only permitted in cases where all the following are true:  

4.9.1.1  It is done by official Church support personnel or under the direction of a stake president by a stake technology specialist, stake clerk, or member of a stake presidency.  

4.9.1.2  It is used to ensure a Church computer is functioning properly or to help someone use the system.  

4.9.1.3  It is used for purposes other than entering data into MLS and accessing sensitive information.  

4.9.1.4  The remote software used is properly licensed. 

4.9.1.5  The remote software is set up to utilize standards-based encryption (AES-128 or better). 

4.10 Sharing Clerk Computers  

4.10.1  Sharing clerk computers between wards or stakes is permitted with stake president approval. 

5. PRINTERS, COPIERS, AND MULTIFUNCTION DEVICES

5.1  Standardization of Printers, Copiers, and Multifunction Devices

5.1.1 Printers, copiers, and multifunction devices are provided in meetinghouses to enable leaders and teachers to administer the work. The use of nonstandard printers, copiers, or multifunction devices can create compatibility problems with meetinghouse computers and networks.

5.2 Purchase of Printing Materials

5.2.1 Paper, ink, toner, and other consumables  are purchased using ward, building, or stake budgets.

5.3 FMG Purchases

5.3.1 Some multifunction equipment is purchased by the FMG with a service contract.

5.4 Copyrighted Materials

5.4.1 Copyrighted materials such as choral music and book excerpts should not be copied, and equipment should not be used for personal, non-Church-related activities.

5.5 Wireless printers

5.5.1 Wireless printers may be installed by local units as approved by the FMG and stake president.

6.MEETINGHOUSE INTERNET

6.1 Internet Equipment

6.1.1 Internet equipment includes but is not limited to ISP-provided modems, Church headquarters–approved firewalls, switches, wireless access points (WAPs), and filtering software.

6.2  Appropriate Use

6.2.1 Internet access is authorized in meetinghouses under the direction of the stake president to support worship experiences, help fulfill callings, and enable access to Church programs.

6.2.2 There should be no expectation of privacy regarding the use of internet in meetinghouses.

6.2.3 If there is misuse of meetinghouse internet, stake presidents and/or TSs may be contacted by Church headquarters, and access privileges may be denied to those who are misusing the service.

6.3 Content Filtering

6.3.1  The Church Information Security and Compliance Department is responsible for creating, approving, and managing approved internet filtering standards.

6.3.2 Under the direction of the stake president, TSs can choose from approved filtering guidelines for each building in their stake. This allows local leadership to better manage internet access depending on the needs of members in their building.

6.4  Firewall

6.4.1 An approved meetinghouse firewall configured in an approved manner and centrally managed by the Church is required in all meetinghouses with internet access.

6.4.2 Viewing or making changes to the configuration of a meetinghouse firewall is prohibited.

6.4.3 All computers and other network devices connecting to Church-provided internet must connect through the meetinghouse firewall. The meetinghouse firewall enables proper filtering of content.

6.4.4 Bypassing the firewall is not permitted without express permission from the stake president and may only be done for brief periods of time for specific urgent purposes.

6.4.5 The meetinghouse firewall and ISP modem must be secured behind a locked door or cabinet with limited access. Clerk and ecclesiastical offices should not be used for this purpose unless this equipment is secured in a locked cabinet.

6.4.6 Meetinghouses which do not show an authorized operating firewall in tm.ChurchofJesusChrist.org may have internet services cancelled.

6.5  Network Connectivity

6.5.1 Network jacks and wireless access points are installed under the direction of the Area Physical Facilities Committee. This enables the flexibility needed to accommodate various building materials and styles, as well as various budget allocations for new buildings.

6.5.2 Wired network connections should generally be installed in bishops’ offices, stake presidents’ offices, and other administrative offices so they are functional even when wireless connections are disabled.

6.6  Wireless Access Points

6.6.1 All wireless access points must be connected to a Church-approved firewall.

6.6.2 Each wireless access point must be configured to require a password to connect to the meetinghouse network. This password is managed by Church headquarters for the Liahona SSID.

6.6.3 Only headquarters-approved access points should be used.

6.6.4 Access points should be placed so the wireless signal covers administrative and key teaching areas in the building. 100% wireless internet coverage in the building should not be expected.

6.7  Guidelines for Service Provider Implementation

6.7.1 Guidelines for service provider implementation costs and fees are set by Area Physical Facilities Groups, and requests for exceptions to these guidelines should be directed to these groups.

7.  AUDIO  VISUAL  (AV) EQUIPMENT 

7.1 AV  Equipment  

7.1.1  AV equipment  may include televisions, projectors, projection screens, media players, carts, audio systems, satellite systems, translation systems, assistive listening devices, and set-top boxes. 

7.1.2  Equipment  standards are  determined by area leadership  including Area Presidencies, Directors for Temporal Affairs  (DTA), and  other assigned area  personnel. 

7.2  AV Distribution

7.2.1 Meetinghouse  audio and video  distribution systems are designed to meet standards approved by area leaders.  Systems are designed to ensure  building  AV  systems are  easy to use and meet area needs. 

7.3  Optional AV Components

7.3.1  Some AV components are optional and only implemented as needed by a local unit. The stake president and  local  physical facilities personnel collaborate to determine needs. 

8.  WEBCASTING  AND  VIDEOCONFERENCING 

8.1 Webcasting  Equipment

8.1.1  Webcasting equipment  may include  an encoder box, SD to HD converter, cameras, mixers, tripods, and other AV equipment. 

8.2 Appropriate Use

8.2.1  Recording of talks or addresses of General Authorities and Area Seventies at the local level is prohibited. (See General Handbook, 38.8.34.) 

8.2.2  Taking photographs or making video recordings in chapels is not permitted. Meetings and other events that are held in the chapel may not be broadcast over the internet or by any other means.  (See General Handbook, 35.4.15.) 

8.2.2.1  The only exceptions to this rule are for stake conference broadcasts and funeral services held in chapels.  (See General Handbook, 29.3.1  and  29.7.)

8.2.2.2  No one should take photographs or video recordings of priesthood ordinances or blessings or of baptismal services.  (See General Handbook, 38.2.1.6.) 

8.3 Videoconferences

8.3.1  The ready availability of audio and video conferencing solutions allows local ecclesiastical leaders to conduct virtual meetings with councils or members while avoiding an increase to technology costs for the Church. Local leaders are encouraged to use a free, reputable solution that works best in their area.  

8.3.1.1  If users have an account with a videoconferencing platform from their employment,  it is their responsibility to  ensure that the employer has approved using its resources for personal use. Also be aware that the employer may have access to meeting details, including recordings.  

8.3.1.2  If  users  feel  the  need to acquire a license for extended features not allowed from a free vendor, they must  seek approval from the stake president before making the purchase. 

9. SATELLITE SYSTEMS

9.1 Satellite Downlink Site

9.1.1 Each stake or district is allowed one satellite downlink site, providing Church satellite coverage is available in that location.  If multiple satellite downlinks  already exist  within a stake or district, they can continue, subject to the principles in this article.

9.2 Preferred Internet Streaming

9.2.1 When sufficient Internet bandwidth is available, internet streaming is preferable to satellite transmission. Internet streaming allows more meetinghouses to participate in broadcasts without expensive satellite downlinks at each location. Additional satellite downlink sites can be approved for a stake or district when both of the following conditions are met:

9.2.2 Available internet bandwidth is insufficient to support internet streaming.

9.2.3 Excessive travel is required,  or  the  expected attendance exceeds seating capacity  at the existing downlink site.

9.3 Validating a Satellite Downlink Site

9.3.1 Each request for a satellite downlink site must be validated by the Church’s ICS satellite engineering team to ensure that  the installation will conform to established technical guidelines.

9.4 Satellite System Use

9.4.1 Satellite systems at meetinghouses may not be used to view or record television, cable, or satellite programs that are not sponsored by the Church (see General Handbook, 38.8.39). Members may not change any settings of the satellite antenna or receiver without authorization from the ICS Department.