Acceptable Use Procedures-Electronic Resources

(CODE 2105a.)

Accepting a password, operator ID, or other security access code and/or using Northeast Community College (Northeast) electronic resources shall constitute an agreement on behalf of the user or other individuals accessing such electronic systems to abide and be bound by the provisions of this Policy and Procedure.

Definitions

Electronic Resources

shall mean and include, but are not limited to, computers, scanners, CD burners, copy machines, facsimiles, networks, servers, telephone systems, and other similar devices that are administered by the Northeast and for which the Northeast is responsible.

Networks

shall mean and include video, voice and data networks, routers, and storage devices. 

Rights and Responsibilities

The use of Northeast electronic resources are services made available to students, faculty, staff, and Board of Governors to further the educational mission of Northeast.

Electronic systems can provide access to resources on and off campus, as well as the ability to communicate with other users worldwide. Such open access is a privilege, not a right and requires that individual users act responsibly. Users must respect the rights of other users, respect the integrity of the systems and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. Electronic resources are college property and are intended for education use and not the personal use of its employees.

Northeast supports Academic Freedom. Employees are allowed to use electronic resources as necessary to meet educational goals or fulfill work-related responsibilities.

Northeast electronic resources may not be used for transmitting, retrieving or storing any communications of a discriminatory or harassing nature or obscene materials. Harassment of any kind is prohibited. Messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about race, gender, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital or family status, age, or disability are prohibited.  User files may be subject to search under court order if such files are suspected of containing information that could be used as evidence in a court of law. In addition, system administrators may access user files as required to protect the integrity of computer systems. Student files, as kept on Northeast facilities, are considered educational records as covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Title 20, Section 1232(g) of the United States Code, also referred to as the Buckley Amendment). System administrators may access or examine files or accounts if evidence exists that such an intrusion is warranted.

Northeast electronic systems are the property of the Northeast and users should not assume electronic communications are private. All users are notified that system security features such as passwords and message delete functions do not take away the ability to archive any message, at that time, for future viewing.

Originators of all web pages using information systems associated with the Northeast shall comply with Northeast policies and are responsible for complying with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including copyright laws, obscenity laws, laws relating to libel, slander, and defamation, and laws relating to piracy of software.

Existing Legal Context

Users may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable Northeast policies, procedures, or regulations. Complaints alleging misuse of Northeast electronic resources will be directed to those responsible for taking appropriate disciplinary action as specified under the Enforcement section. Misuse of electronic resources may result in the loss of access to electronic resources and prosecution under applicable statutes. Illegal reproduction of software and associated documentation licensed to Northeast is protected by U.S. Copyright Law and is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment. All existing laws (federal and state) and Northeast regulations and policies apply, including not only those laws and regulations that are specific to computers and networks, and other electronic resources, but also those that may apply generally to personal conduct.

When accessing remote resources from Northeast facilities, users are responsible for obeying both the policies set forth in this document and the policies of the other organizations.

This policy is effective at all Northeast locations and represents the minimum requirements that must be in place. Individual areas that have electronic resources and networks may have additional controls and security, but they are in addition to this policy. A notice may be posted in computer laboratories to provide further information in regard to procedures. A notice may be posted in computer laboratories to provide further information in regard to procedures, restrictions or use of facilities that are in effect at that particular location.

Examples of Misuse

Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Unauthorized use of an electronic resource account. Examples include obtaining a password for an electronic resource account without the consent of the account owner. If you, as an authorized user, give out your account and password to another individual, you may be held accountable for any actions that arise associated with your account.
  2. Gaining unauthorized access to any electronic resource system.
  3. Intentionally interfering with the normal operation of electronic resources.
  4. Intentionally running or installing on any electronic resource, a program intended to damage or to place excessive load on an electronic resource or network.
  5. Installing or removing software without the permission from the employee responsible for the inventory of the computer.
  6. Attempting to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes.
  7. Violating terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws.
  8. Deliberately wasting/overloading electronic resources.
  9. Storing large files on the systems which could compromise system integrity or preclude other users’ right of access to disk storage.
  10. Masking the identity of an electronic resource user to gain anonymity for malicious purposes.
  11. Attempting to monitor or tamper with another user’s electronic communications.
  12. Reading, copying, changing, or deleting another user’s files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner.
  13. Modifying or deleting files that are owned and maintained by Northeast. Configuration and setup files will not be changed or removed from Northeast owned PC’s without authorization from Northeast Information Services.
  14. Using electronic mail to send abusive, obscene or illegal communications.
  15. Using electronic resources for non-college consulting, business, or employment.
  16. Violating any state or federal law or regulation in connection with use of any electronic resource system.

Food, beverages, and use of tobacco products are not allowed in computer labs.  Activities will not be considered misuse when authorized in writing by appropriate Northeast officials for security or performance testing.

Enforcement

Northeast staff and faculty discovered in violation of the above will be reported to their supervisor. If violations continue, the staff or faculty person will be reported through the normal organizational structure.

Violation of any provision of this policy may result in (a) a limitation on a user’s access to some or all Northeast systems, (b) the initiation of legal action by Northeast, including, but not limited to, criminal prosecution under appropriate State and Federal laws, (c) the requirement of the violator to provide restitution for any improper use of service, and (d) disciplinary sanctions, which may include suspension or dismissal.

Disclaimer

Northeast staff responsible for electronic resources will make every effort to ensure that integrity of the systems and of the information stored on them. However, users must understand that the Northeast does not take responsibility for the safe storage of files. Users must keep their own copies of any information that is important. Northeast is not responsible for any loss of information from Northeast electronic resources, regardless of the cause.

Information posted by users on computer bulletin boards, electronic boards, electronic forums, Web pages, or other publicly accessible sites administered by Northeast, is subject to review for conformity with legal requirements, including copyright provisions, and with the procedures described in this document. Postings found to be unacceptable will be removed.