Computer and Network Acceptable Use Policy

I. Introduction
This acceptable use policy governs the use of computers and the network at Landmark College. As a user of these resources, you are responsible for reading and understanding this document. It is the policy of Landmark College that all members of its community act in accordance with these responsibilities and rules of conduct in the context of all existing laws (federal and state) and College regulations.

II. Rights and Responsibilities
Computing and networking resources at Landmark College are provided for academic and administrative purposes in support of the College mission. The College network and the Internet can provide access to resources on and off campus and the ability to communicate with other users worldwide. Such open access is a privilege 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. Since electronic information is easily copied and reproduced, users must exercise care in acknowledging and respecting the work of others through strict adherence to software licensing agreements and copyright laws.

III. Existing Legal Context
All existing laws (federal and state) and College regulations and policies apply, including not only those laws and regulations that are specific to computers and networks, but also those that may apply generally to personal conduct.

Users do not own the computer accounts provided to them by the College, but are granted the privilege of exclusive use. The College does not intend to act as a censor of information but reserves the right to inspect files or email and take appropriate action without notification if there is reasonable belief that there has been intentional or inadvertent disruption to the College’s network or other shared resources or if there is suspected violation of College policies or applicable laws.

For example, system administrators may examine or make copies of files that are suspected of misuse or violation of these policies or that have been corrupted or damaged. User files may be subject to search by law enforcement agencies under proper procedures or when properly requested, subpoenaed or ordered by a court. In addition, all messages created, sent, or retrieved over the Internet or the College's systems, including its mail system, GroupWise, are the property of the College.

Any computer, networking device, telephone, copier, printer, fax machine, or other technology which is owned, licensed or leased by the College is subject to College policies. In addition, any technology which connects directly to College data or telephone networks, connects directly to a computer or other device owned or operated by the College and/or otherwise uses or affects College information technology facilities is subject to this acceptable use policy.

Misuse of computing, networking or information resources may result in the loss of computing and/or network access. Additionally, misuse can be prosecuted under applicable statutes. Users may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable College policies and procedures. Illegal production of software and other intellectual property protected by U.S. copyright law is subject to civil damages and criminal punishment including fines and imprisonment.

Other organizations operating computing and network facilities that are reachable via the Landmark network or intranet may have their own policies governing the use of those resources. When accessing remote resources from Landmark facilities, users are responsible for obeying both the policies set forth in this document and the policies of the other organizations.

IV. Enforcement
Repeated minor infractions or misconduct may result in the temporary or permanent loss of computer access privileges or the modification of those privileges. In addition, offenders may be referred to the appropriate College office for further action.

Any offense, which violates local, state, or federal laws may result in the immediate loss of all College computing and network privileges and will be referred to appropriate College offices and/or law enforcement authorities.

The College reserves the right to limit or restrict access to the Internet or to its network-based information technology resources on the basis of job function, institutional priorities, bandwidth constraints, or College policies. The College also reserves the right to examine material stored on or transmitted through its facilities if there is cause to believe that the standards for acceptable and ethical use are being violated by a member of the College community.

Faculty, staff, and students should be aware that even when a message is erased or a visit to a Web site is closed, it is still possible to recreate the message or locate the Web site. Accordingly, all communications, including text and images, may be disclosed to College administrators or law enforcement officers without prior consent of the sender or the receiver.

V. Conduct that Violates this Policy
It is not acceptable for faculty, staff or students:

  • To use a login name and password assigned to someone else.
  • To use excessive network bandwidth. Bandwidth use is considered excessive when it significantly affects the speed of the network for other users, or is well above average usage for extended periods of time.
  • To violate copyright laws and their fair use provisions through inappropriate reproduction and/or distribution of copyrighted music, especially MP3 files, movies, computer software, images, etc.
  • To use applications that hinder or interfere with the use of the network by others. For example, excessive use of applications that use an unusually large portion of bandwidth for extended periods of time (e.g., peer-to-peer network file sharing applications such as Napster, Gnutella, iMesh, Scour, etc. and network game servers such as Quake, Unreal Tournament, etc).
  • To use the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer systems.
  • To connect unauthorized equipment to the campus network, this includes web or other servers, hubs, and switches and wireless access points.
  • To attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loop holes. This includes creating and/or running programs that are designed to identify security loopholes and/or decrypt intentionally secure data.
  • To associate an unapproved domain name with a Landmark owned IP address.
  • To knowingly or carelessly perform an act that will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  • To knowingly or carelessly run or install on any computer system or network, or give to another user, a program intended to damage or to place excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes, but is not limited to, programs known as computer viruses, Trojan Horses, and worms.
  • To install personal software on a college-owned computer including applications, screen savers, and other utilities not sanctioned by the College.
  • To deliberately waste or overload computing resources, such as printing too many copies of a document on College owned printers.
  • To violate terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws.
  • To use College resources for commercial activity, such as creating products or services for sale or hosting commercial web sites.
  • To use electronic mail to harass or threaten others. This includes sending repeated, unwanted email to another user.
  • To run, play, or download games on a public computer.
  • To send unauthorized broadcast messages to all or part of the Landmark community. Example: Sending a mass message to all faculty, staff, or students that bypasses the compiled Faculty, Staff, and Students Messages that are sent in digest form.
  • To forge the identity of a user or machine in an electronic communication.
  • To transmit or reproduce materials that are slanderous or defamatory in nature, or that otherwise violate existing laws or College regulations.
  • To display sexually explicit or sexually harassing images or text in a public computer facility or location that can be in view of others.
  • To attempt to monitor or tamper with another user's electronic communications, or read, copy, change, or delete another user's files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner.
  • To use the system after employment has ended, student status has been terminated or system privileges have been suspended, curtailed or terminated, unless specifically authorized in writing.
  • To damage, deface, alter, or remove any College computing equipment from campus without authorization.
  • To leave a public lab or Library computer without logging out.

VI. Email: Provisions of Service

  • All faculty, staff, students, alumni, and affiliated persons qualify to receive an email account.
  • Email accounts are extended for the sole use of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other appropriately authorized users to foster communications consistent with College affairs.
  • Email accounts will be disabled for an employee at his or her termination date and for students upon withdrawal or expulsion from the College or six months after graduation. Alumni are entitled and encouraged to sign up for a Landmark College “email-for-life” address.
  • College email accounts and services are College facilities, property, and resources as those terms are used in College policies and applicable law.
  • Access to College email services is a privilege that may be wholly or partially restricted by the College without prior notice and without the consent of the email user:
    • (a) when required by and consistent with applicable law or policy
    • (b) when there is a reasonable suspicion that violations of policy or law have occurred or may occur.
  • In a case where unacceptable use severely impacts performance or security, in order to sustain reasonable performance and secure services for the rest of the community, the College may immediately suspend an individual's access privileges.
  • Email users are required to comply with state and federal law, College policies, and normal standards of professional and personal courtesy and conduct.
  • Users agree by virtue of access to the College's computing and email systems, to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the College for any suits, claims, losses, expenses or damages, including but not limited to litigation costs and attorney's fees, arising from or related to the user's access to or use of College email and network systems, services, and facilities.

VII. Email: Unauthorized Access
The following constitute unauthorized forms of access:

  • Permitting anyone to send email using an account owned by someone else
  • Sending email using another user's account
  • Attempting to disguise the email address from which an email account holder’s message is sent or the identity of the sender

VIII. Email: Inappropriate Content
Acceptable use of email is based on common sense, respect for others, and civility applied to the electronic communications environment. The email system may not be used to transmit sexually explicit images or messages that may be reasonably construed as harassment, nor may it be used for any communications that contain ethnic slurs, racial epithets, or anything that may be reasonably construed as disparagement of others based on race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religious or political beliefs. Moreover, it is important to note that the perception or reaction of the recipient is a major factor in determining if a specific communication is harassing, offensive, defamatory, or abusive. Various federal and state laws and College policies apply to this requirement.

Additionally, an email message is, for legal purposes, treated as a written record, and is therefore subject to all the normal legal restrictions on such records, including copyright and intellectual property laws. Any email message which exposes the sender and/or the College to legal action may also result in corrective action by the College.

If an email account holder receives an e-mail message that he or she considers offensive, he or she may direct his or her concerns to the supervisor for the operational unit in which the suspected violation occurs or to Director of Human Resources. Students may direct concerns to their Residential Dean. The appropriate College authorities and/or law enforcement agencies will investigate violations.

If an email account holder has been requested by another account holder (via email or in writing) to refrain from sending email messages to him or her and the request is reported to the appropriate authority or to, the recipient of this request is prohibited from sending any further messages to the requester until such time as he or she has been notified by the appropriate authority that such correspondence is permissible. Failure to honor such a request shall be deemed a violation of this policy.

Although the College does not monitor or read the email of users as a matter of course, if possible misuse is reported or if there is reason to suspect any use of email which violates this Policy or any other College Regulation or which seems to represent a threat to the security or performance of the system or the network, the appropriate College authority reserves the right to examine mail messages without authorization from sender or recipient.

If an email account holder receives e-mail from outside the College that he or she regards as offensive or potentially illegal, he or she should report the matter to The Help Desk will refer the matter to appropriate authorities.

IX. Email: Privacy and Confidentiality
College policy and secure passwords provide good but not complete assurance of the privacy of users' email messages. Since the confidentiality of email cannot be assured, and such confidentiality may be compromised by unintended redistribution or forwarding, users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters, and should not assume that their email is private or confidential.

The College does not monitor or read the email of users as a matter of course. However, the College reserves the right to examine mail messages without authorization from sender or recipient where there is reason to suspect a breach of this Policy. In compliance with state and federal law and College policies, the College may permit the inspection, monitoring, or disclosure of email in situations when there are reasonable expectations that violation of policy or law has occurred.

X. Email: Retention
The College considers its email system to be a communication tool and not a long term storage medium. As such, users may retain email on the College’s email system for up to six months. After six months, email is deleted through an automated procedure without user notification. Users are strongly encouraged to delete transitory or personal email messages that no longer have value on a more frequent basis.

A complete backup of the College’s email system is performed once per week as well as before and after major upgrades. Backups are retained for one week and are designed for system-wide disaster recovery and not for recovery of individual accounts or individual email. Users are responsible for archiving to other medium or printing e-mail or attachments that they desire to retain for longer than six months (see archiving instructions on the ITS web site).

It is the College’s policy to retain certain College documents for defined periods, depending on the type of record. Email and attachments may fall within the scope of the College’s retention policy. Electronic documents, including but not limited to employment records, student grades and evaluations, and documents pertaining to business transactions, are subject to the same retention requirements as paper documents, and therefore should be archived electronically or printed, and maintained according to the College’s retention policy.

Users are responsible for evaluating content and managing their email and attachments on the College’s email system in compliance with this acceptable use policy and the College’s retention policy.

Questions? Contact us for more information!

Tech Support Services (The Help Desk)