Network Responsible Use Policy

Members of the Austin College community who have been granted use of Austin College’s information resources are expected to comply with all College policies regarding computer use as well as with applicable laws governing College information resources.

Information resource users must respect software license and copyright laws, respect the integrity of audio-visual, computer- and communication-based resources, refrain from seeking to gain unauthorized access, and respect the rights of other information resource users. These resources include all College-owned, -leased and -contracted computer, network, audio-visual and communications equipment and facilities.

Violation of these policies may subject a person to disciplinary review and could result in the loss of information resource privileges. Under certain circumstances, misappropriation or misuse of College information resources could be punished by dismissal from the College and may also result in prosecution under applicable laws.

Requests for more information should be addressed to the Director of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

Austin College Network Policies
(approved September 1999)

Information Resource Usage

Purpose

The purpose of the Information Resource Usage policy is to ensure an information infrastructure that promotes the basic mission of the College emphasizing academic excellence, high achievement, intellectual and personal integrity and participation in community life. Information resources are powerful, yet necessary, tools for accessing and distributing information and knowledge. Authorized information resource users must be aware of the rights of others to their privacy, intellectual property and other rights. This Policy codifies what is considered appropriate use of Austin College’s information resources.

Scope

This policy applies to Austin College students, faculty, staff and to others granted use of Austin College information resources and governs the use of information resources whether individually controlled or shared, stand-alone or networked. It applies to all electronic information, audio-visual and communication resources owned, leased, operated or contracted by the College, including the network, personal computers, workstations, servers, associated peripherals, audio-visual equipment and software.

Individuals and departments may develop their own “conditions of use” for information resources under their control. These must be consistent with this overall policy, but may provide additional details, guidelines, restrictions and enforcement mechanisms.

The College does not exist in isolation from other communities and jurisdictions and their laws. As a result of investigations, subpoena or lawsuits, the College may be required by law to provide records or other information related to those records or related to the use of information resources.

Specific Policies

Copyrights

All copyrighted software and material must not be copied except as specifically stipulated by the copyright owner or otherwise permitted by copyright law. Copied material must be properly attributed. Computer and communications information that is plagiarized is subject to the same sanctions as to any other medium.

Internet Port Policy

In order to maintain operational efficiency, some TCP or UDP ports may be restricted or blocked. For example, SMTP port 25, which is commonly used to send and relay email, is restricted to Austin College email servers only. Users may contact Information Technology for further information on which ports are affected by this policy.

Resource users must not encroach on others’ access and use of the College’s information resources or attempt to access private or restricted portions of systems without proper authorization. This includes, but is not limited to: the sending of chain-letters or other unsolicited mail; printing or electronically distributing excess copies of documents; unauthorized modification of system facilities, operating systems, or disk partitions; attempting to crash or tie up a College computer or network; and damaging or vandalizing College computing facilities, equipment, software or files.

Information Resource Integrity

Users of information and audio-visual resources must not access computers, audio-visual equipment, software, data or information or networks without proper authorization, or intentionally enable others to do so.

Defects discovered in a system’s security must be reported to the appropriate system administrator, to initiate the appropriate action.

A resource user who has been authorized to use a password-protected account may be subject to both civil and criminal liability if that user discloses the password or otherwise makes the account available to others without permission of the system administrator.

Resource users must not encroach on others’ access and use of the College’s information resources or attempt to access private or restricted portions of systems without proper authorization. This includes, but is not limited to: the sending of chain-letters or other unsolicited mail; printing or electronically distributing excess copies of documents; unauthorized modification of system facilities, operating systems, or disk partitions; attempting to crash or tie up a College computer or network; and damaging or vandalizing College computing facilities, equipment, software or files.

Resource users must respect the rights of other users. Attempts to circumvent security in order to gain access to the system or to another person’s information are a violation of the College policy and may violate applicable law.

Wireless Policies

Purpose

Austin College strives to provide a ubiquitous, reliable wireless network across campus. This policy protects the usability and performance of these wireless networks for all users.

Interfering Devices

Any personal device that broadcasts a wireless network or other traffic on standard wireless radio frequencies is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, wireless routers or access points, certain wireless printers, and cellular mobile hot spots.

Broadcasting an ad-hoc (computer-to-computer or wireless network sharing) wireless network is prohibited. In addition to computers, these may be broadcast by personal media players, printers, and other devices that allow direct wireless connections.

Malicious Activity

Attempting to manipulate the wireless network, electronically or physically, to reduce the performance or signal strength is prohibited.

Intentionally intercepting wireless signals intended for another user or device is prohibited. This includes the use of any tools or programs that “sniff” or monitor other user’s wireless traffic.

Attempting to crack or using any tools that can be used to crack the encryption of a wireless network is prohibited.

Attempting to interfere with the ability of other user’s to connect to the wireless network is prohibited.

Attempting to create electronic interference or noise on radio frequencies used by wireless is prohibited.

Allowed Devices

Any device that responsibly connects to a wireless network as a client device is allowed. This includes items such as:

  • Computers
  • Phones / Tablets / Other Mobile Devices
  • Personal media devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, etc)
  • Gaming Consoles

User Responsibilities

Users must not intentionally seek or provide information about, obtain copies of, or modify systems, data files, or programs belonging to others, without permission of those others. Users also must not intentionally seek or provide passwords belonging to others.

Sending fraudulent, harassing, obscene, threatening or other messages in violation of applicable federal, state or other law or College policy through electronic communication facilities is prohibited.

Resource users must respect the purpose and use of computer mailing lists, including local or network news groups, chat rooms and bulletin boards.

Users must remember that information distributed through the College’s network is a form of publishing, and some of the publications’ guidelines may apply. The College is represented by its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and appropriate language, behavior and style is warranted.

College information resources should be used for appropriate College functions as permitted under other policies of the College or with the approval of a College officer having the authority to give such approval.

System Administrator Responsibilities

Oversight of the information resources is delegated to the head of a specific College subdivision. The responsible administrator may designate another person to manage the system. This person is the “system administrator.” A system administrator is authorized to take reasonable actions to implement and enforce the usage and service policies of the system and to provide for security of the system. The system administrator will take every precaution to ensure the users’ privacy. A system administrator is also responsible for the following:

  • To guard against theft or damage to the components of the system
  • To execute all applicable hardware and software licensing agreements
  • To treat information about, and information stored by, system users in an appropriate manner, and to protect the security of a system or network and the information contained therein
  • To publicize policies and procedures governing access to and use of the information resources

Consequences of Violations

The Director of Information Technology & Telecommunications is the primary contact for interpretation and monitoring of this policy.

Cooperation is expected. If these policies have been violated, corrective action may be necessary. Students in violation will be referred to the Division of Student Affairs. Faculty will be referred to the appropriate academic official. Other College employees will be referred to the department head or appropriate member of the Austin College Senior Staff. Individuals, who are not members of the Austin College community, may be referred to the College Police, or to other appropriate officials.

References

  • Student Conduct Code
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986
  • Copyright Laws
  • State and Federal Laws
  • Operational Guide
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Austin College, 900 N. Grand Ave., Sherman, TX 75090-4400, 903.813.2000