Acceptable Use Policy For Electronic Communications
Source / Authority
For interpretation of this policy, please contact the responsible department: University Copyright/Fair Use Committee, 909/537-5839
At the present time there is no official campus policy regarding the use of electronic communications for students, faculty and staff.
In November of 1993 the Copyright Compliance Committee was formed with division Vice Presidents and school Deans naming representatives to the committee. This Committee was charged with creating campus policies on the issues of copyright and intellectual property. This document is the first to be produced by this committee. The enclosed policy is meant to serve as the Acceptable Use Policy of the CSUSB campus community.
The purposes of the University computing and communications resources are to provide a setting and opportunity for members of the academic community to express and explore ideas openly and freely subject to conditions and terms of this policy, to acquire and develop the skills of intellectual inquiry, and to examine critically the values of culture and society. This policy assumes as a condition of use the exercise of common sense, common courtesy, and a respect of the rights and property of the University and others.
In keeping with its mission, the University provides computing and communications resources to members of its community. The computers, networks, and computing facilities made available by the University for student, faculty, and staff use are the property of California State University, San Bernardino, and are provided for the completion of academic requirements, scholarship, and administration of the University.
This policy sets forth users' rights and responsibilities and is designed to address related access, use, and privacy issues in a way that meets intellectual and creative needs of campus users. The University's legal responsibilities assures the maintenance of the campus network systems and treats the campus community with respect.
Computing and communications facilities
These terms include any and all forms of computer-related equipment, tools and intellectual property, including but not limited to voice, data and video networks, switches, routers and storage devices, computer/communications systems, personal computers, and all forms of software (middleware, firmware, operating software, and application software) that is owned by the University or is in the University's possession, custody or control.
The use of computing and communications facilities in the communicating or posting of information or material.
This policy includes the use of University and University affiliated resources for electronic communications such as campus network, email servers, and webservers. This policy does not apply to computing equipment that is the property of faculty, staff, and students except that the use of personal equipment, while linked to University computing and communications facilities, will be subject to applicable provisions. In all cases, applicable statutes and regulations will take precedence over this policy.
Access to the University's computing and communications facilities and resources is provided for the purpose of educational use and legitimate University-related business to authorized holders of the Coyote One Card as well as authorized guests and/or agents. Access will be provided to the extent allowed by available resources.
Use of the University's computing and communications facilities and resources is governed by all applicable CSU System and University policies and procedures, international, federal, state, and local law.
Privacy and Ownership (Disclaimers)
While the University supports each individual's right to personal communication, and will take reasonable steps to ensure the security of the network, messages on University computing resources are potentially accessible to others through normal system administration activities and to the public through public records laws. Hence, the University cannot guarantee privacy of electronic communication. Additionally, files may be examined by systems personnel with appropriate administrative authority to determine if a user is acting in violation of the policies set forth in this document, other University policies, and international, state, or federal law. Requests for access to private messages/data for any other purpose than technical problem resolution will be approved by the Provost or his/her designee and/or will be responded to as required by local state, federal law, or international, as applicable, except as necessary to protect the integrity, security and effective operation of the University's computing and communications facilities or as required by local, state, federal and/or international law.
The University cannot guarantee that, in all instances, copies of critical data will be retained on University systems. It is ultimately the responsibility of computer users to obtain secure, backup copies of files for disaster recovery.
To protect the integrity, security and effective operations of the University's computing and communications facilities, and the users thereof against unauthorized or improper use of these facilities, the University reserves the right, without notice, to limit or restrict any individual's use of any computing and communications facility or resource, and to inspect, copy, remove or otherwise alter any data, file, or system resource which may undermine security, integrity or the effective operation of the University's computing and communications facilities and/or which are in violation of this policy. The University disclaims responsibility for loss of data or interference with files resulting from its efforts to maintain the operation, privacy, and security of computing and communications facilities.
The University cannot protect individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them. Reasonable expectations of privacy are diminished once electronic communications are sent to other users or posted on public systems. As in a written communication, an e-mail message received by an individual will be considered the prerogative of the recipient to dispose of (copy, delete, save, send to others, etc.) as he/she desires. An electronic message should be accorded care and courtesy similar to that accorded a written communication.
User Responsibilities and Acceptable Use
Any individual using CSU, San Bernardino's computer communications systems is responsible for the material s/he sends or display via the campus computing/communications resources.
University-purchased, -owned, or -maintained software, site licenses, databases, and custom applications programs are the exclusive property of the University and shall be used by faculty, staff, registered students and other authorized Coyote OneCard holders only to conduct University business.
Acceptable use of computing and communications facilities and resources at CSU, San Bernardino requires:
- Respect for the legal protections provided by copyright and other laws, University contractual agreements, and licenses to programs and data;
- Respect for the rights of others by complying with all University policies including those regarding intellectual property;
- Using accurate identification in all electronic communications to avoid deliberately misrepresenting any user's identity; and
- "Respect for intellectual labor and creativity [which] is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution." ("Using Software: A Guide to the Legal and Ethical Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community." Washington, DC: Educom/ITAA, 1992.)
The following rules further pertain to the appropriate use of campus computing and network services.
- Illegal/Incompatible Uses:
Users may not use computing and network services for uses that are inconsistent, incompatible, violate or are in conflict with state, federal, or international law, CSU policy, or University policy. These incompatible uses include but are not limited to operating a personal business.
- Threats, Harassment:
Users may not use campus computing or network services to threaten, harass, stalk, defame, or otherwise interfere with the legal rights of others.
- Respect for Privacy:
Users must respect the privacy of other users, but should be aware that no electronic communication, once sent, can be guaranteed to be private. Examples of lack of respect for the privacy of others include, but are not limited to, reading their mail, accessing their files, attempting to "crack" their passwords, or using their computer account or electronic mail address (except as may be required in the case of University employees for the purpose of facilitating official University business).
- Sharing of Account:
Users may not share their password with others or let others use their account (except as may be required in the case of University employees for the purpose of facilitating official University business).
- Academic Honesty:
Users must respect the intellectual property of others and adhere to University standards of academic honesty. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, accessing or using the files of others without their permission, altering or destroying their files or messages, plagiarizing information accessible electronically, or using copyrighted software in violation of the copyright agreement.
- System Disruption:
Users must not intentionally disrupt the campus electronic communication systems or obstruct the work of other users by interfering with the accounts of others or knowingly consuming inordinately large amounts of system resources or in any other way.
- Operational Procedures:
Users must respect the University's operational procedures for computing and network services. Users are responsible for knowing and abiding by computer lab and network procedures, which are accessible on this website and at the campus library.
Sanctions and Disciplinary Actions
University faculty, staff and students who violate any of the above policy may be be subject to disciplinary action following established University channels for disciplinary matters. Individuals who violate the law, including U.S. copyright law and software licensing agreements also may be subject to criminal or civil action by the copyright or license owners.
- Violators are subject to any and /or all of the following:
- Loss of computing and networking access
- University disciplinary actions
- Civil proceedings
- Criminal prosecution
Reporting Policy Violations
If a person believes that a violation of this policy has occurred, he/she should contact the system or network administrator responsible for the system or network involved, who will report the incident to the college/unit policy officer in accordance with campus procedural guidelines.
There may be situations when the following additional offices may be contacted.
- The CSU, San Bernardino University Police, if an individual's health or safety appears to be in jeopardy or if public safety is in jeopardy;
- Department of Human Resources for violations by staff members or administrators; Office of Academic Personnel for violations by faculty; and Judicial Affairs for violations by students; or
- Information Resources and Technology, serving campuswide resources, if an incident potentially bears external or legal consequences for the institution.
Procedures of Notification
The University will disclose this policy to new users at the time of their initial connection to the network by providing them with a copy online. Current users of the network will be notified by the systems operator through a broadcast message. A copy will be posted at the University Policies Web page and paper copies will be distributed to the divisional Vice Presidents for further dissemination to faculty, staff, students, and computer labs.
This document was adapted from versions of similar documents at CSU, Chico, and CSU, Northridge.
Please send further suggestion for revision to: Jeffrey M. Thompson, Chair, University Copyright/Fair Use Copyright Committee.