REFERENCE: 4 U.S.C. 23 et seq., 18 U.S.C. §2511 et seq.
PURPOSE: Internet access to global electronic information resources on the World Wide Web is provided by the College to assist employees in obtaining work-related data and technology. This Regulation is established to help ensure responsible and productive Internet usage. While Internet usage is intended for job-related activities, incidental and occasional brief personal use is permitted within reasonable limits.
- The College has provided access to the Internet for authorized users to support its business. Although limited personal use of the Internet is allowed, no use of the Internet should conflict with the primary business purpose of the College, with the College’s ethical responsibilities or with applicable laws and regulations. Each user is personally responsible to ensure that this Regulation is followed.
- All data that is composed, transmitted or received via our computer communication systems is the property of Essex County College. As such, it is subject to disclosure to law enforcement and other third parties. Consequently, employees should always ensure that the business information transmitted via the Internet is accurate, appropriate, ethical and lawful.
- The College may monitor usage of the Internet by employees, including reviewing a list of sites accessed by an individual. No individual should have any expectation of privacy in terms of their usage of the Internet. In addition, the College may restrict access to certain sites that it deems are not necessary for business purposes.
- The College’s connection to the Internet may not be used for any of the following activities:
Illegal Internet Activities:
- The Internet must not be used to access, create, transmit, print or download material that is derogatory, defamatory, obscene, or offensive, such as slurs, epithets, images, or anything that may be construed as harassment or disparagement based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, or religious or political beliefs. Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the use of the College’s computer system or Internet access for the purpose of legitimate academic research. All users are expected to conform to the highest standards of academic and professional integrity. However, where such research involves the viewing, copying, downloading or printing of materials which may be considered derogatory, defamatory, obscene or offensive by others, such viewing, copying, downloading or printing of these materials must be performed in a manner which prevents their disclosure to persons who have not knowingly agreed to view their contents.
- Unauthorized use, installation, copying, downloading or disseminating of copyrighted, trademarked or patented material that is available on the Internet is prohibited. Permission to copy the material must be obtained from the publisher. For assistance with such material, contact Information Technology.
- Information must be downloaded from trusted, recognized and reliable sources. The failure to download from an appropriate source may subject the College’s computer system to viral contamination and/or security breaches. Users are expected to demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data and system security mechanisms.
- Employees should safeguard against using the Internet to transmit personal comments or statements through e-mail or to post information to news groups that may be mistaken as the position of the College.
- Employees should guard against the disclosure of confidential information through the use of Internet e-mail or news groups.
- The Internet should not be used to send or participate in chain letters, pyramid schemes or other illegal schemes.
- The Internet should not be used to solicit or proselytize others for commercial purposes, causes, outside organizations, chain messages or other non-job-related purposes.
- The Internet provides access to many sites that charge a subscription or usage fee to access and use the information on the site. Requests for approval must be submitted to your supervisor.
Should you have any questions about this Regulation, please contact your area head. In an effort to provide you with some guidance, the following are only examples of the common types of conduct which, (in addition to other conduct), is not acceptable under this Regulation and which constitute violations of the Regulation.
Violations of the Internet Usage Regulations:
- Sending or posting discriminatory harassing, or threatening messages or images;
- Using the College’s time and resources for personal gain;
- Stealing, using, or disclosing someone else’s code or password without authorization;
- Violating the copyright law;
- Failing to observe licensing agreements;
- Engaging in unauthorized transactions that may incur a cost to the College or initiate unwanted Internet services and transmissions;
- Sending or posting messages or material that could damage the College’s image or reputation;
- Participating in the viewing or exchange of pornography or obscene materials;
- Sending or posting messages that defame or slander other individuals;
- Attempting to break into the computer system of another organization or person;
- Refusing to cooperate with a security investigation;
- Sending or posting chain letters, solicitations, or advertisements not related to business purposes or activities;
- Using the Internet for political causes or activities, religious activities, or any sort of gambling;
- Jeopardizing the security of the College’s electronic communication systems;
- Sending or posting messages that disparage another College’s products or services;
- Passing off personal views as representing those of the College;
- Sending anonymous e-mail messages; and
- Engaging in illegal activities.
Any employee who violates this Regulation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, as well as, civil liability and/or criminal sanctions.
Revised by: The Executive Vice President
Approved: 12/01/99 The President’s Cabinet
Distribution: Standard (Reg. 1-2) plus College-wide