Computer Usage

Since Goddard College has a continuous connection to the public Internet, the College is liable for computer-based misuse and abuse originating from its campus. Goddard College also has an obligation to enforce or provide oversight regarding other issues on its campus such as copyright infringement and harassment.

To provide greater clarity and understanding, Information Services has grouped the various elements of Goddard College’s policies, practices and procedures into two specific areas: Condition of Use of Computing and Network Facilities and Code of Practice in the Use of Computing and Network Facilities.

Condition of Use of Computing and Network Facilities

All persons using the computing and networking facilities shall be responsible for the appropriate use of the facilities provided as specified in this Handbook, and shall observe conditions and times of usage as published by the Administrator of the system.

It is the policy of Goddard College that its computing and associated network facilities are not to be used for commercial purposes or non-Goddard College-related activities without written authorization from Goddard College. In any dispute as to whether work carried out on the computing and networking facilities is internal work, the decision of Information Technology Services (or designee) shall be final.

The users will not record or process information that knowingly infringes any patent or breach any copyright.

Goddard College will endeavor to safeguard the possibility of loss of information within Goddard College’s computing and networking facilities but will not be liable to the user in the event of any such loss. The user must take all reasonable measures to further safeguard against any loss of information within Goddard College’s computing and networking facilities. It is recommended that information be stored on network “home” Directories and not on local hard drives. Lab hard drives may be erased for reconfiguration at any time during the term.

If a loss of information within the system can be shown to be due to negligence on the part of the computing or network personnel employed by Goddard College, or to any hardware or software failure which is beyond the user’s means to avoid or control, then the Information Technology Services will endeavor to help restore the information. The results, however, cannot be guaranteed.

Users of the computing and networking facilities recognize that when they cease to be formally associated with Goddard College (e.g. no longer an employee, enrolled student or visitor to Goddard College), their information may be removed from Goddard College computing and networking facilities without notice. Users must remove their information or make arrangements for its retention prior to leaving Goddard College.

Goddard College, through authorized individuals, reserves the right to periodically check and monitor the computing and networking facilities, and reserves any other rights necessary to protect them, including but not limited to a review of content on the system. Use of the College’s computing and networking facilities grants permission by the user to the College for such review.

Goddard College reserves the right to take emergency action to safeguard the integrity and security of the computing and networking facilities. This includes but is not limited to the termination of a program, job, or on-line session, or the temporary alteration of user account names and passwords.

In accordance with established Goddard College practices and numerous state and federal laws regarding computer violations, a user found to be abusing or misusing Goddard College computer resources may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from Goddard College or termination of employment, and/or to legal action.

Code of Practice in the Use of Computing and Network Facilities

Standards for the use of Goddard College’s computing and networking facilities derive directly from standards of fairness and constraint that apply to the use of any shared resource. Goddard College community depends on a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation to resolve differences and resolve problems that arise from time to time. This code of practice is to specify user responsibilities and to promote the appropriate use of IT resources for the protection of all members of Goddard College community.

Appropriate and responsible use of Goddard College computing and networking facilities is defined as use that is consistent with the teaching, learning, research and administrative objectives of Goddard College and with the specific objectives of the project or task for which such use was authorized. All uses inconsistent with these objectives are considered to be inappropriate use.

User Responsibilities

Users of Goddard College computing and networking facilities accept the following specific responsibilities for security and confidentiality.

Security

  • To safeguard their data, personal information, passwords and authorization codes, and confidential data;
  • To take full advantage of file security mechanisms built into the computing systems;
  • To choose their passwords wisely and to change them periodically;
  • To follow the security policies and procedures established to control access to and use of administrative data.

Confidentiality

  • To respect the privacy of other users; for example, not to intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, tapes, or passwords belonging to other users or Goddard College;
  • Not to divulge sensitive personal data to which they have access concerning staff or students without explicit authorization to do so.
  • To respect the rights of other users; for example, to comply with all Goddard College policies regarding sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment.
  • To respect the legal protection provided by copyright and licensing of programs and data; for example, not to make copies of a licensed computer program of file to avoid paying additional license fees or to share with other users.
  • To respect the intended usage of resources; for example, to use only the account name and password, funds, transactions, data, and processes assigned by service providers, unit heads, or project directors for the purposes specified, and not to access or use other account names and passwords, funds, transactions, data, or processes unless explicitly authorized to do so by the appropriate authority.
  • To respect the intended usage of systems for electronic exchange (such as e-mail, Usenet News, World Wide Web, etc.); for example, not to send forged electronic mail, mail that will intimidate or harass other users, chain messages that can interfere with the efficiency of the system, or promotional mail for profit-making purposes. Also, not to break into another user’s electronic mailbox or read someone else’s electronic mail without their permission.
  • To respect the integrity of the computing and networking facilities; for example, not to intentionally develop or use programs, transactions, data, or processes that harass other users or infiltrate the system or damage or alter the software or data components of a system. Alterations to any system or network software or data component are to be made only under specific instructions from authorized academic staff, unit heads, project directors, or management staff.
  • To respect the financial structure of the computing and networking facilities; for example, not to intentionally develop or use any unauthorized mechanisms to alter or avoid charges levied by Goddard College for computing, network, and data processing services.
  • To adhere to all general Goddard College policies and procedures including, but not limited to, policies on proper use of information resources and computing and networking facilities; use of telecommunications equipment; legal use of software; and legal use of administrative data.
  • To report any information concerning instances of violations to Goddard College Information Technology Services. In general, reports about violations should be directed initially to the administration of the school, area or unit where the violation has occurred whereupon it will be passed on to the Custodian of the system. If it is not clear where to report the problem, it may be sent to Information Technology Services will redirect the incident to the appropriate person(s) for action or will handle it directly.
  • Use of the system is subject to monitoring for security and network management reasons. All e-mail and Internet use is subject to review by Goddard administration if it determines, in its sole discretion, that such review is necessary to support its policies and programs and to safeguard the College’s systems and equipment. Use of e-mail and/or the Internet through the College’s system by a user constitutes the user’s consent to such review. Please remember that there is no absolute privacy on the College’s systems.  Both internal and external e-mail is routinely saved and stored by the network’s backup systems (even those messages that you have deleted), and may be able to be retrieved many months or years after they have been generated.

Code of Practice for Illegal Activity and Objectionable Material

Illegal Activity

In general, it is inappropriate use to store and/or give access to Information on Goddard College computing and networking facilities that could result in legal action against Goddard College.

Objectionable Material

Goddard College’s computing and networking facilities must not be used for the transmission, obtaining possession, demonstration, and advertisement or requesting the transmission of objectionable material knowing it to be objectionable material.

Restricted Software and Hardware

Users should not knowingly possess, give to another person, install on any of the computing and networking facilities, or run, programs or other Information which could result in the violation of any Goddard College policy or the violation of any applicable license or contract. This is directed towards but not limited to software known as viruses, Trojan horses, worms, password breakers, and packet sniffers. Authorization to possess and use Trojan horses, worms, viruses and password breakers for legitimate research or diagnostic purposes can be obtained from Information Technology Services.

The unauthorized physical connection of monitoring devices to the computing and networking facilities, which could result in the violation of Goddard College policy or applicable licenses or contracts, is inappropriate use. This includes but is not limited to the attachment of any electronic device to the computing and networking facilities for the purpose of monitoring data, packets, signals or other information. Authorization to possess and use such hardware for legitimate diagnostic purposes must be obtained from Information Technology Services.

Copying and Copyrights

Users of the computing and networking facilities must abide by Goddard College Copyright Policy, which covers copyright issues pertaining to Goddard College faculty, staff and students as well as commissioned works of non-employees. Users should also be aware of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), which is a federal statute that limits an online service provider’s liability for copyright infringement claims based solely on the online service provider’s automated copying, storing and dissemination functions.

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is essential to academic discourse. This tenet applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It includes respect for the right to acknowledgment and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. If copyright exists, as in most situations, it includes the right to determine whether the work may be reproduced at all. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced or altered, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computing and networking environments. Viewing, listening to or using another person’s information without authorization is inappropriate use of the facilities. Standards of practice apply even when this information is left unprotected.

Harassment

Goddard College policy prohibits sexual and discriminatory harassment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, marital/civil union status, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran/uniformed service status, disability or other legally protected classification. Goddard’s computing and networking facilities are not to be used to engage in discriminatory harassment.

Regardless of whether a person’s protected class is involved, Goddard College’s computing and networking facilities are not to be used to libel, slander, or harass any other person.

The following constitute examples of Computer Harassment:

  • Intentionally using the computer to annoy, harass, terrify, intimidate, threaten, offend or bother another person by conveying obscene language, pictures, materials that are harassing or degrading on the basis of a protected classification, e.g. sexual orientation, or other materials or threats of bodily harm to the recipient or the recipient’s immediate family.
  • Intentionally using the computer to contact another person repeatedly with the intent to annoy, harass, or bother, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and/or where no purpose of legitimate communication exists, and where the recipient has expressed a desire for the communication to cease.
  • Intentionally using the computer to contact another person repeatedly regarding a matter for which one does not have a legal right to communicate, once the recipient has provided reasonable notice that they desire such communication to cease (such as debt collection).
  • Intentionally using the computer to disrupt or damage the academic, research, administrative, or related pursuits of another.
  • Intentionally using the computer to access and display materials that are graphically violent or that otherwise violate state or federal laws, e.g., child pornography crimes, or Goddard College Community rules.
  • Intentionally using the computer to invade the privacy, academic or otherwise, of another or the threatened invasion of the privacy of another.
  • The display of offensive material in any publicly accessible area is likely to violate Goddard College harassment policy.
  • There are materials available on the Internet and elsewhere that some members of Goddard College community will find offensive. One example is sexually explicit or violent graphics. Goddard College cannot restrict the availability of such material, but it considers its display in a publicly accessible area to be inappropriate. Public display includes, but is not limited to, publicly accessible computer screens and printers.

Wasting Resources

It is inappropriate use to deliberately perform any act, which will impair the operation of any part of the computing and networking facilities or deny access by legitimate users to any part of them. This includes but is not limited to wasting resources, tampering with components or reducing the operational readiness of the facilities.

The willful wasting of computing and networking facilities resources is inappropriate use. Wastefulness includes but is not limited to passing chain letters, willful generation of large volumes of unnecessary printed output or disk space, willful creation of unnecessary multiple jobs or processes, or willful creation of heavy network traffic. In particular, the practice of willfully using Goddard College’s computing and networking facilities for the establishment of frivolous and unnecessary chains of communication connections is an inappropriate waste of resources.

The sending of random mailings (“junk mail”) or very large mailings (“spam”) is discouraged. It is poor etiquette at best, and harassment at worst, to deliberately send unwanted mail messages to strangers. Recipients of such mail should contact the appropriate local support person.

Limited recreational game playing that involves use of the College’s network, that is not part of an authorized and assigned research or instructional activity, is tolerated (within the parameters of each department’s rules). Goddard College computing and network services are not to be used for extensive or competitive recreational game playing. Recreational game players occupying a seat in a public computing facility must give up that computing position when others who need to use the facility for academic or research purposes are waiting.

Commercial Use

In support of its mission, Goddard College provides Goddard College computing and network facilities. It is inappropriate to use campus computing facilities (including printers) and email/networking facilities for:

  • Commercial gain or placing a third party in a position of commercial advantage;
  • Any non-Goddard College related activity, including non-Goddard College related communications;
  • Commercial advertising or sponsorship except where such advertising or sponsorship is clearly related to or supports the mission of Goddard College or the service being provided; or
  • Direct political lobbying or other political activity except if part of an approved academic project with the College.

This paragraph is not intended to restrict free speech or to restrict Goddard College from setting up communication/discussion servers or other services specifically designated for the purpose of fostering an “electronic community” with the wider community Goddard College serves. These designated Information servers should normally conform to Goddard College IT Security Policy of which this Code of Practice is a part.

This paragraph is not intended to restrict free speech or to restrict Goddard College from setting up Information servers or other services specifically designated for the purpose of fostering an “electronic community” with the wider community Goddard College serves. These designated Information servers should normally conform to Goddard College IT Security Policy of which this Code of Practice is a part.

Use for Personal Business

Goddard College computing and network facilities may not be used in connection with compensated outside work nor for the benefit of organizations not related to Goddard College, except in connection with scholarly pursuits (such as academic publishing activities), in accordance with Goddard College Consulting Policy or in a purely incidental way. This and any other incidental use (such as electronic communications or storing data on single-user machines) must not interfere with other users’ access to resources (computer cycles, network bandwidth, disk space, printers, etc.) and must not be excessive.

Additional Guidelines at Local Sites

Goddard College computing and network facilities are composed of many “sites.” Each site may have local rules and regulations that govern the use of computing and network facilities at that site. Each site has operators, consultants, and/or supervisors who have been given the responsibility to supervise the use of that site. Each site has an administrator with overall policy responsibility for the site. Users are expected to cooperate with these individuals and comply with Goddard College and local site policies. Site policies may be more restrictive than Goddard College policy. It is the intention that Goddard College IT Security Policy represents a minimum standard. Local administrators may impose more restrictive policies, which become their responsibility to administer.

Connection to the Campus-Wide Data Network

Most campus buildings are included in the Campus Network. To maintain the integrity of Goddard College computing and network facilities, connections to the campus network are made only by specialized personnel under the direction of the Information Technology Services. Users are only allowed to attach appropriate equipment only at existing user-connection points. All requests for additional Network connections or for the relocation of a connection should be directed to Information Technology Services.

Use of Desktop Systems

Users are responsible for the security and integrity of information stored on their personal desktop system. This responsibility includes making regular disk backups, controlling physical and network access to the machine, and installing and using virus protection software. Users should avoid storing passwords or other information that can be used to gain access to other campus computing resources. Users should not store Goddard College passwords or any other confidential data or information on their laptop or home PC or associated floppy disks or CD’s.

Use of External Services

Networks and telecommunications services and administrative systems and services to which Goddard College maintains connections have established acceptable use standards. It is the user’s responsibility to adhere to the standards of such networks. Goddard College cannot and will not extend any protection to users should they violate the policies of an external network.

Printouts

Users are responsible for the security and privacy of printouts of Goddard College information.

Violations and Reporting

Violations of these conditions include but are not limited to unauthorized use of another user’s account; tampering with other users’ files, tapes, or passwords; harassment of other users; unauthorized alteration of computer charges; unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted or licensed software or data; deliberately wasteful practices; and online behavior that intimidates, offends or otherwise transgresses Goddard College Community Rules. Such violations are unethical, violate Goddard College policy and/or are potentially unlawful. Users should report such violations to the individual in charge of their computing resource information. Users can also report misuse and abuse of computer resources to Information Technology Services.

 

Page last updated: 10-17-14/jtm.