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Policies Concerning Computer Use

The following policy contains the governing philosophy for regulating the use of Slippery Rock University's computing facilities and resources and applies to all users of such facilities and resources.  Access to the University's computing facilities and resources is a privilege granted solely to Slippery Rock University faculty, staff, registered students, and those with special accounts.  All users of the computing facilities must act responsibly and maintain the integrity of these resources.  The University reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing privileges and access to its resources. 

Those who violate the policies listed below are subject to suspension of computer privileges and possible referral to the appropriate judicial or disciplinary process. 

Information Technology should be notified about violations of laws and policies governing information use, intellectual property rights, or copyrights, as well as about potential loopholes in the security of its computer systems and networks.  The user community is expected to cooperate with the Information Technology department in its operation of computer systems and networks as well as in the investigation of misuse or abuse.  Should the security of a computer system be threatened, user files may be examined under the direction of the Information Technology and University authorities. 

The primary use of computing facilities is for academic activities.  Other non-restricted use such as entertainment is secondary and must yield to academic use.  Entertainment and other secondary uses may be restricted when they are interfering with academic use. 

Policies 

The University's computing policies include, but are not limited to, the list below.  The term "you," as used below, refers to any user of University computing facilities and resources. 

  1. You must not use a computer or network ID that was not assigned to you, unless multiple access has been authorized for the ID.  You may not try in any way to obtain a password for another user's computer or network ID.  You may not attempt to disguise the identity of the account or machine you are using. 
  2. You must not use the University's network resources to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote computers. 
  3. You must not deliberately perform an act, which will seriously impact the operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks.  This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with components of a local area network (LAN) or the high-speed backbone network, otherwise blocking communication lines, or interfering with the operational readiness of a computer. 
  4. You must not attempt to modify in any way a program or diskette which the University supplies for any type of use at its sites. 
  5. You must not knowingly run or install on any of the University's computer systems, or give to another, a program that could result in the eventual damage to a file, computer system, or information network, and/or the reproduction of itself.  This is directed towards, but not limited to, the classes of programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms. 
  6. You must not attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover/discover security loopholes. 
  7. You must abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements and copyright laws.  In particular, you must not make copies of copyrighted software, unless the University has a site license specifically allowing the copying of that software.  Furthermore, you must not copy site-licensed software for distribution to persons other than Slippery Rock University faculty, staff, and students, nor may you copy site-licensed software for use at locations not covered under the terms of the license agreement. 
  8. You must not deliberately perform acts which are wasteful of computing resources or which unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others.  These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, creating unnecessary multiple jobs or processes, obtaining unnecessary output, or printing or creating unnecessary network traffic.  Printing multiple copies of any document including resumes, theses, and dissertations is also prohibited. 

    Information Techonology's Help Desk: Policy on Computer Downloading
  9. The following type of information or software cannot be placed on any University-owned computer system: 
    1. a. that which infringes upon the rights of another person. 
    2. that which may injure someone else and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges; examples of these are:  pirated software, destructive software, pornographic materials, or libelous statements. 
    3. that which consists of any advertisements for commercial enterprises. 
  10. You must not harass others by sending annoying, threatening, or libelous messages, or sexually, racially, or religiously offensive messages.  This includes all materials deemed offensive by existing University code of conduct or similar laws. 
  11. You must not attempt to monitor another user's data communications, nor may you read, copy, change, or delete another user's files or software, without permission of the owner. 
  12. You must not use any of the University's microcomputers, workstations, or networks for other than a Slippery Rock University course, research project, work-related activity, departmental activity, or interpersonal communications.  These resources must not be used for personal or financial gain. 
  13. Any network traffic exiting the University is subject to the acceptable use policies of the network through which it flows  (PREPnet, NSFNET, SSHEnet, etc.), as well as to the policies listed here. 
  14. Existing University policies such as the Sexual Harassment policy, the Student Disciplinary Policy, the Facilities Use Policy, etc., listed in University publications, will be enforced as they relate to a violation of the Computer Use Policy. 

Reminders 

Violation of one or more of these published policies will result in a loss of access to the University computing systems with possible referral to the appropriate judicial or disciplinary process. 

Offenders may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state law, and should expect the Information Technology department and the University to pursue such action.  As an example, under Pennsylvania law, it is a felony punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and imprisonment up to seven years for any person to access, alter or damage any computer system, network, software or database, or any part thereof, with the intent to interrupt the normal functioning of an organization (1 8Pa.C.S. 3933(a)(1)).  Disclosing a password to a computer system, network, etc., knowingly and without authorization, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to five years, as is intentional and unauthorized access to a computer, interference with the operation of a computer or network, or alteration of computer software (18 Pa.C.S. 3933(a)(2) and (3)).

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