Statement of Policy

1. Ethical and Responsible Use of the Network/Internet

a. Usage of the Coastal Alabama Community College Network System is on an at-will basis. Coastal Alabama Community College and the Technology Services Department will not be responsible for any damage to person or property from the use of the Coastal Alabama Community College Network System.

b. The Coastal Alabama Network System – including email service, internet service, and college-provided equipment – is the property of the State of Alabama and is not intended for personal use. It is not acceptable to use College resources for purposes which violate any federal or state law or College Policy; are harmful or harassing to others; disrupt normal network use and service; execute for-profit commercial activities or business transactions; or constitute political campaigning.

c. All users are accountable for use of resources in an effective, ethical, and lawful manner. Users are prohibited from accessing the Internet for any unethical or immoral purpose, including any activity associated with pornography, obscenity, violence, gambling, racism, harassment, personal gain, or any illegal activity. Users are discouraged from using profanity or vulgarity when posting electronic mail via the Internet or posting to public forums (i.e., newsgroups). Any electronic mail sent through postings to public newsgroups must fall within these ethical standards.

d. All users must abide by all federal and state laws with regard to information sent through the Internet. Unauthorized release or disclosure of information through the Internet or through any other means is strictly prohibited. Proprietary or confidential information pertaining to the college shall not be transmitted over the Internet.

e. Users are forbidden from engaging in any activity which is in violation of the Code of Alabama (1975) §§ 36-25-1 through 36-25-30, as amended (the “State Ethics Law”), or which, in the opinion of the Coastal Alabama Community College administration, may be contrary to such law.

2. User Access/Password Assignment and Confidentiality

a. Under the terms of this policy, employees of the College are given access to the Coastal Alabama Community College Network System. If network resource access (such as network attached storage or email) is required, a user ID and password will be assigned to the employee by the Technology Services Department.

b. The username and password, including those used to access email or an instructional platform such as CANVAS, are the responsibility of the individual to whom they are assigned. Employees are responsible for network account use and password confidentiality. Use of an employee account by another employee or student is prohibited. Any individual other than the person to whom they are assigned shall not use the username and password or any other assigned authorization. Violations of this policy or any other policy through the unauthorized use of the username and password subjects the individual to whom the username and password are assigned to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

c. Users should not leave a computer logged on when vacating a workstation. The user is responsible for his or her account and any content left on the computer. Leaving an unattended logged-on computer puts the user and the institution at risk.

d. In the event Coastal Alabama Community College no longer employs an individual, it is the responsibility of the Technology Services Department to close the former employee’s account.

e. Proper identification must be used in any electronic correspondence, and valid, traceable identification provided if required by applications or servers within the Coastal Alabama Community College computing facilities.

3. Software

a. To prevent computer viruses from being transmitted through the system, no unauthorized downloading or installation of any software is permitted. Software downloads and installation shall be done only after approval and/or assistance from the appropriate Technology Services Personnel.

b. Streaming media and music and video downloads are prohibited unless authorized by the appropriate Technology Services Personnel.

c. Point to point (P2P) file sharing is prohibited unless authorized by the appropriate Technology Services Personnel.

4. Copyright Issues

a. All College network/Internet users must adhere to the copyright laws regarding software, data, and authored files. Users may not transmit copyrighted materials belonging to entities other than this college. Users should exercise caution when downloading material from an Internet source as such action may constitute violation of copyright laws.

b. It is permitted for Web pages to be printed and material downloaded from the Internet for informational purposes as long as the purpose for such copying falls into the category of “fair use.” “Fair use” is defined as the doctrine that copyright material may be quoted verbatim, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

c. The College is not responsible for copyright infringement by a user. Such responsibility shall lie solely with the user.

d. Users found guilty of copyright infringement shall be subject to disciplinary action, including possible suspension, expulsion, or termination.

e. Congress enacted the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act in 1997. The NET Act makes it a federal crime to reproduce, distribute, or share copies of electronic copyrighted works such as songs, movies, or software programs, even if the person copying or distributing the material acts has no intention of receiving profit. Electronic copyright infringement carries a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

5. Personally Owned Computer Hardware/Software

a. Personally owned software cannot be loaded onto a college-owned computer unless it is directly related to the job position and is approved by the appropriate Technology Services Personnel. If any approved personally-owned computer software is loaded onto a college-owned computer, the license and documents must remain with the college computer on campus in the event of an audit.

b. Computer hard drives may not be installed or removed without the express written consent of authorized Technology Services Personnel.

6. Privacy of Information

a. Information passing through or stored on any Coastal Alabama Community College electronic network or computer system may be seen by others for a variety of reasons. Routine administration, management, or audit functions may require information stored or transmitted via Coastal Alabama Community College computers and networks to be intercepted or monitored. Electronic transactions may be subject to seizure and inspection by Coastal Alabama Community College without notice. All users should fully understand that except where protected by state or federal law, or by college policy no expectation of privacy may be assumed concerning information communicated over or stored on Coastal Alabama Community College electronic systems.

b. Users should respect the privacy of others, including, but not limited to, abstaining from unauthorized access to email, files, data, and transmissions.

c. All users should be aware of and comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as well as its restrictions on the use and dissemination of personal and academic information.

7. Computer Crimes

The Alabama Computer Crime Act, codified at Code of Alabama (1975) § 3A-8-100 through 13A-8-103, makes it a crime for a person to damage, or without authorization to modify computer equipment, computer networks, and computer programs and supplies or without authorization to access, examine, or use computer data and programs, and provides for punishment up to a Class B Felony. Federal law also makes it a crime to access computers or computer networks devoted in part to Federal purposes without proper authorization. Any violation of such State or Federal laws respecting computers shall also constitute a violation of the Coastal Alabama Community College Policy for Acceptable Use of Technology Resources. Furthermore, this policy prohibits various actions (described below) which may or may not constitute a crime.