Acceptable Use Policy for Technology Resources
It is the policy of Thiel College to maintain network access for the campus community to local, national, and international sources of information and to provide an atmosphere that encourages access to knowledge and sharing of information.
It is also the policy of the College that members of the campus community will use information resources with respect for the public trust through which they have been provided and in accordance with policies and regulations established from time to time by the College, its operating units, and appropriate legal authorities.
In accordance with the above policies, the following guidelines, which are not to be considered exhaustive, have been established for usage of all services that are part of the campus network. Decisions on whether particular uses are or are not appropriate will be made by Thiel College.
1. Every member of the Thiel community - student, faculty, staff - is provided a network ID and password which provides access to the Internet, E-mail, and the campus computer network. A person's network ID and e-mail address remains active as long as that person is a current employee or student of Thiel. Once a person is no longer an employee or student of Thiel, that person's e-mail and network account is considered expired and may be deleted.
2. The user agrees to hold Thiel harmless for any detriment that may accrue when that account is suspended and/or deleted. It is understood that account holders will primarily use their e-mail to further their educational objectives at Thiel College.
3. Access to the Thiel campus network is a privilege, not a right, and must be treated as such. Any account holder who, without authorization, accesses, uses, destroys, alters, prevents rightful access to or otherwise interferes with the integrity of computer-based information and/or information resources attained through the Internet has engaged in unethical and unacceptable conduct and is therefore open to forfeiture of the network account and/or disciplinary action by the College and/or appropriate legal authorities.
4. It is the responsibility of all account holders to guard against abuses of the campus network. These include, but are not limited to, keeping your password confidential, changing your password regularly, respecting the privacy of others, respecting the legal protection provided by copyright and licensing of programs, and complying with all state and federal laws governing information technology.
5. It is the intent of Thiel College to respect the privacy of electronic communications traversing its networks. However, the College does not guarantee confidentiality and may monitor at any time with or without notification any network activity occurring on College equipment or accounts. In order to maintain, repair, or develop the campus network, certain individuals will have special access privileges to hardware and software and therefore to the content that resides in those resources. While efforts will be made to respect the confidentiality of such information by these individuals, the account holder should exercise discretion when saving or writing electronic communications. The College's statement on privacy and access to information is available at http://www.thiel.edu/admin/info_tech/cips-policy.htm.
6. Thiel College encourages open and active participation on the Internet by account holders. At no time may the account holder present him or herself as a representative of Thiel College unless given explicit written permission, nor does the College accept any responsibility for the contents of such communications.
7. The College’s computing resources may not be used for illegal or unlawful purposes, including, but not limited to, copyright infringement, obscenity, pornography, libel, slander, fraud, defamation, plagiarism, harassment, forgery, impersonation, computer tampering (e.g. virus and malware distribution), and mass unsolicited emails (spam).
8. The College’s network resources may not be used in any way that violates the College's policies, rules, or administrative orders. Use of these resources in a manner which is not consistent with the mission and educational purpose of the College, misrepresents the College, or violates any College policy is prohibited.
9. No individual may view, copy, alter or destroy data, software, documentation or data communications belonging to the College, its students or employees without authorized permission.
10. Peer-to-Peer File Sharing restrictions: Thiel College prohibits any form of copyright infringement, including the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or statutory damages of not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For willful infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. More information regarding copyright is available through the U. S. Copyright Office: www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
In addition to the civil and criminal penalties outlined above, students or employees who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the College’s information technology systems may also be subject to disciplinary sanctions through the Student Life office or the Human Resources office respectively.
There are a number of organizations that provide links to Web sites offering legal alternatives for viewing music, movies, and other copyrighted materials online. Some examples include:
When College officials have reasonable cause to believe that there has been inappropriate use, College staff will take immediate remedial action. In an emergency, in order to prevent further possible inappropriate activity, Thiel College may temporarily disconnect a user from the network, if this is deemed necessary by Thiel College staff.
11. Sanctions for violation of the Thiel College Acceptable Use Policy may include, but is not limited to, temporary or permanent disconnection from the Thiel College Network Resources, suspension of a specific user's ID for up to one academic semester, or further disciplinary action as deemed necessary by the Student Life Office and/or where appropriate the Human Resources office and/or local Law Enforcement.