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Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources


Summary

This policy defines the boundaries of "acceptable use" of limited University electronic resources, specifically computers, networks, electronic mail services and electronic information sources, of the Tulane Alumni Association. It includes by reference a self-contained compilation of specific rules that can be modified as the electronic information environment evolves.

The policy is based on the principle that the electronic information environment of the Alumni Association is provided to support the University’s mission as it relates to Alumni. Other uses are secondary. Uses that threaten the integrity of the system; the function of non-University equipment that can be accessed through the system; the privacy or actual or perceived safety of others; or that are otherwise illegal are forbidden.

By using University electronic information systems you assume personal responsibility for their appropriate use and agree to comply with this policy and other applicable University policies, as well as city, state and federal laws and regulations.

The policy defines penalties leading up to and including loss of system access. In addition some activities may lead to risk of legal liability, both civil and criminal.

Users of electronic information systems are urged in their own interest to review and understand the contents of this policy.

Purposes

Tulane Alumni Association computing resources (including, but not limited to, computer facilities and services, computers, networks, electronic mail, electronic information and data, and video and voice services) are available to Tulane Alumni, faculty, students, staff, registered guests and the general public to support the mission of Tulane Alumni Association and service missions of the University.

When demand for computing resources exceed available capacity, priorities for their use will be established and enforced. Authorized Alumni Directors and staff may set and alter priorities for exclusively local computing/networking resources.

Implied Consent

Each person with access to the Alumni Association's computing resources is responsible for their appropriate use and by their use agrees to comply with all applicable University, or Alumni Association policies and regulations, and with applicable city, state and federal laws and regulations, as well as with the acceptable use policies of affiliated networks and systems.

General Standards for the Acceptable Use of Computer Resources: Failure to uphold the following General Standards for the Acceptable Use of Computer Resources constitutes a violation of this policy and may be subject to disciplinary action.

The General Standards for the Acceptable Use of Computer Resources require:

  • Responsible behavior with respect to the electronic information environment at all times;
  • Behavior consistent with the mission Of the University and with authorized activities of the University or members of the University community;
  • Respect for the principles of open expression;
  • Compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and University policies;
  • Truthfulness and honesty in personal and computer identification;
  • Respect for the rights and property of others, including intellectual property rights;
  • Behavior consistent with the Privacy and integrity of electronic networks, electronic data and information and electronic infrastructure and systems; and
  • Respect for the value and intended use of human and electronic resources.

Enforcement, and Penalties for Violation: It may at times be necessary for authorized systems administrators to suspend someone's access to Alumni Association computing resources immediately for violations of this policy. Pending interim resolution of the situation (for example by securing a possibly compromised account and/or making the owner of an account aware in person that an activity constitutes a violation). In the case of egregious and continuing violations suspension of access may be extended until final resolution by the appropriate disciplinary body.

System owners, administrators or managers may be required to investigate violations of this policy and to ensure compliance.

Interpreting this Policy

Data Stewards and Listserv Moderators

  • Chapter City Presidents will have the authority to monitor all transmissions over their respective Listservs. They have the duty to make the Alumni Affairs staff person assigned to the Communications Committee and the Chairperson of the Communications Committee aware of any breaches of the policy set forth heretofore.
  • The Communications Committee Chairman in consultation with the President of the Alumni Association has the authority to take action to attempt to stop further breaches of the heretofore Electronic Resources Policy with the most grievous action the removal of said individual from the further use of said Electronic Resources.

Specific Rules Interpreting the Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources

The following specific rules apply to all uses of Tulane Alumni Association computing resources. These rules are not an exhaustive list of proscribed behaviors, but are intended to implement and illustrate the General Standards for the Acceptable Use of Computer Resources, other relevant University policies, and applicable laws and regulations. Additional specific rules may be promulgated for the acceptable use by the Board of Directors of Tulane Alumni Association.

Content of communications

  • Except as provided by applicable City, State, or Federal laws, regulations or other University policies, the content of electronic communications is not by itself a basis for disciplinary action.
  • Unlawful communications, including threats of violence, obscenity, pornography, and harassing communications (as defined by law), are prohibited.
  • The use of Tulane Alumni Association computer resources for private business or commercial activities (except where such activities are otherwise permitted or authorized under applicable University policies), fundraising or advertising on behalf of non-University organizations, or the reselling of University computer resources to non-University individuals or organizations, and the unauthorized use of the University's name, are prohibited.

Identification of users

Anonymous and pseudonymous communications are not permitted except when expressly permitted by the operating guidelines or stated purpose of the guidelines or stated purposes of the electronic services to, from, or through which the communications are sent. An authorized system administrator, can be directed to attempt to identify the originator of anonymous/pseudonymous messages and may refer such matters to appropriate disciplinary bodies to prevent further distribution of messages from the same source.

The following activities and behaviors are prohibited:

  • Misrepresentation (including forgery) of the identity of the sender or source of an electronic communication;
  • Acquiring or attempting to acquire passwords of others;
  • Using or attempting to use the computer accounts of others;
  • Alteration of the content of a message originating from another person or computer with intent to deceive; and
  • The unauthorized deletion of another person’s postings.

Access to computer resources:

  • The use of restricted-access University computer resources or electronic information without or beyond one's level of authorization;
  • The interception or attempted interception of communications by parties not explicitly intended to receive them;
  • Making Alumni Association computing resources available to individuals not affiliated with the Tulane University or Tulane Alumni Association without approval of an authorized Alumni official;
  • Making available any materials the possession or distribution of which is illegal;
  • The unauthorized copying or use of licensed computer software;
  • Intentionally compromising the Privacy or security of electronic information; and
  • Intentionally infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others in computer programs or electronic information (including plagiarism and unauthorized use or reproductions

Operational integrity

The following activities and behaviors are prohibited:

  • Interference with or disruption of the computer or network accounts, services, or equipment of others, including, but not limited to, the propagation of computer "worms" and "viruses", the sending of electronic chain mail, and the inappropriate sending of "broadcast" messages to large numbers of individuals or hosts;
  • Failure to comply with requests from appropriate Alumni officials to discontinue activities that threaten the operation or integrity of computers, systems or networks, or otherwise violate this policy;
  • Revealing passwords or otherwise permitting the use by others (by intent or negligence) of personal accounts for computer and network access;
  • Altering or attempting to alter files or systems without authorization;
  • Unauthorized scanning of networks for security vulnerabilities;
  • Attempting to alter any Alumni computing or networking components (including, but not limited to, bridges, routers, and hubs) without authorization or beyond one's level of authorization;
  • Unauthorized wiring, including attempts to create unauthorized network connections, or any unauthorized extension or re-transmission of any computer or network services;
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying the integrity of electronic information;
  • Intentionally disrupting the use of electronic networks or information systems;
  • Intentionally wasting human or electronic resources; and
  • Negligence leading to the damage of University electronic information, computing/networking equipment and resources.

Applicable laws

Computer and network use is also subject to Louisiana and Federal laws and regulations. Suspected violations of applicable law are subject to investigation by Alumni Affairs and/or University and/or law enforcement officials. Among the applicable laws are:

  • Federal Copyright Law: U.S. copyright law grants authors certain exclusive rights of reproduction, adaptation, distribution, performance, display, attribution and integrity to their creations, including works of literature, photographs, music, software, film and video. Violations of copyright laws include, but are not limited to, the making of unauthorized copies of any copyrighted material (such as commercial software, text, graphic images, audio and video recordings) and distributing copyrighted materials over computer networks or through other means.
  • Federal Wire Fraud Law: Federal law prohibits the use of interstate communications systems (phone, wire, radio, or television transmissions) to further an illegal scheme or to defraud.
  • Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Law: Federal law prohibits unauthorized access to, or modification of information in computers containing national defense, banking, or financial information.
  • Federal Child Pornography Laws: Federal laws prohibit the creation, possession, or distribution of graphic depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity, including computer graphics. Computers storing such information can be seized as evidence.
  • Pyramid schemes / Chain Letters: It is a violation of the Federal Postal Lottery Statute to send chain letters which request sending money or something of value through the U.S. mail. Solicitations through electronic messaging are also illegal, if they require use of U.S. mail for sending money/something of value.
  • Defamation: Someone may seek civil remedies if they can show that they were clearly identified as the subject of defamatory messages and suffered damages as a consequence. Truth is a defense against charges of defamation.
  • Common law actions for invasion of privacy: Someone may take seek civil remedies for invasion of privacy on several grounds.
  • Public disclosure of private facts: the widespread disclosure of facts about a person, even when true, may be deemed harmful enough to justify a lawsuit.
  • False light: a person wrongfully attributes views or characteristics to another person in ways that damage that person’s reputation.
  • Wrongful intrusion: the law often protects those areas of a person’s life in which they can reasonably expect they will not be intruded upon.

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Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901 alumni@tulane.edu