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Network Acceptable-Use Policy

Simon's Rock College -- Computer & Media Services

College policies

The Simon's Rock campus network is for the use of members of the Simon's Rock community -- students, faculty, staff, and associates of the College. Simon's Rock community members are given access to the network under the terms of this policy and the general policies of the College as published in the Catalog, the Handbook, and other policy documents. If you do not understand this policy or do not believe you can comply with it, you should arrange to discuss this with the staff of Computer & Media Services (CMS) before using the network. Violation of this policy may lead to restriction or revocation of your network access or to disciplinary proceedings. The current version of this policy is available on the CMS website at http://cms.simons-rock.edu/policy.html.

Simon's Rock is a college, not an ISP or a for-profit corporation. For this reason, users of our network are not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. You are not permitted to operate commercial web pages or other services, nor to charge money or other consideration for the use of network services you operate. You may not use our network resources to send commercial advertisements, nor to carry advertisements on web pages or other services.

The harassment policies outlined in the handbook apply to network interactions as well as to physical ones. Stalking or threatening others, as well as identity theft -- forging emails or otherwise claiming to be someone else on the Net -- are considered to be both forms of harassment and explicit violation of this policy.

Accounts

The College provides every member of the College community with an account (username and password). These accounts allow access to many web-based applications, email, and other services.

Email addresses are of the form username@simons-rock.edu with an alias of the form firstname.lastname@simons-rock.edu. Every user may choose his/her own username (within limits of propriety). Mailing lists are maintained for current students, faculty, and staff. The policies according to which messages will be approved for posting to these lists are subject to change without warning. Users may create additional mailing lists.

Members of the College community are provided with dial-up access and shell accounts (when needed) and space for storing files and creating web pages. Personal web pages must be non-commercial and clearly and accurately labeled so as to indicate the parties responsible for their content.

Accounts are given to individuals. If you permit another person to use your account on a College system, your account may be revoked. If you believe that someone else is using an account of yours, please notify the Network Administrator and change your password.

Alumni accounts are kept for at least one year after leaving Simon's Rock and for longer if they are active. Accounts for retired faculty and staff are maintained; other former faculty and staff accounts are typically removed, although exceptions are granted. Email notification and a chance to petition for exception will precede any account termination.

All College-owned systems are administered by CMS. Account activity may be monitored or restricted. Abuse of system resources, as determined by the Network Administrator, may result in the termination of the offending processes and/or the temporary disabling of a user account.

CMS respects your privacy. However, network traffic to and from College-owned server systems, as well as traffic between the campus network and the Internet, may be tracked and logged. In particular, email is scanned for viruses and spam. Additionally, in rare circumstances, data stored on College-owned systems may be inspected. Evidence of illegal network activity may be reported to the proper authorities. Users concerned about the security of personal communications or information are encouraged to use encryption systems such as PGP/GPG.

Community computers

Simon's Rock makes many computers available to the College community, in computer labs and other facilities. People who need these computers to do work have first priority in using them. Because computer facilities are used for course-related work, they are quiet areas. You are permitted to play music or noise-making games only if you are the only person in the room.

Community computers are not to be reconfigured without explicit permission from CMS. Users are not allowed to install or delete software (including filesharing software), change system settings, or otherwise reconfigure these computers. Theft and vandalism in the labs will not be tolerated.

Personal computers

Students, faculty, and staff are permitted and encouraged to connect their own computers to the campus local-area network. Before connecting a computer to the network, you must register its Ethernet hardware (MAC) address with CMS.

Once your registration has been processed, you may connect your computer to the network and set it to obtain its network configuration via DHCP. If you need any assistance connecting your computer to the network or if you need to manually enter your IP address, please contact CMS. Under no circumstance may you enter an IP address which has not been assigned to you by CMS. Use of unauthorized IP addresses constitutes theft and will be treated as such.

Your computer is your responsibility. Anything which is done on the network from your computer is also your responsibility. If you permit other people to use your computer to access the network, you must make sure that they do not abuse it. You are assumed to be knowingly present to all use made of your computer (including network traffic routed through your computer). If you need help securing your computer against unauthorized use, please contact the Computer Assistants.

Bandwidth

The capacity of a network to transmit data -- informally known as bandwidth -- is a shared and limited commodity. Network slowness, packet loss, and high latency are caused by heavy use. All users are expected to moderate their use and to refrain from monopolizing the network. Additionally, the Network Administrator monitors network traffic and takes steps to relieve overloading, so as to maintain the performance of the network. For more information about bandwidth conservation and traffic shaping, see http://cms.simons-rock.edu/bandwidth.html.

Viruses, spam, and cracking

Computer viruses (worms, trojans, etc) are a very real threat, particularly to the Microsoft Windows operating systems. The College supplies and requires the use of antivirus software on all Windows computers on the Simon's Rock network. We also require that all Windows computers be running Windows Update regularly. Because most email viruses are transmitted via Microsoft Outlook Express, we strongly discourage the use of Outlook Express and Entourage on campus.

Computers identified as having viruses, worms, or other security threats may be temporarily removed from email or Internet access. If you believe that your computer has become infected by a virus or other hostile program and are unable to remove it, please disconnect your computer from the network and contact CMS.

Unsolicited bulk email (spam) is a serious abuse of the email system and is prohibited. Sending spam onto the Internet through College systems constitutes grounds for immediate revocation of access. We take various measures to filter spam sent to Simon's Rock addresses. For more information about this filtering and how you can help prevent spam, see http://cms.simons-rock.edu/spam.html.

Breaking into other people's computers and/or accessing network services without permission are serious crimes. Users found to have made cracking attempts (successful or otherwise) may lose network access and/or be subject to disciplinary proceedings. Correspondingly, if you suspect that your computer has been broken into, you should report this to CMS.

User-operated network services

Users may request and will be allowed under certain circumstances to manually enter their IP addresses. Such users will be assigned one IP address (or more) corresponding to their hardware address. Users are prohibited from using IP addresses which have not been explicitly assigned to them by CMS. All user-owned machines on the network are assigned a hostname that clearly identifies the user's name, except when this is deemed to present privacy concerns. Additionally, student-owned machines have hostnames which clearly identify them as student machines. Users may choose an alias to their default hostnames, provided that the alias is not deemed inappropriate or already taken. CMS does not provide DNS service for hosts or domains not affiliated with the College.

Users are not allowed to operate services which can interfere with the functioning of the network. These include DHCP, DNS, WINS, Windows NT Domains, and wireless routers. Because a misconfigured mail (SMTP) server can be abused by spammers to relay spam messages, user-operated mail servers are restricted to on-campus operation only. Due to problems with Code Red, Nimda, and other worms, HTTP and HTTPS (web) servers are also restricted to on-campus access. FTP and telnet servers are similarly restricted. If you wish to run an off-campus mail or web server, you must demonstrate a need for this service and its security to the Network Administrator.

Users who operate network services should take care to secure their systems carefully. An insecure system on the campus network can act as a staging area for crackers to break into other systems; it is your responsibility to keep your system secure and not expose others to harm.

Other regulations and the law

In addition to these responsibilities, it is also your responsibility to obey the law -- Federal, state, and local -- in your use of the network. Breaking copyright, computer-crime, or other laws can carry severe civil and criminal penalties. If you break the law, Simon's Rock may be required to report it to legal authorities.

Note that legal restrictions (such as copyright) apply to materials hosted on user-operated servers and on user accounts on College systems. The latitude that community members assume for copying published documents on campus, under the legal Fair Use Doctrine, may not be extensible to off-campus publication.


Please direct all questions and comments regarding this policy to the Computer & Media Services staff at action@simons-rock.edu. For more information and assistance, refer to the CMS FAQ at http://cms.simons-rock.edu/faq/.

About this document ...

Network Acceptable-Use Policy

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Computer & Media Services