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Acceptable Use Policy

Guiding Principles
The information technology (IT) resources of Elizabethtown College primarily support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the College. These resources include, but are not limited to, the facilities of the Department of Information and Technology Services, the campus wide network, e-mail, the World Wide Web, voice mail, and departmental and public computing facilities and related services.

The College "electronic community" is encouraged to make innovative and creative use of IT in support of education and research, and for the interest, information, and enlightenment of the Elizabethtown College community. All users of Elizabethtown IT - students, faculty, and staff - are to understand and acknowledge that they have access to valuable College resources, to sensi­tive data and to external networks. It is expected that all members of the Eliza­bethtown College electronic community will function in the same way as the pre-electronic community did, practicing the right of free speech and consider­ing the rights of intellectual property in a responsible manner which respects the privacy, the opinions, and the property of others. Respect and courtesy are just as applicable to uses of IT as they are to the published and spoken word. Consequently, it is important for all Elizabethtown IT users to behave in a responsible, ethical and legal manner consistent with the spirit of the College's Pledge of Integrity as well as state and federal laws.

Use of Elizabethtown College Technology Resources
Policies regarding responsible use of College-owned information technology resources reflect the same principles that apply to general behavior throughout the College. Users are encouraged to refer to the Student Handbook, the Employee Handbook, and the Faculty Handbook. The constitutional right of free speech applies to all members of the Elizabethtown College electronic community. As this notion does not imply an abdication of personal responsibility, members of the community are expected to behave ethically in this community and to respect the diversity and privacy of people within and outside the electronic community. Behavior or acts that violate College IT policies and principles will be addressed and adjudicated by the appropriate College judicial or administrative body and could result in the loss of privileges. Users are also reminded that privacy in not guaranteed on the Internet nor is it guaranteed on the campus network.  This is particularly true it you choose to use our open Wi-Fi network, which is vulnerable to sniffers that may gain access to your personal communications and passwords.

The following list, while not exhaustive, provides Elizabethtown College IT users with specific policies for responsible and ethical behavior:

  • Use only the computers, computer accounts, and computer files for which you have authorization. Do not use another individual's ID or account, or attempt to capture or guess other IT user's passwords.
  • IT users are individually responsible for all use of resources assigned to them; therefore, sharing of IDs is prohibited. Individuals are responsible for the use of any computer or other device that is registered in their name even if someone else is using the device.
  • Do not attempt to access restricted portions of the operating system, security software, servers, or networks unless authorized by the appropriate College administrator. Breaking into computers and networks is explicitly prohibited.
  • Abide by all state and federal laws, including those applicable to copyright and licensing.
  • Use appropriate standards of civility when using IT to communicate with other individuals. When sending messages to other IT users or posting messages to news boards identify yourself as the sender. Using Elizabethtown College IT to harass other individuals is explicitly prohibited.
  • Be sensitive to the needs of other IT users. For example, use computer labs for only the most essential tasks during periods of peak demand.
  • Do not, send personal or non-College related messages to large numbers of individuals nor send chain letters, a crippling number of files across the network (e.g. e-mail "bombing"), or upload/download substantial amounts of MP3 music files. These are all examples of activities that cause network congestion and interfere with the work of others, and thus are not allowed. (Please see the section below on distribution of copyrighted files.)
  • Do not destroy or damage any IT equipment, networks, or software.
  • The introduction of computer code that compromises the integrity of a system, such as viruses and worms, into the College computing environment or into other computing environments via the Elizabethtown College network is prohibited.
  • Keep your operating system as current as possible by frequently checking for patches and updates. Computers without current patches will be unable to use campus networking resources.
  • Download the latest version of the Symantec Endpoint Protection software from the college web site. Computers without this software installed will be unable to use campus networking resources.
  • The following devices are prohibited on the Elizabethtown College net work unless they have been installed or approved by the ITS Department: Wireless access points, DNS and DDNS devices, DHCP servers, network/port scanners, packet sniffing tools or network data capture applications, modems, network routers, wireless printer, VPN servers, patch cables connected from room to room or patch cables exceeding 25 feet in length.
  • Campus users may request permission from the ITS network staff to connect network switches/hubs, NAT devices, proxy servers, and firewall devices by contacting the ITS Department at helpdesk@etown.edu.

Electronic Communications
Electronic communications, including electronic mail, mailboxes, Internet, and contents created or stored on the College's computer/network related equipment, are the sole property of Elizabethtown College. Use of the College's computer/network related equipment is a privilege, not a right, and activities that may be acceptable on your personal home account may not be acceptable when using the College equipment/network. Furthermore, all contents on College's computer/network related equipment and network are subject to the College's policies as well as federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

System administrators may require access to otherwise personal files maintained on the campus network as part of regular system maintenance and back-ups, to periodically verify that software and hardware are working correctly, to look for particular kinds of data or software (such as computer viruses), or to audit the use of university resources. In undertaking these efforts, however, IT staff do not access the contents of the communications.

Additionally, the College, through its authorized Administrators, reserves the right to gain access to a user's network correspondence or files maintained on the campus network, whether relating to Elizabethtown College business or that may otherwise be considered personal in nature, for legitimate business and educational purposes, including but not limited to: investigations into suspected or alleged violations of College policy or federal, state, or local laws, investigations into inappropriate use of college equipment; investigations into claims of wrongdoing; locating information stored in files required for the conduct of business; and/or in response to a subpoena or other valid legal process.

Distribution of Copyrighted Files
Elizabethtown College receives notices from The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and others that represent copyright holders regarding the illegal distribution of copyrighted files such as music and movies. These notices indicate that a computer on our campus network was making copyrighted content available for distribution. Per the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the college is legally obligated to attempt to find the owner of the computer and to have the infringing files removed.

The owner of a computer containing the infringing files will be charged a fee of $50.00 to cover costs associated with the College responding to the copyright holder, searching the server logs for relevant information and corresponding with the person that owns the offending computer. The fee for each subsequent offense will be $100. These fees are for normal situations. Should extensive time be involved for a special situation, a fee will be levied to cover the cost of the staff time. A third violation will result in the issue being referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for resolution through the student judicial process.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires us to inform students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at 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.

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