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Computer Use TAB

 
Preamble Guiding Principles
Responsibilities Administration and Implementation

PREAMBLE

This policy is designed to guide students, academic and administrative staff in the acceptable use of computer and information systems and networks provided by Australian Catholic University. For the purposes of this policy, Australian Catholic University's information technology resources are considered to be a part of the global Internet. The current version of this document is maintained on the ACU Intranet site: http://www.intranet.acu.edu.au

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The Internet as well as computer facilities in general are important resources that the University makes available to staff and students with the understanding that they are used for research, teaching and community services in agreement with the University mission and mandate. It is therefore the responsibility of the user to make appropriate use of these facilities. Whatever the usage, the University expects the user to show that the use of these facilities is fully compatible with this guiding principle. In case of doubt it is for the user to prove that the facilities are used properly. Conversely the University has the right to establish that they are being misused.

Given the above understanding the University community is encouraged to make innovative and creative use of information technologies in support of education and research and will generally be provided with Internet access.

Access to information representing a multitude of views on current and historical issues is allowed for the information and enlightenment of the University community. Consistent with other University policies, this policy is intended to respect the rights of individuals and articulate the obligations of academic freedom.

The University recognises that the purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the creators of intellectual property and to prevent the unauthorised use of commercial products.

Also consistent with other University policies, equality of access to computer materials shall not be denied or reduced without justified reason for doing so.

The University cannot guarantee the protection of individuals against the existence or receipt of material that may be offensive to them. As such, those who make use of electronic communications are warned that they may traverse or be recipients of material they find offensive.

Those who use email and/or make information about themselves available on the Internet can rest assured that the University will make every reasonable effort to protect them from invasions of privacy and other possible dangers that could result from the individual's distribution of personal information. However, the University cannot always protect users from those practised in the art of technological abuse.

The computing and network facilities of the University are limited and should be used wisely and carefully with consideration for the rights of others. Computers and network systems offer powerful tools for communication amongst members of the community and of communities outside the University. When used appropriately, these tools can enhance dialogue and understanding. When used unlawfully or inappropriately, however, these tools may infringe on the beliefs or rights of others.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Access to computer facilities at ACU is a right and privilege that carries associated responsibilities. The following examples specify some of the responsibilities that accompany computer use at ACU and/or on networks to which the University is connected.

1. ACU computing and network resources are to be used only for University-related research, instruction, learning, dissemination of scholarly information and administrative activities unless otherwise determined by the University.

2. Users may not attempt to modify the University system or network facilities or attempt to crash systems. They must not tamper with any software protection or restrictions placed on computer applications or files.

3. Staff and students are not permitted to gain access to the Internet other than through an authorised account registered in their name. Users must not supply false or misleading data nor improperly obtain another's password in order to gain access to computers or network systems, data or information. The negligence or naivete of another user in revealing an account name or password does not constitute authorised use. Users should not attempt to subvert the restrictions associated with their computer accounts.

4. Users are responsible for all use of their computer account(s). They should make appropriate use of the system and network-provided protection features and take precautions against others obtaining access to their computer resources. Individual password security is the responsibility of each user.

5. Users may not encroach on others' use of computer resources. Such activities would include, but are not limited to, party-political activities; tying up computer resources for game playing or other trivial applications; sending harassing or frivolous messages, such as chain letters, junk mail and other types of broadcast material, either locally or over the Internet; using without thought excessive amounts of storage; intentionally introducing any computer viruses or other rogue programs to Australian Catholic University hardware or software; physically damaging systems.

6. Users are responsible for making use of software and electronic materials in accordance with copyright and licensing restrictions and applicable University policies. Australian Catholic University equipment and software may not be used to violate copyright or the terms of any licence agreement. No one may inspect, modify, distribute or copy proprietary data, directories, programs, files, disks or other software without proper authorisation.

7. Under no circumstances will the University tolerate misuse of computer facilities for sexual harassment. While sexual harassment can occur in various ways the following examples merit specific mention:

a) use of databases in an unauthorised manner in order to obtain personal details about another staff or student;

b) composition or transmission of messages that implicitly or explicitly invite unwelcome sexual advances or request sexual favours;

c) composition or transmission of visual images of a sexual nature that are unwelcome, unsolicited or offensive.

If a person using a computer believes that he/she has been sexually harassed as a result of an electronically transmitted message it is important that the message not be erased. Rather, the origin, date, time and location of the message should be written down and a Sexual Harassment Adviser should be contacted as soon as possible so that the matter can be dealt with according to the University's Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment.

8. Staff and students must not purport to express views on behalf of the University without official authorisation to do so, or to cause another person to reasonably misconstrue that a personal view represents the official position of the University.

9. Users must remember that information distributed through the University's computing and networking facilities is a form of publishing, and many of the same standards apply. The Director of Marketing has responsibility for ensuring that University standards for publishing information about the University are met.

10. Staff operating personal home pages must do so in accordance with policies on the Use of ACU servers. The Dean of the Faculty, Directorate/Unit Head or his/her delegate may require that these Personal Home Pages conform to faculty/unit policy and must have the content approved by the Dean of the Faculty or National Director/Unit Head. Personal Home Pages that place unreasonable demands on resources may be disabled until resource requirements are reduced. Web space for Academic Staff’s personal home pages is available from the Library and should conform to the policy approved by the Library Committee.

11. The use of University Internet resources for commercial purposes is expressly forbidden unless it is for the authorised commercial activities of the University.

 

ADMINISTRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION

The University encourages all members of its community to use electronic communications in a manner that is respectful to others. While respecting users' confidentiality and privacy, the University reserves the right to examine all computer files. The University considers that such may be necessary to enforce its policies regarding harassment and the safety of individuals; to prevent the use of proprietary software or copies of electronic texts or images in disregard of copyright restrictions or contractual obligations; to safeguard the integrity of computers, networks and data either at the University or elsewhere and to protect the University against any untoward consequences.

The University may restrict the use of its computers and network systems for electronic communications when faced with evidence of violation of University policies or Federal or State laws. The University reserves the right to limit access to its networks through University-owned or other computers and to remove or limit access to material stored on University-owned computers.

All users are expected to conduct themselves consistent with these responsibilities and all other applicable University policies. Abuse of Internet access privileges may subject the user to disciplinary action, as established by the applicable operating policies and procedures of the University. Abuse of networks or computers at other sites through the use of Australian Catholic University resources will be treated as an abuse of computing privileges at this University. When appropriate, temporary restrictive actions will be taken by system or network administrators pending further disciplinary action; the loss of Internet access privileges may result.

All members of the University community are bound by Federal and State laws relating to personal rights, harassment, copyright, security and other statutes relating to electronic media.

It should be understood that this policy does not preclude action being taken against staff or students under Australian laws.