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Computing resources policy

Note: Logging in to or otherwise connecting to the campus network implies acceptance of this Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary policy. Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary is referred to in this policy as the institution.

The institution's computing equipment and network resources are dedicated to Moravian business to enhance and support the educational mission of Moravian University. These resources include all computers, workstations and multi-user computer systems along with local area networks and wireless networks as well as connections to other computer networks via the Internet. All students, faculty and staff are responsible for using the institution's computing resources in a safe, effective, ethical, and lawful manner.

Use of the institution's computer equipment and peripherals is a privilege that is available to users for occasional use on personal, important issues provided such use does not interfere with the job responsibilities of the individual or others. Students' personally-owned computers, storage devices, and other peripherals are not included in the above statement. However, any data transmitted over institutional assets or connections made through institutional assets are included. The institution has the right to inspect information stored on its system at any time, for any reason, and users cannot and should not have any expectation of privacy with regard to any data, documents, electronic mail messages, or other computer files created or stored on computers within or connected to the institution's network. All Internet data composed, transmitted, or received through the institution's computer system is considered part of the institution's records, and as such, subject at any time to disclosure to institutional officials, law enforcement, or third parties.

The institution reserves the right to monitor user activities on all institutional computer systems and to monitor communications utilizing the institution's network to ensure compliance with institutional policy and with federal, state, and local law. Monitoring shall be performed only by individuals specifically authorized by the vice president for human resources and will collect only the minimum data necessary to meet institutional requirements. Data collected through monitoring shall be made accessible only to individuals authorized by the vice president for human resources. These individuals are responsible for maintaining its confidentiality.

The intent of this Acceptable Use Policy is to give an overview of acceptable and unacceptable uses of the institution's computing resources without exhaustively enumerating all such uses and misuses. This statement is intended as an addition to existing policies concerning academic honesty and the use of facilities.

The predominant goal of this policy is to safeguard the institution's computing resources, promote honesty, respect for individuals, and respect for both physical and intellectual property. All expectations regarding academic honesty and professional ethics extend to assignments completed in electronic form. It is never permitted to use another person's computer authorization for any purpose or to provide one's own authorization to another person. It is never permitted to access someone else's work without explicit permission. It is not permitted to engage in any activity that would harass others or impede their work. All members of the campus community are required to adhere to all copyright laws. As part of the Internet community, students connecting their computers to the institution's network are required to take reasonable precautions against viruses, spyware, and adware.

While the institution makes every effort to maintain the security of its systems, it should be noted that there is no guarantee of privacy of electronically stored information or electronic mail. Users of institution-operated computing resources should be aware that IT actively monitors and scans its network for unauthorized network devices and services such as network switches and wireless access points, but the University makes no representation or warranty that the system is secure or that privacy of stored or transmitted information can be assured.

Standards of ethics and behavior while computing should follow standards of ethics and behavior as outlined in other institutional handbooks and policy documents. Disciplinary procedures for violations may result in curtailment of network privileges and otherwise will follow standard institutional procedures. The items below constitute examples of acceptable and unacceptable use.

Acceptable Use

  • Use consistent with the mission of the institution.
  • Use for purposes of, or in support of, education and research.
  • Use related to administrative and other support activities considered consistent with the mission of the institution.
  • Personal communications, as long as these do not interfere with the mission of the institution or overload system or network resources.

Unacceptable Use

  • Use of institutional computers or networks that violates federal, state, or local laws or statutes.
  • Providing, assisting in, or gaining unauthorized or inappropriate access to the institution's computing resources.
  • Use of institutional computers or networks for unauthorized or inappropriate access to systems, software or data at other sites.
  • Installing on the network unauthorized network devices and network services such as wireless access points, Internet address resolution servers, hubs, routers, and switches.
  • Use of institutional systems or networks to copy, store, display, prepare derivative works of, or distribute copyrighted material in any medium without the express permission of the copyright owner, except as otherwise allowed under copyright law.
  • Installation of software on institution-owned computers that is not either in the public domain, or for which legal licensing has not been acquired by the individual user, or by the institution, either by IT or another department.
  • Activities that interfere with the ability of others to use institutional computing resources or other network connected services effectively.
  • Activities that result in the loss of another person's work or unauthorized access to another person's work.
  • Connecting one's personal computer to the institution's network without active and current anti-virus, anti-spyware, and adware protection.
  • Distribution of obscene, abusive, or threatening messages via electronic media such as e-mail or instant messaging.
  • Distribution of chain letters or broadcasting to lists of individuals in such a manner that might cause congestion of the network.
  • Use of institutional computers or networks for commercial use or profit-making enterprise, except as specifically agreed to with the institution.
  • Use inconsistent with the acceptable use policies of PenTeleData. These policies are available on the website of PenTeleData.

Institutional Internet Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Policy

Supplement to the Policy for Acceptable Use of Computing Resources

In recent years, Internet peer-to-peer file-sharing programs have made it easy to download and share music, movies, and software files. This has become a problem for this and other institutions because it encourages violation of copyright law and causes Internet traffic congestion.

In dealing with these issues, the institution will by policy and procedure:

  • Ensure for all users adequate and equitable access to the Internet for academic purposes and personal communications.
  • Respect the community's rights to privacy and confidentiality, freedom of speech, and academic freedom while using the network.
  • Educate the network-user community on the technical, legal, and ethical aspects of copyright and intellectual property.
  • Uphold copyright law as spelled out in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and elsewhere. The act defines copyright and fair use in the digital age.

The institution's Policy for Acceptable Use of Computing Resources prohibits "use of institutional systems or networks to copy, store, display, or distribute copyrighted material in any medium, or to prepare derivative works of such material, without the express permission of the copyright owner, except as otherwise allowed under copyright law." In addition to sanctions by the institution, copyright violators could be subject to felony charges under state and federal law and may be sued by the copyright holder.

Under copyright law, unless a user has express permission from the copyright holder to engage in the copying, downloading, and sharing of files, the user is in violation of the law. Peer-to-peer programs have no provision to acquire permission. In practice, therefore, their use for downloading music and movies may put network users in violation of institutional policy as well as the law.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing programs have legitimate uses for sharing information over the Internet. In addition, the Internet has allowed the democratization of the music industry, allowing musicians to distribute their works and gain audiences not possible before the Internet. However compelling they are, however, these arguments in no way absolve file-sharing users from the need to follow copyright law and respect intellectual property ownership.

The institution's IT does block peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. It does not monitor the content of network traffic. However, it does monitor traffic patterns in order to guarantee acceptable network performance for all users. If IT becomes aware of policy violations or illegal activities in the course of investigating network congestion or determining problems, it will investigate by inspecting content stored or shared on its network.

The institution's acceptable-use policy also prohibits "activities that interfere with the ability of others to use institutional computing resources or other network-connected services effectively." This may apply to peer-to-peer file-sharing programs irrespective of copyright violations, as these programs consume huge amounts of network resources.

Violators of copyright law as well as those impeding network access by others will be warned to cease and desist. Repeat offenders will have their access to the Internet blocked. If necessary, they will be turned over to the institution's judicial process.

Student Printing Policy

In an effort to reduce paper waste as part of an environmentally responsible program, control increasing operating costs, and cover toner, paper, printer maintenance, and printer purchase expenses, the institution charges students for excessive printing throughout campus. All students' printing will be tracked on all College-owned networked printers, black and white and color, in public labs, classrooms, departmental study rooms, library, etc. Students will receive a predetermined dollar allocation per semester for printing costs, and may print free of charge up to the limit of their allocation. Once they have used up their allocation they will be charged for printing, according to a schedule of charges for printing in black and white or color which is published at the beginning of the academic year. Students who have exhausted their allocation will not be able to print anywhere on campus until they add money to their printing accounts at the Office of Student Accounts during normal office hours. Students who believe they have been incorrectly charged for printing or who have encountered a mechanical malfunction, such as low toner, paper jam, or double page feed, may request a credit to their printing account. Students can check their printing account balance online.