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Network Services Policies

Summary

This document constitutes a College-wide policy intended to allow for the proper use of all Maryland Institute College of Art network resources, effective protection of individual users, equitable access, and proper management of those resources. This policy applies to the use of MICA networks, telecommunications infrastructure, and electronic media and transmission facilities. These policies are intended to supplement -- not replace -- all existing laws, regulations, agreements, and contracts that currently apply to these services and are applicable in conjunction with MICA's Computer Use Policy. These policies have been developed and will be maintained by the Office of Technology with approval of and input from the appropriate College groups and individuals.Access to networks and computer systems owned or operated by MICA brings certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to College policies and local, state, and federal laws. Appropriate use should always be legal, ethical, reflect academic honesty, reflect community standards, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It should demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individual rights to privacy and to freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance. Appropriate use of computing and networking resources includes instruction, independent study, independent research, communications, and official work of the offices, departments, recognized student and campus organizations, and agencies of the College.

General Usage Policy

Authorized users may use College computing facilities and resources, including transmission over the College network, for scholarly purposes, for official College business, and for personal purposes so long as such use:

  • Does not violate any law or College policy
  • Does not involve significant use of College resources, direct costs, or substantial interference with the performance of College duties, work, or data communications networks
  • Does not result in commercial gain or private profit.

Authorized users are current faculty, staff, and students of the College or others whose access furthers the mission of the College.

Each user of College resources is encouraged to report violations of College policies to appropriate faculty or staff, Office of Technology personnel, or the Technology Help Desk. MICA has the responsibility to develop, implement, maintain, and enforce appropriate security procedures to ensure the integrity of individual and institutional information.

Privacy and Freedom

To the greatest extent possible in a public setting MICA wants to preserve the individual's privacy. Electronic and other technological methods must not be used to infringe upon privacy. Electronic mail, information passing over the College network, and information stored in user accounts are considered to be private and confidential. Although this type of information must be accessed by system personnel for the purpose of backups, network management, etc., the content of user files and network transmissions will not be viewed, monitored, or altered without the express permission of the user except in the following circumstances:

  • The College has reason to believe that an account or system has been breached and is being used by someone other than the authorized user,
  • The College has received a complaint that an account or system is being used to gain unauthorized access or to attempt to gain unauthorized access to another network site, or
  • The College has reason to believe that an account or system is being used in violation of College Policy, Federal Law, or State Law.

Under these circumstances the Vice President - Technology Systems and Services may authorize system support personnel to monitor the activities of a specified account or computer system and to search electronic information stored in that account. The authority for this search must be requested on an account-by-account basis and monitoring will be restricted to the specified account or system. If this search provides evidence of violation the account will be disabled and action taken with appropriate authorities.

The Office of Technology may conduct random, periodic monitoring of network traffic to discover potential problems and to provide for the overall efficiency of College networks and systems.

Privacy of information

No one should look at, copy, alter, or destroy anyone else's personal files without explicit permission (unless authorized or required to do so by law or regulation). Simply being able to access a file or other information does not imply permission to do so.

Freedom of expression

The constitutional right to freedom of speech applies to all members of the campus no matter the medium used. Additionally, there are limits to freedom of expression such as but not limited to: reasonable time, place and manner restrictions; invasion of privacy; obscenity; inciting or producing imminent lawless action; threats of violence; disruption of the academic environment; fighting words; vulgar, rude, and offensive speech; sexual and racial harassment. MICA computer and network users should realize that there are services available on the Internet that may be considered offensive to some. With this in mind, users take responsibility for their own navigation of the network.

Ownership of intellectual works

People creating intellectual works using MICA computers or networks, including but not limited to software, should review Intellectual Property Rights as they pertain to this type of work, and related any other MICA policies.

Freedom from harassment and undesired information

All members of the campus have the right not to be harassed by computer or network usage by others.

User Responsibilities

Users of MICA's computer and network resources, systems and hardware are required to follow specific rules and regulations and act in responsible and legal ways. MICA specifically forbids all of the following actions for any person using MICA's network systems.

  • You must not attempt to circumvent the security of the network, or other systems on the network either on- or off-campus to gain unauthorized access.
  • You must not distribute computer viruses, trojan horses, worms, or similar software or use such software with an attempt to infect or otherwise interfere with the operation of networks and network systems, whether these relate to the MICA network or not.
  • You must not infringe intellectual property rights. You must not receive nor distribute copyrighted works over the network, except as permitted in writing by the copyright owner or as part of accepted educational use.
  • You must not trade in pirated or illegal software.
  • You must not conduct political campaigning over the network, except related to student government and as permitted by any related MICA policies.
  • You must not teach, train, or demonstrate to any other person the use, application, or making of any illegal firearm, dangerous weapon, explosive, or incendiary device capable of causing injury or death to persons.

Sharing of access

Computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization are assigned to individual users and must not be shared with others. You are responsible for any use of your account.

Permitting unauthorized access

You may not run or otherwise configure software or hardware to intentionally allow access by unauthorized users

Decoding access control information

All users are prohibited from using any computer program or device to intercept or decode passwords or similar access control information.

Denial of service

Deliberate attempts to degrade the performance of a computer system or network or to deprive authorized personnel of resources or access to any College computer system or network are prohibited.

Harmful activities

The following harmful activities are prohibited: creating or propagating viruses; disrupting services; damaging files; intentional destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to MICA or other users; and the like. You may not:

  • damage computer systems
  • obtain extra resources not authorized to you
  • deprive another user of authorized resources
  • gain unauthorized access to systems by using knowledge of:
  • special password
  • loopholes in computer security systems
  • another user's password
  • access abilities you used during a previous position at the College

Unauthorized monitoring

You may not use computing resources for unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.

Academic dishonesty

You should always use computing resources in accordance with the high ethical standards of the College community. Academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating) is a violation of those standards.

Personal business

Computing facilities, services, and networks may not be used in connection with compensated outside work nor for the benefit of organizations not related to MICA, except in connection with scholarly pursuits (such as faculty publishing activities) or in a purely incidental way. This and any other incidental use (such as electronic communications or storing data on single-user machines) must not interfere with other users' access to resources (computer cycles, network bandwidth, disk space, printers, etc.) and must not be excessive. You must not conduct private commercial business over the network for personal gain or benefit. You must not distribute business advertising. You must not use "mica.edu" in the E-mail address for a business.

Mass electronic messages

Personal mass electronic messages are not allowed. If a staff or faculty member needs to send a mass e-mailing to the MICA community, the Office of Communications should be contacted at (410) 225 - 2300.

Privately owned Servers

MICA users are forbidden from operating either MICA-owned computers or privately-owned computers as servers on MICA's network without the express permission of the Office of Technology. In this case, a server will be defined as any computer configured to act as a web server, as a distribution source for music, video, software or other data files or as a controlling computer to control or monitor network activity.

Restrictions regarding MICA's Wireless Network

Users are forbidden from installing wireless base stations on MICA's network without the express permission of the Office of Technology.Individual Responsibilities Just as certain privileges are given to each member of the campus community, each of us is held accountable for our actions as a condition of continued connection in the community. The interplay of privileges and responsibilities within each individual situation and across campus engenders the trust and intellectual freedom that form the heart of our campus community. This trust and freedom are grounded on each person's developing the skills necessary to be an active and contributing individual of the campus community. These skills include awareness and knowledge about information and the technology usage.

Common courtesy and respect for rights of others

You are responsible to all other members of the campus community in many ways, including to respect and value the rights of privacy for all, to recognize and respect the diversity of the population and opinion in the community, to behave ethically, and to comply with all legal restrictions regarding the use of information that is the property of others.

Intellectual property

You are responsible for recognizing (attributing) and honoring the intellectual property rights of others.

Harassment

No member of the community may, under any circumstances, use MICA's computers or networks to libel, slander, or harass any other person. Violations will be handed in accordance with Human Resources Harassment Policy. The following shall constitute Computer Harassment:

  • Intentionally using the computer to annoy, harass, terrify, intimidate, threaten, offend or bother another person by conveying obscene language, pictures, or other materials or threats of bodily harm to the recipient or the recipient's immediate family.
  • Intentionally using the computer to contact another person repeatedly with the intent to annoy, harass, or bother, whether or not any actual message is communicated, and/or where no purpose of legitimate communication exists, and where the recipient has expressed a desire for the communication to cease.
  • Intentionally using the computer to contact another person repeatedly regarding a matter for which one does not have a legal right to communicate, once the recipient has provided reasonable notice that he or she desires such communication to cease.
  • Intentionally using the computer to disrupt or damage the academic, research, administrative, or related pursuits of another.

Responsible use of resources

Users of the network must understand that network resources ar shared resources. Users should refrain from all acts that waste or prevent others from using these resources or from using them in whatever ways have been proscribed by the College and the laws of the State and Federal governments. You are expected to take proper care of the equipment in all College facilities. Report any malfunction to MICA Help Desk immediately. Do not attempt to move, repair, reconfigure, modify, or attach external devices to the systems.

Game playing

Limited recreational game playing is tolerated, but should not interfere with other instructional activity. College computing and network services are not to be used for extensive or competitive recreational game playing. The success of this policy depends on the discretion of the people playing games. Should the policy fail to preserve the academic environment of the facilities, all games will be banned.

File-sharing Policy

The College expressly prohibits any member of the MICA community from using its network to download or distribute copyrighted audio, video or software files. For more information, see the MICA File Sharing Policy.

Penalties for Misuse of Network Resources

Violation of any of the policies or restrictions outlined in this document, or any other applicable TSS policies, may result in the temporary or permanent loss of any or all network services to the individual responsible for the violation. Depending upon the severity, TSS may refer the matter to the Office of Student Affairs for adjudication as a violation of MICA rules and regulations. Furthermore, the College retains the right to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to prosecute individual who violate local, state or Federal laws involving network use or copyright infringements.