Acceptable Use Policy for Cyber Resources

 Quick Index:

Introduction

Terminology

Policy Hierarchy

Purpose

Access is a Privilege

University Sanctioned Use Only

Misuse of Cyber Resources

Account Security

Privacy of Information

Digital Communications

Copyright

Public Data Repositories

Use of Computing Labs and Facilities

Use of non-NJIT Cyber Resources

Discipline

Introduction:

This policy describes your obligations and responsibilities when you use NJIT's cyber resources. This is necessary so that we can fulfill our responsibility to provide the university community with legal, reliable, and efficient cyber resources. (top)


Terminology:

The following terminology is used throughout this policy:

  • "You" and "your" in this context are NJIT students, faculty, staff, guests, alumni, contractors, and any other persons authorized to access our cyber resources. "You" might also be an organization or a representative of an organization associated with NJIT.
  • "We", "our", and "university" refer to the New Jersey Institute of Technology in general.
  • "IST" refers to Information Services and Technology. One designated agent is the IST Helpdesk.
  • "Cyber resources" refers to any of our computer equipment and technology infrastructure, including computer hardware, networks, communications equipment, multimedia equipment, PDA's, personnel, information systems, software, programs, and data.
  • "Use" likewise refers to accessing, programming, storing, and any other utilization of the cyber resources. (top)


Policy Hierarchy:

You must comply with all local, state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, laws regarding libel, harassment, privacy, copyright infringement, theft, and threats.

We sometimes license cyber resources from third parties for use by the NJIT community. You are legally bound by the terms of licenses for these resources.

Additionally, all of NJIT's policies extend to your use of our cyber resources. NJIT's policies are at http://www.njit.edu/policies. Some additional policies from the Dean of Student's Office are at http://www.njit.edu/doss/policies. Some of the policies more closely associated with cyber resources are:

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Purpose:

Anyone who uses our cyber resources has the responsibility to respect and follow this Acceptable Use Policy for Cyber Resources and to honor the ethical norms associated with the highest standards of professional conduct. Your responsibilities also include the responsibility to report any attempts you observe to:

  1. degrade the performance of any part of our cyber resources,
  2. improper or unauthorized use or access our cyber resources,
  3. interfere with proper access to any university cyber resources,
  4. exploit any gaps in systems security, or
  5. misuse copyrighted materials.

Activity not specifically prohibited by this policy, but which is nonetheless in violation of the spirit and intent of this policy will be considered a violation of same.

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Access is a Privilege:

University cyber resources are the property of or licensed to NJIT and are provided to you as either a limited privilege or a directed responsibility. Your use is not a right. We, as proprietor, reserve the right to extend, limit, restrict or remove cyber resource privileges and/or responsibilities. If you fail to respect this policy you may be subject to loss of access and use of cyber resources, disciplinary action by the university, and civil and/or criminal prosecution by the state or federal government. (top)


University Sanctioned Use Only:

Cyber resources are to be used for university sanctioned activities consistent with the mission of NJIT. University sanctioned use includes, but is not limited to:

  • instruction;
  • completion of academic and administrative assignments;
  • academic research and scholarly activities;
  • authorized work of university departments, offices, centers and laboratories, recognized campus organizations, and university affiliates;
  • digital communications as a member of the university community; authorized recreational and social activities, not interfering with other sanctioned uses.

In recognition of the educational enrichment and benefit of work experience in professional programs, use of cyber resources by individuals for non-academic purposes, such as limited work within one's field, co-op participation, internships, competitions, and so on, in which neither restrictions on university software licenses nor university policies are violated, may be permitted by the university's Chief Information Officer (CIO) or his/her express designee, in consultation with department heads when applicable. If and when authorized, your private use of cyber resources shall be considered the lowest priority use in allocation of resources and time.

Personal use of cyber resources is permitted only on an incidental basis. Incidental use includes occasional digital communications and other use that has negligible effect on the use of cyber resources by others. Incidental use does not interfere with your work as a student or your assigned responsibilities as a faculty or staff member.

Under no circumstances may you use university cyber resources for private commercial purposes or for the benefit of organizations or individuals not related to NJIT, soliciting, illegally sharing copyrighted materials, or outside political campaigning.

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Misuse of Cyber Resources:

Unauthorized or excessive use of cyber resources, physical or virtual, is prohibited. Utilizing cyber resources beyond university-related use (e.g. sending inordinate amounts of mail, printing excessive copies of documents, and illegal P2P sharing) is prohibited. You may not eavesdrop, alter, or interfere with network traffic or other cyber resources. (top)


Account Security:

You are responsible for ensuring individual account(s) security by taking all reasonable measures to maintain security. A University faculty or staff member will never ask you for your password. Your password must not be given to anyone else or written down in accessible places. Password complexity and expiration regulations are not to be circumvented. If you discover unauthorized use of your account(s) you must promptly report the intrusion to the IST Computing HelpDesk (http://ist.njit.edu/support/helpdesk.php), and change your password(s) immediately.

You may not use another person's account(s) or authorize others to use your account(s), except for group accounts expressly provided or approved by the university. Attempts to discover another user's password or to enter into another user's account will result in disciplinary or legal action. No cyber resource account provided by the university may be transferred to, or used by, any individual or entity other than the individual or entity to which it was originally assigned, including friends, significant others and family members. (top)


Privacy of Information:

Information stored within university cyber resources is generally private. We do not routinely audit or inspect an individual's information for content; however we do maintain log files and backups which may contain content, references to content, or a journal of activity. You should be aware that communications are stored within university cyber resources, including deleted communications, and these communications may constitute "public records" (to the extent such communications are not statutorily exempt) and are subject to both statutory and common law "right to know" requests, and judicial discovery, with which the university must comply.

We hold and reserve the right to inspect, preserve, remove, lock out, use, or otherwise alter any content, data or file(s); or terminate a network connection when:

  1. There is evidence of violation(s) of local, state or federal laws or university policies;
  2. We conduct regular business, administration, or vulnerability audits;
  3. Initiated by a good faith investigation into a violation of law or other university policy;
  4. As required by law (statutory, common law public records request, subpoena, or a discovery request within the course of litigation).
  5. Performing maintenance on hardware, software, accounts, etc.
  6. There is evidence of illegal sharing of copyrighted materials.

You shall not seek information about; acquire, modify, or distribute material that belongs to another person or entity without the explicit written permission of the original owner. You shall not attempt to obtain access to content and resources to which you are not entitled. Violations of the privacy of information may result in severe disciplinary sanctions and may result in private suit from another user to which the violators of this policy will neither be defended nor indemnified. (top)


Digital Communications:

Digital communications are the electronic transmission of information and are governed by the NJIT Professional Conduct Code and all other University Policies.

You may not:

  • harass, threaten or otherwise harm others by sending obscene, abusive, or injurious communications;
  • forge or counterfeit communications;
  • distribute other people's personal information in an unauthorized manner for any reason;
  • send excessive amounts of digital communications (e.g.: spam, chain letters, etc.) to or from our resources;
  • utilize resources for commercial purposes, except as authorized;
  • use digital communications in an attempt to impersonate another user or otherwise misrepresent yourself to others. Although there are instances in which anonymous communication is acceptable, it is generally advisable to identify yourself accurately;
  • use anonymity to harass, threaten, or deceive others

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Copyright:

We endorse the following guidelines set forth by The EDUCOM Code, created in 1987 and incorporate them in this policy:

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations may be grounds for sanctions against members of the university community.

You are bound by U.S. Copyright Law when using NJIT's cyber resources. The University Copyright policy describes ownership and disposition of copyrighted material developed using NJIT cyber resources.

We are required under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 to assist in the reduction of the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials through peer-to-peer (P2P) and other file sharing technologies. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United states Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted ork without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement beyond university disciplinary actions include civil nd criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement ay be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages per work infringed. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment.

The university implements technology to deter the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials. Additional information on copyright infringement and steps the university takes for combating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of our cyber resources is available at http://ist.njit.edu/heoa2008/.

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Public Data Repositories:

Material contained in the university's public data repositories (e.g. web pages, social networks, blogs or wikis) may be seen by anyone. You must be sensitive to the public nature of this material and avoid the displaying of images, sounds or script which could rationally be considered as harmful to others, of any age or demographic. The presence of material judged by the university to be obscene, threatening, defamatory, racist, patently false, in violation of policy, regulation or law, in violation of copyright, or otherwise actionably inappropriate, or the automatic linking to another page or location containing such material, shall be cause for severe disciplinary action. Providing nonpublic information about other individual(s) or organization(s) without their permission may be an illegal invasion of privacy and is therefore prohibited. We reserve the right to inspect, remove, block access to, or otherwise alter any cyber resource which contains evidence of violations of this policy.

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Use of Campus Computing Labs and Facilities:

Access to NJIT's campus computing labs and other facilities is provided to current students, faculty, staff members, formal affiliates and guests who are expressly authorized. You must abide by all posted rules. You are not to engage in frivolous, disturbing, or inconsiderate conduct. Disconnecting equipment (e.g., electrical, network, or other connections), even with intent to reconnect, is expressly forbidden. Printing within university computing labs and facilities is a privilege and excessive printing may result in restriction of printing privileges. (top)


Use of non-NJIT Cyber Resources

You should exercise caution when participating in the growing number of social networking sites available on the Internet. They offer exciting opportunities to develop communities of interest where one can communicate, collaborate and develop new relationships - academic, personal, and professional. Unfortunately, in some instances, they also offer a forum for fraudulent, predatory, and harassing behavior. You should use common sense when participating in such venues and exercise caution when sharing personal information on yourself and others. You should also note that NJIT's policies and professional codes of conduct apply in these venues when representing yourself as a member of the NJIT community and when interacting with members of the NJIT community.  (top)


Disciplinary Actions

Any violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action. Violators may also be subject to civil and/or criminal prosecution. The university may restrict or suspend your privileges while the alleged violations are investigated and/or adjudicated. Disciplinary action shall be taken by the Dean of Students Office relative to all student violations, and by the appropriate university officer relative to faculty, staff and/or university affiliate violations.

Student disciplinary actions may include, by way of illustration and not limitation, loss of computing privileges on a temporary or permanent basis, loss of privilege to exhibit a web site, a decrease of disk quota, the removal of files, suspension or expulsion from university computing facilities, disciplinary probation, and/or suspension or dismissal from the university. A reasonable effort may be made to accommodate the academic computing needs of the individual during the investigatory period

Employee disciplinary actions may include, by way of illustration and not limitation, verbal or written warning or reprimand, suspension or dismissal from employment at the university. Additionally, employee use of cyber resources may be altered, restricted or denied.

Affiliate disciplinary actions may include, but not be limited to, verbal or written warning, loss of computing privileges on a temporary or permanent basis, loss of privilege to exhibit a web site, a decrease of disk quota, the removal of files, and/or, suspension or cancellation of the contract or license with the university.  (top)



Last Updated - September 9, 2011