Policy 1A.5: Computer and Network Use

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Per MnSCU Policy 5.22 and Procedure 5.22.1, computer and information technology resources are essential tools in accomplishing the mission of Anoka Technical College (ATC). These resources must be used and managed responsibly in order to ensure their availability for the competing demands of teaching, scholarship, administration and other mission-related uses.

ATC information technology resources are provided for use by currently enrolled students, administrators, faculty, other employees, and other authorized users. Information technology resources are the property of ATC, and are provided for the direct and indirect support of the College’s educational, research, service, student and campus life activities, administrative and business purposes, within the limitations of available System technology, financial and human resources. The use of ATC information technology is a privilege conditioned on adherence to this policy and any procedures or guidelines adopted pursuant to this policy.

Information technology means all ATC facilities, technologies and information resources used for information resources used for information processing, transfer, storage and communications. This includes, but is not limited to, computer hardware and software, computer labs, classroom technologies such as computer-based instructional management systems, and computing and electronic communications devices and services, such as modems, e-mail, networks, telephones (including cellular phones), voicemail, facsimile transmissions, video and multimedia.

Compliance with Applicable Law and Policy

Users must comply with laws and regulations, MnSCU and ATC policies and procedures, contracts, and licenses applicable to their particular uses. This includes, but is not limited to, the laws of libel, data privacy, copyright, trademark, gambling, obscenity, and child pornography; the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which prohibit “hacking” and similar activities; state computer crime statutes; student conduct codes; applicable software licenses; and Board policies 1.B.1, prohibiting discrimination and harassment; 1.C.2, prohibiting fraudulent or other dishonest acts; and 3.26, concerning intellectual property.
 Users are responsible for the content of their personal use of ATC information technology, and may be subject to liability resulting from that use.
 Users must use only ATC information technology they are authorized to use and use them only in the manner and to the extent authorized. Ability to access information technology resources does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so.
 Users are responsible for use of ATC information technology under their authorization.

Unauthorized Use

 Users must not:
• Use any account or password assigned by the college to anyone else
• Share any account or password, assigned to the user by the college, with any other individual, including family members
• Allow others to use ATC information technology under the user’s control
• Use ATC cellular telephones or computer dial-up services for personal use unless specifically authorized.
 Users must not circumvent, attempt to circumvent, or assist another in circumventing security controls in place to protect the privacy and integrity of data stored on ATC information technology.
 Users must not change, conceal, or forge the identification of the person using ATC information technology, including, but not limited to, use of e-mail.
 Users must not knowingly download or install software onto ATC information technology unless it has been
• Pre-approved through established campus procedures. Users who knowingly or negligently do not comply may be held responsible for damages, cost of system debugging, and payment of software fees, licenses and infringement penalties.
 Users must not engage in activities that interfere with or disrupt network users, equipment or service; intentionally distribute viruses, worms, trojans or other malicious code or install software or hardware that permits unauthorized access to ATC information technology.
 Users must not engage in inappropriate uses, including:
• Activities that violate State or federal law or regulation
• Wagering or betting
• Harassment, threats to or defamation of others, stalking, and/or illegal discrimination
• Fund-raising, private business, or commercial activity, unless it is related to the mission of ATC
• Storage, display, transmission, or intentional or solicited receipt of material that is or may be reasonably regarded as obscene, sexually explicit, or pornographic, including any depiction, photograph, audio recording, or written word, except as such access relates to the academic pursuits of an ATC student or professional activities of an ATC employee and
• “Spamming” through widespread dissemination of unsolicited and unauthorized e-mail messages.

Protecting Privacy

Users must not violate the privacy of other users and their accounts, regardless of whether those accounts are securely protected. Technical ability to access others’ accounts does not, by itself, imply authorization to do so.

Employee Users

All employees of Anoka Technical College are subject to Minnesota Statutes section 43A.38, the code of ethics for employees in the executive branch. In addition to compliance with that statute and this procedure, it is expected that employees will use the traditional communication rules of reasonableness, respect, courtesy, and common sense when using ATC information technology.

Personal Use

In accordance with Minnesota Statutes section 43A.38, subdivision 4, employees may make reasonable use of College information technology for personal communications as long as the use is in accordance with state law, Board policy and System procedure, and the use, including the value of employee time spent, does not result in an incremental cost to the State, or results in an incremental cost that is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or administratively impracticable, as determined by the college. Reasonable use means use consistent with this procedure.

Union activities

In the interest of maintaining effective labor-management relationships and efficient use of State time and resources, ATC e-mail systems may be used by employee representatives of the union for certain union activities, in accordance with State policy and/or the provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements.

ATC-owned property or service, including the e-mail system, may not be used for political activities, fund-raising, campaigning for union office, union organizing activities, or solicitation of employees for union membership. Union use of electronic communication technology is subject to the same conditions as employee use of such technology, as set forth in Policy 5.22 and this procedure, including security and privacy provisions.

Political activities
Employees shall not use ATC information technology for political activities prohibited by Minnesota Statutes sections 43A.32 or 211B.09, or other applicable State or federal law.

Religious activities
Employees shall not use ATC information technology in a manner that creates the impression that the College supports any religious group or religion generally in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution or Article 1, Section 16 of the Minnesota State Constitution.

Right to employ security measures
The College reserves the right to employ security measures, including, but not limited to, the right to monitor any use of ATC information technology, including those used for personal purposes. Users have no expectation of privacy for any use of College technology resources, except as provided under federal wire tap regulations (21 U.S.C. sections 2701-2711). ATC does not routinely monitor individual usage of its information technology resources. Normal operation and maintenance of College information technology require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns and other activities that are necessary for such services. When violations are suspected, appropriate steps shall be taken to investigate and take corrective action or other actions as warranted. College officials may access data on information technology, without notice, for other business purposes including, but not limited to, retrieving business-related information, re-routing or disposing of undeliverable mail; or responding to requests for information permitted by law.


Data practices laws
Government data maintained on ATC information technology is subject to data practices laws, including the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, to the same extent as they would be if kept in any other medium. Users are responsible for handling government data to which they have access or control in accordance with applicable data practices laws.

Record retention schedules
Official college records created or maintained electronically are subject to the requirements of the Official Records Act, Minnesota Statutes section 138.17 to the same extent as official records in any other media. Official records must be retained in accordance with the applicable approved records retention schedule appropriate for the type, nature, and content of the record. Willful improper disposal of official records may subject an employee to disciplinary action.

Conduct which involves the use of information resources to violate a College policy or procedure, or state or federal law, or to violate another’s rights, is a serious abuse subject to limitation or termination of user privileges and appropriate disciplinary action, legal action, or both.

Access Limitations
ATC reserves the right to temporarily restrict or prohibit use of its information technology by any user without notice, if it is determined necessary for business purposes.

Repeat violations of copyright laws
Anoka Technical College may permanently deny use of information technology by any individual determined to be a repeat violator of copyright laws governing Internet use.

Disciplinary proceedings
Alleged violations shall be addressed through applicable procedures, including but not limited to MnSCU Procedure 1.B.1.1 to address allegations of illegal discrimination and harassment; student conduct code for other allegations against students; or the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan for other allegations involving employees. Continued use of College information technology is a privilege subject to limitation, modification, or termination.


Willful or intentional violations of this policy are considered to be misconduct under applicable student and employee conduct standards. Users who violate this policy may be denied access to ATC information technology and may be subject to other penalties and disciplinary action, both within and outside of the College. Discipline for violations of this policy may include any action up to and including termination or expulsion.

Under appropriate circumstances, Anoka Technical College may refer suspected violations of law to appropriate law enforcement authorities, and provide access to investigative or other data as permitted by law.