Rights and Responsibilities for the Use of Central Network and Computing Resources at Midwestern University
Information Technology (IT) is the University organization that provides access to the network for Midwestern students, as well as for many Midwestern faculty and staff. The Midwestern computer network consists of a campus-wide backbone network, local area networks, and many shared computers as well as personal desktop computers. IT works to insure that network rights and responsibilities are not violated.
Members of the Midwestern community can expect certain rights as they use the network and its services.
- Intellectual Freedom: The University is a free and open forum for the expression of ideas, including viewpoints that are strange, unorthodox, or unpopular. The University network is the same. Network administrators place no official sanctions upon the expression of personal opinion on the network. However, such opinions may not be represented as the views of Midwestern University.
- Safety From Threats: While unwanted or unsolicited contact cannot be controlled on the network, network users who receive threatening communications should bring them to the attention of University Police. Electronic threats are taken as seriously as voiced or
written threats, consistent with University policy.
- Privacy: Data files and messages traversing the University network are not private communications. The University reserves its right, as owner of the network and the computers in question, to examine, log, capture, archive, and otherwise preserve or inspect any messages transmitted over MUNet and any data files stored on University-owned computers. All members of the community must recognize that electronic communications are by no means secure, and that during the course of ordinary management of computing and networking services, network administrators may inadvertently view user files or messages. In addition, if a user is suspected of violations of the responsibilities as stated in this document, that user's privacy is superseded by the University's requirement to maintain the network's integrity and the rights of all network users. Should the security of a computer be threatened, user files and messages may be examined under the direction of the vice president for information technology, the associate vice president for information technology, or a director of information technology.
There are also responsibilities that must be met as part of the privilege of network access. Network users are expected to live up to these responsibilities. If you knowingly violate a network responsibility, your network access will be suspended. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, you could be referred through the University disciplinary procedure process. Violations that also violate federal or state laws will result in referral to the appropriate legal authority.
- You are responsible for the use of your network ID (NetID) and all computer accounts that are assigned to
you. You may not give anyone else access to your NetID or computer accounts. You must not use a NetID or an
Midwestern University computer account that was not assigned to you. You may not try in any way to obtain
a password for another user's NetID or computer account. The NetID and its associated password are the
property of Midwestern University Information Technology. Applications and services that require
their use must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology or by a
director within MU IT.
- You may not misrepresent yourself or your data on the network.
- You are responsible for the security of your passwords. This includes changing passwords on a regular basis and making sure no one else knows them.
- You must not use Mu's network resources to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized access to remote computers.
- You must not deliberately perform an act that will seriously impair the operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks. This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with components of a local area network (LAN) or the high-speed backbone network, otherwise blocking communication lines, or interfering with the operational readiness of a computer.
- You must not run or install on any of MU's computer systems, or give to another, a program that could result in the eventual damage to a file or computer system and/or the reproduction of itself. This is directed towards, but not limited to, the classes of programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.
- You must not attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or exploit security loopholes.
- You must abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements and copyright laws. You must not make copies of or make available on the network copyrighted material, unless permitted by a license. Please see the more complete discussion of software copyright protections available on MUInfo.
- You must not deliberately perform acts that are wasteful of computing resources or that unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of other users. Any person operating a network-intensive application or a defective computer that overloads University networks will be notified and steps will be taken to protect the overall University network. This may include disconnecting the offending computer system from the University network until the problem is resolved. If the condition is an imminent hazard to the University network or disrupts the activities of others, then the offending computer system or the subnet to which it is attached may be disconnected without prior notice.
- You may not place on any University-owned computer system information or software that infringes on the rights of another person or gives unauthorized access to another computer account or system.
- You must not attempt to monitor another user's data communications, nor may you read, copy, change, or delete another user's files or software, without permission of the owner.
- Computing and networking resources are provided to support the mission of the University. These resources may not be used for commercial purposes.
- Any network traffic exiting the University is subject to the acceptable use policies of the network through which it flows, as well as to the policies listed here.
- All University computing and networking facilities are provided for use by faculty, staff, and students for relevant academic, research, or administrative pursuits. Like all other University facilities, private use must be approved in advance in keeping with policies expressed in the Midwestern University Employee Handbook and the Midwestern University Student Handbook.
- Information servers - responsibility for content. The content of any information made available to others via the University's network is the sole responsibility of the person who created that information. It is that person's responsibility to be aware of all applicable Federal laws, State laws and University policies. That person will be liable for any violations of Federal laws, State laws, or University policies.
The IT security coordinator and the appropriate authorities should be notified about violations of computer laws and policies, as well as about potential loopholes in the security of any computer systems and networks at Midwestern.