Technology @ Dowling
Administrative Information Services
Policy on Acceptable Use of Computing Resources

The Dowling College Policy for use of computing resources applies to all users including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests of the college. Computing resources comprise all computers, related equipment, software, data, and local area and wide area networks for which the college is responsible, as well as networks throughout the world to which the college provides computer access. The purpose of Dowling College's computing resources is to support research and education and the general purposes of the College. Use of computing resources must be in support of education and research and be consistent with the educational and other stated objectives of the College.

The computing resources of Dowling College are intended to be used for its programs of instruction and research, and to conduct the legitimate business of the college. The College's computing resources shall not be used for commercial, profit or corporate activities unrelated to the College. Use of the computing resources for partisan political activity or lobbying is prohibited. Further, the portrayal or transmission of any information, in any manner that appears or can be construed as, being sponsored by the College without specific permission or authority is expressly prohibited.

All users must:

  • have proper authorization for the use of the college's computing resources
  • be responsible for seeing that these computing resources are used in an effective, ethical, and legal manner
  • apply standards of normal academic and professional ethics, and considerate conduct to their use of the college's computing resources
  • be aware of the legal and moral responsibility for ethical conduct in the use of computing resources
  • have a responsibility not to abuse the network and resources, and to respect the privacy, copyrights, and intellectual property rights of others.

In addition to the policy contained herein, usage must be in accordance with applicable Dowling College policies and applicable State and Federal laws relating to copyright protection, trade secrets and licensing. Among the related laws are the Federal Computer Abuse Amendment Act 1994, the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the U.S. Copyright Act.

Fraudulent use of the computing resources is strictly prohibited. Fraudulent use includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Use of the computing resources for personal profit.
  2. Use of a user identification or account belonging to another individual without his or her permission.
  3. Attempts to access data being transferred through the computing resources files on any computer connected to the network without the owner's permission.
  4. Unauthorized copying or transmission of software. All proprietary computer software is legally protected by copyright, patent or trade secret law.
  5. Use of subterfuge to avoid being charged for use of the computing resources or any computer systems attached to it.

Additional policy violations generally fall into five categories that involve the use of computing resources:

  1. for purposes other than the college's programs of instruction and research and the legitimate business of Dowling College
  2. to harass, threaten or otherwise cause harm to specific individuals or classes of individuals
  3. to impede, interfere with, impair, or otherwise cause harm to the activities of others
  4. to download, post or install to college computers, or transport across college networks, material that is illegal, proprietary, in violation of license agreements, in violation of copyrights, in violation of college contracts, or otherwise damaging to the institution
  5. to recklessly or maliciously interfere with or damage computer or network resources or computer data, files, or other information.

Examples (not a comprehensive list) of policy violations related to the above five categories include:

  • Using computer resources for personal reasons
  • Sending e-mail on matters not concerning the legitimate business of Dowling College
  • Note that e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. E-mail messages can be accessed by duly authorized persons.
  • Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to the proper authorities
  • Sending an individual or group repeated and unwanted (harassing) e-mail or using e-mail to threaten someone
  • Accessing, or attempting to access, another individual's data or information without proper authorization (e.g. using another's computing account and password to view their personal information)
  • Propagating electronic chain mail, pyramid schemes or sending forged or falsified e-mail
  • Obtaining, possessing, using, or attempting to use someone else's password regardless of how the password was obtained
  • Copying a graphical image from a Web site without permission
  • Posting a Dowling College site-licensed program to a public bulletin board
  • Using illegally obtained licensed data/software, or using licensed data/software in violation of their licenses or purchase agreements
  • Releasing a virus, worm or other program that damages or otherwise harms a system or network
  • Preventing others from accessing services
  • Attempting to tamper with or obstruct the operation of Dowling College's computer systems or networks
  • Using or attempting to use Dowling College's computer systems or networks as a means for the unauthorized access to computer systems or networks outside the College
  • Distributing, downloading, posting, or transporting pornography via the web
  • Using Dowling College resources for unauthorized purposes (e.g. using personal computers connected to the campus network to set up web servers for illegal, commercial, or profit-making purposes)
  • Violating Federal and State copyright laws

Violations of this policy will be addressed by the appropriate procedures and agents (e.g., the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Business and Finance, the Office of Student Services, the Office of Human Resources, or the Office of Development) depending on the individual's affiliation to the College.

Each user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Dowling College, the Board of Trustees, agents, and employees of Dowling College from and against any claim, lawsuit, cause of action, damage judgment, or administration complaint arising out o the use of Dowling College hardware, software, and computing resources under this policy.

Dowling College makes absolutely no warranties of any kind, neither expressed or implied, for the services it is providing. The College is not responsible for loss of documents, data, or personal information as a result of system failure, hardware malfunction, or faults incurred by the network or computing resources.

Dowling College reserves the right to restrict, limit, grant, rescind or extend computing privileges and access to its computing resources, to any or all individuals and/or organizations.

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