Delta State University's computing and network facilities service a large number of faculty, students, staff, and others. In light of the legal responsibilities inherent in the operation of such a system, the University has a number of areas of potential liabilities. This policy sets forth the privileges of and restrictions on students, faculty, staff and other users in respect to the computing and telecommunications systems at Delta State University.
Electronic Communications: The use of computers and network systems in the communicating or posting of
information or material by way of electronic mail, bulletin boards, or other such electronic tools.
Network Systems: Includes voice, video and data networks, switches, routers, wireless devices, and storage devices.
University Computers and Network Systems (University Systems): Computers, networks, servers, and other
similar devices that are administered by the university and for which the university is responsible.
Throughout this policy, the shortened term "university systems" is used to mean all university computers and
All users have the responsibility to use the University computing systems in an effective, efficient, ethical, and lawful manner. Use of Delta State University's communication resources and computer network is not a matter of right, nor is it provided as a public forum, but rather all use of Delta State University's computer resources and network must be consistent with the mission of the University in support of public education, research, and public service.
Free expression of ideas is central to the academic process. However, the University may remove any electronic information from its systems if it is determined that:
It is the policy of the University not to routinely monitor individual use of computing and network resources. However, users should be aware that their use of these resources may not be private. Communications made by means of university computing and network resources are also generally subject to the Mississippi Public Records Act to the same extent as they would be if made on paper. The normal operation and maintenance of the university's computing and network infrastructure require the backup of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns and other such activities that are necessary for the provision of service.
The University may monitor the activity and accounts of individual users, including individual login sessions, personal computers, and the content of individual files and communications when:
Any monitoring of individual users, other than that allowed by the user or that is necessary to respond to perceived emergency situations, must be authorized in advance by the appropriate Vice President and the Chief Information Officer.
The University, in its discretion, may disclose the results of any such general or individual monitoring, including the contents and records of individual files and communications, to appropriate university personnel or law enforcement agencies and may use those results in appropriate university disciplinary proceedings.
Computing and networking resources should be used only in accord with the guidelines defined in this policy and procedure, all University policies, and state and federal laws. Examples of inappropriate and unacceptable use of computing and networking resources include, but are not limited to:
Personal use:Incidental personal use of computing and network resources is permitted, subject to the restrictions outlined in this policy. Personal communications and files transmitted over or stored on University systems and assets are not treated differently from business communications; therefore, there can be no guarantee that personal communications or activities will remain private or confidential.
Violation of the policies described herein for use of computing and network resources are dealt with seriously. Violators may and are subject to the disciplinary procedures of the University, up to and including termination. In addition, violators may lose computing privileges. Illegal acts involving Delta State University computing and networking facilities may also be subject to prosecution by state and federal officials.
Applicable Mississippi Laws that apply to this policy
Mississippi Code of 1972 - http://www.mscode.com/free/statutes/97/045/0011.htm