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Acceptable Use Policy For Computing and Network Resources

(Pertaining to students in all colleges)

The computer network at SUNY Downstate Medical Center provides a virtually unlimited supply of resources and information to the community, but the system also places an enormous responsibility on all users. All SUNY Downstate rules are applicable to all uses of computers and related technologies. This document is intended to clarify those rules as they apply specifically to network and computer usage

Any user must adhere to the same code of ethics that governs all other aspects of life within the bounds of our learning community. Any actions performed or initiated through the network must reflect the integrity, honesty, and compliance with SUNY Downstate 's rules of conduct, which are required of all representatives of SUNY Downstate. Policies protecting the privacy of a user's work on the network are built from the premise that an unlocked computer does not give an outsider legitimate access to an individual's files, just as an unlocked door does not give an outsider legitimate access to the personal belongings contained within a room. The following policies exist to ensure the ethical use of the network at SUNY Downstate:

1. Accessing the accounts and files of others is prohibited.

This rule protects all users on the network, not just the SUNY Downstate community. Taking advantage of a user who inadvertently leaves a computer without logging out is no different than entering an unlocked room and stealing, reading a personal letter, or destroying someone's personal property.

2. Attempting to subvert network security, to impair functionality of the network, or to bypass restriction set by the administrators is prohibited.

Assisting others in violating these rules by sharing information or passwords, the loading of unauthorized software onto public computers and the overloading of network capacity are also considered unacceptable behavior. It is the responsibility of the user to become familiar with any additional specific policies posted by the administrator of a lab, unit or department prior to using its computer resources.

3. Improper use or distribution of information is prohibited.

This includes copyright violations such as software piracy as well as plagiarism, harassment and fraud. The network is a valid academic resource, and use thereof is governed by the same rules as library resources.

4. Using the network for commercial purposes or in support of illegal activities is prohibited.

SUNY Downstate maintains the network for academic purposes as well as for school related and personal communication. If you are in doubt about the definition of "illegal activity" talk to a network administrator.

5. Legitimate use of a computer or network system does not extend to whatever an individual is capable of doing with it.

Although some rules are built into the system itself, these restrictions cannot limit completely what an individual can do or can see. In any event, each member of the community is responsible for his/her actions whether or not rules are built in, and whether or not they can be circumvented.

6. Users accessing the network are representatives of SUNY Downstate, and are expected to behave accordingly.

Those who are unsure of what constitutes appropriate behavior should ask themselves the question: "Will my actions reflect well on the SUNY Downstate community?"

Those who violate the above standards of behavior will be denied use of SUNY Downstate computers or network systems. In addition to the policy described in this document, as a user of Downstate resources you are subject to applicable New York State and Federal laws. Violations will be referred to the appropriate SUNY Downstate body adjudicating academic integrity or disciplinary actions, and/or to the appropriate local, State, and Federal authorities, at SUNY Downstate's discretion. SUNY Downstate reserves the right to investigate suspected violations using all appropriate means. Furthermore, SUNY Downstate may terminate or restrict any person's access to its resources, without prior notice, if such action is necessary to maintain availability, security, and integrity of operations for other users of its resource.