2020-2021 College Catalog and Student Handbook 
    
    Aug 10, 2020  
2020-2021 College Catalog and Student Handbook

VCCS Computer Ethics Policy



Thousands of users share VCCS Information Technology resources. Everyone must use these resources responsibly since misuse by even a few individuals has the potential to disrupt VCCS business or the work of others. Therefore you must exercise ethical behavior when using these resources.

State Law (Article 7.1 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia) classifies damage to computer hardware or software (18.2-152.4), invasion of privacy (18.2-152.5), or theft of computer services (18.2-152.6) or computer systems as (misdemeanor) crimes. Computer fraud (18.2-152.3) and use of a computer as an instrument of forgery (18.2-152.14) can be felonies. The VCCS’s internal procedures for enforcement of its policy are independent of possible prosecution under the law.

Definition

VCCS information technology resources include mainframe computers, servers, desktop computers, notebook computers, handheld devices, networks, software, data files, facilities, and the related supplies.

Standards

The following standards shall govern the use of all VCCS information technology resources:

  • All users of VCCS IT resources must adhere to Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Policy 1.75
    — Use of Internet and Electronic Communication Systems.
  • You must use only those computer resources that you have the authority to use. You must not provide false or misleading information to gain access to computing resources. The VCCS may regard these actions as criminal acts and may treat them accordingly. You must not use VCCS IT resources to gain unauthorized access to computing resources of other institutions, organizations, individuals, etc.
  • The System Office and colleges reserve the right (with or without cause) to monitor, access and disclose all data created, sent, received, processed, or stored on VCCS systems to ensure compliance with VCCS policies and federal, state, or local regulations. College or System Office officials will have the right to review and/or confiscate (as needed) any equipment (Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) owned or personal) connected to a COV-owned device or network.
  • The System Office and Colleges shall use an authorized COV warning banner to communicate that IT systems and their use may be monitored and/or confiscated by authorized personnel; and there is no expectation of privacy when using a Commonwealth IT system.
  • Require acknowledgment that monitoring of IT systems and data may include, but is not limited to, network traffic; application and data access; keystrokes (only when required for security investigations and approved in writing by the Agency Head); user commands; e-mail and Internet usage; and message and data content.
  • Local Administrator rights, or the equivalent, on non-Microsoft Windows-based IT systems shall be limited to only authorized staff as appropriate to prevent users from:
    — Installing or using proprietary encryption hardware/software on VCCS systems;
    — Tampering with security controls configured on their workstations;
    — Installing personal software on a VCCS system;
    — Adding hardware to, removing hardware from, or modifying hardware on a VCCS system.
  • You must not authorize anyone to use your computer accounts for any reason. You are responsible for all use of your accounts. You must take all reasonable precautions, including password maintenance and file protection measures, to prevent use of your account by unauthorized persons. You must not, for example, share your password with anyone.
  • The transmission of unencrypted sensitive data over the internet shall be prohibited unless properly encrypted and approved by the agency head. When connected to internal networks from COV guest networks or non-COV networks, data transmission shall only use full tunneling and not use split tunneling.
  • You must use your computer resources only for authorized purposes. Students or staff, for example, may not use their accounts for private consulting or to support a personal business venture. You must not use your computer resources for unlawful purposes, such as the installation of fraudulently or illegally obtained software. Use of external networks connected to any VCCS facility must comply with the policies of acceptable use promulgated by the organizations responsible for those networks. The VCCS shall document the user’s acceptance of the System Office or college Acceptable Use Policy before or as soon as practicable after, gaining access to VCCS IT systems.
  • Other than material known to be in the public domain, you must not access, alter, copy, move or remove information, proprietary software or other files (including programs, members of subroutine libraries, data and electronic mail) without prior authorization.
  • The data owner, data custodian, security officer, appropriate college official or other responsible party may grant authorization to use electronically stored materials in accordance with policies, copyright laws and procedures.
  • You must not distribute or disclose third party proprietary software without prior authorization from the licenser. You must not install proprietary software on systems not properly licensed for its use.
  • You must not use any computing facility irresponsibly or needlessly affect the work of others. This includes transmitting or making accessible offensive, annoying or harassing material. This includes intentionally, recklessly, or negligently damaging systems, intentionally damaging or violating the privacy of information not belonging to you. This includes the intentional misuse of resources or allowing misuse of resources by others. This includes loading software or data from untrustworthy sources, such as free-ware, onto official systems without prior approval.
  • You should report any violation of these regulations by another individual and any information relating to a flaw or bypass of computing facility security to the Information Technology Services Center or the Information Security Officer.
  • You must not use the Commonwealth’s Internet access or electronic communication in cases where it:
    — interferes with the user’s productivity or work performance, or with any other employee’s productivity or work performance;
    — adversely affects the efficient operation of the computer system;
    — results in any personal gain or profit to the user;
    — violates any provision of this policy, any supplemental policy adopted by the agency supplying the Internet or electronic communication systems, or any other policy, regulation, law or guideline as set forth by local, State or Federal law. (See Code of Virginia §2.1- 804-805; §2.2-2827 as of October 1, 2001.)
  • NOTE: Any user of VCCS IT resources employing the Commonwealth’s Internet or electronic communication systems for personal use must present their communications in such a way as to be clear that the communication is personal and is not a communication of the agency or the Commonwealth.

Enforcement Procedure

Faculty, staff, students, and patrons at the college or System Office should immediately report violations of information security policies to the Information Technology Services Center (ITSC).

  • If the accused is an employee, the Director of ITSC will collect the facts of the case and identify the offender. If, in the opinion of the Director of ITSC, the alleged violation is of a serious nature, the Director of ITSC will notify the offender’s supervisor. The supervisor, in conjunction with the College or System Human Resources Office and the Director of ITSC, will determine the appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions may include but are not limited to:
    — Temporary restriction of the violator’s computing resource access for a fixed period of time, generally not more than six months.
    — Restitution for damages, materials consumed, machine time, etc. on an actual cost basis. Such restitution may include the cost associated with determining the case facts.
    — Disciplinary action for faculty and classified staff in accordance with the guidelines established in the State Standards of Conduct Policy.
  • In the event that a student is the offender, the accuser should notify the dean of students office. The dean of students or designee, in cooperation with the Director of ITSC, will determine the appropriate disciplinary actions which may include but are not limited to:
    — Temporary restriction of the violator’s computing resource access for a fixed period of time, generally not more than six months.
    — Restitution for damages, materials consumed, machine time, etc. on an actual cost basis. Such restitution may include the cost associated with determining the case facts.
    — Disciplinary action shall be in accordance with the college student standards of conduct.
  • The College president or designee will report any violations of state and federal law to the appropriate authorities.
  • All formal disciplinary actions taken under this policy are subject to the Commonwealth’s personnel guidelines and the accused may pursue findings through the appropriate grievance procedure.

Information Technology Student/Patron Acceptable Use Agreement Applicable to all Users of College Computing Resources

Version: 3.2 Status: Final Draft 04/10/2018 Contact: Chief Information Security Officer, VCCS Information Technology Services

Agreement

I acknowledge that this college is part of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), home to Virginia’s 23 community colleges. As a user of the college’s local and shared computer systems, I understand and agree to abide by the following acceptable use agreement terms. These terms govern my access to and use of the information technology applications, services and resources of the VCCS, the college, and the information they generate.
Access to Computer and Network Resources.

The college has granted access to me as a necessary privilege in order to perform authorized functions at the college. I will not knowingly permit use of my entrusted access control for any purposes other than those required to perform authorized functions related to my status as a student. These include logon identification, password, workstation identification, user identification, digital certificates or 2-factor authentication.
I will not disclose information concerning any access control unless properly authorized to do so by my enrolling college. I will not use any access control that the VCCS has not expressly assigned to me. I will treat all information maintained on the college computer systems as strictly confidential and will not release information to any unauthorized person.

I understand that I must use only those computer resources that I have the authority to use. I must not provide false or misleading information to gain access to computing resources. The VCCS may regard these actions as criminal acts and may treat them accordingly. I must not use VCCS information technology resources to gain unauthorized access to computing resources of other institutions, organizations, individuals, etc.
Intellectual Property.

Copyright law protects computer software, database systems, electronic documents, and electronic media. A copyright is a work of authorship in a tangible medium. Copyright owners have the sole right to reproduce their work, prepare derivatives or adaptations of it, and distribute it by sale, rent, license lease, or lending and/or to perform or display it.

A student must either have an express or implied license to use copyrighted material or data, or be able to prove fair use. Students and other users of college computers are responsible for understanding how copyright law applies to their electronic transactions. They may not violate the copyright protection of any information, software, or data with which they come into contact through the college computing resources.

Downloading or distributing copyrighted materials such as documents, movies, music, etc. without the permission of the rightful owner is copyright infringement, which is illegal under federal and state copyright law. Use of the college’s network resources to commit acts of copyright infringement may be subject to prosecution and disciplinary action.

The penalties for infringing copyright law can be found under the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 501-513 (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html) and in the U.S. Copyright Office’s summary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf).

Prohibited Activities
I agree to abide by all applicable local, State, Federal, VCCS, and college policies, procedures and standards related to the use of the Internet, Social Media, and Electronic Communications. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attempting to gain access to information owned by the college or by its authorized users without the permission of the owners of that information.
  • Accessing, downloading, printing, or storing information with sexually explicit content as prohibited by law or policy;
  • Downloading or transmitting fraudulent, threatening, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, harassing, discriminatory, or otherwise unlawful messages or images;
  • Installing or downloading computer software, programs, or executable files contrary to policy;
  • Accessing, uploading, downloading, transmitting, printing, communicating, or posting access-restricted college information, proprietary college information, sensitive data or records, or copyrighted materials in violation of college or state policy;
  • Posting information or sending e-mail with the intent to deceive by using another’s identity, an assumed name, or anonymously;
  • Attempting to intercept or read messages intended for others;
  • Intentionally developing, propagating, or experimenting with malicious programs (viruses, worms, spy-ware, keystroke loggers, phishing software, Trojan horses, etc.) on any college-owned computer;
  • Changing administrator rights on any college-owned computer, or the equivalent on non-Microsoft Windows based systems;
  • Using college computing resources to support any commercial venture, to promote political candidates, and to circulate advertising for products or any other use for personal financial gain.

Protection of Computer and Network Resources
I agree to follow any special rules posted or communicated by responsible staff members when using college computing laboratories, classrooms, and computers in the Learning Resource Centers.
I will do nothing intentionally that degrades or disrupts the computer systems or interferes with systems and equipment that support the work of others.
I will promptly report problems with college computing resources to the staff in charge or to the Information Technology Help Desk.
 

Reporting Requirements
If I observe any incidents of non-compliance with the terms of this agreement, I am responsible for reporting them to the college Information Security Officer and/or management of my college.

Security and Privacy
No user shall have any expectation of privacy in any message, file, image or data created, sent, retrieved, received, or posted in the use of the college’s equipment and/or access.
The VCCS System Office and colleges reserve the right (with or without cause) to monitor, access and disclose all data created, sent, received, processed, or stored on VCCS systems to ensure compliance with VCCS policies and local, State, or Federal regulations. College or System Office officials will have the right to review and/or confiscate (as needed) any equipment (College owned or personal) connected to a college owned device or network. In addition, except for exemptions under the Act, electronic records may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and, therefore, available for public distribution.
 

Acknowledgement
I understand that it is my responsibility to read and abide by this agreement, even if I do not agree with all the terms and conditions indicated herein. If I have any questions about the VCCS Information Technology Student/Patron Acceptable Use Agreement, it is my responsibility to contact the college Information Security Officer or appropriate college official for clarification.
By acknowledging this agreement, I hereby certify that I understand the preceding terms and provisions and that I accept the responsibility of adhering to the same. I further acknowledge that should I violate this agreement, I will be subject to disciplinary action.