The primary objective of the Waterways College Of Ireland (WWCI) computer and network resources is to enhance and support its educational, training and administrative services. These resources include hardware, software, user accounts. Local and wide area network facilities as well as such services as e-mail and internet access. The WWCI is committed to providing computer and network resources for staff and student use in a manner which will facilitate their work, education and training.
Computer and network resources are powerful enabling technologies for accessing, and delivering information and knowledge. As such, they are strategic technologies for the current and future needs of the WWCI. Because these technologies give individuals the ability to access and copy information from remote sources, users must respect the rights of others, respect the integrity of the systems and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, rules, regulations and contractual obligations. These will include all existing WWCI regulations and policies.
This policy applies to all WWCI staff, students and to others who are authorised to use its computer and network resources whether individually controlled or shared, standalone or networked. The Policy also applies to all computer and network facilities controlled or contracted by the WWCI. These include PCs, workstations, servers, communication equipment as well as associated peripherals and software regardless of whether used for administration, teaching, training, research or other purposes.
The WWCI computer and network resources represent a considerable investment and providing access to them is expensive. They shall not be used to disseminate, view or store commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, destructive code such as viruses, self-replicating programmes etc., pornographic text or images, or any other unauthorised materials.
Users shall not use the WWCI Internet connection to download unauthorised software, Inappropriate or offensive material must never be downloaded onto any computer or network devise. “Plug-ins”, games or other entertainment software (including screen savers) should not be downloaded unless approved in advance by a course tutor as class material.
Unlicensed software must not be installed on any computer or network device. Software provided by the WWCI shall be used only as part of the user’s role as a member of the WWCI staff or for educational and training purposes as a student of the WWCI.
The user agrees to abide by all copyright and licencing agreements for software entered into by the WWCI with other parties. Users shall not copy or use material created by others without acknowledgement, or, where appropriate obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Users must not jeopardise, in any way, the integrity, security, performance or reliability of the WWCI’s computer and network resources. No attempts must be made to circumvent data protection schemes, “hack” into systems or interfere with the intended operation of the WWCI’s computer and network resources. Users are warned that gaining unauthorised access to data (including programs) and/or interfering with data belonging to others are offences under the criminal law.
Users shall not use their personal devices such as PDAs, motile and camera phones or iPods etc to synchronise with and/or download data from the WWCI’s computer network resources. Users are forbidden to engage in unauthorized copying of data and/or software from the WWCI’s computer and network resources to removable media such as CD-RWs and USB keys.
It is not permitted to use computer and network resources for inappropriate purposes which include but are not limited to the following activities:
- Knowingly performing any act which will interfere with the normal operation of computers, peripherals or networks.
- Deliberately wasting computer resources.
- Compromising the privacy of others.
- Granting another individual unauthorised access to your computer account or attempting to access another individual’s computer files. Each user is responsible for all activity carried out under his/her account.
- Using the computer and network facilities for unauthorised profit or commercial purposes.
- Accessing, downloading, saving, creating or transmitting any abusive, obscene, threatening, defamatory, offensive or harassing images or material.
- Causing offence to another individual or discriminating on the grounds of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religious or political belief, age, disability, race, colour or membership of the traveller community.
DATA PROTECTION (AMENDMENT) ACT 2003
Due to the permanent nature of electronic communication, and because record keeping is often now kept electronically, such records may be demanded from the WWCI in connection with legal proceedings. Further, if any such communications contain personal data, which includes, but is not limited to, data relating to the racial or ethnic origin, the political opinions and the religious or philosophical beliefs of a person or the health or sexual life of the data subject or the commission or alleged commission of any office by the data subject, then the data subject can require the WWCI to provide copies of such communications. Accordingly, all electronic communication must be as carefully worded as other formal written correspondence.
E-mail is provided for educational, training and administrative use only. Users should be aware that e-mail is neither secure nor guaranteed to be private.
Users must not send messages, including attachments, which are abusive, obscene, threatening, defamatory, offensive or harassing. Users must not partake in or promote the sending or distribution of chain e-mail messages or send unnecessary files which would adversely affect computer and network and network resources.
The WWCI accepts no liability for lost or deleted e-mail.
Users must not send anonymous e-mail. Neither may they use the e-mail address of another user to send e-mail.
Users must not open e-mail attachments from unsolicited or unknown sources.
Existing norms of behaviour apply to computer based information just as they would apply to more traditional media.
WORLD WIDE WEBSITES
Students’ work should only appear in an educational context on Web pages with a notice prohibiting the copying of such work without the expressed written permission of the WWCI. Copyrighted material must not appear on any Web page without the permission of and an acknowledgement of the copyright holder.
No personal information such as home address, telephone numbers, contact details, or other personal information about a student, the student’s family or members of staff should appear with such work.
Only large college/centre group photographs should be used on the Website. No individual student photographs or images which might assist in identifying an individual should appear. No photographs of staff should appear on a Website without the informed prior approval of that staff member.
Students are not permitted to register or sign “visitor’s books” on Websites without prior permission.
If a Web page is inviting contact from other Internet users, a generic e-mail address must be used.
Access to Social Networking websites should be restricted as these sites permit users to upload personal comments about others. This can give rise to cyberbullying. Like any form of bullying cyberbullying is a serious matter and will be dealt with under the WWCI’s established disciplinary procedures.
Users should report to the Head of Centre any suspected abuse of computer and network resources, or any unpleasant material or e-mail that may come to their attention as well as any suspected damage or problems with files. Users when requested, are expected to co-operate with system administrators and/or other authorised staff in any investigation of system abuse.
The WWCI reserves the right to examine any files held on its computer systems. The WWCI also reserves the right to monitor email and internet access using third party software where appropriate. Staff should be informed of the nature and extent of this monitoring as recommended by the Data Protection Commissioner.
Any user found in breach of this Policy may be liable for legal and WWCI disciplinary procedures.
This document is subject to regular review and will be re-issued when revisions are necessary.