Acceptable Use Policy
Read the following document carefully before signing. This is a legally binding document.
Internet access is now available to all users of the Area Cooperative Computerized Service System (ACCESS) communications network. This access is being offered as part of a collaborative effort involving the Ohio Department of Education, its divisions, the State-licensed regional data processing centers, all known collectively as the Ohio Educational Computer Network (OECN), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Our goal in providing this service is to promote educational excellence in school districts participating in ACCESS by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication. Through participation in this effort, ACCESS provides to twenty-five districts in Mahoning and Columbiana counties of the Ohio educational community a network offering vast, diverse, and unique resources. A listing of the member districts of ACCESS is included at the end of this Agreement.
The ACCESS communication network is an electronic computer network with access to the Internet. The Internet is an electronic highway connecting thousands of computers all over the world and millions of individual subscribers. ACCESS users, therefore, have access to: electronic mail communication with people all over the world; information and news from, as well as the opportunity to correspond with, research institutions; public domain and shareware software of all types; discussion groups on a plethora of cultural, political, scientific, and general or special interest topics; and access to many universities, libraries (including the Library of Congress), non-profit organizations, commercial companies, etc.
Along with access to computers and people all over the world comes the availability of material which may not be considered to be of educational value within the context of the school setting. ACCESS and the OECN have taken available precautions to restrict access to controversial materials; however, on a global network it is impossible to control all materials and an industrious user may discover controversial information. ACCESS and the OECN firmly believe the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweigh the possibility users may procure material inconsistent with educational goals for the district or network.
Internet access is coordinated through a complex association of government agencies, regional, and state networks. The smooth operation of the network relies upon the proper conduct of the end-users, who must adhere to strict guidelines. These guidelines are provided here so the user is aware of the responsibilities associated with use of this network.
In general, network use requires efficient, ethical, and legal utilization of the network resources. If any users violate any of these provisions, their accounts with ACCESS can be terminated, and future access could be denied. The signatures at the end of this document are legally binding and indicate the parties who signed have read the terms and conditions carefully and understand their significance and will abide by the same.
GENERAL NETWORK USE GUIDELINES
Use of the ACCESS network is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of privileges. ACCESS system administrators, in conjunction with district administrators, possess sole discretion to determine what is inappropriate use of the network; their decision is final. The system administrators may close an account at any time as required. The administration, faculty, and staff of ACCESS's member districts may request the system administrators deny, revoke, or suspend specific user accounts. The following guidelines should be used to determine eligibility for the granting of an account on the ACCESS network:
Eligible users are defined as:
1. All district personnel who are members of ACCESS and the OECN, including, but not limited to: prekindergarten through grade twelve educators, support personnel, administrators, school specialists, county offices of education staff members and all other employees provided privileges through ACCESS; and
2. Prekindergarten through grade twelve students whose district is a member of ACCESS and the OECN when under the supervision of a sponsoring educator.
ACCESS system administrators reserve the right to deny eligibility for any reason.
Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users. Individuals identifying a security problem on the ACCESS or OECN network have the obligation to notify the system administrators at the earliest possible time. The problem should be reported via telephone, if possible, or e-mail if the user is reasonably sure e-mail is secure.
A copy of the ACCESS Security Policy is attached to and considered a part of this Agreement. Attempts to logon to the system as any other user will result in cancellation of user privileges. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access.
The purpose of NSFNET, the backbone network to the Internet, is to support research and education in and among academic institutions in the U.S. by providing access to unique resources and the opportunity for collaborative work. Use of other organization's networks or computing resources must comply with rules appropriate for that network. Use of an account must support goals consistent with the educational objectives of ACCESS member school districts. Listed below are the acceptable and unacceptable uses of the ACCESS network.
ACCEPTABLE USES OF THE ACCESS NETWORK
1. Communication with foreign researchers and educators in connection with research or instruction, as long as any network that the foreign user employs for such communication provides reciprocal access to US researchers and educators.
2. Communication and exchange for professional development, to maintain current standards and update knowledge, or to be debate issues in a field or subfield of knowledge.
3. Use for disciplinary-society, university-association, government-advisory or standards activities related to the user's research and instructional activities.
4. Use in applying for or administering grants or contracts for research or instruction, but not for other fundraising or public relations activities.
5. Any other administrative communications or activities in direct support of research and instruction.
6. Announcements of new products or services for use in research or instruction but not advertising of any kind.
7. Any traffic originating from a network of another member agency of the Federal Networking Council if the traffic meets the acceptable use policy of that agency.
8. Communication incidental to otherwise acceptable use, except for illegal or specifically unacceptable use.
UNACCEPTABLE USES OF THE ACCESS NETWORK
1. Transmission of any material in violation of any US or state regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material; unlawfully discriminatory or harassing material; threatening, defamatory, obscene or pornographic material; or material protected by trade secret.
2. Use for for-profit activities, unless covered by the acceptable use provisions.
3. Non-incidental use for private or personal business as determined in the sole discretion of ACCESS administrators.
4. Use for commercial transactions, employee recruiting, product advertisement, or political lobbying.
5. Vandalism will result in cancellation of privileges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to alter, destroy, or reduce the usability of data of another user, agency, or network connected to ACCESS, the OECN, or the NSFNET Internet backbone. This includes, but is not limited to: the uploading or creation of computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, etc.
6. Any use that jeopardizes the security of user access, the ACCESS computer network or other networks on the Internet.
This list of prohibited uses is not exhaustive and is not to be construed to restrict ACCESS in any way from taking appropriate responsive action should an inappropriate use occur that does not fall into one of the categories above.
ACCESS and the OECN make no warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, for the service being provided and will not be responsible for any damages suffered, including loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, misdeliveries, or service interruptions caused by negligence, errors or omissions. ACCESS and the OECN specifically deny any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the network services; use of any such information is at the user's risk.
The network is a public medium, and all users are expected to abide by generally accepted rules of network etiquette, including (but not limited to) the following:
1. No use of abusive language in messages;
2. No use of vulgarities, obscenities, or other inappropriate language, including reposting or quoting obscene and/or inappropriate material;
3. No revelation of personal addresses or phone numbers;
4. No reposting of private communications without prior consent of the author; all communications and information accessible via the network should be assumed to be private property of the author/source; and
5. No use of the network which disrupts other users or seriously negatively affects the performance of others; the network is a shared resource with finite capacities.
6. Avoid excess use of system resources by daily monitoring and deleting electronic mail, subscriptions to News Groups, and lists.
Electronic mail (e-mail), along with any other files, network use and Internet access, should not be considered private by any user. By using the system, the user waives any expectation he/she may have otherwise possessed in any e-mail use, Internet access and all other activities conducted by, or with the assistance of, ACESS networks and property. Users understand that system administrators and operators can access e-mail, and e-mail software may misdirect messages. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to appropriate authorities. Illegal activities of any nature are strictly forbidden and will be reported to the appropriate authorities. Violators will lose privileges to use the network and may face possible prosecution.
CONTINUED USE OF THE NETWORK
ACCESS may occasionally require new registration and/or account information from all or selected users in order to continue service. Users agree to notify ACCESS of any changes in account information (address, etc.) as soon as possible. Currently, there are no user fees for this service.
ACCESS ADMINISTRATION OF ACCOUNTS
ACCESS system administrators reserve the right to limit or suspend access to the OECN and/or Internet or to supersede portions of this Agreement as may be deemed necessary for the maintenance, safety, or security of the ACCESS member districts or the OECN. The policy on administration of accounts is listed below.
1. ACCESS reserves the right to suspend network access at any time to maintain the integrity of the network.
2. ACCESS reserves the right to suspend network access by a member district not complying with the Terms and Conditions for Use of Network Resources. All decisions of ACCESS are final.
3. ACCESS reserves the right to suspend access temporarily or permanently to any user who does not comply with the Terms and Conditions for Use of Network Resources or for any reason deemed appropriate by the system administrators to maintain the integrity of the network. All decisions of ACCESS are final.
4. ACCESS reserves the right to recommend criminal charges against any user who does not obey applicable state and federal laws.
5. ACCESS reserves the right to log Internet use and to monitor system resources utilized by the user. As a condition of access, the user waives any right to privacy he or she may have otherwise with regard to accessing Internet sites, as well as any other system resources provided or maintained, in whole or in part, by ACCESS.
6. ACCESS reserves the right to monitor user accounts for system administration while respecting the privacy of user accounts. As a condition of access, the user waives any right to privacy he or she may have otherwise possessed with regard to accessing or using any user account(s) provided or maintained, in whole or in part, by ACCESS.
7. ACCESS firmly believes in the rights and guarantees provided by the laws of the State of Ohio and the United States of America. No intentional violation of these rights will occur.
SYSTEM SECURITY POLICY
The governing board and staff of the Area Cooperative Computerized Educational Service System recognizes that data maintained by the computer center is the legal property of the school district entering such data or to which such data is assigned. The computer center, therefore, is a holder in public trust of the data. ACCESS adopts the following policy statements concerning access to and security of the data. These statements are intended to assure the inviolability of the data, provide for procedures to permit access to data, and recommend features which districts and the computer center can implement to promote system and data security.
I. Data Access
Data maintained by the computer center shall be recognized as the property of the district and under the control of the district for purposes of access. Access to the data shall be granted as follows:
A. District personnel access upon written authorization* of the district's superintendent and treasurer. Such access may be restricted (as may be practical or technically possible) to certain data sets and/or specific access types. *ACCESS shall provide a standard form for authorization.
B. Computer center staff access when such access is within the scope of their assigned duties, but only as may be necessary to maintain the data structure, research and correct problems, and provide backup capabilities.
C. Outside access upon the written authorization from an administrative official of the district.
D. Privacy Statement
Network access is provided as a tool for District business. ACCESS reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store at any time and without prior notice any and all usage of the Network and any and all materials, files, information, data, metadata, software, communications (including emails) and other content transmitted, received or stored in connection with this usage. All such information, content and files shall be and remain the property of ACCESS and its customers and you should not have any expectation of privacy regarding those materials. Network administrators may review files and intercept communications for any reason, including but not limited to for purposes of maintaining system integrity and ensuring that users are using the system in a manner consistent with this Policy.
II. Security Recommendations
The first point of security is access to the computer system and its data via the local network of users. To enhance security and reduce the risk of unauthorized access, the following guidelines shall be followed:
A. Each user will be assigned one unique account for access to the system.
B. Each user account shall require a password with a minimum of 6 characters. This password shall be treated as confidential information by the users; no list of passwords shall be maintained by the computer center or the district.
C. All users will be required by the system to change their password at least every 90 days with the exception of "captive" accounts (those which have access to only limited, non-system programs and commands) which must have their passwords assigned by the computer center and shall be changed at least every year.
D. A review of user account activity will be performed quarterly by the computer staff. User accounts that have not been accessed in the previous 180 days will be disabled; users not accessing their account in the previous 90 days will be notified that such inactivity may cause their account to be disabled.
E. Users shall be granted only those privileges consistent with the duties and responsibilities of their position. Authorized privileges shall be grouped into either a "normal" or "extended" category: "normal" privileges are granted by the system when a user logs onto the system and represent the privileges required to perform the users normal duties; "extended" privileges are those privileges which the user may be authorized to use, but which must be specifically enabled by the user before being utilized.
F. Access to the computer system via an electronic network outside the ACCESS area will be restricted to the minimum level of access necessary for authorized users. No "general access" accounts shall be maintained.
G. Access to privileged or system accounts shall only occur with the authorization of the ACCESS system administrators. Following outside access to a privileged account, the account password shall be changed to prevent further access without the computer center staff's knowledge.
H. Sufficient audit alarms shall be enabled to track attempts to break into a user or system account and other security related events. The audit log shall be reviewed daily for suspicious entries and a record kept of actions taken regarding such entries.
In all events, the ACCESS system administrators shall have the authority and responsibility to take actions necessary to insure the integrity of the data and security of the computer system, or to enable district users to utilize the computer system to fulfill the duties associated with their position. In such cases, a return to the adherence of these guidelines shall be made as soon as practical. ACCESS
Area Cooperative Computerized Education Service System
100 DeBartolo Place, Suite 222
Youngstown, OH 44512