Technology, privacy and acceptable use

Technology, privacy of information, and acceptable use policy

 In order to ensure a fair and equitable sharing of our Internet connection from the dorms for all students, Student Senate has established limits on the total amount of traffic a student may send to or receive from the Internet. The limits are imposed using a rolling 7 day window. During that rolling window, each student connection is permitted to transfer Internet traffic up to the established limits. Student Senate may adjust the limits from time to time to maintain fair and responsive access to the Internet.

A "usage web page" is available that will report your current usage so that you are always aware of where you stand compared to the limit.

Check your Internet usage at usage.cune.edu »

If you have a legitimate reason to move a large amount of data that exceeds the limit, please contact Computing Services for alternatives. If you have other questions, please contact your Student Senate representative or check out the FAQ that is available from the usage web page.

Computer and telecommunication technology provide a variety of means for communicating and transferring information. These include, but are not limited to, electronic mail, voice mail, telephone communication, cellular communication and video communication.

Technological developments may incorporate other forms in the future.

All students, faculty and staff members are advised that:

The technology to which you have access, the information stored in it and the information transferred through it are the property of Concordia University. These facilities and resources are for use in carrying out duties as an employee or as arranged by the University with students. Appropriate personal use is also permitted within these same limitations. Commercial use is prohibited.

During the course of normal maintenance operations, during checks to ensure security, or at the request of the President, authorized personnel may monitor the use of these facilities and resources, and they may examine information found there. You have no reasonable right of privacy while using these University-owned systems.

While any information encountered will normally be treated as confidential, any activities or information deemed inappropriate by the University, or which may be unlawful, will be reported to the proper University authorities for further action. Inappropriate activities include but are not limited to, viewing or transmitting obscene materials, harassment of any sort, and interfering with the use of these facilities by others. Concordia University will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies in their investigation of unlawful events.

Theft or other abuse of computing or network resources including, but not limited to:

  1. Any attempt, successful or not, to read, modify, store or delete any data or software located anywhere in Concordia’s computing resources to which you do not have authorized access.
  2. Any attempt, successful or not, to read, modify, store or delete any data or software located on any non-Concordia owned computer, including those owned by other students, faculty or staff, for which the owner has not given authorized access.
  3. Use of Concordia’s computing resources, including our internal network, to send, receive or store any data files or software to which you do not have legal access, including material copyrighted by others where you do not have explicit permission to possess, make or distribute copies.
  4. Use of Concordia’s computing resources, including our internal network, to send or receive obscene or pornographic materials, drawings, or images, or any other materials that are illegal for you to possess.
  5. Any attempt, successful or not, to interfere in any way with the normal operation of Concordia’s computing resources, including our internal network, or to interfere with the ability of any other user to access and use Concordia’s computing resources.
  6. Any attempt, successful or not, to assume the identity of any other person, by use of a username or ID that is not assigned to you, or by attempting to determine a password by any means possible.
  7. Any attempt, successful or not, to use any Concordia computing resources to interfere with the operation of any other computing resource outside Concordia’s domain.
  8. Use of Concordia’s computing resources, including our internal network, for commercial use or personal financial gain.
  9. Attempts to allow access to Concordia’s computing resources to unauthorized persons. This includes, and is not limited to, acts originating on University owned computers in and out of Student labs, and privately owned computers in the resident hall rooms using University networking.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) states that copying and sharing copyrighted materials without a license is illegal. The DMCA can subject the user (and in some cases the university) to criminal and civil penalties for copy right violations. Each criminal offense carries with it a minimum fine of $30,000 and a potential jail sentence.

Besides the criminal penalties, civil penalties are available to copy right owners. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and some other copyright owners and groups have recently stepped up their enforcement activities of responding to peer-to-peer file sharing under the DMCA. Actions have included gathering evidence of file sharing and sending pre-litigation settlement offers for civil action against students through university IT departments. The initial settlement offers average in the thousands of dollars. The letters state, among other things, that “the Copyright Act imposes a range of statutory damages for copyright infringement.

The minimum damages under the law is $750 for each copyrighted recording that has been infringed (“shared”).

The maximum damage award can be substantially more. In addition to damages, you may also be responsible for paying the legal fees we incur in order to pursue these claims, and are subject to having an injunction entered against you prohibiting you from further Infringing activity.

"Now that you are aware that a lawsuit may be filed against you, there is an obligation for you to preserve evidence that relates to the claims against you. In this case, that means, at a minimum, the entire library of recordings that you have made available for distribution as well as any recordings you have downloaded, need to be maintained as evidence. Further, you should not attempt to delete the peer-to-peer programs from your system – though you must stop them from operating. For information on how to do this, you may visit www.musicunited.org. This is a serious matter and to the extent you have any questions, we strongly encourage you to contact us to ask those questions. Finally, if you would like more information regarding music downloading/file sharing and peer-to-peer networks, please visit www.p2plawsuits.com.”

It is the position of Concordia University, Nebraska that the unauthorized use of copy righted materials -- downloading and file sharing via the internet -- is both illegal and against Concordia University, Nebraska policy. Failure to comply with policy is a breach of the Concordia University, Nebraska Student Conduct Code and will subject students to discipline under the appropriate Section 2 Conduct: Rules and Regulations and Sanctions. Besides being illegal, the traffic such sharing generates easily can cause problems for other users at the university as file sharing consumes a lot of bandwidth. Federal law requires that the university take action when it is notified that someone on its network is distributing copyrighted materials without a license. The university will comply with valid subpoenas it receives in such cases and, when required by law, will comply with directives to cooperate with the legal gathering and protection of evidence against copy right violators.  

Most of the music, games or videos downloaded through file-sharing programs like Morpheus or KaZaA lack permission of the copyright owner. And, those very programs used by individuals to download material, automatically open file-sharing services from their computer. So, without knowing it explicitly, by downloading the program and the files the computer is programmed to share files back out into the international Internet community. Individuals are therefore liable to be in violation of the DMCA, even if all they did initially was download a single song.

What can you do about it? Simple – do not download copyrighted material for which you do not have the owner's permission. Students should consider removing illegally-obtained copyrighted material and/or peer-to-peer applications that might illegally share copyrighted material from any computer you manage on the university network. This would put you in compliance with Concordia University, Nebraska policy and the law. However, if you choose not to remove these, you should immediately ensure that your system is set to prevent it from acting as a provider of unlicensed materials to other users. There are many legitimate uses for peer-to-peer file sharing software, but make sure that you are not incurring unintended, illegal activity by having this software on your computer.

Alternatives to illegal file sharing

Educause (www.educause.edu/legalcontent) maintains a comprehensive list of Legal Downloading Resources. Click on “Legal Sources of Online Content”. You will find sources such as iTunes, Lala, Zune, etc. The Concordia community is encouraged to use these legitimate sources of digital content by purchasing music, movies, shows, games, etc. legally.