Appropriate Use of Computers for Faculty & Staff

Updated November 2013


(1) Introduction This policy is to provide guidelines for the responsible use of computing, networking and message systems at the Law School. It is intended to augment existing laws and policies on this issue. Use of the computer resources is governed by this policy and applicable state and federal laws.


(2) Access The computer resources are solely for use by registered students, faculty, staff and approved guest accounts.


(3) Confidentiality Every attempt must be made to ensure the security and confidentiality of the information residing on the computing systems. Computing systems encompass all computer related equipment including but not limited to hardware, software, cabling, phone lines and communication devices that are on California Western School of Law property. The information residing on CWSL computing systems is considered proprietary in nature and is therefore to be viewed, accessed and disseminated only by or to authorized persons. Information about individuals should be on a need-to-know basis only.


(4) Electronic Mail (e-mail) & Voice Mail (v-mail) The Law School permits employees to receive, send, and transfer messages via its computer and telephone systems. These systems are assets of the Law School installed to facilitate business communications. Although employees may use codes to restrict access to messaging systems, they are intended solely for business use. The Law School reserves the right to monitor, gain access, restrict access, and examine the contents of both electronic and voice mailboxes.


(5) Violations Violation of this policy, or state and/or federal laws can result in a permanent loss of computing privileges, referral to the proper authority on campus, administrative action, probation, suspension, termination, requirements to make financial restitution, a fine and/or imprisonment. For violations of any computer system, computer laws and policies, and/or breach in security of any computer equipment within the Law School the Executive Director of Information Technology is to be notified, who, when appropriate, will notify the Cabinet. The user community is expected to cooperate with Information Technology in its operation of computer systems and networks as well as in the investigation of misuse or abuse. Should any system's security be threatened, user files may be examined under the direction of the appropriate Law School officials. It is a violation of this policy to do any of the following:


(a)     Use a computer ID, without permission, that was not assigned to you as a single or multiple access user by Information Technology.


(b)     Attempt to disguise the identity of an account or machine.


(c)     Attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes


(d) Deliberately perform an act which will seriously impact the operation of computers, terminals, peripherals or networks, including but not limited to tampering with the components of a local area network (LAN) or the high-speed backbone network, otherwise blocking communication lines, or interfering with the operational readiness of a



(e) Run or install on any of the computer systems, or give to another, a program which could result in the eventual damage to a file or computer system and/or the reproduction of itself. This is directed toward but not limited to the classes of programs known as computer viruses, Trojan Horses and worms.


(f) Attempt to modify in any way hardware or software which Information Technology supplies for any type of use at its sites


(g) Deliberately perform acts which are wasteful of computing resources. These acts include but are not limited to sending mass mailing or chain letters, obtaining unnecessary output, creating unnecessary multiple jobs or processes or creating unnecessary network traffic.


(h) Harass others by sending annoying, threatening, libelous, or sexually, racially or religiously offensive messages.


(i) Attempt to monitor another user's communications, read, copy, change or delete another user's files or software, without permission.


(j) Fail to abide by the terms of all software licensing agreements and copyright laws.


(k) Place the following information on any Law School owned system


(i) That which infringes upon the rights of another person.


(ii) That which is abusive, profane or sexually offensive to the average person.


(iii) That which may injure someone else and/or lead to a lawsuit or criminal charges. Examples are pirated or destructive software, obscene materials or libelous statements..


(iv) That which consists of any solicitation or advertisement for commercial enterprises.


(v)  Personal files, unrelated to Law School business, included but not limited to music, photo, audio or video files.  The school could be held liable for copyright infringement.


(l) Unauthorized sharing of any material not authored or created by the sender over the network is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to copyrighted materials , classroom lectures or other intellectual property. For example:  movies, music or audio or video recordings of classroom lectures.