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Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources

This document establishes guidelines for appropriate use of information technology managed by University of Missouri Extension.

General Guidelines

The public nature of the Internet dictates that users conduct activities in a polite and professional manner. WWW documents and e-mail messages that you prepare or transmit are a reflection of 1) yourself, 2) University of Missouri Extension, and 3) the University of Missouri. Inappropriate material affects not only your image but  the image of your colleagues.

Distributing Information from the WWW

Volumes of information on every conceivable topic are available on the WWW. Much of this information is inaccurate and lacks the research-based credibility necessary for distribution by University of Missouri Extension specialists and county staff. Specialists are responsible for evaluating resources found on the web before distributing information to clientele. Specialists who are asked for information outside their subject-matter area should direct these requests to the appropriate specialist. Secretaries and office managers should direct questions to the appropriate specialists. Secretaries and office managers may distribute University of Missouri Extension-based information, such as guidesheets and OSEDA demographic data, to meet citizens' needs.

Obscene Images and Discriminatory Information

The Internet offers access to all forms of network-accessible information, including images and mail groups that are commonly judged as obscene. Printing, downloading and/or displaying these images or messages in any manner is inappropriate and can result in the loss of computing privileges and immediate probation for unacceptable professional behavior.

University of Missouri Extension specifically prohibits: 1) the transmission of information that promotes discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran; 2) origination or forwarding of hate mail, discriminatory remarks and other antisocial behaviors via e-mail; 3) use of the network to access or process pornographic material, inappropriate text files, or files dangerous to the integrity of the local area network; and direct hypertext links to such materials.

Inappropriate Material for WWW Documents

Faculty, staff and county extension councils may create WWW documents. Web pages may not duplicate copyrighted material, disclose confidential or personal information (such as social security numbers or program participation), or promote 1) personal political beliefs (including lobbying), 2) commercial or for-profit business interests, 3) discrimination, or 4) any unlawful activity. Direct hypertext links to such sources also is prohibited. Web pages containing links to business resources should contain a disclaimer in the footer: "Links are provided as a resource, and do not imply endorsement of products or services."

Computer Trespass

Law prohibits unauthorized access and use of computer systems. Individuals are responsible for any use of accounts by others to whom access has been given. Passwords should be changed periodically to prevent unauthorized use. E-mail may be sent only from personal e-mail accounts.

Computer Software and Copyrighted Materials

To protect intellectual property rights and the continued availability of Internet access, computer software, images and other materials protected under copyright laws will not be installed on University of Missouri Extension computers, transmitted via the Internet, or stored on any computer or server without the express written permission of the copyright owner, unless the original software is clearly identified as shareware or in the public domain.

Legal Aspects Associated With the Use of Information Technology Resources

Information technology system operators are to refrain from any illegal use of electronic resources regulated by international, national and state laws.

Electronic system users are to refrain from performing any act that will impair the operations of the information technology resources of the University and the systems of recipients receiving the information. Such acts include, but are not limited to, injecting computer viruses and sending excessively large mailings, large print jobs, batch programs, "junk mail" (including chain letters and other unsolicited mail), etc.

University of Missouri Extension information technology resources are for official use only.




John Myers,
Director, Extension Technology & Computer Services