Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


1.0 BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Information Technology (“IT”) includes a vast and growing array of computing, electronic and voice
communications facilities and services. At the Colorado School of Mines (“Mines” or “the school”),
IT plays an integral role in the fulfillment of the school’s research and educational missions and on-
going administrative operations. Taxpayers, students, other funding sources, and the public at
large, expect that these assets will be used in a lawful manner to effectively and efficiently support
the school’s mission. Users of Mines’ IT assets have a responsibility not to abuse them and to
respect the rights of other members of the Mines’ community as well as the school itself. The
following policy provides for the appropriate use of Mines’ IT systems.

2.0 SCOPE

2.1. Applicability: This policy applies to all users of Mines’ IT systems including, but not
limited to, Mines students, faculty, staff, guests, contractors, and visitors. It applies to the
use of all Mines’ IT systems including systems, networks, and facilities administered by the
Department of Campus Computing, Communications, and Information Technologies
(CCIT), as well as those administered by individual departments, laboratories, and other
Mines units. This policy also covers systems not owned or managed by Mines under
certain conditions of law related to public records, copyright, and others, especially if those
systems are associated with the school and periodically connected to it via networking
facilities.
2.2. Existing Policies. Policies that already govern facilities use, freedom of expression,
academic integrity, privacy, electronic mail, electronic communications with students and
employees, sexual harassment, and others, may apply to IT Systems use as well. This
Policy addresses circumstances which are more directly IT related and is intended to
augment, not supersede, any other relevant school policies. (see Section 4.7)
2.3. Detailed Appropriate Use. Faculty, staff, and students must be aware of their
department or office policies and governing documents concerning appropriate use.
These documents may contain more detailed statements regarding appropriate use. Such
statements may be more restrictive than this policy, but may not be more permissive. In
the event of a conflict, this Information Technology Appropriate Use Policy will prevail.

3.0 POLICY
The Colorado School of Mines seeks to provide for the following:
• An IT infrastructure which promotes and facilitates the educational and research
missions of Mines as well as its administrative functions;
• IT systems which are reliable, available, and perform in a superior manner.
In order to facilitate these goals, IT systems may only be used for their intended purposes, as
authorized, in support of the research, educational, administrative, and other appropriate functions
of Mines. Users are expected to exercise good judgment and operate under best practices in the
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Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


use of IT systems. All users have an ethical and a legal responsibility to use IT systems
appropriately and will be held accountable for their behavior.

4.0 SPECIFIC PROHIBITIONS

The following categories of IT systems use are prohibited:

4.1. Use that interferes with, stops, impedes, or impairs the intended use of an IT
System, or otherwise causes harm to the activities of others. Users shall not deny or
interfere with (or attempt to deny or interfere with) the operation of an IT System or impair
service to other users in any way. This includes any form of “monopolization”, misusing
mailing lists, propagating chain letters or virus hoaxes, “spamming” (spreading email,
postings, instant messages, etc., widely and without good purpose), etc. These acts (or
examples), or any other behaviors which may cause excessive network traffic or
computing load are prohibited.
4.2. Use for commercial personal gain. Mines IT resources are provided to students
primarily to fulfill their academic responsibilities and obligations and to employees to fulfill
their professional responsibilities. Students shall not use Mines IT resources to operate a
business or for ongoing commercial activity that generates personal income. Employees
shall not use Mines IT resources to operate a business or for consulting or commercial
activity that generates personal income or financial gain. Certain exceptions to this
restriction may exist. Rules and procedures identified in the Faculty Handbook, emeritus,
separation, or similar agreements with the institution will determine and govern these
exceptions.

4.3. Harassing or threatening use. Users shall not utilize IT systems such as e-mail or
messaging services to harass or intimidate another person. Two examples include
sending repeated unwanted mail and display of material known to be offensive to others
(e.g. sexual material.)
4.4. Use which damages the integrity of the school or of other IT systems. Examples in
this category include the following:
4.4.1. Attempts to defeat system security. (e.g. by “cracking” or guessing credentials,
compromising room locks or alarm systems, etc.) This provision does not prohibit
CCIT or authorized systems administrators from using appropriate tools within the
scope of their job responsibilities and authority.
4.4.2. Unauthorized Access or Use. Users may only use the IT Systems they are
authorized to use and only for the purposes specified when their authorization was
granted. Specifically:
i. Users may not seek or assist others in seeking access to IT systems or to
data on IT Systems that they are not authorized to access.
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Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


ii. Users may not use other’s system credentials or allow others to use their
credentials under any circumstances.
iii. Users shall not intercept or access data communications (or attempt to
intercept or access data communications) that are not intended for them.
iv. Users shall not make or attempt to make any deliberate, unauthorized data
changes on any IT system.
v. Users shall not utilize or attempt to utilize any IT system to detect, attack, or
exploit weaknesses in any other systems, on or off-campus.
vi. Users shall not access data elements, even if coincidentally authorized,
which are not required for the purposes specified in their authorization or, for
employees, for purposes not required by their job duties (e.g. accessing
data out of simple curiosity.)
4.4.3. Disguised use. Users shall not conceal their identity when using IT systems
unless the option of anonymous access is explicitly authorized. Users also shall not
masquerade or impersonate another person or otherwise use or attempt to use a
false identity in any way.
4.4.4. Violations of Privacy or Confidentiality. Whether done intentionally or not, users
shall not disclose private, legally protected, or other sensitive personal information
concerning a member of the Mines community, or disclose any other confidential
information to which they have access, either publicly or to another individual who is
not authorized to access the same information. In the event of an unintentional
disclosure of personal or sensitive information users are expected to notify the
CISO immediately.
4.4.5. Distribution of “malware.” Users shall not knowingly distribute or launch
computer viruses, worms, or other “malware.”
4.4.6. Removal or modification of data or equipment. Without specific authorization,
Users shall not remove or modify any school-owned or administered equipment or
data from IT systems.
4.4.7. Use of unauthorized devices. Users shall not attach network switches, routers,
wireless access points, or any other device to the campus network without
authorization and proper registration. Users shall not permanently attach
(physically or electronically) additional devices to IT systems managed by CCIT
without authorization. Temporarily connected devices such as USB flash drives
must comply with all applicable IT, data management, and security policies.
4.5. Use in violation of law. Illegal use of IT systems is prohibited. Illegal use means use in
violation of applicable civil or criminal law at the federal, state, or local levels. Examples
include: distributing, receiving, transmitting, or possessing child pornography; infringing
upon any copyright, trademark, or patent; etc.
4.5.1. Compliance With Copyright Law Use of school information systems must comply
with provisions of copyright law and fair use. Copyright law limits the rights of a user
to decrypt, copy, edit, transmit or retransmit another’s intel ectual property, including
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Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


written materials, images, sounds, music, and performances, even in an educational
context, without permission, except where such use is in compliance with Fair Use or
TEACH Act provisions.
4.6. Use in violation of school contracts. All use of IT systems shall be in compliance with
Mines’ contractual obligations to software vendors, research granting agencies, and any
other licensing agreements.
4.7. Use in violation of school policy. Use of IT Systems which violates other school
policies also violates this policy. See Section 2.2.
4.8. Use in violation of external data network policies. Users shall observe all applicable
policies of external data networks when using such networks.
Please note that this list of specific prohibitions is not exhaustive. With the rapid advancement of IT
systems technology, other inappropriate uses may develop that are not listed above. The school
reserves the right to investigate any complaints or suspicion of alleged abuse of IT systems
regardless of its inclusion in this section.

5.0 RESPONSIBILITIES
5.1 Personal Account Responsibility. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of
their IT Systems accounts and passwords. Accounts and passwords may not be shared
with others. Users are responsible for any activity carried out under their IT Systems
accounts.
5.2 Incidental Personal Use. Incidental personal use is an accepted and appropriate benefit
of being associated with Colorado School of Mines technology environment. Appropriate
incidental personal use of technology resources does not result in any measurable cost to
the school, and benefits the school by allowing personnel to avoid needless
inconvenience. Incidental personal use must adhere to all applicable school policies.
Under no circumstances may incidental personal use involve violations of the law,
interfere with the fulfillment of an employee's school responsibilities, or adversely impact
or conflict with activities supporting the mission of the school. Note that any files stored on
Mines resources are considered property of the school and subject to all school, state and
federal regulations including the Colorado Open Records Act.
5.3 Encryption of Data. All data that belongs to the Colorado School of Mines that is stored
on any mobile device, and disclosure of which poses a security risk, must be encrypted
using an institutionally approved encryption application. Further information is available in
the Administrative Data Policy, Mandatory Use of Encryption Software for Mobile Devices
executive directive, and the Security Practices and Guidelines document.

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Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


5.4 Responsibility for Content. Official school information may be published in a variety of
electronic forms. The certifying authority under whose auspices the information is
published is responsible for the content of the published document.
Users also are able to publish information on IT systems or over Mines’ networks. Neither
Mines nor CCIT can screen such privately published material nor can they ensure its
accuracy or assume responsibility for its content.
5.5 Content Security. The school takes reasonable steps to promote and preserve the
security of its IT systems, yet security can be breached through actions beyond the
school’s reasonable control. Therefore, the school cannot guarantee the absolute security
of any user’s content. Further, the school relies on users to employ reasonable means to
protect their own security and thereby, that of the entire IT Systems environment. (See
Section 4.)
5.6 Content Privacy. The school takes reasonable steps to promote and preserve the
privacy of its IT systems, yet privacy can be breached through actions beyond the school’s
reasonable control. Further, while not a breach of privacy, but rather as part of their
routine job duties, users should be aware that systems administrators may coincidentally
come into contact with user’s content or may even be required to analyze that content or
its metadata to support IT system integrity.
5.7 IT System Logs. IT systems routinely log user actions in order to facilitate recovery from
system malfunctions or for other appropriate IT system management purposes. Users
should recognize that the extent of individually identifiable data collected in IT systems
logs may vary.
5.8 Personal Identification. Upon request of a systems administrator or other school
authority, users shall produce valid Mines identification (e.g. when requesting access to a
secure IT system or area.)
6.0 ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES & PENALTIES
6.1 Complaints of Alleged Violations. An individual who believes that he or she has been
harmed by an alleged violation of this policy may file a complaint in accordance with
established grievance procedures for students, faculty, and staff, including procedures for
filing sexual harassment complaints, when relevant. The individual is also encouraged to
report the alleged violation to the systems authority overseeing the facility most directly
involved, or to the Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”), or to the Chief Information
Officer (“CIO”).
6.2 Reporting Observed Violations. An individual (including a CCIT employee) who
believes that he or she has observed or otherwise is aware of a violation of this policy but
has not been harmed by the alleged violation shall report the violation to the systems
authority overseeing the facility most directly involved, or to the CISO, or to the CIO.
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Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


6.3 Disciplinary Procedures. Alleged violations of this policy will be pursued in accordance
with the appropriate disciplinary procedures for faculty, staff, and students, as outlined in
the Faculty Handbook, State Personnel Rules, Student Handbook Policies, and other
applicable law and materials. CCIT will assist as required in these procedures.
6.4 Penalties. Violators of this policy may be subject to penalties provided by the applicable
procedures and policies referenced in the preceding paragraph, as well as IT-specific
penalties including temporary or permanent reduction or elimination of some or all IT
privileges, and any penalties established by applicable law. The appropriate penalties
shall be determined by the applicable disciplinary authority in consultation with the CIO.
Further, the school, acting through an authorized systems administrator, may deactivate a
user’s IT privileges any time it deems deactivation necessary to preserve the integrity
and/or safety of facilities, user services, data, or other assets.
6.5 Legal Liability for Unlawful Use. In addition to school discipline, users may be subject
to criminal prosecution, civil liability, or both, for any unlawful use of any IT system.
6.6 Appeals. Users found in violation of this policy may use the appeals process defined in
the relevant disciplinary procedure applied to the incident.

7.0 DEFINITIONS:
7.1 IT Systems: The computers, terminals, printers, network and other appliances, wiring
infrastructure, telephone and telecommunications devices and software, online and offline
data storage media and related equipment, owned or licensed software, applications, and
data files owned, managed, or maintained by the school. These include institutional as
well as departmental information systems, faculty research systems, desktop computers,
Mines campus data and telecommunications networks, general access computer clusters,
etc.
7.2 Malware: Any one of a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or
program code designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner or user’s intent.
Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware,
crime-ware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software. Malware is not
the same as defective software or software that has a legitimate purpose but contains
harmful bugs.
7.3 User: A “user” is a person who makes use of any Mines IT system from any location,
whether that use is authorized or not. For example, users include a person using an on-
campus cluster computer as well as a person using his or her own personal computer off-
campus but connected to a Mines’ IT system via network.
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Information Technology
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Appropriate Use Policy
Computing, Communications & Information
Technologies


Issued: March, 2014
Policy Contact:


Chief Information Officer

Revised:


7.4 Systems Authority: Mines as the legal owner and operator of all of its IT systems,
delegates oversight of particular systems to the head of a specific subdivision,
department, or office of the school, or to an individual faculty member in particular cases
including those IT systems purchased with research or other funds for which the faculty
member is responsible. The individual with delegated oversight of an IT system is the
System Authority and is responsible for all aspects of that system.
7.5 Systems Administrator: Systems Authorities often designate one or more persons as
“System Administrator(s)” to manage the particular IT system(s) assigned to them.
System Administrators oversee the day-to-day operation of the system including provision
of authorized user credentials.
7.6 Certifying Authority: An employee of the school who has been given the authority to
certify the appropriateness and accuracy of an official school document for electronic
publication in the course of school business, such as the Director of Public Relations,
Registrar, the Director of Institutional Research and/or other authorities who are
responsible for publications.
7.7 Specific Authorization: Documented permission (e.g. an approved system access
request form or other valid communication on file, or a valid Mines e-Key) to use a specific
IT System for a specific purpose granted by the systems authority, system owner, the CIO
or the responsible Vice President in their respective area.

8.0 POLICY REVIEW:
This policy may be periodically reviewed by the CIO who may consult with relevant school
committees, faculty, students, and staff regarding changes that should be considered.
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