University at Buffalo Information Technology
RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES

The University at Buffalo has policies that define responsible use of computers and networks. There are also federal, state and local laws governing many interactions that occur on the Internet. You need to be aware of what your responsibilities are and what the process is for adjudicating violations. You also need to know what rights and responsibilities you have and how you can get help if your rights are violated.
[UB thanks Cornell University for its graphic and content assistance in the preparation of this document.]



Index

Table of Contents


University-wide Policies and Codes


Student Conduct Rules

The Student Conduct Rules set forth standards of behavior that apply to all students. The Board of Trustees has authority over different sections of the Rules, and the Rules are amended from time to time to foster a safe and productive learning and living environment.  Violations of university policies, including computer usage policies, also constitute violations of the Student Conduct Rules.

Violations of the Student Conduct Rules are handled by the Student Wide Judiciary (SWJ) according to the procedures defined in the Rules. More serious incidents (e.g., felonies) may be turned over to local and/or federal law enforcement agencies, as appropriate. Individuals who feel they have been victimized by computer abuse violations may choose to refer the matter to the SWJ, or may choose to pursue the matter outside the university (for example, through the civil or criminal courts).

All violations listed under the UB IT Computer and Network Usage Policy and the UB IT Resources Conditions of Use Policy are also violations of the Student Conduct Rules. To direct reports to the most appropriate place, see the specific examples under the policies below. In most cases, reports regarding alleged computer or network related violations involving members of the UB community can be made directly to the Computer Discipline Officer


UB IT Computer and Network Usage Policy

The UB IT Computer and Network Usage Policy was developed in 1997 and applies to all faculty, students and staff.  The basic premise is that legitimate use of a computer or network does not extend to whatever an individual is capable of doing with it. Just because you are able to circumvent restrictions or security, doesn't mean that you are allowed to do so.

Violations by students of the UB IT Computer and Network Usage Policy are handled by the Student Wide Judiciary according to the procedures defined in the Student Conduct Rules. Violations by faculty and staff are handled by their supervisor or chair, who may handle it directly, or may refer it to Human Resources. Alleged violations of this policy can be reported directly to the Computer Discipline Officer. If the person responsible is not affiliated with the university, or cannot be identified, the incident should still be reported to the Computer Discipline Officer. In addition, some instances may violate federal law. See Federal computer security violations for more information.

Examples (not a comprehensive list) of policy violations include:


UB IT Resources Conditions of Use Policy

The UB IT Resources Conditions of Use Policy is an official university policy that applies to all faculty, students and staff. It deals with authorized and responsible use, and serves as a supplement  to the UB IT Computer and Network Use Policy. Report alleged violations to the Computer Discipline Officer.

Technology Fee

All students at UB pay a technology fee to provide for a robust and up-to-date information technology (IT) infrastructure on campus.  This technology fee does not provide an absolute right for access to the IT infrastructure, but is coupled with its responsible and legal use, as detailed in this document and related policies. 


What are some violations of University at Buffalo policy?


The section on University-wide Policies and Codes describes what activities constitute responsible use as well as violations. Following is more detail about some violations that CIT frequently gets questions about.



What are NOT violations of University at Buffalo policy?



What is illegal under local, state and federal laws?


Any activity that is illegal is a violation of UB policy. Alleged violations will be referred to the campus Judicial Administrator. In addition, offenders may be investigated and/or prosecuted by the appropriate local, state or federal authorities. For more information on the law, check out Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute.

Useful Contact Information


This page is developed and maintained by the Computer Discipline Officer of  Academic Computing, CIT. Please write to us with your feedback.
mailboxE-mail: abuse@buffalo.edu

Last updated May 19, 2004