Code of Ethics for Information Technology at Colby College
Information technology facilities (computer hardware, software, networks, data and other information,
etc.) are made available at Colby as shared resources intended to support and facilitate the teaching,
research, and administrative functions of the College. Students, faculty, staff, and authorized guests are
encouraged to use these resources to their maximum benefit in these functions. Experimentation,
exploration, and learning are promoted within common sense and legal constraints.
Network and system administrators will establish facilities that provide an appropriate level of
security and the Information Technology Services staff will operate, maintain and support them in a
manner that protects the privacy of users and the integrity of the systems and data on the network. The
use of these facilities, including network communications, routinely involves event logging, filtering and
analysis for operational and information security purposes. All users of College-owned facilities, account
holders, network and systems administrators and campus visitors are expected to treat the contents of
electronic files and network communications as private and confidential and act in accordance with
Colby's Information Systems and Data Security Policy. Any inspection of electronic files, and any action
based upon such inspection, will be governed by all applicable U.S. and Maine laws and by College
Usefulness of the facilities depends upon the integrity of its users. Users are expected to exercise
care to help safeguard the reliability and security of IT facilities Individuals are accountable for their own
actions and all activity involving the personal account for which they have responsibility. Users are
obligated to maintain control of their personal account password and never divulge it to anyone. Divulging
your personal account password is a violation of this code. Using someone else's personal account is a
violation of this code. If access by another person to files protected by your account password is needed,
consult with the ITS staff for approaches that do not compromise password security.
The same standards and principles of intellectual and academic freedom, as well as rights to privacy,
developed for college libraries are applied to electronic material.
The same standards of intellectual and academic freedom developed for faculty and student
publication in traditional media apply to publication in electronic media. Examples of these electronic
materials and publishing media include, but are not limited to, electronic mail, online discussion forums,
mailing lists (Listserv) and Web pages.
The IT facilities may not be used in any manner prohibited by law or disallowed by licenses, contracts,
or College regulations. College policies and state and federal law make certain kinds of activities involving
information technology either abuse, civil offenses, or criminal offenses. Students, faculty, and staff
should be aware that criminal prosecution may occur if the law is violated. Examples of misuse include,
but are not limited to, the following:
- Use of information technology resources without permission;
- Access and attempts to access files, disks, or network communications other than one's own without appropriate permission;
- In appropriately disclosing or transferring sensitive data in violation of privacy laws (FERPA, HIPPA, etc.)
- Interference with any information technology system or another's use of any system, including consuming gratuitously large amounts of resources (storage space, processor time, network capacity, etc.) or by deliberately causing the failure of a system resource (overwhelming mail, deliberately crashing a computer system, corrupting a disk drive on a shared computer, etc.);
- Use of any College resource as a staging ground to crack (hack, break into) any other system without
- Sending threatening messages or other material intended to harass;
- Theft, including the illegal duplication of copyrighted material, or the propagation, use, or possession
- of illegally copied software or data;
- Damaging files, networks, software, or equipment;
- Misrepresenting one's identity (forgery), plagiarism, and violations of copyright, patent, or trade secret laws;
- Deliberate creation, distribution, or use of any software (viruses, worms, letter bombs, etc.) designed to maliciously destroy data and/or disrupt services.
Colby prohibits the use of its facilities for the purpose of private financial gain not relevant to the mission of the College. Examples of such use include making commercial contracts and providing services for pay, such as the preparation of papers or income tax forms. Any service provided over any part of Colby's network that involves private financial gain may be prohibited. In instances where some
private financial gain other than compensation by Colby is expected, permission must be granted in
advance by the College.
Violations of this Code of Ethics for Information Technology at Colby College are handled through
standard disciplinary processes as outlined in the Student Handbook and applicable faculty and staff
handbooks. Information Technology Services (ITS) may take immediate action to protect information
security, system integrity, and operational continuity, pending disciplinary decisions and review of ITS'
actions by the appropriate disciplinary authority.
This Code of Ethics also applies to Colby's off-campus programs but participants should be aware that
different laws and contractual requirements, as well as special policies, may be in force at those
Students, faculty, and staff, as constituents of the academic community, should be free, individually
and collectively, to express their views on this code of ethics. The campus Information Technology
Committee should review at least annually this code, soliciting all views, and recommending changes as
Approved by the Information Technology Committee on May 1, 2012