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General Computer & Network Use


Information Technology


All members of the Pratt community are expected to use its computer and network resources in a responsible manner. In the event of violations of institutional policies or codes, or of state or federal laws

General Computer & Network Use Policy
All members of the Pratt community are expected to use its computer and network resources in a responsible manner. In the event of violations of institutional policies or codes, or of state or federal laws, use of Pratt computers or networks may be restricted. Specifically, Pratt Institute reserves the right to limit access to its networks or Institute computers and to remove or limit access to material contained in its computers.
Reason for Policy
• To protect the Institute against damaging or legal consequences.
• To enforce its policies regarding harassment and the safety of individuals.
• To prevent the posting of illegal software and other copyrighted materials.
• To secure the integrity of computers, networks and data, both Institute-owned and reachable through the Internet.
• To ensure that the rules governing computer and network use comply with and support other Institute rules and codes of conduct.
Affected Entities
All members of the Pratt community, specifically any persons accessing computer or network resources through any Institute facility or through the network or dial-in facilities. 
Related Documents
• Pratt Institute Student Handbook
• Pratt Institute Internet User’s Guide
All members of the Pratt Institute community.
Pratt Institute’s mission is to educate men and women to become creative, responsible professionals who will contribute fully to society. The Institute upholds values and standards that support that mission and holds high expectations regarding the conduct of students, faculty, and staff. Above all, we respect one another and behave in ways that advance the free association of people and ideas. We cherish the diversity represented by our people, their disparate values and ideas; while, at the same time, we expect one another to value and uphold the community standards essential to the pursuit of academic excellence and social responsibility. The Board of Trustees reinforced these ideals by passing a resolution on freedom of expression in 1992:
“It is resolved that: Pratt Institute supports and upholds freedom of speech and other forms of expression because these freedoms are essential to (our educational mission).  At the same time, Pratt recognizes that such freedoms exist in the context of law and responsibility for one’s actions and, therefore, the exercise of these rights must not deny the same rights of others.”
Such is the spirit in which the Computer and Network Responsible Use Policy is written. Access to the Institute’s network and other computer resources is not a right but a privilege, and the Institute takes seriously its obligation to protect itself and its members against the misuse of the network and other computer resources as well as from liabilities that might be imposed against it and its members by such misuse. Therefore, the Institute reserves the rights to not only extend but also to limit or restrict computing privileges and access to its computer resources. All users are expected to know, understand and abide by the regulations set forth in this Statement.
Institute Standard Procedures
Pratt Institute does not monitor the content on or generally restrict access to it’s computers or networks, including privately owned computers in dormitory locations. However, Pratt reserves the right to monitor activity within its domain and to limit or deny access to Institute-owned computers and networks in the following instances:
• When network activity is reported which violates Institute policies, or state or federal laws.
• When a report is received that materials are posted on Pratt owned computers, or computers inside the Pratt domain, which violate Institute policies, or state or federal laws.
• When an incidence is reported of the commercial use of Pratt owed computers, or computers inside the Pratt domain, if the commercial activity uses Pratt’s network services.
Policy Violations
Violations of this policy may include using Pratt Institute computers or networks to:
• Harass, threaten, libel or slander or otherwise cause harm to specific individuals or classes of individuals whether by direct or indirect means.
• Cause destruction or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Institute or to others.
• Disrupt or impair the activities of others including the unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
• Copy, download or transmit across Pratt’s network, illegal, proprietary, or unauthorized copyright-protected material.
• Use of the Institutes’ trademarks, logos, or copyrights without prior approval.
• Develop programs or use existing programs that harass other users; infiltrates a computer or computing system; damages or alters software components of a computer or computing system; or introduces computer viruses.
• Gain unauthorized access to other systems, facilities or data either directly or via the network.
• Tamper with others’ files, storage media, passwords, accounts; or represent others when sending messages or engaging in conferences.
• Conduct any commercial activity, including any activity published from personally owned computers and/or personal web pages, but which use the Pratt network. This includes using e-mail to solicit sales or conduct business, setting up a web page to advertise or sell a service, or posting an advertisement to a News group.
• Excess personal use of e-mail that interferes with other users or services by burdening Pratt`s network or systems or which attacks outside domains. Abuse includes, but is not limited to, spamming, chain letters, letter bombs or any other type of widespread distribution of unsolicited e-mail.
• Violate any state or federal law.
Reporting Violations
Violation reports will be accepted from both within the Pratt domain and externally. The targeted individual or representatives of targeted groups should report violations but any violation report will be considered. In the event that you believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, contact Academic Computing or the Office of Residential Life. In addition, contact Pratt Security if you believe that an individual’s health or safety may be in jeopardy.
Procedures for Handling Violations
In case of a written, oral or electronically transmitted complaint of misuse of this policy, the Director of Academic Computing or designee will request authorization to access information contained in that user’s account and, if warranted, to suspend the account until the matter is resolved.
Access to and suspension of accounts must be recorded and the alleged offender(s) notified as soon as possible. If the complaint appears to have merit, the Vice President of Student Life and Director of Academic Computing will meet with the alleged offender, and will follow the Institute’s judicial procedural guidelines.
Consequences of Violations
Pratt Institute reserves the right to monitor, restrict or deny access to its computers and networks in the event of a violation of this policy, other Institute policies, or of state and federal law. As stated above, penalties will be in accordance with Institute guidelines. However, Pratt will cooperate with outside law enforcement agencies in the investigation of criminal activity occurring within the Pratt domain.