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Acceptable Use / Copyright

Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy

I. Introduction

Access to modern information technology is essential to the State University mission of providing the students, faculty and staff of the State University of New York with educational services of the highest quality. The pursuit and achievement of the SUNY mission of education, research, and public service require that the privilege of the use of computing systems and software, internal and external data networks, as well as access to the World Wide Web, be made generally available to all those of the SUNY community. The preservation of that privilege by the full community requires that each faculty member, staff member, student, and other authorized user comply with institutional and external standards for appropriate use.

To assist and ensure such compliance, SUNY Potsdam establishes the following policy which supplements all applicable SUNY policies, including sexual harassment, patent and copyright, and student and employee disciplinary policies, the Academic Honor Code, as well as applicable federal and state laws.

II. General Principles

  1. Authorized use of computing and network resources owned or operated by SUNY Potsdam shall be consistent with the education, research and public service mission of the State University of New York, and consistent with this policy.
  2. Authorized users of SUNY Potsdam computing and network resources include faculty, staff, students, and other affiliated individuals or organizations authorized by the Provost or his designee. Use by non-affiliated institutions and organizations shall be in accordance with SUNY Administrative Procedures Manual Policy 007.1: Use of Computer Equipment or Services by Non-affiliated Institutions and Organizations.
  3. This policy applies to all SUNY Potsdam computing and network resources, including, but not limited to, host computer systems, SUNY Potsdam-sponsored computers and workstations, software, data sets, and communications networks controlled, administered, or accessed directly or indirectly by SUNY Potsdam computer resources or services, employees, or students.
  4. SUNY Potsdam reserves the right to limit access to its computing and network resources when applicable campus or university policies or codes, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated, but does not generally monitor or restrict the content of material transported across those computing and network resources.
  5. SUNY Potsdam reserves the right to remove or limit access to material posted on university-owned computers when applicable campus or university policies or codes, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws are violated, but does not generally monitor the content of material posted on university-owned computers.
  6. SUNY Potsdam does not generally monitor or restrict material residing on non-Potsdam-owned computers, whether or not such computers are attached to campus networks. However, non-Potsdam-owned computers that are connected to the campus network and violate SUNY Potsdam's policies are subject to investigation and disconnection without notice.
  7. SUNY Potsdam reserves the right, upon reasonable cause for suspicion, to access all aspects of its computing and network resources, including individual usage to determine if a user is violating this policy or state or federal laws.
  8. This policy may be supplemented with additional guidelines by campus units which operate their own computers or networks, provided such guidelines are consistent with this policy.

III. User Responsibilities

Privacy: No user should view, copy, alter or destroy another's personal electronic files without permission (unless authorized or required to do so by law or regulation). SUNY Potsdam computing and network resources are designed to protect user privacy; users shall not attempt to circumvent these protections.

Copyright: Written permission from the copyright holder is required to duplicate any copyrighted material. This includes, but is not limited to, duplication of music, audiotapes, videotapes, photographs, illustrations, computer software, data and all other information for educational use or any other purpose. Most software and databases that reside on the SUNY Potsdam's computing and network resources are owned by SUNY Potsdam or third parties, and are protected by copyright and other laws, together with licenses and other contractual agreements. Users are required to respect and abide by the terms and conditions of software use and redistribution licenses. Such restrictions may include prohibitions against copying programs or data for use on the SUNY Potsdam's computing and network resources or for distribution outside the SUNY Potsdam, against the resale of data or programs, or against the use of software for non-educational purposes, or for financial gain, and against public disclosure of information about programs (e.g., source code) without the owner's authorization.

Harassment, Libel and Slander: No user may use SUNY Potsdam's computing and network resources to libel, slander or harass any other person.

Access to Computer Resources:

Computer Accounts: Accounts are created for individual students, faculty and staff and are for the use of the assigned individual only.

Sharing of access: Computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization are assigned to individual users and should not be shared with others. You are responsible for any use of your account. If an account is shared or the password divulged, the holder of the account may lose all account privileges and may be held personally responsible for any actions that arise from the misuse of the account.

Permitting unauthorized access: You may not run or otherwise configure software or hardware to intentionally allow access by unauthorized users.

Termination of access: When you cease being a member of the campus community (e.g., withdraw, graduate, terminate employment, or otherwise leave the university), or if you are assigned a new position and/or responsibilities within the State University system, your access authorization may be reviewed and terminated. You must not use facilities, accounts, access codes, privileges or information for which you are not authorized in your new circumstances.

Abuse of Computer Resources: Abuse of the SUNY Potsdam's computer resources is prohibited and includes, but is not limited to:

Circumventing Security: Users are prohibited from attempting to circumvent or subvert any system's security measures. Users are prohibited from using any computer program or device to intercept or decode passwords or similar access control information.

Breaching Security: Deliberate attempts to degrade the performance of a computer system or network or to deprive authorized personnel of resources or access to any SUNY Potsdam computing and network resource is prohibited. Breach of security includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Creating or propagating viruses.
  • Cracking.
  • Password grabbing.
  • Disk scavenging

Game Playing: Limited recreational game playing by students, which is not part of authorized and assigned research or instructional activity, is acceptable, but computing and network resources are not to be used for extensive recreational game playing. Recreational game players occupying a seat in a public computing facility must give up the use of the device when others who need to use the facility for academic or research purposes are waiting

Gambling: Gambling on College Owned Computers is strictly prohibited.

Chain Letters: The propagation of chain letters is considered an unacceptable practice and is prohibited

Unauthorized Monitoring: A user may not monitor the electronic communications of others.

Flooding: Generating excessive network traffic, including spamming and denial-of-service, is prohibited.

Private Commercial Purposes: The computing resources of SUNY Potsdam shall not be used for private commercial purposes or for financial gain.

Political Advertising or Campaigning: The use of SUNY Potsdam's computing and network resources shall be in accordance with University policy on use of University facilities for political purposes (SUNY Administrative Procedures Manual Policy 008).

Modifying software or software installation: A user may not modify the software configuration on any computer provided for general access.

IV. Limitations on Users' Rights and Expectations

  1. The issuance of a password or other means of access is to assure appropriate confidentiality of SUNY Potsdam files and information and does not guarantee privacy for personal or improper use of SUNY Potsdam equipment or facilities.
  2. SUNY Potsdam provides reasonable security against intrusion and damage to files stored on the central facilities. However, SUNY Potsdam is not responsible for unauthorized access by other users or for loss due to power failure, fire, floods, etc. SUNY Potsdam makes no warranties with respect to Internet services, and it specifically assumes no responsibilities for the content of any advice, data or information received by a user through the use of SUNY Potsdam's computing and network resources.
  3. Users should be aware that SUNY Potsdam computing and network resources may be subject to unauthorized access or tampering. In addition, computer records, including e-mail, are considered "records" which may be accessible to the public under the provisions of the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

V. Sanctions

Violators of this policy will be subject to the existing student or employee disciplinary procedures of SUNY Potsdam. Sanctions may include the loss of computing privileges. Illegal acts involving SUNY Potsdam computing resources may also subject users to investigation by campus, local state and federal legal authorities.

VI. How to Report an Abuse or Complaint

To file a complaint or report a violation of this policy, send an email message to, or call the IT Service Desk of Computing & Technology Services at 315-267-4444.

Copyright/DMCA complaints should go to the college DMCA agent:

David Brouwer
SUNY Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13676
(315) 267-3018