Acceptable Computer and Internet Use

Coastal Pines Technical College, (CPTC) provides computer systems and Internet access for its students and employees. Employees utilizing College-provided Internet access are responsible for good behavior on-line just as they are in any other area of the college. This information applies to all CPTC employees, students, customers and anyone else who uses CPTC’s information system and equipment, including but not limited to visitors. Any employee who violates this procedure will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Violations of this procedure by other than employees or students will result in being banned from using CPTC equipment and may be handled legally. Using a computer without permission is theft of services and is illegal under state and federal laws. Federal law prohibits misuse of computer resources. In addition, the following specific computer crimes are prohibited by state law in Georgia (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-90 et seq.):

  • Computer theft (including theft of computer services, intellectual property such as copyrighted material, and any other property);
  • Computer trespass (unauthorized use of computers to delete or alter data or interfere with others' usage);
  • Computer invasion of privacy (unauthorized access to financial or personal data or the like);
  • Computer forgery (forgery as defined by other laws, but committed on a computer rather than on paper);
  • Computer password disclosure (unauthorized disclosure of a password resulting in damages exceeding $500 - in practice, this includes any disclosure that requires a system security audit afterward); and
  • Misleading transmittal of names or trademarks (falsely identifying yourself or falsely claiming to speak for a person or organization by using their name, trademark, logo, or seal).

Maximum penalties for the first four crimes in the list are a $50,000 fine and 15 years of imprisonment, plus civil liability. The maximum penalties for computer password disclosure are a $5,000 fine and 1 year of imprisonment, plus civil liability.

The purpose of CPTC-provided Internet access is to facilitate communications in support of research and education. To remain eligible as users, students' use must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of the College. Access is a privilege, not a right. Users should not expect files stored on CPTC-based computers to be private. Electronic messages and files stored on CPTC-based computers shall be treated like other CPTC property that is temporarily assigned for individual use. Administrators may review files and messages in an effort to maintain system integrity and in an effort to insure that users are acting responsibly.

Moreover, CPTC officials shall cooperate with law enforcement officials who are properly authorized to search CPTC computers and computer systems.

All information created, stored or transmitted by CPTC computers or networks is subject to monitoring for compliance with applicable laws and procedures.

The following uses of Coastal Pines Technical College-provided computers, networks and Internet access are not permitted:

  • To create, access or transmit sexually explicit, obscene, or pornographic material;
  • To create, access or transmit material that could be considered discriminatory, offensive, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or attempts to libel or otherwise defame any person.
  • To violate any local, state or federal statute;
  • To vandalize, damage, or disable the property of another individual or organization;
  • To access another individual's password, materials, information, or files without permission;
  • To violate copyright or otherwise use the intellectual property of another individual or organization in violation of the law, including software piracy;
  • To conduct private or personal for-profit activities; this includes use for private purposes such as business transactions, private advertising of products or services, and any activity meant to foster personal gain;
  • To knowingly endanger the security of any CPTC computer or network;
  • To willfully interfere with another's authorized computer usage;
  • To connect any computer to any of the CPTC networks unless it meets technical and security standards set by the College;
  • To create, install, or knowingly distribute any malware such as a computer virus, "Trojan horse," rootkit, keylogger, or other surreptitiously destructive program on any CPTC computer or network facility, regardless of whether any demonstrable harm results; and
  • To modify or reconfigure the software or hardware of any agency computer or Network without proper authorization;
  • To conduct unauthorized not-for-profit business activities;
  • To conduct any activity or solicitation for political or religious causes;
  • To perform any activity that could cause the loss, corruption of, prevention of rightful access to, or unauthorized distribution of Agency data and information; and
  • To create, access, or participate in online gambling. Occasional access to information or websites of the Georgia Lottery Corporation shall not constitute nor be considered inappropriate use.
  • To capture and or record network traffic without authorization.

Occasional personal use of Internet connectivity and e-mail that do not involve any inappropriate use as described above may occur, if permitted by the College. Any such use should be brief, infrequent, and shall not interfere with User’s performance, duties and responsibilities. Users of CPTC computers and computer systems are subject to CPTC’s procedure on the development of Intellectual Property. Any violation of this procedure and rules may result in disciplinary action against the employee or student. When and where applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.

CPTC makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, for the computers, computer systems and Internet access it provides. CPTC shall not be responsible for any damages users suffer, including but not limited to loss of data resulting from delays or interruptions in service. CPTC shall not be responsible for the accuracy, nature or quality of information gathered through CPTC hard drives or servers; nor for the accuracy, nature or quality of information gathered through College-provided Internet access.

CPTC shall not be responsible for personal property used such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. to access its computers or networks or for CPTC provided Internet access. CPTC shall not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from CPTC-provided access to the Internet.

The foregoing standards are equally applicable to employees of the TCSG, wherever housed, and to employees and students of CPTC.

Penalties Violations of these procedures incur the same types of disciplinary measures as violations of other CPTC procedures or state or federal laws, including criminal prosecution.