Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology Resources

The information technology resources provided by the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and its component institutions support the educational, instructional, research, and administrative activities of the University System and those institutions. Use of these resources is a privilege that is extended to USNH community members. Inappropriate or improper use of these shared resources can impede or negatively impact availability for the rest of the community. As such, all community members are required to behave in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner during that use.

This Policy defines acceptable use of information technology resources at USNH and its component institutions and outlines the responsibilities and obligations of community members who are granted access to or use of these resources. Specifically, this Policy supports the following objectives:

  1. Safeguarding the confidentially, availability, integrity, and privacy of institutional information and enterprise information technology resources.
  2. Providing a reliable information technology environment for all USNH community members.
  3. Guaranteeing use of enterprise information technology resources is consistent with the principles and values that govern use of other USNH and component institution resources (e.g., facilities).
  4. Confirming that enterprise information technology resources are used for their intended purposes.

I. Scope

This Policy applies to anyone who utilizes USNH information technology resources, and all uses of those resources, irrespective of where the resources are being used. This includes students, faculty, staff, contractors, vendors, prior students/alumni, parents, volunteers, and external customers utilizing services provided by USNH.

For purposes of this Policy only, any individual who is authorized to access or use a USNH or component institution information technology resource is considered a member of the USNH community.

This Policy covers the use of all information and information technology resources owned, managed, licensed, or entrusted to USNH or one of its component institutions, regardless of who is providing those resources, how they are being provided, or how they are being accessed. Referred to throughout this Policy as institutional information and USNH information technology resources, this includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Information technology resources administered by Enterprise Technology & Services (ET&S) or contracted vendors.
  2. Information technology resources administered or managed by individual administrative, academic, or business units.
  3. Institutionally owned endpoint devices.
  4. Institutional telecommunication services including voicemail.
  5. Personally owned endpoint devices that connect to any USNH network.
  6. Devices, regardless of device ownership, that connect to any USNH information technology resource, including students’ use of devices.

Business Application Owners or Technology Service Owners have the authority to establish more restrictive requirements governing use of those resources in their care. When there are additional use restrictions for a specific information technology resource, individuals who need access to that resource shall be informed of those restrictions, and agree to abide by them, prior to access being granted.

II. Acceptable Use

Acceptable Use of information technology resources is always ethical, reflects academic integrity, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It also demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, information technology resource security, and freedom of intimidation and harassment. The following are explicitly defined as acceptable:

  1. Use that supports the administrative, academic, research, outreach, service, and operational mission of USNH and each of its component institutions.
  2. Use of information technology resources for which the community member has been authorized to access and use so long as that use adheres to the intended use of those resources.
  3. Use that protects the intellectual property of others and the rights of copyright holders of music, videos, images, texts, and other media.

III. Prohibited Use

Use of USNH information technology resources that is illegal, disruptive, or that has the potential to negatively impact other community members or shared information technology resources is prohibited. Use that violates a USNH or component institution policy, a contractual obligation, or that subverts the mission of USNH, or its component institutions is prohibited. The following uses of USNH information technology resources are explicitly prohibited:

  1. Use or attempted use of any information technology resources without permission.
  2. Use of another community member’s credentials, even if the community member gives them permissions.
  3. Sharing any password associated with enterprise or component institution cre4dentials in violation of the USNH password policy.
  4. Use of USNH information technology resources in violation of civil or criminal law at the federal, state, or local levels or in violation of any regulation.
  5. Attempting to alter or reconfigure any USNH information technology resources, whether they belong to USNH or not.
  6. Use that seeks to circumvent, defeat, or attempt to defeat information technology resource security controls.
  7. Masquerading as or impersonating others or otherwise using a false identity without authorization, while accessing and/or utilizing USNH information technology resources.
  8. Removal of any USNH-owned or administered information technology resource from its normal location without authorization.

For a comprehensive list of prohibited uses please refer to the Full Acceptable Use Policy and other Technology/Cybersecurity Policies & Standards.

IV. Community Member Responsibility

Members of the USNH Community shall be provided with the use of information technology resources. While accessing and using these resources, community members shall have a reasonable expectation of reliable use of these shared resources, and protection from abuse and intrusion by others sharing these resources.

Users are specifically advised that infringement of copyright laws constitutes a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, and that UNH follows an established process to respond to complaints from copyright holders about students who allegedly violate the copyright law through electronic means such as peer-to-peer file sharing through personal computers. Under the provisions outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) enacted in 1998, if you download, copy, use, or share copyrighted digital information files, including but not limited to music and movies, you are engaging in illegal activity that could result in legal action or University of New Hampshire Student Judicial System charges. If the university receives a lawfully ordered subpoena to provide personally identifiable information (such as name and address) matching an IP address that has been identified as an alleged source of copyright violations, it will comply. For additional information concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the University’s compliance procedures visit USNH's knowledge base article. The policy is periodically reviewed and updated. It is the user’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with the updates