Electronic Communications Policy

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS POLICY:
COMPULSARY AGREEMENT FOR STUDENTS AS USERS

Version of 7 February 2001 - Replaces all prior versions

1.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: SOME POINTS OF PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICE

 

1.1

The use of the University's electronic communications facilities is subject to its official Electronic Communications Policy (hereinafter also referred to as "ECP") as set out hereunder, and any other relevant policy provisions and procedures, as amended from time to time.

 

1.2

By using the electronic communications facilities, one agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of this ECP, as amended from time to time. If one does not agree with these terms and conditions, one has no right to the use of these electronic communications facilities, not even in cases where students are obliged to use these facilities for academic purposes.

 

1.3

By signing this agreement, one expressly declares -

 

 

1.3.1

that one acknowledges the contents of the ECP and agrees to be bound by the provisions thereof;

1.3.2

that one is familiar with the provisions of section 14(d) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act No 108 of 1996, which protects the constitutional right to privacy, and that one fully understands these important provisions (on which, see ; and

1.3.3

that one agrees that the electronic communications facilities which at the time of one's studies at the University are made available by the University are for the purpose of facilitating the University 's performance of its academic, administrative and related functions; and

 

1.3.3.1

that one agrees that the electronic communications facilities which at the time of one's studies at the University are made available by the University are for the purpose of facilitating the University 's performance of its academic, administrative and related functions; and

1.3.3.2

that one therefore in terms of the above-said section 14(d) consents to the infringement of the privacy of such communication to the extent to which such infringement is necessitated by the provisions of this ECP.

 

1.4

The policy provisions on electronic communication as contained in this agreement, and as amended from time to time, are by reference incorporated in the Students Disciplinary Rules of the University.

 

1.5

The University implements various technologies in its endeavour to assure its students of confidential access to and use of its electronic communications facilities. Accordingly, every officially authorized user is personally responsible for ensuring that his or her electronic password remains confidential. IN THIS REGARD PLEASE SEE BELOW, ESPECIALLY PARAGRAPH 5.

2.

DEFINITIONS

 

In this agreement, unless the context expressly indicates otherwise or is in conflict therewith, the following shall apply:

 

2.1

"Electronic communications facilities" includes, without limitation, telephones, mobile phones and voicemail facilities; electronic mail facilities; facsimile machines and modems; computers and servers; and network tools (including Internet access facilities and Web browsers);

 

2.2

"IT Representative" means the Senior Director: Information Technology, Stellenbosch University;

 

2.3

"Legal Advisor" means the Head: Legal Services, Stellenbosch University;

 

2.4

"User" means a person who has authorization in terms of the ECP to use the electronic communications facilities of Stellenbosch University;

 

2.5

"University" means Stellenbosch University; and

 

2.6

"written permission" includes permission which is issued electronically.

3.

PRIVACY

 

3.1

The University respects the User's personal right to privacy as that right is guaranteed by the Constitution. However, in the context of the University's electronic communications facilities, which are provided for the purpose of the University's business requirements, restrictions on the User's rights are unavoidable. The User shall accordingly have no claim to the being or remaining private of any information trans-mitted or stored by or on the University's electronic communications facilities.

 

3.2

All electronic communications facilities are owned and/or controlled by Stellenbosch University and shall at all times be accessible by the University for maintenance, upgrades, or any other business or legal purposes. The User is aware that all the facilities (and other security tools) create an audit log, which records the details of every attempt at access and of every transaction in either direction.

 

3.3

The University shall permit the reasonable limited personal use of all these electronic communications facilities: Provided that it expressly reserves the right (for its business purposes or as may be required by law) to review and where necessary limit or suspend the User's use of the electronic communications facilities, to recover from the User the costs incurred during personal use, and to inspect all materials created or stored on these electronic communications facilities.

 

3.4

The IT Division monitors the use of the electronic communications facilities constantly for operational purposes and may be required to review the contents of stored or transmitted data in the performance of its duties. The User's use of these facilities shall constitute his or her express permission to the University to monitor all electronic communication and to access all files that are created, stored or transmitted by means of these electronic communications facilities. This permission shall include hard copies of electronic communications, but shall not be limited to such hard copies.

 

3.5

Although the University respects the User's right to privacy as set forth in paragraph 3.1 above, the University may without further notice to the User monitor, intercept, refuse or access any personal communication for purposes of protecting its legitimate business or other interests. Typical reasons for such actions include the following (the list below is not, however, presented as exhaustive):

 

 

3.5.1

ensuring that Stellenbosch University's electronic communications facilities are not being used to receive or transmit content which is of a discriminatory or offensive nature, or may be related to the violation of a law or infringes upon any other person's rights;

 

 

3.5.2

establishing the presence of illegal material or unlicensed software;

 

 

3.5.3

counteracting crime;

 

 

3.5.4

ensuring that the electronic communications facilities are not being used for inappropriate purposes;

 

 

3.5.5

responding to legal proceedings that call for producing electronically stored evidence; and

 

 

3.5.6

conducting a disciplinary investigation in connection with alleged misconduct or in terms of other empowering provisions .

 

3.6

All monitoring in respect of any alleged breach of the law, of policy or of the Students Disciplinary Rules of the University, or of any of the provisions of this agreement shall be subject to the prior review and written permission of the Head: Legal Services or his nominee.

 

3.7

Any monitoring of the User's correspondence or files in connection with the performance of the IT Division's duty of ensuring the efficient operation of the University's IT infrastructure shall be subject to the prior review and written permission of the IT Representative designated for this purpose from time to time.

4.

ACCEPTABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE USE

 

4.1

The User shall not use the electronic communications facilities -

 

 

4.1.1

to create, transmit or store any messages which may be regarded as insulting, disruptive or offensive to other Users, or as harmful to Stellenbosch University morale, or which could lead to a breach of confidentiality;

 

 

4.1.2

in any way which infringes upon another person's natural or legal intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright);

 

 

4.1.3

in any way as a result of which in the sole discretion of the IT Representative an unjustified burden is placed on the electronic communications facilities, including but not limited to connecting personal hardware to the University's electronic communications facilities without prior consent;

 

 

4.1.4

to violate the terms of any applicable telecommunications licence or any statutory provisions concerning cross-border data flow (e.g. legislation relating to data protection, privacy, confidentiality, and security);

 

 

4.1.5

to penetrate unlawfully the computer network or network security of any University system or any other system or to attempt to penetrate such system unlawfully, or to gain unauthorized access to any other person's computer, e-mail or voicemail facilities or equipment or to attempt to gain such unauthorized access;

 

 

4.1.6

to violate or to attempt to violate any other law, prescription or provision; or

 

 

4.1.7

to transmit or store any defamatory or discriminatory material.

5.

USER'S RESPONSIBILITIES

 

5.1

General

 

 

5.1.1

Safeguarding passwords and other sensitive information about any computer linked to the University's network (including but not limited to lap tops, notebooks, palm tops, etc.) and about network access;

 

 

5.1.2

taking reasonable precautions, including personal password maintenance and file protection measures, to prevent the unauthorized use of personal computers or data in such computers by other users;

 

 

5.1.3

using the electronic communications facilities only for the purpose for which the User has been authorized and only for activities relating to the User's work (subject to 3.3 above);

 

 

5.1.4

respecting the privacy of electronic communications by, inter alia, not obtaining or attempting to obtain any electronic communication or information that is not intended for the User; in particular, the User shall not attempt to intercept or inspect information on the University network, nor use the University network to attempt to intercept or inspect information en route through or connected to the University network; and

 

 

5.1.5

to respect the hardware and network configurations of the University network.

 

5.2

Reporting security incidents or network vulnerabilities

 

 

5.2.1

It may happen that the User may become aware of a breach or suspected breach of security with regard to the University's electronic communications facilities. The User undertakes in every instance of this nature to report such violation forthwith to the system administrator concerned.

 

5.3

Passwords

 

 

5.3.1

The User's password shall remain confidential; including the transmission of his or her password or username through any medium (except through the particular University network to which the password has given access) and including but not limited to e-mail, and Internet-related chat.

 

 

5.3.2

The User shall not at any time or for any reason use a password or username belonging to another person, not even with express permission.

 

 

5.3.3

The User undertakes, should any person or entity attempt to obtain his or her password, to report such incident to the IT Represen-tative forthwith.

 

 

5.3.4

The User shall be responsible for terminating open sessions and logging out of electronic communications facilities when any such systems are left unattended. If the User fails to comply with the aforesaid responsibility, he or she shall in addition be held responsible for any activities that may take place as a result of such failure. This additional responsibility shall include, without limitation, any account or damage that may arise from the said activities.

6.

CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATION

 

6.1

Violation of any of the provisions of this policy may result in -

 

 

6.1.1

the restriction or termination of the User's access to the electronic communications facilities, including the summary suspension of his or her access or rights pending further disciplinary action;

 

 

6.1.2

the initiation of legal proceedings by the University, including but not limited to criminal prosecution under such relevant laws as may be in force in South Africa from time to time; and

 

 

6.1.3

the institution of disciplinary steps against the User which may inter alia lead to expulsion.

7.

COSTS

 

7.1

The University provides certain electronic communications facilities at prescribed rates, which rates are payable by the User. By entering into this agreement, (i) the User expressly authorizes the University to recover from the User all monies payable by him or her, and (ii) the User undertakes to pay on demand the amount owing. The User authorizes the University to debit his or her student account with the amount owing.

 

7.2

It is the User's personal responsibility to remain constantly aware of the costs of the use of the electronic communications facilities, which costs may be adjusted from time to time without further notice to the User.

8.

INDEMNITY

 

The User indemnifies the University and its employees, agents and independent contractors, as the case may be, and holds them harmless in respect of any loss or damage suffered by him or her, including but not limited to the loss of data or damage to hardware or software, irrespective of the manner in which such loss or damage may have arisen or been caused.

9.

USER'S PARTICULARS AND SIGNATURE

 

FIRST NAMES AND SURNAME (PLEASE PRINT.)

_____________________________________________

 

STUDENT NUMBER

_____________________________________________

 

SIGNATURE

_____________________________________________

 

DATE

_____________________________________________

© 2001 University of Stellenbosch. All rights reserved