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E-Mail Policy

INTRODUCTION

Thomas University recognizes that principles of academic freedom and shared governance, freedom of speech, and privacy of information hold important implications for electronic mail and electronic mail services. The university affords electronic mail privacy protections comparable to that which it traditionally affords paper mail and telephone communications. This policy reflects these firmly-held principles within the context of the university’s legal and other obligations.

The university encourages the use of electronic mail and respects the privacy of users. It does not routinely inspect, monitor, or disclose electronic mail without the holder’s consent. Nonetheless, subject to the requirements for authorization, notification, and other conditions specified in this policy, the university may deny access to its electronic mail services and may inspect, monitor, or disclose electronic mail (1) when required by and consistent with law; (2) when there is substantiated reason to believe that violations of law or of University policies have taken place; or (3) when there are compelling circumstances.


CAUTIONS

Users should be aware of the following:

  1. Both the nature of electronic mail and the public character of the university's business make electronic mail less private than users may anticipate. For example, electronic mail intended for one person sometimes may be widely distributed because of the ease with which recipients can forward it to others. A reply to an electronic mail message posted on an electronic bulletin board or "listserver" intended only for the originator of the message may be distributed to all subscribers to the listserver. Furthermore, even after a user deletes an electronic mail record from a computer or electronic mail account it may persist on backup facilities. The university cannot routinely protect users against such eventualities.

     

  2. The university, in general, cannot and does not wish to be the arbiter of the contents of electronic mail. Neither can the university, in general, protect users from receiving electronic mail they may find offensive. Members of the university community, however, are strongly encouraged to use the same personal and professional courtesies and considerations in electronic mail as they would in other forms of communication.

     

  3. There is no guarantee, unless "authenticated" mail systems are in use, that electronic mail received was in fact sent by the purported sender, since it is relatively straightforward, although a violation of this policy, for senders to disguise their identity. Furthermore, electronic mail that is forwarded may also be modified. Authentication technology is not widely and systematically in use at the university as of the date of this policy. As with print documents, in case of doubt receivers of electronic mail messages should check with the purported sender to validate authorship or authenticity.

 


UNACCEPTABLE USE

Illegal Material
Do not send e-mail that contains any information that is harassing, threatening, or illegal (e.g., copyright violations, trade secrets, and obscene material). Additionally, be aware that the transit of material into, or through, other countries may be required to comply with the law in that country. In some cases, this may include the transmission of encrypted messages

Chain Letters, Pyramid Selling, and Multi-Level Marketing Schemes
These are similar to the paper and mail-based letters that make these claims. Typical abuse of this sort includes the "Make Money Quick" scams. These not only waste resources, but they are also illegal in certain countries and may render the poster liable to prosecution.

Confidential Material
It is inappropriate to send confidential information via e-mail since e-mail is not private and can be read by anyone with the proper tools.

Forged Headers and/or Addresses
It is a grave abuse of the e-mail system if a message is sent that implies the sender can be contacted at an e-mail, postal, or fax address that is not under the direct control of the sender.

Electronic Mail Bombing
Electronic mail bombing is sending multiple e-mail messages, or one or more large e-mail messages, with the sole intent of annoying and/or seeking revenge on a fellow Internet user.

Resale or Commercial Use of Service
Your right to use the service is personal to you. You may not allow any third person to use the service. You may not resell or make any commercial use of the service.

Due to lengthy download times, sending long e-mail messages to sites without prior agreement can amount to denial of service, or it can create an inability to access e-mail at the receiving site.


DENIAL OF SERVICE TTACKS

Denial of service is any activity that prevents a host on the Internet from making full and effective use of their facilities. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Mail bombing an address in such a way to make Internet access impossible, difficult, or costly.
  • Opening an unnecessarily large number of mail connections to the same mail host or making a connection to a SMTP relay (sometimes known as a smarthost) without authorization or permission.
  • Sending e-mail designed to damage the target system when executed or opened; for example, sending malicious programs or viruses attached to an e-mail.
  • Sending e-mail that is designed to cause confusion, consternation, fear, uncertainty, or doubt, such as fake virus warnings.

 


MAILING LIST SUBSCRIPTIONS

Never subscribe anyone other than yourself to a mailing list. You must be aware of how to remove yourself from a mailing list in the event that you alter your e-mail address or discontinue your e-mail service.

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