Revised 1/18/07

I.  PURPOSE

To provide the University community with procedures and policies for access to and disclosure of electronic messages sent or received by University of Miami personnel or other users of the

electronic messaging systems. It also sets forth policies on the proper use of the electronic messaging systems provided by the University of Miami to inform users of the expected standards of conduct and the disciplinary measures for not adhering to them.

II.  DEFINITIONS

  A.  Authorized User: Any person registered to access or use the

      University of Miami voice and data network or computer services

      with a valid account, including those individuals or organizations

      authorized to use the University’s domain name “miami.edu” or

      “umiami.edu.” 

   

  B.  Electronic Messages: Electronic messaging is the generic

      name for a message that may be transmitted between a sender

      and designated recipient(s) by systems utilizing

      telecommunication links. An electronic message may contain

      text as well as attachments containing image files, sound files,

      data files or hypertext links to Internet sites.

III. APPLICABLE POLICIES

Users are subject to all policies and procedures of the University, including but not limited to this policy and those policies referenced below. Individuals using the University’s computing facilities should particularly refer to the policy on Use of University Computing Facilities (A046), which provides guidance on standards of conduct for computer users. In addition, users will be notified of their electronic mail access rights and responsibilities when they receive their account approval and ID. Copies and updates of the University of Miami policies are posted on the World Wide Web and are available by clicking on the University of Miami home page.

IV.  POLICY

The University of Miami provides access to electronic messaging to employees, students, faculty and other authorized users in support of the University’s mission of teaching, research, and other duties of the University, including all related business. Users of University electronic communications are not only subject to University policies, but to applicable local, state, and federal laws. Use of University electronic messaging facilities is a privilege, and may be administratively suspended with or without notice when, in the University’s judgment, continued use of University resources may interfere with the work of others, places the University or others at risk, or violates University policy.

Every effort is made to protect the confidentiality of network communications, however, recipients should be aware that the nature of electronic communications is such that privacy cannot be guaranteed. The University does not warrant that the files, data, or communications on its system will be secure from access by third parties.

The University of Miami electronic messaging systems may be used by faculty, employees, students, and other authorized third parties for purposes supporting the functions of the University.  It is understood that occasional and incidental personal use may occur, but excessive use of the systems for personal purposes is not permitted.

  A.  Authority of Systems Administrators:

      The University reserves the right to review or access electronic

      messages, subject to the guidelines and limitations established

      in the following policies: Use of University Computing Facilities,

      section V.B., (A046) and Systems Administrators (A050).

      In addition, within those parameters, the University may disclose

      the contents of electronic communications to

      1) an addressee or intended recipient in the ordinary course

        of business;

      2) to an authorized employee; or

      3) as may be necessarily incident to the rendition of

        service or to the protection of the rights or property

        of the University.

  B.  Unauthorized or Illegal Use of Electronic Messaging:

      Electronic messaging systems shall not be used (1) in

      violation of any federal, state or local law or regulation, or

      (2) to send (upload) copyrighted materials, trade secrets,

      proprietary financial information, or similar materials without

      appropriate prior authorization. In addition, the electronic

      messaging systems shall not be used for unauthorized

      applications, such as commercial uses, SPAM, or excessive

      personal use.

It is a violation of University policy for an employee or user of the systems, to use electronic messaging to monitor or tamper with the communications of others.  Authorized University officials may access communications on the systems only as necessarily incident to the rendition of the communications service, for the protection of the rights or property of the University, or to investigate specific complaints about violations of University policies or applicable law. Employees engaged in unauthorized access will be disciplined appropriately and may be terminated. System administrators may only examine transmissions, files, or data within the guidelines of the following policies: Systems Administrator (A050) and Use of Computing Facilities, Section V.B. (A046).

In addition, violations which are referenced in the policy on Use of University Computing Facilities, section V.A., (A046), may also constitute a violation of this policy.

V. SANCTIONS

Accounts and network access may be administratively suspended with or without notice by the University when, in the University’s judgment, continued use of the University’s resources may interfere with the work of others, places the University or other at risk, or violates University policy.

Any violation of this policy by a student may lead to disciplinary charges under the appropriate student disciplinary policy.  Faculty and staff violations will be addressed by appropriate disciplinary procedures.

All known and/or suspected violations must be reported to the applicable Systems Administrator, who will report, as appropriate, to Information Technology’s Security Department and to the Department of Human Resources. All such allegations of misuse will be investigated by the appropriate University administrative office with the assistance of the Department of Information Technology and the Department of Human Resources.  Penalties may include:

  A. suspension or termination of access to computer and/or

      network resources;

   

  B. suspension or termination of employment;

   

  C. expulsion, or suspension of student status;

   

  D. breach of contract for computer and/or network services; or

   

  E. criminal and/or civil prosecution.