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F/1.11 Acceptable use of information technology resources

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B - Human Resources
C - Learning/Teaching
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Contact Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support)

Approval Date

23/08/2013

Approval Authority

Council

Date of Next Review

30/08/2016

1.11.1 Policy principles
1.11.2 Application
1.11.3 Definitions
1.11.4 Roles and responsibilities
1.11.5 Acceptable use of IT resources
1.11.6 Unacceptable use of IT resources
1.11.7 Inadvertent unacceptable use
1.11.8 QUT access account
1.11.9 Incidental personal use
1.11.10 Use of IT resources for approved activities
1.11.11 Monitoring and detection
1.11.12 Failure to comply
Related Documents
Modification History

1.11.1 Policy principles

QUT provides information technology (IT) resources to support its functions and activities and is committed to ensuring that these resources are used in a transparent and accountable manner. All members of the University community have a responsibility to use its IT resources consistent with this commitment. Unacceptable use of the University's IT resources may

  • be detrimental to other students, staff and workplace culture
  • undermine the University's reputation
  • be unlawful or illegal
  • expose the University to vicarious liability for a person's actions
  • have a negative effect on productivity
  • be detrimental or pose a security threat to the University's systems.

This policy sets out the University's behavioural expectations for the use of its IT resources. The use of all IT resources is monitored and any unacceptable use will be investigated.

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1.11.2 Application

This policy applies to any member of the University community utilising QUT's IT resources, services and/or facilities both on and off campus, including:

  • Students
  • Staff, whether full-time, part-time, ongoing, fixed-term, casual or sessional
  • Individuals associated with QUT including
    • individuals who have been granted access to QUT property, services or infrastructure (for example, temporary staff engaged by QUT through an employment agency)
    • consultants and independent contractors undertaking services for QUT
    • members of QUT Council or other University committees whether they hold office by election, nomination or appointment
    • visiting and adjunct academics, or other academic or research collaborators
    • volunteers who contribute to or act on behalf of the University.

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1.11.3 Definitions

Information technology (IT) resources means any IT resource or facility provided by the University to assist or support learning and teaching, research, administrative and business activities, and includes

  • University computers and computer networks, including wireless networks
  • IT communication equipment, software and data
  • electronic mail and internet services
  • telecommunications equipment including mobile devices and services
  • any work area or physical space designated for teaching, study or research, including computer laboratories, technology-equipped classrooms and library study rooms.

Unacceptable material includes material in any format that is one or more of the following

  • unlawful, including breaches of federal or state legislation
  • copyright material which is not available under an applicable licence or permission
  • sexually explicit or pornographic
  • violent, as judged against accepted community standards for material on public display in a workplace or learning environment
  • defamatory, harassing or abusive, including personal observations using unacceptable or offensive language
  • spreading or inciting hatred
  • offensive, as judged against accepted community standards for material on public display in a workplace or learning environment.

User means any member of the University community utilising QUT's IT resources, services and/or facilities.

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1.11.4 Roles and responsibilities

Users of IT resources
All users of the University's IT resources have a responsibility to only use those resources in accordance with the requirements of this policy.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support)
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) is responsible for

  • promoting all QUT users' awareness of this policy
  • monitoring the quality of information on computer networks
  • monitoring unacceptable use of IT resources by staff and students
  • initiating disciplinary action relating to breaches of this policy (F/1.11.12).

Registrar
The Registrar has overall responsibility for disciplining students found to have used the University's IT resources in an unacceptable manner.

The reporting of use of IT resources involving illegal actions or material to the appropriate law enforcement agency or other statutory authority is the responsibility of the Registrar. In cases requiring urgent action with law enforcement agencies, initial contact with them may be made by IT Security staff and/or the QUT Security Manager, with notification as soon as practicable to the Registrar.

Human Resources Director
The Human Resources Director is responsible for providing advice to the Vice-Chancellor on staffing matters and ensuring appropriate disciplinary processes are undertaken for staff found to have used the University's IT resources in an unacceptable manner.

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1.11.5 Acceptable use of IT resources

QUT provides IT resources to support its teaching and learning, research, administrative and business activities, and expects that these resources will only be utilised for the appropriate and legitimate performance of these activities. Acceptable use of the University's IT resources will

  • be consistent with Commonwealth or State laws
  • be consistent with the University's behavioural expectations as defined in the QUT Staff Code of Conduct and QUT Student Code of Conduct and compliant with Schedule 1, Part 3, section 12 of the Queensland University of Technology Act 1998 (QUT Act)
  • be within any quota or cost limit imposed by the University
  • be in accordance with any lawful direction of a University officer or an authorised officer under the QUT Act
  • maintain the security of the University's IT resources and facilities.

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1.11.6 Unacceptable use of IT resources

Any of the following activities constitute unacceptable use of the University's IT resources

  • breaching any Queensland State or Commonwealth law
  • breaching the University's behavioural expectations, including not complying with the QUT Staff Code of Conduct and the QUT Student Code of Conduct
  • disobeying a lawful direction given by a University officer or an authorised officer under the QUT Act
  • receiving, accessing, downloading, displaying, transmitting and/or making available unacceptable material via any media, including personal storage devices connected to a QUT network
  • overloading or monopolising IT resources in a manner which adversely affects other users including unauthorised sending of electronic messaging to a large number of recipients that may initiate an IT service disruption
  • breaching the University's expectations regarding personal responsibility for a user's QUT access account (F/1.11.8)
  • acting in a manner that compromises the security, confidentiality, integrity and availability of IT resources
  • excessive personal use (F/1.11.9).

Any user making unacceptable use of QUT's IT resources will be subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with F/1.11.12 Failure to comply.

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1.11.7 Inadvertent unacceptable use

Users who inadvertently receive or access unacceptable material must take immediate action to either delete such material or cease such access. Advice should be sought from the user's supervisor or from the IT Helpdesk if unacceptable material continues to be received.

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1.11.8 QUT access account

A user is responsible for any activity, transaction or publication of information which originates from their QUT access account. A user must accept responsibility for the use of their QUT access account prior to being granted access, or if requested to do so by the University. A user must not do any act which prejudices the security of their QUT access account including disclosing their password to any other person or allowing any other person to use their account.

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1.11.9 Incidental personal use

QUT recognises that IT resources may be used for incidental personal use. Incidental personal use must be infrequent and minor, and must not breach this policy or interfere with University business operations or, in the case of staff users, with the performance of that staff member's duties. Incidental personal use of the University's IT resources does not include any of the following

  • maintaining or supporting a personal private business
  • recruitment of members to, or soliciting donations for, political parties or religious groups
  • the transmission, viewing or publication of unacceptable material
  • publication of internet sites or pages unrelated to University activities
  • personal observations using inappropriate or offensive language
  • a malicious or unlawful purpose.

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1.11.10 Use of IT resources for approved activities

QUT acknowledges that staff and students may use IT resources to access unacceptable material as a result of approved activities arising out of their employment or studies. Students and staff must ensure approval for such activities is, in the first instance, given by their executive dean of faculty or head of division and subsequently registered with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support), prior to access or use occurring.

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1.11.11 Monitoring and detection

QUT routinely logs network activity and scans QUT connected storage devices and may use this information to investigate faults, security breaches, unlawful or illegal activity and unacceptable use in accordance with this policy and other information resources policies (F/1.2.7).

Allegations that unacceptable use of the University's IT resources has occurred may be reported to a staff member's supervisor, a supervisor of an IT facility, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) or the Manager, IT Security.

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1.11.12 Failure to comply

QUT will take disciplinary action against users who fail to comply with this policy.

Some breaches of this policy may also have consequences for users under criminal or civil provisions of the general law (for example, if the breach contravenes the Criminal Code (Qld), the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) or other laws). In certain situations, the University may be legally required to disclose information about unacceptable use of IT resources to law enforcement agencies or other statutory authorities.

Breaches by staff

A breach of this policy by a staff member will be dealt with under the University's processes for the management of misconduct or serious misconduct (B/8.5; Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) Clause 45; Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) Clause 54) or unsatisfactory performance (B/9.5; Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) Clause 44; Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) Clause 53), depending on the nature of the alleged breach.

Breaches involving unacceptable material relating to pornography will always be treated as serious misconduct.

Breaches by students

A breach of this policy by a student will be dealt with under the Management of student misconduct policy (E/8.1)

Breaches by other users

Other members of the University community (honorary appointments, contractors and visitors) who do not comply with this policy may have their association with QUT terminated, or may have their rights of access to QUT's IT resources, services, facilities or infrastructure revoked by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support).

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Related Documents

MOPP B/8.1 QUT Staff Code of Conduct

MOPP B/8.5 Disciplinary action for misconduct and serious misconduct - senior staff

MOPP D/3.1 Intellectual property policy

MOPP E/2.1 Student Code of Conduct

MOPP E/8.1 Management of student misconduct

MOPP F/1.1 Provision and use of information resources and services

MOPP F/1.2 Information security policy

MOPP F/1.5 Email policy

MOPP F/1.9 Telecommunications policy

QUT Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (Academic Staff)


QUT Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (Professional Staff)

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

23.08.13 All Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) Periodic review - minor editorial changes only
10.09.12 F/1.11.1, F/1.11.2, F/1.11.4 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) Revised to clarify application

08.12.10

F/1.11.3, F/1.11.4

Council

Policy revised in order to clarify definitions

29.11.10

F/1.11.3

Governance Services

Revised policy - minor editorial changes only

25.08.10

All

Council

New policy

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