Internet and E-mail access is a privilege, not a right, and activities that may be acceptable on your private account at home may not be acceptable when using your College-authorized service.
The purpose of the Internet Access & E-mail Use Policy is to help clarify what standards are used to determine whether or not activity constitutes acceptable use of the College's Network, Wireless Network and authorized Internet. However, all the applicable standards necessary to determine acceptable use may not be specifically cited here. Nothing contained in this policy shall be construed to limit the discretion of the school and its administrators or faculty to regulate residential or academic policy. Please understand that our technological policies are evolving and there will undoubtedly be changes to this Policy as we move forward.
You may expect that the content of e-mail messages you exchange with others is confidential because the College does not inspect e-mail content unless an investigative process is taking place. You should be aware, however, that e-mail messages are records that are subject to review with sufficient justification; they may be subject to legal investigation requests placed through proper channels.
Courts have ruled that e-mail records can be subpoenaed in some cases and the College's judicial system may determine that e-mail or other files are evidence that may be reviewed as part of the process. Under these circumstances, the privacy of your e-mail is not guaranteed. E-mail messages may be preserved as computer files on centrally-administered disks, so it is possible for people other than you to see them. In this sense, they are not private.
Faculty and staff can expect that e-mail messages are treated confidentially because the College does not monitor employees' e-mail transactions. However, e-mail messages are written records that could be subject to inspection. Courts have also ruled that e-mail records and information in electronic form can be subpoenaed in some cases. The College does not guarantee the privacy of e-mail.
When system problems occur, such as hardware or software failure or attacks by malicious users, the IT staff, who maintain the e-mail servers, are authorized to look at any information and any files on College computers that are necessary to solve the problems and to protect the systems and the information they contain. It is part of the system administrator's job to do this and to treat any information on the systems as confidential.
In addition to the authorized actions of the College's system administrator, e-mail can end up in the hands of computing staff if it was inaccurately addressed and if it could not be delivered. People also make small mistakes in addressing their e-mail so that private messages appear in the e-mailbox of someone other than the intended recipient.