Telecommunications Use

See Also: Policy 4810: Telecommunications Use


Infractions of the TMCC Telecommunications Use Policy may give rise to disciplinary action under NAC 284 and the "Prohibitions and Penalties" sections of the State of Nevada Rules for State Personnel Administration, and NSHE Policies, Title 2, Chapter 6.

Any offense that violates local, state, or federal laws may result in the immediate loss of all TMCC telecommunication systems access privileges and will be referred to the appropriate TMCC offices and/or law enforcement authorities.

Rights and Responsibilities

Computers, networks and telecommunication systems can provide access to resources on and off campus, as well as the ability to communicate with other users worldwide. Such open access is a privilege and requires that individual users act responsibly. Users must respect the rights of other users, respect the integrity of the system and related physical resources, and observe all relevant laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. Since electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, Users must exercise care in acknowledging and respecting the work of others through strict adherence to software licensing agreements and copyright laws.

Existing Legal Context

All existing laws (federal and state) and Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) regulations and policies apply, including not only those laws and regulations that are specific to computers and networks, but also those that may apply generally to personal conduct. (NSHE Policies, Title 4, Chapter 1)

Users do not own accounts on TMCC computers, but are granted the privilege of exclusive use. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (Title 18 U. S.C. section 2510 et. seq.), users are entitled to privacy regarding information contained on these accounts. This act, however, allows system administrators or other TMCC employees to access user files in the normal course of their employment when necessary to protect the integrity of computer systems or the rights or property of the TMCC or NSHE. For example, system administrators may examine or make copies of files that are suspected of misuse or that have been corrupted or damaged.

User files may be subject to search by law enforcement agencies under court order if such files contain information that may be used as evidence in a court of law. In addition, student files on TMCC computer facilities are considered "educational records" under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Title 20 U.S.C. section I 232[g]).

Misuse of computing, networking, telecommunications or information resources may result in the loss of computing, network and/or telecommunication systems access. Additionally, misuse can be prosecuted under applicable statutes. Users may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable NSHE, TMCC, or campus policies, procedures, or collective bargaining agreements. Illegal production of software and other intellectual property protected by U.S. copyright law is subject to civil damages and criminal punishment including fines and imprisonment. TMCC supports the policy of EDUCOM on "Software and Intellectual Rights."