Responsible Use of Information Technology

Information technology resources provided by Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) are made available to students, faculty, staff and approved guests as tools for enhancing and facilitating teaching and learning and to support administrative functions.  MMA encourages the use of technology-based resources for these primary activities. These resources include, but are not limited to, hardware (including telephones, computers, and multimedia equipment), software, consulting time, and the expertise of the staff of the Technology and Library Services division.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy reserves the right to deem critical computer systems a priority and ensure that they are fully operational.  As such, the use of technology resources provided by the College for endeavors not directly related to teaching and learning and supporting administrative functions should be considered as secondary activities. Should such secondary activities in any way interfere with primary activities, they may be terminated immediately and the offending parties may forfeit their right to access the College’s information technology resources.

Many of the information technology resources of the College are shared among the entire College community. Everyone using these resources should be considerate of the needs of others and be certain that nothing is done to impede anyone else's ability to use these resources. Such impediments may include, but are not limited to:

  • activities that obstruct usage or deny access to others including extraordinary bandwidth usage;
  • activities that relate to sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment;
  • activities that are libelous;
  • activities that violate copyright laws;
  • activities that violate local, state, or federal laws;
  • activities that violate cadet regulations;
  • unauthorized use of computer accounts;
  • impersonation of another individual when logging into a computer system;
  • attempts to capture or crack passwords or break encryption protocols;
  • activities that compromise privacy;
  • attempting to "hack" into any computer either at the College or elsewhere;
  • destruction or alteration of data or information belonging to others;
  • attempting to create, for any purpose, malware programs that attempt to explore or exploit network, security, or other vulnerabilities;
  • allowing anyone else to use any of your MMA account(s);
  • extensive use of resources for private or personal use (such as personal web pages or sites).

The use of any information technology resource of the College implies complete acceptance of all current operational policies.

Monitoring of Computer Systems & Network Resources

In compliance with federal law, the College cannot guarantee privacy nor should a user have any expectation of privacy in any message, voice communication, file, image or data created, sent, retrieved or received by use of the College's equipment and/or access. The College reserves the right to monitor any and all aspects of its computer systems and to do so at any time, without notice, and without the user's permission.

The College holds as core values the principles of academic freedom and free expression. In consideration of these principles, the College will not monitor the content of electronic communications of its employees in most instances, nor will it examine the content of employee electronic communications or other employee electronic files stored on its systems except under certain circumstances. In this context, "electronic communications" includes, but are not limited to, telephone communications, "voice mail," e-mail, online chat, and computer files traversing the College network or stored on College equipment.

Examples of when monitoring and/or review may occur include, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:

  • Communications or files targeted by orders of a court of law.
  • Electronic communications or files that have been inadvertently exposed to technical staff who are operating in good faith to resolve technical problems. When technical staff inadvertently see or hear potentially illegal content in communications or files, they are required to report what they have seen or heard to appropriate authorities. Otherwise, the College expects technical staff to treat inadvertently encountered electronic communications and files of College employees as confidential and not subject to disclosure to anyone.
  • Routine administrative functions, such as security tests of computing systems, including password testing by system administrators, and investigations of attempted access into systems by unauthorized persons.
  • Routine office functions.
  • An investigation into allegations of violations of law or policy.
  • A reasonable or urgent need for access to College business documents when an employee is unavailable.