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Cotgrave Town Council Computer and Internet Policy

ISSUE 1 – August 2015

The Internet is a constantly growing worldwide network of computers and servers that contain millions of pages of information. Users are cautioned that some of these pages include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. Users are further cautioned that it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the Internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to sites with highly offensive content. Additionally, having an e-mail address on the Internet may lead to receipt of unsolicited e-mail containing offensive content. Employees and users (herein referred to as “Users,” or “User”) accessing the Internet do so at their own risk and understand and agree that Cotgrave Town Council (herein referred to as CTC) is not responsible for material viewed or downloaded by users from the Internet. To minimise these risks, your use of the Internet at CTC is governed by the following policy:

Permitted Use of Internet and the CTC computer networks

The computer network, services, computer equipment and internet access are the property of CTC and are to be used legitimate business purposes. Users are provided access to the computer network to assist them in the performance of their jobs. Additionally, certain users may also be provided with access to the Internet through the computer network. All Users have a responsibility to use CTC’s computer resources and the Internet in a professional, lawful and ethical manner. Abuse of the computer network or the Internet, may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and/or criminal liability.

Computer Network Use Limitations.

Without prior written permission from CTC, CTC’s computer network may not be used to disseminate, view or store commercial or personal advertisement, solicitations, promotions, destructive code (eg viruses, Trojan horse programs, etc) or any other unauthorised materials. Occasional limited appropriate personal use of the computer is permitted if such use does not a) interfere with the user’s or any other employee’s job performance; b) have an undue effect to the computer or company network’s performance; c) or violate any other policies, provisions, guidelines or standards of this agreement or any other lawful use of the computer system. Personal use of the computer or CTC’s networks is a privilege that may be revoked at any time.
ILLEGAL COPYING. Users may not illegally copy material protected under copyright law or make that material available to others for copying. You are responsible for complying with copyright law and application licenses that may apply to software, files, graphics, documents, messages, and other material you wish to download or copy. You may not agree to a license or download any material for which a registration fee is charged without first obtaining the express written permission of CTC.

Employees should exercise sound judgement when distributing messages or posting content on third party social media sites. Client related messages should be carefully guarded and protected. Personal content that is not appropriate for colleagues, employers, customers or partners to view should not be made public to them. CTC asks that you take advantage of privacy settings within social media and other sites to ensure that personal comments, images and information remain out of view of business related contacts whenever appropriate to do so. Discussing CTC business or activities on any social networking site is expressly forbidden. Employees must also abide by copyright laws, ethics rules, and other applicable laws. Failure to uphold these rules will result in disciplinary action being taken in line with CTC’s Disciplinary Policy.

Unless expressly authorised to do so, Users are prohibited from sending, transmitting, or otherwise distributing proprietary information, data, trade secrets or other confidential information belonging to CTC. Unauthorised dissemination of such material may result in severe disciplinary action details in your terms of employment as well as substantial civil and criminal penalties under the relevant countries laws.
Duty not to waste or damage computer resources.

To ensure security, avoid the spread of viruses and malware and to maintain CTC’s Computer and Internet Policies or Acceptable Use Policies, employees may only access the Internet through a computer attached to CTC’s network and approved Internet firewall or other security device(s). Bypassing CTC’s computer network security by accessing the Internet directly by personal connections such as (but not limited to) Cellular Networks, Wimax, modems, or proxy avoidance techniques or by any other means is strictly prohibited. If you own personal device is connected to CTC’s internet network you will be required to permit an inspection of your device to ensure it meets the minimum standards required by CTC.

Computer resources are not unlimited. Network bandwidth and storage capacity have finite limits, and all Users connected to the network have a responsibility to conserve these resources. As such, Users must not deliberately perform acts that waste computer resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, spending excessive amounts of time on the Internet, playing games, engaging in online chat groups or other social media, uploading or downloading large files, accessing streaming audio and/or video files, or otherwise creating unnecessary loads on network traffic associated with non-business-related uses on the Internet. Personal devices are permitted to access the CTC public network only. No access will be given to the internet network without a valid business case signed off by a manager.

Files obtained from sources outside CTC, including disks brought from home, files downloaded from the Internet, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other online services; files attached to e-mail, and files provided by customers or vendors, may contain dangerous computer viruses that may damage CTC’s computer network. Users should never download files from the Internet, accept e-mail attachments from outsiders, or use disks from non-Council sources, without first scanning the material with Council approved virus checking software. If you suspect that a virus has been introduced into CTC’s network, notify CTC immediately.

No Exception of Privacy
Employees are given computers and Internet access to assist them in the performance of their jobs. Employees should have no exception of privacy in anything they create, store, post, send or receive using CTC’s computer equipment. The computer network is the property of CTC and may be used only for Council purposes.
WAIVER OF PRIVACY RIGHTS. User expressly waives any right of privacy in anything they create, store, post, send or receive using CTC’s computer equipment or Internet access. User consents to allow company personnel access to and review of all materials created, stored sent or received by User through any Council network or Internet connection.

CTC has the right to monitor, log, inspect and archive any and all aspects of its Computer system including, but not limited to, monitoring Internet sites visited by Users, monitoring chat and newsgroups, monitoring file downloads, and all communications sent and received by users via email, IM and Chat and Social Networking.
Blocking Sites with inappropriate and Non-productive Content
CTC has the right to utilize hardware and software that makes it possible to identify and block access to Internet sites containing sexually explicit or other material deemed inappropriate in the workplace.
It is a disciplinary offence to:
Use the CTC’s network to wilfully harm, threaten, or harass another person, organisation, or CTC;
Knowingly damage, disable, overburden, or impair CTC’s network (or any network or authorised device connected to CTC’s network);
Share your account password under any circumstances or authorised a third party to access or use CTC’s network on your behalf unless we provide written consent to do so;
Enable unauthorised third party applications to access the CTC’s network;
Use or attempt to use any unauthorised means to modify, reroute, or gain access to the CTC’s network;
Use any automated process or service (such as a bot, a spider, periodic caching of information stored by CTC) to access or use CTC’s network, or to copy or scrape data from the CTC’s network;
Obtain (or try to obtain) any data from CTC’s network or related hardware, except the data that is made available to you;
Fraudulently manipulate CTC’s network in any way, including using a script and/or otherwise automated process;
Use unauthorised software or hardware to access CTC’s network.