078.2 Confidentiality of Electronic Communications

Created by: Dana Trebing on 02/23/2005
Category: 0 - General Administration; 70 - Computer Services
Originator: Chief Information Officer
Current File: 078.2
Adoption Date: 11/15/2012
Reviewed for Currency: 11/15/2012
Replaces File: 078.2
Date of Origin: 12/22/1998
In Archive? 0

078.2 Confidentiality of Electronic Communications


A. Background

The University has access to several electronic tools which are used routinely to perform computer network diagnostics and capacity planning. These tools can also be made to reveal the content of electronic communications and information retrieved electronically by members of the university community. In order to preserve the confidentiality of communications and access to electronic resources, the University has adopted the following policies and guidelines. Furthermore, these polices also apply to any software and/or hardware which is capable of monitoring network traffic.


B. Policy

Use of tools that monitor electronic communications and access to electronic resources shall be restricted to the Telecommunications Manager, Director of Systems and Networks, those working under the Director of Systems and Networks' direct supervision, and those permitted, as necessary, by the Chief Information Officer. Any confidential and/or proprietary information revealed by the use of such tools shall remain confidential and not be revealed to others, except as noted below. Monitoring of an individual's electronic communications and access to electronic resources with the intent of discovering their content may be conducted only to investigate illegal behavior or any behavior which would lead to discipline or dismissal in accordance with university policies. Furthermore, such monitoring may be performed only with the permission of the following:


C. Guidelines

1. At the time such tools are made available to them, the university employees should be informed that any behavior in violation of this policy and any other university policy pertaining to confidentiality may result in termination of employment, dismissal from the University and/or prosecution.

2. Documentation and training materials pertaining to the use of information technology should remind members of the university community that, while the confidential nature of communications is respected, use of university resources is governed by the policies and procedures of the University.

3. There is no intent that this policy override Furman's commitment to academic freedom and/or policies pertaining to faculty speech and research.