Policy regulating the use of UA computers and network resources.

Effective as of 7/1/2013, This IT Policy should be observed by faculty, staff, students and contractors.

Sponsors and Approvers

J. Ashley Ewing, UA Chief Information Security Officer – Sponsor

Dr. John P. McGowan, UA Chief Information Officer – Approver

Statement of Need and Purpose

It is possible to use computer accounts on the UA network in ways that violate legal statutes or University policies. This IT Policy has been created to clarify the terms governing the use of UA computers and network resources. All users of UA computer and network resources are required by federal, state, and/or local law and/or established formal policies of The University of Alabama to comply with all of the provisions of this policy. Further discussion of computer and network use may be found in the Computer and Network Use General Guidelines IT Guideline document.


  1. A user account is created for each user of UA computer and network resources. Each account is for the exclusive use of the individual to whom it was assigned and users may not allow or facilitate access, including by a proxy or anonymous remailer, to University computer accounts, equipment, or restricted files or systems by others. Authorized users are current University faculty or staff, currently enrolled students, and departmentally sponsored retirees unless their access privileges have been revoked by the University. Divisions and departments may also authorize and fund temporary accounts for use by non-University personnel including retirees, strictly for the purpose of conducting University business, subject to annual recertification.
  2. There are different types of user accounts based on user status, role, and areas of responsibility. Users may perform only those activities for which they are authorized and must not attempt to circumvent or defeat account usage restrictions.
  3. User activities may not violate any policy of the University.
  4. The use must not result in commercial gain or benefit to the user and cannot constitute consulting for a business or running a business. Network pages or sites may not promote commercial activities or display paid advertising.
    Alabama Code 36-25-5(a) provides as follows: No public official or employee shall use an official position or office to obtain direct personal financial gains for himself, or his family or any business with which he or a member of his family is associated unless such use and gain are specifically authorized by law. Any person subject to this chapter who knowingly or willfully violates any disclosure requirement of this chapter shall be found guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of $10.00 a day for each day the appropriate disclosure statement is delinquent or the proper information is unreported, not to exceed $1,000.00 annually.
  5. The use may not imply or state University sponsorship or endorsement, nor use University trademarks without permission of the University’s Licensing Program.
  6. The use may not violate state laws or University policies on the use of University equipment, resources, or time for political activities.
  7. The use may not violate laws or University policies against discrimination or harassment due to race, sex, religion, disability, age, or other protected status.
  8. The use may not violate any copyright or license agreements.
  9. The following forms of communication are prohibited by legal statute or University Policy:
    • Obscenity
    • Defamation
    • Advocacy directed to incite or produce lawless action
    • Threats of violence against person(s) or property
    • Disruption of the academic environment
    • Harassment based on sex, race, disability, or other protected status
    • Anonymous or repeated messages designed to annoy, abuse, or torment
    • False information about academic or administrative policies or issues
    • Messages offensive to the receiver because of their pointlessly hateful, obscene, or libelous content
  10. Use may not access, destroy, endanger, or divert another’s research, writing, data, or other work product without permission of its owner. Under Alabama Code 13A-8-102, it is a crime to attempt or achieve access to, communication of, examination of, or modification of, to destroy, or to disclose, use, or take data, computer programs or supporting documentation without the permission of the owner.
  11. Use may not involve the intentional introduction of destructive software, such as programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, or worms, into any UA computer, computer system, or network.
  12. The use must not involve sending of soliciting chain letters, nor may it involve sending unsolicited bulk mail messages (e.g., “junk mail,” or “spam”).
  13. The use may not involve disclosure of passwords or identifying data that attempts to circumvent system security or in any way attempts to gain unauthorized access.
  14. A web site or page or personal collection of electronic material that is accessible to others must include and display the following disclaimer: “The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed in this page are those of the author or organization and are not necessarily those of The University of Alabama or its officers or trustees. The content of this page has not been reviewed or approved by The University of Alabama, and the author or organization is solely responsible for its content.”

The University’s Electronic Media Policy, as set forth in the Human Resources Policy Manual (Policy No. 115.00), governs the University’s right to access and review electronic information stored on or passing over University equipment or networks.


Compliance to IT Policies is mandatory. IT Policies cover legal and regulatory compliance to Federal, State, or Local statutes or University regulations. Enforcement is performed by duly authorized authorities such as the UA Police and is both proactive and reactive and may include professional sanctions, disciplinary action, termination, and/or legal prosecution.