Web / Computing Policies

Brooklyn College/City University of New York Computer User Responsibilities

Note: This policy statement is a modified version of a statement originally prepared by the university’s Computer Policy Committee and reviewed by the University Faculty Senate and the CUNY Office of the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs.

The computer resources of the City University of New York must be used in a manner that is consistent with the university’s educational purposes and environment. All users of computer resources are expected to act in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation and to adhere to the regulations for their use set forth in this document. As a user of CUNY/Brooklyn College resources, you:

  • Must have a valid authorized account to use any such computer resources that require one, and may use only those computer resources that are specifically authorized.
  • May use your account in accordance with its authorized purposes and may not use an unauthorized account for any purpose.
  • Are responsible for the safeguarding of your computer account.
  • Are strongly advised to change your password frequently and not to disclose it to anyone. Take all necessary precautions to protect your account, no matter what type of computer resources you are using.
  • May not circumvent system protection facilities.
  • May not knowingly use any system to produce system failure or degraded performance.
  • May not engage in unauthorized duplication, alteration, or destruction of data, programs, and software.
  • May not transmit or disclose data, programs, and software belonging to others, and may not duplicate copyrighted materials.
  • May not engage in abusive or improper use of computer hardware. This includes, but is not limited to, tampering with equipment, unauthorized attempts to repair equipment, and unauthorized removal of equipment components.
  • May not use computer resources for private purposes, including, but not limited to, use of computer resources for profit-making or illegal activities.
  • May not use computer resources to engage in abuse of computer personnel or other users. Such abuse includes the sending of abusive, anonymous, or unsolicited messages within CUNY or beyond via network facilities.
  • Are expected to be familiar with college regulations regarding the use of college computer resources. You must also note that these regulations are subject to change and/or revision. The university and Brooklyn College reserve the right to monitor, under appropriate conditions, all data contained in the system, to protect the integrity of the system and to ensure compliance with regulations.

General Rules

  • Users of university computing resources must comply with federal and state laws, university rules and policies, and the terms of applicable contracts, including software licenses, while using university computing resources.
  • Users may not state or imply that they speak on behalf of the university or use university trademarks and logos without authorization to do so. Authorization to use university trademarks and logos on university computing resources may be granted only by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
  • The use of appropriate disclaimers is encouraged.


Users who violate the policy stated herein may be denied access to university computing resources and may be subject to other penalties and disciplinary action, both within and outside the university, including:

  • suspension and/or termination of computer privileges;
  • disciplinary action(s) by appropriate college and/or university officials;
  • referral to law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution; and
  • other legal action, including action to recover civil damages and penalties.

Security and Privacy

The university employs various measures to protect the security of its computing resources and user accounts. Users should be aware, however, that the university cannot guarantee security and confidentiality. Users should therefore engage in “safe computing” practices by establishing appropriate access restrictions for their accounts, guarding their passwords and changing them regularly.

Users should also be aware that their use of university computing resources is not completely private. While the university does not routinely monitor individual usage of its computing resources, the normal operation and maintenance of the university’s computing resources require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns and other such activities that are necessary for the rendition of service. The university may also specifically monitor, without notice, the activity and accounts of individual users of university computing resources, including individual login sessions and the content of individual communications, when:

  • the user has voluntarily made them accessible to the public, as by posting to Usenet or a webpage;
  • it reasonably appears necessary to do so to protect the integrity, security, or functionality of university or other computing resources or to protect the university from liability;
  • there is reasonable cause to believe that the user has violated or is violating this policy;
  • an account appears to be engaged in unusual or unusually excessive activity; or
  • it is otherwise required or permitted by law.

Commercial Use

Computing resources are not to be used for personal commercial purposes or for personal financial purposes or other gain. Occasional personal use of university computing resources for other purposes is permitted when it does not consume a significant amount of those resources, does not interfere with the performance of the user’s job or other university responsibilities, and is otherwise in compliance with this policy. Further limits may be imposed upon personal use in accordance with normal supervisory procedures concerning the use of university equipment.

Unacceptable Use of the BC Networks

  • The creation or transmission of data or material that is obscene or that displays indecent images; any data that can be resolved into obscene or indecent material; the creation or transmission of data and material that are not lawful and properly supervised.
  • The creation or transmission of material of a defamatory nature.
  • The transmission of any material that infringes upon the copyright of another person’s work.
  • The transmission to User Organizations, or to organizations connected to other networks, of advertising material or material that is of an unsolicited commercial nature.
  • The purposeful conduting of activities containing any of the following characteristics:
    • wasting the time and efforts of staff; wasting networked resources, including the spending of time on end systems that are accessible via BC Network; wasting of time and effort of staff involved in the support of those systems;
    • damaging, corrupting, or destroying the data of other users;
    • violating the privacy of other users;
    • disrupting or interrupting the work of other users;
    • using the BC Network in such a way to cause or result in the the denial of service to to other users; and
    • any and all indicated, specific, and commonly understood misuse of the network or networked resources, such as the introduction of viruses.

Commercial Pages

Using Brooklyn College webpages for personal gain is forbidden. Any private commercial use of college webpages must be preapproved pursuant to existing university policies and procedures regarding outside employment activities.

External Links

Brooklyn College accepts no responsibility for the content of pages or graphics that are linked from college webpages. However, webpage authors should consider that such links, even when clearly labeled, can be misinterpreted as being associated with the university. Links to pages in which you have a personal monetary interest are likely to violate policies regarding advertising and commercial use and should be avoided.

Excessive or Disruptive Use

Excessive or disruptive use of university resources in the viewing or publishing of webpages is not permitted. Units owning or administering the resources involved will determine whether specific usage is considered normal, excessive, or disruptive.

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