AP 3720-A Computer and Network Use

17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq.; Penal Code Section 502, Cal. Const., Art. 1 Section 1; Government Code Section 3543.1(b) ; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 16, 26, 33, 34, 37, 45

In keeping with its mission, the District provides computing resources to members of the District community. The computers, networks, and computing facilities made available by the District for students, faculty, and staff use are the property of the Ventura County Community College District, and are provided for the completion of academic requirements, scholarships, and District business. Use of these resources is a privilege. They may not be used by any person without the proper authorization of the District.

This procedure applies to all District students, faculty, staff, and to others granted use of District information resources. This procedure refers to all District information resources whether individually controlled or shared, stand-alone or networked. It applies to all computer and computer communication facilities owned, leased, operated, or contracted by the District. This includes desktop computers, laptop computers, servers, and associated peripherals, software and information resources, regardless of whether used for administration, research, teaching or other purposes.

Administration of Information Technology

The District has an Information Technology Department (IT) that oversees and is responsible for all district-wide, centralized systems. The district IT group also manages all communications and network infrastructure for all district sites and facilities. The colleges each have an IT department that is responsible for local computer resources, including end-user computer hardware and software, and classroom software applications.

Conditions of Use

Individual units within the District may define additional conditions of use for information resources under their control. These statements must be consistent with this overall procedure but may provide additional detail, guidelines and/or restrictions.

Legal Process

This procedure exists within the framework of the District Board Policy and state and federal laws. A user of District information resources who is found to have violated any of these policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including, but not limited to, loss of information resources privileges; disciplinary suspension or termination from employment or expulsion; and/or civil or criminal legal action.

Copyrights and Licenses

Computer users must respect copyrights and licenses to software and other on-line information.

Copying - Software protected by copyright may not be copied except as expressly permitted by the owner of the copyright or otherwise permitted by copyright law. Protected software may not be copied into, from, or by any District facility or system, except pursuant to a valid license or as otherwise permitted by copyright law.

Number of Simultaneous Users - The number and distribution of copies must be handled in such a way that the number of simultaneous users in a department does not exceed the number of original copies purchased by that department, unless otherwise stipulated in the purchase contract.

Copyrights - In addition to software, all other copyrighted information (text, images, icons, programs, etc.) retrieved from computer or network resources must be used in conformance with applicable copyright and other law. Copied material must be properly attributed. Plagiarism of computer information is prohibited in the same way that plagiarism of any other protected work is prohibited.

Integrity of Information Resources

Computer users must respect the integrity of computer-based information resources.

Modification or Removal of Equipment - Computer users must not attempt to modify or remove computer equipment, software, or peripherals that are owned by others without proper authorization.

Unauthorized Use - Computer users must not interfere with other's access and use of the District computers. This includes but is not limited to: the sending of chain letters or excessive messages, either locally or off-campus; printing excess copies of documents, files, data, or programs, running grossly inefficient programs when efficient alternatives are known by the user to be available; unauthorized modification of system facilities, operating systems, or disk partitions; attempting to crash or tie up a District computer or network; and damaging or vandalizing District computing facilities, equipment, software or computer files.

Unauthorized Programs - Computer users must not intentionally develop or use programs which disrupt other computer users or which access private or restricted portions of the system, or which damage the software or hardware components of the system. Computer users must ensure that they do not use programs or utilities that interfere with other computer users or that modify normally protected or restricted portions of the system or user accounts. The use of any unauthorized or destructive program will result in disciplinary action as provided in this procedure, and may further lead to civil or criminal legal proceedings.

Unauthorized Access

Computer users must not seek to gain unauthorized access to information resources and must not assist any other persons to gain unauthorized access.

Abuse of Computing Privileges - Users of District information resources must not access computers, computer software, computer data or information, or networks without proper authorization, or intentionally enable others to do so, regardless of whether the computer, software, data, information, or network in question is owned by the District. For example, abuse of the networks to which the District belongs or the computers at other sites connected to those networks will be treated as an abuse of District computing privileges.

Reporting Problems - Any defects discovered in system accounting or system security must be reported promptly to the Information Technology department so that steps can be taken to investigate and solve the problem.

Password Protection - A computer user who has been authorized to use a password-protected account may be subject to both civil and criminal liability if the user discloses the password or otherwise makes the account available to others without permission of IT.

Prohibited Uses 

Computer users must respect the rights of other computer users. Attempts to circumvent these mechanisms in order to gain unauthorized access to the system or to another person's information are a violation of District procedure and may violate applicable law.

Unlawful Messages - Users may not use electronic communication facilities to send defamatory, fraudulent, harassing, obscene, threatening, or other messages that violate applicable federal, state or other law or District policy, or which constitute the unauthorized release of confidential information.

Commercial Usage - Electronic communication facilities may not be used to transmit commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations or promotions (see Commercial Use, below).

Information Belonging to Others - Users must not intentionally seek or provide information on, obtain copies of, or modify data files, programs, or passwords belonging to other users, without the permission of those other users.

Rights of Individuals - Users must not release any individual's (student, faculty, and staff) personal information to anyone without proper authorization.

User identification - Users shall not send communications or messages anonymously or without accurately identifying the originating account or station.

Political, Personal and Commercial Use - The District is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and, as such, is subject to specific federal, state and local laws regarding sources of income, political activities, use of property and similar matters.

Political Use - District information resources must not be used for partisan political activities where prohibited by federal, state or other applicable laws.

Personal Use - District information resources should not be used for personal activities not related to appropriate District functions, except in a purely incidental manner.

Commercial Use - District information resources should not be used for commercial purposes. Users also are reminded that ".edu" domains on the internet have rules restricting or prohibiting commercial use, and users may not conduct activities not appropriate within those domains.

Obscene Material - District information resources should not be used for knowingly viewing, downloading, transmitting, or otherwise engaging in any communication which contains obscene, indecent, profane, lewd, or lascivious material or other material which explicitly or implicitly refers to sexual conduct. This procedure does not prohibit the use of appropriate material for educational purposes, nor limit academic freedom. However, knowingly displaying sexually explicit or sexually harassing images or text in a private and/or public computer facility or location that can potentially be in view of other individuals is prohibited.


All users have the right to be free from any conduct connected with the use of VCCCD network and computer resources which discriminate against any person on the basis of national origin, religion, age, sex (gender), race, color, medical condition, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or because he or she is perceived to have one or more of the foregoing characteristics. No user shall use the District network and computer resources to transmit any message, create any communication of any kind, or store information which violates any District procedure regarding discrimination or harassment, or which is defamatory or obscene, or which constitutes the unauthorized release of confidential information.


No Expectation of Privacy - The District reserves the right to monitor all use of the District network and computers to assure compliance with these policies. Users should be aware that they have no expectation of privacy in the use of the District network and computer resources. The District will exercise this right only for legitimate District purposes, including but not limited to ensuring compliance with this procedure and the integrity and security of the system.

Possibility of Disclosure - Users must be aware of the possibility of unintended disclosure of communications. 

Retrieval - It is possible for information entered on or transmitted via computer and communications systems to be retrieved, even if a user has deleted such information.

Public Records - The California Public Records Act (Government Code Sections 6250et seq.) includes computer transmissions in the definition of "public record" and nonexempt communications made on the District network and computer must be disclosed if requested by a member of the public.

Litigation - Computer transmissions and electronically stored information may be discoverable in litigation.

Dissemination and User Acknowledgment

All users shall be provided copies of these procedures and be directed to familiarize themselves with them. 

All new employee/new hires must read and accept the terms of this procedure, and sign a copy to be kept on file in Human Resources.