Responsible Use of Computers

Contacts

HelpDesk: helpdesk@stcloudstate.edu

Report technology abuse:
ITSecurity@stcloudstate.edu

It is important that we as an educational institution in society develop the same kind of ethical and legal traditions toward the use and misuse of intellectual property or privately owned information that society has toward financial resources and real property. The Minnesota Computer Crime Statutes are a significant step in the protection of the privacy of personal intellectual property and the security of computer systems storing such property.

Instructional computing is funded by the Legislature through the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) and a general computing fee, thus students enrolled in University courses have access to general computing facilities on campus. Research computing access is also available to graduate students for thesis-related computing and to faculty for unsponsored research upon application. Other research computing is generally not funded by the University or the Legislature, thus faculty members needing computing access for this research must generally obtain grant or contract support for their computing access as part of their research proposal.

The University considers all students with valid fee statements to be authorized users of the general purpose computing systems. Authorized student users are not permitted to allow others to use their account numbers and passwords, nor are students allowed to use accounts not assigned to them.

Graduate students and faculty who have received account numbers and passwords are authorized users of the system for which they applied, but only for the purposes identified in their original application. Users are authorized to use departmental systems by authority of the department chairman.

Application forms for faculty and staff userids, etc., for accessing the various computer systems are available in Computing & Technology User Services (MC 204). Students can apply electronically for a userid by visiting one of the open labs on campus and asking the lab consultant on duty for assistance.

Guidelines

In general, authorized and unauthorized access and use of University academic computers and computer services is defined below. These guidelines apply equally to all University students, faculty and staff, to non-University users, and to all University owned and operated computer systems and equipment. Any access or use prohibited by state or federal law is prohibited. Any access or use in support of activities that are prohibited by state or federal law is prohibited. Any uses of subsidized accounts that is not specifically authorized is unauthorized. Individuals who willfully incur loss to authorized account holders by unauthorized access or use shall be held financially responsible for the cost of restoring that user's data and programs. Violators who are University students, faculty or staff will be subject to disciplinary action under the regulations applying to their respective status within the University. All violators will be subject to prosecution under the Minnesota Computer Crime Statutes.

Current Minnesota Computer Laws

609.88 Computer Damage

Subdivision 1.
Whoever does any of the following is guilty of computer damage and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:

(a) Intentionally and without authorization damages or destroys any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, or any other property specifically defined in section 609.87, subdivision 6.

(b) Intentionally and without authorization and with intent to injure or defraud alters any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, or any other property specifically defined in section 609.87, subdivision 6.

Subdivision 2.
Whoever commits computer damage may be sentenced as follows:

(a) To imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $50,000, or both, if the damage, destruction or alteration results in a loss in excess of $2500, to the owner, his agent, or lessee;

(b) To imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $50000, or both, if the damage, destruction or alteration results in a loss of more than $5000, but not more than $2500 to the owner, his agent, or lessee; or

(c) In all other cases to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to payment of a fine of not more than $5000, or both.

609.89 Computer Theft

Subdivision 1.
Whoever does any of the following is guilty of computer theft and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:

(a) Intentionally and without authorization or claim of right accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system, computer network or any part thereof for the purpose of obtaining services or property; or

(b) Intentionally and without claim of right, and with intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession, takes, transfers, conceals or retains possession of any computer, computer system, or any computer software or data contained in a computer, computer system or computer network.

Subdivision 2.
Anyone who commits computer theft may be sentenced as follows:

(a) To imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $50,000, or both, if the loss to the owner, his agent, or lessee is in excess of $2500; or

(b) To imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5000, or both, if the loss to the owner, his agent, or lessee is more than $5000 but not more than $2500; or

(c) In all other cases to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to payment of a fine of not more than $500, or both.

 

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