Computer Use

Wiregrass Computer Use Policy

Students and employees, utilizing Wiregrass Georgia Technical College provided Internet access are responsible for good behavior on-line just as they are in a classroom or other area of the college. Using a computer without permission is theft of services and is illegal under state and federal laws. Federal law prohibits misuse of computer resources. In addition, the following specific crimes are prohibited by state law in Georgia (O.C.G.A. 16-9-90 et seq):

  • Computer theft (including theft of computer services, intellectual property such as copyrighted material, and any other property);
  • Computer trespass (unauthorized use of computers to delete or alter data or interfere with others’ usage);
  • Computer invasion of privacy (unauthorized access to financial or personal data or the like);
  • Computer forgery (forgery as defined by other laws, but committed on a computer rather than on paper);
  • Computer password disclosure (unauthorized disclosure of a password resulting in damages exceeding $500 – in practice, this includes any disclosure that requires a system security audit afterward); and
  • Misleading transmittal of names or trademarks (falsely identifying yourself or falsely claiming to speak for a person or organization by using their name, trademark, logo, or seal).

Maximum penalties for the first four crimes in the list are a $50,000 fine and 15 years of imprisonment, plus civil liability. The maximum penalties for computer password disclosure are a $5,000 fine and one year of imprisonment, plus civil liability.

The purpose of WGTC-provided Internet access is to facilitate communications in support of research and education. To remain eligible as users, students’ use must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of the TCSG System. Access is a privilege, not a right. Access entails responsibility.

Users should not expect files stored on Wiregrass Georgia Technical College-based computers to be private. Electronic messages and files stored on WGTC-based computers shall be treated like other WGTC premises that are temporarily assigned for individual use. Administrators may review files and messages in an effort to maintain system integrity and in an effort to insure that users are acting responsibly. Moreover, TCSG System and technical college officials shall cooperate with law enforcement officials who are properly authorized to search System and technical college computers and computer systems.

All information created, stored, or transmitted by WGTC computers or networks is subject to monitoring for compliance with applicable laws and policies.

The following uses of WGTC-provided computers, networks and Internet access are not permitted:

  • To create, access or transmit sexually explicit, obscene, or pornographic material;
  • To create, access or transmit material that could be considered discriminatory, offensive, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or attempts to libel or otherwise defame any person.
  • To violate any local, state or federal statute;
  • To vandalize, damage, or disable the property of another individual or organization;
  • To access another individual’s password, materials, information, or files without permission;
  • To violate copyright or otherwise use the intellectual property of another individual or organization in violation of the law, including software piracy;
  • To knowingly endanger the security of any System or Technical College computer or network;
  • To create, install, or knowingly distribute a computer virus, rootkit, keystroke logger, “Trojan horse,” or other surreptitiously destructive program on any System or Technical College computer or network facility, regardless of whether any demonstrable harm results;
  • To modify or re-configure the software or hardware of any Agency computer or Network without proper authorization.

Users of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College computers and computer systems are subject to the System’s policy on the development of Intellectual Property. Any violation of the policy and rules may result in disciplinary action against the student. When and where applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved. For more information on acceptable computer and internet usage, please visit the Technical college System of Georgia State Board Policy and Procedures Manual – II.C.4. Acceptable Computer and Internet Use.