Code of Conduct

This code of conduct for use of the ePortfolio system operates in addition to any other conditions for the use of IT facilities.

If you are the recipient of any ePortfolio item which you consider to be offensive; improper or unlawful please inform the eportfolio manager

Overview

Users of the ePortfolio system should take care not to use it for the transmission or receipt of material which is considered to be offensive; in breach of relevant codes on harassment; wasteful of resources, or not commensurate with the provision of the system for legitimate educational or developmental purposes.

Examples of such unacceptable use may include the transmission or receipt of material which draws excessively upon resources; the transmission or receipt of materials which is to the possible detriment of the ePortfolio system or is to the possible detriment of other users; the transmission of text or images which may be considered abusive or offensive; other unacceptable conduct which may reflect adversely upon the user, other ePortfolio users or the ePortfolio system itself. The provision by a user of explicit or cryptic links to such material stored elsewhere on the Internet is also unacceptable.

Any transmission of materials by a user carries the name of the user. Any act or attempt by a user to transmit via the ePortfolio system materials which purports, falsely, to have emanated from another user, person or organisation shall be subject to appropriate sanctions.

In view of the possibilities of introducing computer programs which may cause damage or disruption to the ePortfolio system, the downloading of programs via the system is prohibited. However, in the event that a user does introduce a disruptive program by such means, and whether this is done knowingly or not, the right is reserved, in addition to any other sanctions which may apply, to recover from the user responsible for downloading the software, the cost of any remedial action necessary, together with any other direct costs to cover, for example, the re-creation of data or business interruption.

ePortfolio Monitoring and Sanctions

Whilst telecommunications traffic passing through this system is not routinely intercepted or monitored all users of these facilities are expected to use them responsibly and in compliance with this Code. Within the provisions of the law the right is reserved at any time to intercept and monitor communications in accordance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act; The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practise)(Interception of Communications) Regulations and any other relevant legislation. Such interception/monitoring shall normally only take place with the express written approval of a relevant authority but may be undertaken without any prior notice to the users of the ePortfolio system.

Shared or published ePortfolio items which are reported by others to be in contravention of any part of this code may be moderated by the eportfolio manager or a delegated person.

Some institutions may choose to moderate all shared items. The ePortfolio manager will be able to inform you of the policy in use.

Any suspected breach of the provisions of this code may result in the immediate withdrawal of ePortfolio access privileges and / or withdrawal of additional computing facilities, pending investigation. In addition to the sanctions applicable to a breach of the law, any actual breach of the provisions of this code may result in the temporary or permanent withdrawal of the ePortfolio and / or other computing facilities and may also be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures.

In the event of any doubt or uncertainty as to what is and what is not acceptable eportfolio practice, as outlined in this code, advice should be sought from the ePortfolio Manager

Statutory and other provisions of English Law

Whilst the use of the Internet is a broadly unregulated medium, there are a number of statutory and other legal provisions which may impact upon its use. The following are a selection of provisions for which users of this ePortfolio will need to be aware; they are, however, by no means exhaustive. Users should expect that any discovery of a breach of the law arising from use of this ePortfolio system will be referred to the appropriate authorities

Computer Misuse Act 1990

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 makes it a criminal offence to access, or attempt to access computer material without proper authority or to make unauthorised modification of computer material. Persons convicted of an offence under the Computer Misuse Act are subject to a maximum of 5 years' imprisonment or a fine or both. In the context of ePortfolio use, it is likely that the following examples would be considered illegal:

  • Accessing restricted material without proper authority.
  • Provision of any material, such as access codes or 'hacking' instructions which enables others to gain unauthorised access to protected or private areas of the ePortfolio system.
  • Knowingly receiving (or using) any material from a user who has gained unauthorised access to the ePortfolio system.
  • Unauthorised modification of the ePortfolio system or data stored on the ePortfolio system.

The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988

It is an offence under this Act to copy software, images, sounds or other Internet materials without authority. It is immaterial whether such unauthorised copying is done with a view to personal convenience or for monetary gain. Unlimited fines and up to two years' imprisonment may be imposed on offenders.

The use of any unauthorised or unlicensed software, images, sounds or other Internet materials should not be tolerated and users may be required to provide evidence that use of any materials contained within the ePortfolio system is lawful.

Data Protection Act 1998

This Act prohibits the holding, processing or disclosure of personal information data about others on a computer or in a 'structured' manual form, unless the data user is properly registered with the Information Commissioner and observes the data protection principles. In view of the complexity of the legislation, all users of the ePortfolio system should avoid establishing, holding or processing any personal data concerning other persons: this includes both 'uploading and downloading' of such data via the Internet.

Race Relations, Disability Discrimination and Sexual Discrimination

Discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability or gender is unlawful under the provisions of legislation dealing with these matters. Any material published or received via the ePortfolio system which discriminates or encourages discrimination is in contravention of the legislation.

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

This miscellany of legislation includes a consolidation of provisions for the protection of minors by making it a criminal offence to possess pornographic or obscene material of or involving minors, or material considered to be excessively violent. In the context of the ePortfolio system it would apply to the transmission, receipt and storage of text, audio and graphic images.

Laws of Defamation

Any publication of a statement, comment or innuendo about another individual or organisation which cannot be justified at law may render the author liable to an action for defamation. In the context of ePortfolio use, the author of the material is responsible all actions, proceedings, claims and costs resulting therefrom. A disclaimer to this affect is accessible from each published output of the ePortfolio system.

Obscene Publications Act 1959

The publication (whether for gain or not) of material intended to be read, heard or looked at which is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons having access to the publication is a criminal offence which carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. In the context of ePortfolio use, the author of the material is responsible all actions, proceedings, claims and costs resulting therefrom. A disclaimer to this affect is accessible from each published output of the ePortfolio system.

Telecommunications Act 1984 & Communications Act 2003

A person who sends a message or other matter that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing in character via the public telecommunication system or sends a false message for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another shall be guilty of a criminal offence. The Internet makes use of the "public telecommunication system". A breach of this Act will result in a substantial fine and/or imprisonment.

International Law

Users of the ePortfolio system should be aware that any material which they create and transmit is potentially accessible World-Wide and that such material must not therefore contravene any international laws or treaties. Users should be aware that material lawfully provided in the United Kingdom but accessed in another country may constitute an offence within that recipient country.

Advertising

Users of the ePortfolio system should not create, place or distribute any advertisement on the Internet which is in the nature of a commercial activity.