Computer/Communications Use

Computer, Internet, and Electronic Communications Information Management Policy

Sexually Explicit Materials

Effective September 18, 2003, Arizona law will allow for the dismissal or discipline of state employees who use state-owned equipment to view material or services that depict nudity or sexual activity, unless the employee has the authorization of the agency head. The statute governs all ASU employees, including student employees.

Under ARS § 38-448, unless an ASU employee has authorization from the university President, the employee is prohibited from knowingly using ASU owned or leased computer equipment to access, download, print or store any files or services that depict nudity, sexual activity, sexual excitement, or ultimate sex acts.

In a document titled "Approved Use of University Computing and Communication Equipment," President Crow has authorized certain employees to access these materials in connection with their academic duties or university administrative functions. Uses outside of this scope may result in sanctions. Also, refer to the Approval for Access form.

Under the current Presidential Approval, the following individuals may access otherwise prohibited material, but only to the extent that the access is related to their academic appointment or job duties at ASU:

  1. All employees with academic appointments, student research and teaching assistants, and employees performing duties related to university academic functions, as authorized by a department chair, dean or director or provost;
  2. All employees whose job duties include the provision of physical or mental health services;
  3. All employees whose job duties include the monitoring, management, or servicing of ASU computing or communication media, systems or devices;
  4. All employees whose job duties include the analysis of legal issues or the investigation of allegations of misconduct; and
  5. All employees of campus museums, media services, libraries, and ASU Public Events.

Procedures for responding to allegations of misconduct and applicable sanctions are those set forth in existing ASU employment policies. Approval granted pursuant to A.R.S. §38-448 does not authorize any person to perform any act that is otherwise illegal under federal or state law.

The university recognizes that employees may receive an unsolicited e-mail (spam) that depicts nudity, sexual activity or other content restricted by this statute. The university does not intend to impose sanctions against employees who delete or ignore unsolicited e-mail when they recognize that the content is not related to legitimate university business or is otherwise regulated by this statute.

University Technology Office's Help Center Web site contains information about unsolicited e-mail and steps users can take to reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail they receive.

Unsolicited Email/Spam

On May 16, 2003, Governor Napolitano signed into law ARS § 44-1372, Et. seq, which regulates the use of unsolicited commercial e-mail (also known as "spam"). The law became effective September 18, 2003.

The new law permits vendors to send e-mail to patrons with whom they have an existing business relationship, if the e-mail gives the recipient the ability to opt out of receiving future messages and to restrict the sale of their e-mail address information.

The law prohibits the falsification of e-mail transmission or other routing information, it prohibits the use of false or misleading information in the subject line and prohibits transmitting spam through a third party's address (without the third party's permission and when it appears the third party is the sender).

The law applies to any person doing business in Arizona and to any person who transmits commercial e-mail from a computer located in Arizona to an e-mail address known to be in Arizona or to an interactive computer service whose equipment or principal place of business is in Arizona.

A party injured by violation of this statute can recover attorneys' fees, costs, and either actual damages or statutory damages ($10 for each unsolicited e-mail up to $25,000). Violation of the statute is a class 2 misdemeanor.

The statute further provides that it does not create a cause of action against an e-mail service provider (such as ASU) for transmitting the message.

University Technology Office's Help Center Web site contains information about unsolicited e-mail and steps users can take to reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail they receive.

Some of the legal material found at this site has been abridged from laws, regulations, court decisions, administrative rulings, ABOR and ASU policies and other sources. Further details may be necessary for complete analysis and understanding in particular matters. The information contained at this site, and related links, is not a substitute for professional legal counsel. Any discrepancy between the information at this site and ASU policy is not intended to alter or amend official ASU policy or procedure.

Any links to non-Arizona State University information are provided as a courtesy. They are not intended to nor do they constitute an endorsement by the Arizona Board of Regents or Arizona State University of the linked materials.