ACU Web Publishing Guide: Glossary (part 2 of 3)
Gossip is tantamount to the civil law of public
disclosure of private facts without the permission of the
subject of the facts. A gossip betrays a confidence; so
avoid a man who talks too much (Proverbs 20:19).
Harassment may take many forms but is speech and/or
action that troubles or torments a person. Today it has
become a legal and an ethical issue.
Hate speech is an ethical rather than a legal problem
(R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, Minnesota). Speech that arouses
"anger alarm or resentment" about someone's race, color,
creed, religion or gender is generally defined as hate
speech. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My
brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt
water flow from the same spring? (James 3:19-11)
Call 2455 to report unethical or unlawful use of the
university computing system.
"Identify yourself. Describe who you are if the recipient
doesn't already know you" (Lawrence J. Magid, "Internet
Material that depicts in a patently offensive manner
sexual or excretory activities or organs is defined as
indecent by the law (FCC v. Pacifica, 1978).
Users are notified that these policies do not preclude
reporting infractions of the laws and regulations of the
State of Texas and/or the United States of America to the
If an institution does not alert its constituents to
dangers that they face, liability can accrue out of
negligence of duty to protect the constituents' well being.
"If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and
does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands, even
though the community is unaware of the matter, they are
guilty" (Leviticus 4:13).
The reputation of a person, product, company or
institution is damaged when someone communicates with
"reckless disregard of the truth" a falsehood about the
subject to one other person. Do not go about spreading
slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers
your neighbor's life. I am the Lord. Do not hate your
brother in your heart. (Leviticus 19:16-17)
Users may not use equipment or software in violation of
the terms of any license agreement.
Authorized university support personnel may access
others' files when necessary for the maintenance and
security of the systems. When performing maintenance, every
effort will be made to ensure the privacy of the user's
files. However, if violations of policies are discovered,
they will be reported to the appropriate vice president.
marketplace of ideas theory
How is the First Amendment interpreted? The Christian
rejects the absolutist theory of the meaning of the First
Amendment but can find guidance in the marketplace of ideas
theory. It is based on Paul's experiences in the Areopagus
and ideas advanced by John Milton in Areopagitica. The
Christian marketplace of ideas theorist believes in a
principled, reasoned tournament of ideas in which truth will
win in the clash with falsehood. He or she argues for
prepublication, ethical restraints in areas such as
blasphemy, profanity and personal attack, and supports - if
ethical restraints fail - post-publication legal punishment
for defamation, privacy invasion, obscenity, indecency,
personal attack, and copyright infringement.
Users will not attempt to modify system facilities,
attempt to crash the system, or impersonate system
The university reserves the right to check computer
files, but monitoring is divided into two types: (a) content
and (b) technical. The latter is explained under
"maintenance." Content may be examined only because of a
compelling university interest and only by authorized
personnel approved by the appropriate vice president.
Users should not tie up computer resources or encroach
upon others' use of computers, including excessive game
playing, trivial applications, frivolous, excessive or
unwanted messages, excessive storage, and excessive program
copying and file printing.
need to know
University databases my be accessed only by university
employees who have a clear need to know the data and who
have been cleared for access by appropriate authorities.
Networks to which the university are connected have legal
and ethical regulations, which users are expected to
observe. Copies are available from Academic Computing.
Objectionable names will not be used on processes,
folders or files. Objectionable labels include obscene,
indecent, blasphemous, profane and discriminatory
Abuse of networks or computers at other sites through
university computing facilities will be treated as abuse of
ACU computing privileges.
The university will cancel access privileges of abusers
of computing privileges and accounts. Abusers will be
subject to university disciplinary procedures and to legal
action as appropriate.
Average persons will determine content that is legally
obscene by using contemporary community standards,
evaluating the main theme of an entire work, and finding the
material (a) to appeal to impure interests in sexuality, (b)
to be patently offensive, and (c) to be without literary,
artistic, scientific or political value, thereby classifying
the work as obscene (Miller v. California, 1973). "Put to
death ... whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual
immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is
idolatry" (Colossians 3:5).
Passwords are highly confidential, should be changed
often, should never be posted, should be secured in
confidential locations, and should never be shared with
anyone. Users should change their passwords frequently and
should avoid using their names or any other password that
could easily be guessed.
Private universities, unlike public universities, may
accept the responsibility to exercise control over civil law
liability as a legitimate educational (pedagogical) concern
via prohibition of defamation, privacy invasion, obscenity,
copyright infringement and unfair competition, also a form
of plagiarism (Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier). However, "students
do not lose their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse
gate" (Tinker v. Des Moines).
Plagiarism is any act of passing of someone else's idea,
writings, work, etc., as your own. The Latin root of the
word means "kidnapping." This form of academic dishonesty
can result in disciplinary action ranging from reprimand to
loss of computer privileges to dismissal from the
university. See "unfair
Classic censorship is prior restraint of expression
exercised by some official or office of federal, state or
privacy invasion, private facts disclosure
This version of privacy invasion occurs when
non-newsworthy, little known, embarrassing facts are
communicated without consent to a large number of people. A
gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a
secret (Proverbs 11:13).
privacy invasion, appropriation
Appropriation occurs when a person's name, likeness, or signature is used for purposes of trade without prior consent.
privacy invasion, false lightSimilar to libel, the false light tort damages a person's right to be left alone by communicating a non-libelous falsehood about the person, a falsehood that does not hurt the reputation.
privacy invasion, intrusion
Intrusion, similar to criminal trespass, occurs when a
person intrudes without consent into a private computer file
or database. The damage and liability occur at the moment of
intrusion, not at the time of use of data.
Last modified 8/29/99