Email Use - Legal Issues

  • Do not try to pretend that you are someone else when sending mail, for example by using someone else's account to send it. (For the same reason, protect your passwords.) Although with some e-mail programs it is easy to change the From: field of a message, it is equally easy for network managers to trace a message to its real source: do not be tempted to 'play a joke' - it will not be interpreted as a joke by the authorities.
  • Do not make changes to another person's message and then pass it on without making clear where you have made changes. This would be misrepresentation.
  • Legislation. The laws of the land relating to written communication apply equally to e-mail messages, including those relating to defamation, copyright, obscenity, fraudulent misrepresentation, freedom of information, wrongful discrimination, and so on.
  • Sending e-mail from your University account is similar to sending a letter on University notepaper: do not say anything that might bring discredit to the University.
  • If you participate in public forums, make it explicit (e.g. by suitable wording in your signature) that you are expressing your personal opinions, which are your responsibility alone. (Multiple signatures come in useful for this).
  • See also ISS document G01 Responsible Use.