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RFC 1746 - Ways to Define User Expectations


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Network Working Group                                         B. Manning
Request for Comments: 1746                                           ISI
Category: Informational                                       D. Perkins
                                                             Houston ISD
                                                           December 1994

                    Ways to Define User Expectations

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This paper covers basic fundamentals that must be understood when one
   defines, interprets, or implements methods to control user
   expectations on or over the Internet.

1. Background

   User agreements are a form of acceptable use policy (AUP) are an
   implicit part of internetworking since they place parameters on user
   expectation.  They define the desired and expected behaviour of those
   who participate.  Everyone has one, whether published or not.  This
   applies to networks that provide transit paths for other networks as
   well as end sites and the individual users that use systems.  A
   better understanding of an AUP, and how to formulate one seems to be
   increasingly important as the global net encompases new  environments
   as varied as K12 schools and real-time systems.  AUP's are used to
   determine pricing, customer base, type and quality of service
   metrics, and a host of other provider services.

2. Components of an Agreement

   In defining your particular agreement there are three areas that must
   be addressed.  They are where you get service from, who your peers
   are, and whom you provide service to.  A good understanding of these
   concepts will make or break the policies you formulate.

2.1  Where you get service from

   Each entity gets its service from one or more other providers,
   either a level three service, such as IP transit, or a level two
   service, such as circuits.  The provider of such services usually has
   an policy in the form of an agreement or contract specifying terms

   and conditions of use. This forms the basis for the type of service
   offerings that you as an entity can provide.  If you get service from
   several providers,  all of them need to be considered in the
   formation of policy.

2.2 Who your peers are

   Are your policies consistent with those offered by your peers?  In
   many cases, the formation of policy will define who your peers are.
   It is important to clearly identify which areas you intend to reach
   and the community you wish to be a contributing, productive part of.
   Once this is clear, formulate polices along those lines.

2.3 Who you provide service to

   It is required that you inform those who use your services just what
   your policies are.  Without this information, it will be almost
   impossible for them to distinguish what to expect from your service
   offering. Without a clear policy it is possible that litigation may
   ensue. It is important to reflect community standards in the creation
   of policy.

3. Some Issues to consider

   IP provided services can be complex.  They comprise both information
   and communication.  In the formulation of policy it is critical that
   the policy provide for security and access to information and
   communication while ensuring that the resource use does not
   overburden the system's capabilities. These conflicting demands must
   be analyzed and a synthesis arrived at.  This hints a fourth
   component of an AUP, that it has a method to extract compliance.
   This is so site specific that further analysis will not be attempted
   here.

   Some items that should be considered in the formation of policy are:

        - privacy                       - morals & ethics
        - freedom of expression         - legal constraints
        - safety                        - harassment
        - plagiarism                    - resource utilization
        - indemnification               - targeted areas of interest
        - expected behaviours           - remedies and recourse

   This should not be considered as an exhaustive list but as pointers
   for those types of things to be considered when policy is formed.

4. Security Considerations

   Security and Liability issues are not discussed in this memo.

5. Summary

   User Agreements are here to stay. As the Interconnected mesh of
   networks grows, the choices presented to end-users mandate that
   provider/user expectations are clearly presented. Use of these
   guidelines will help create a clearer, better defined environment for
   everyone.

Authors' Addresses

   Bill Manning
   USC/Information Sciences Institute
   4676 Admiralty Way
   Marina del Rey, CA 90292

   Phone: 822-1511
   EMail: bmanning@isi.edu

   Don Perkins
   Instructional Media Services
   Houston Independent School District
   3830 Richmond
   Houston, TX 77027

   EMail: dperkins@tenet.edu

Example

   For further reference on some acceptable use policies, see the
   following materials archived in Armadillo--The Texas Studies Gopher:

   Name=Acceptable and Unacceptable Use of Net Resources (K12)
   Type=1
   Host=chico.rice.edu
   Port=1170
   Path=1/More/Acceptable

   or:

   http://chico.rice.edu/armadillo

   If these resources are not available to you, you may want to review
   the attached policy and justification that is in use by an NSF
   sponsored project on K12 networking. It provides a view on the
   thinking process and actual Agreement that was worked out for this
   project.

The Internetworked School: A Policy for the Future*

Barry J. Fishman and Roy D. Pea School of Education and Social Policy
Northwestern University

Note:

   The CoVis Network Use Policy itself appears as an appendix to this
   article.

Introduction

   The next five years will radically change the ways that schools
   relate to the world around them as global computer networks--long the
   exclusive domain of higher education and private industry--link up to
   primary and secondary schools. The Internet, a network made up of
   many smaller contributing networks, represents a powerful educational
   resource unlike anything that precedes it. Its potential for
   education grows with the establishment of each new connection.

   For the first time, schoolchildren have the means for simple, direct
   contact with millions of adults in a forum that masks their physical
   youth and presents them as virtual equals. However, just as the new
   kid in school has to learn new social codes and rituals to fit in,
   schools must learn some of the practices and etiquette of the
   Internet. Of course, the established denizens of the Internet will
   soon have some adjusting to do as well, with thousands (or millions)

   of new kids knocking electronically at their doors. Since the
   Internet was not designed with children in mind, many potentially
   difficult issues must be discussed by both the education and the
   Internet communities.

   This article presents a framework for thinking about some of the
   issues that are essential to making the initial encounter between
   schools and the Internet successful. It also presents an excerpt of a
   policy that embodies our approach to resolving those issues.

Expanding Access, Expanding Horizons

   For roughly the past decade, schools increasingly have participated
   in specialized computer networks such as the NGS/TERC Kidsnetwork,
   the Intercultural Learning Network, and FidoNet, as well as for-
   profit services such as CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy. The
   majority of these projects were conducted on networks, where
   teachers' or students' messages could not be read by anyone beyond a
   predetermined audience composed of other students and teachers. These
   projects made it possible for students and teachers to communicate
   with their peers in faraway places and pioneered some pedagogical
   uses of networks for computer-mediated communication and
   collaborative project work that will carry over to the Internet.

   Internetworking, however, goes beyond proprietary systems by joining
   a vast number of distinct networks into one large network, the
   Internet.  As individual schools and bulletin boards are connected to
   the Internet, the number of people and services within easy reach
   increases exponentially. By one estimate, there are currently 19
   million users of the Internet, with an annual growth rate approaching
   80 percent. Furthermore, some of the Internet's most powerful
   communication tools are specifically designed so that any of these
   millions of people could join any conversation. The network's true
   power comes from the synergy of many dispersed minds working together
   to solve problems and discuss issues, and there is little in the way
   of hierarchy or control of the discourse.

   The schools' shift to internetworking systems involves critical
   technological, as well as pedagogical, issues. It requires a change
   in the school computing paradigm from centralized computing to
   distributed client-server systems, thus bringing about an
   administrative change in the nature of school computing. Many schools
   that currently have some kind of network access provide accounts only
   to teachers or administrators. Internetworking is fundamentally
   different--giving accounts, access, and therefore control directly to
   students.

   There are numerous arguments for the pedagogical benefits of school
   internetworking. But what of the risks? What safety, liability, and,
   above all, educational concerns must be addressed before schools are
   ready to tap into the Internet? This policy is not intended as a
   document that sets limitations or restrictions. Rather, it is
   designed to facilitate and set guidelines for exploring and using the
   Internet as a tool for learning. The policy was written with the
   purpose and goals of the Internet as a background: support for open
   research and education in and among research and instructional
   institutions. The context for the policy was provided by the specific
   needs of a growing community of learners composed of students,
   teachers, scientists, and researchers. The networked environment must
   support collaboration and cooperation. Proper frameworks to support
   network navigation and information searching must be established. And
   because networks will continue to be a scarce educational resource
   for the foreseeable future, the policy also provides guidelines for
   maximizing the educational cost-benefit ratio for teachers and
   students.

Testbed for Change--The CoVis Project

   Our framework for considering internetworking issues is a project
   currently being conducted at the School of Education and Social
   Policy at Northwestern University. The Learning Through Collaborative
   Visualization Project, CoVis, is designed to reconceptualize and
   reconfigure high school science education. CoVis is a networking
   testbed funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Its goal is
   to enable project-based approaches to science by using low- and
   medium-bandwidth networks to put students in direct contact with
   practicing scientists and scientific tools. In CoVis, we are working
   with the types of network connections we believe will be common in
   schools in the near future.

   In the first phase of our project we are working with two Chicago-
   area schools, Evanston Township High School in Evanston and New Trier
   High School in Winnetka. CoVis is deployed in 12 classes at the two
   high schools, involving three teachers at each school. Approximately
   300 students are involved in the project: 100 freshmen, 100
   sophomores and juniors, and 100 seniors, all enrolled in either earth
   science or environmental science classes. Each classroom contains six
   Macintosh Quadra computers with audio/video conferencing units linked
   to an internal ethernet, which is linked to Northwestern's ethernet
   by a primary-rate Integrated Services Digital Network bridge for
   telecommunications using the public-switched network. Additional
   computers are available for Internet use in computer labs at each
   school.

   The CoVis Network Community consists of students and teachers in
   CoVis classes, scientists who wish to collaborate on CoVis student
   projects, the researchers conducting the CoVis project, and other
   interested parties who are granted special accounts. In the CoVis
   classroom, each student is given an account that makes him or her a
   "full" member of the Internet community. This means two things: Each
   student has access to all Internet services with minimal mediation by
   teachers or other adults, and anybody with an Internet account can
   contact the students directly, again without mediation.

   In addition to the standard Internet resources, which include
   electronic mail, listservs, Usenet news discussion groups, Telnet,
   gopher, and file transfer, CoVis makes it possible for students to
   communicate with peers and scientists via video and audio conference
   tools and remote screen-sharing technology for synchronous
   collaborative work. Therefore, the CoVis Network Use Policy goes
   beyond the needs of the typical low-bandwidth internetworked school.

   As an NSF testbed, CoVis has the job of developing new frameworks for
   the use of internetworking. In seeking to understand problematic
   issues of networking, we turn both to other projects--Bolt Beranek
   and Newman's work with the Ralph Bunche computer-minischool in New
   York; AT&T's Learning Circles; and TERC's LabNet project--and to
   analogous situations extant in schools. Our attention thus is placed
   on the development of a policy to establish ground rules for the
   students who will be introduced to the Internet.

The Need for a Proactive Policy

   Exciting or revolutionary educational programs too often are
   derailed.  In the 1970s, Jerome Bruner's curriculum Man: A Course of
   Study (MACOS) was at the center of a political and ideological
   firestorm that prevented its implementation in many schools. The
   experience of the MACOS developers taught us that it makes sense to
   spend time in the initial stages of a project trying to determine
   what challenges might arise to an educational innovation in order to
   avoid, preempt, or co-opt them.

   In March 1993, the Communications Policy Forum, a nonpartisan group
   of telecommunications stakeholders convened by the Electronic
   Frontier Foundation, met on the issues of Internet services for the
   K-12 educational community. The forum concluded that services should
   be provided only to schools that would indemnify the service
   providers.  It also recommended that a warning statement be developed
   to advise schools of the presence of materials on the Internet that
   may be deemed inappropriate for minors.

   We believe that it is not enough to devise a policy designed to
   protect schools and service providers, although our policy also
   speaks to those roles. In this policy designed to guide students
   through some of the social complexity presented by the Internet, we
   created guidelines to alert novice users of established expectations
   and practices. Because the Internet is somewhat anarchic in its daily
   commerce, it is necessary to define a safe local space, or identity,
   for a school network where students can feel like members of a
   supportive community. The goal of establishing the boundaries of our
   own community forms the framework of our policy.

Issues and Analogies

   The kinds of issues posed by internetworking are not new. Similar
   issues have been debated by schools many times before, from creation
   science to dress codes. These concerns resurface in the availability
   of networked material that some parents, teachers, or students might
   find objectionable, pornographic, or otherwise inappropriate.
   Although the actual percentage of materials in this category is
   small, their mere presence draws plenty of media attention. Consider
   this lead-in to a story about graphic material that can be retrieved
   through the Internet, published in the Houston Chronicle in 1990:

      "Westbury High School student Jeff Noxon's homework was rudely
      interrupted recently when he stumbled across the world's most
      sophisticated pornography ring....It was supported by taxes and
      brought into town by the brightest lights of higher education."

   While some are shocked, an alternative interpretation might point out
   that in using a valuable resource provided by the local university, a
   high school student chose to view material that many (including
   regular Internet users) find objectionable. Educators must understand
   that, as a byproduct of introducing internetworking, schools likely
   will have to justify student use of network resources to a public
   that does not understand the medium or its utility to education. By
   seeking out analogous situations and applying them to the development
   of our network use policy, we believe it is possible to establish
   frameworks for responding to these challenges. We found several
   significant analogies.

   * American Library Association (ALA). In considering information
   access issues, the most striking and informative analogy is to a
   remarkable set of documents built around the ALA's Library Bill of
   Rights of 1980. It is not farfetched to consider the Internet, at
   least in part, as a vast digital library. After all, the electronic
   database and information search tools it employs are rapidly becoming
   part of new school media centers, and many public and school
   libraries are beginning to offer some type of network access to their

   patrons.

   The ALA documents state, "Attempts to restrict access to library
   materials violate the basic tenets of the Library Bill of Rights."
   However, they add, what goes into the library collection should be
   chosen thoughtfully and with an eye toward instructional goals.
   School librarians are bound to devise collections that "are
   consistent with the philosophy, goals, and objectives of the school
   district," and they must "resist efforts by individuals to define
   what is appropriate for all students or teachers to read, view, or
   hear." Similarly, tools used to access the network must be designed
   to direct access to materials that support curricular concerns. Thus,
   the interface to the network embodies the notion of a library
   collection. In a school network policy, the "intent of the
   collection" should be clearly reflected in a statement of purpose for
   the network.

   Directly addressing the information access needs of children, the ALA
   opposes attempts to limit access based on the age of a library user.
   "Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents--and
   only parents--have the right and the responsibility to restrict the
   access of their children--and only their children--to library
   resources," it states.

   While we in the CoVis Project have some ability technologically to
   restrict what is in our Internet "collection," it is virtually
   impossible to prevent students from accessing materials whose
   presence we never anticipated while preserving the students' status
   as full members of the Internet community. In this way, the Internet
   is fundamentally different from a relatively static library
   collection.  Following the lead of the ALA, however, we believe that
   the precise limits placed upon students' access cannot be formalized
   by the school policy. Instead, it is the students' responsibility to
   adhere to the standards set by their parents.

   * American Society for Information Science (ASIS). The code of ethics
   of ASIS provides another informative analogy, this one speaking to
   issues of professionals' responsibilities to both individuals and
   society. Where individuals are concerned, information professionals-
   -a designation we believe should be applied to teachers--must strive
   both to "protect each information user's and provider's right to
   privacy and confidentiality" and "respect an information provider's
   proprietary rights." With respect to society, information
   professionals should "serve the legitimate information needs of a
   large and complex society while at the same time being mindful of
   [the] individual's rights." They also should "resist efforts to
   censor publications."

   The ASIS code speaks directly to issues of electronic mail privacy.
   We believe that students and teachers must feel certain that their
   communications are private. In many electronic mail systems currently
   used in schools, the teacher must act as an intermediary between the
   school and the outside world. When students are "full" members of the
   Internet, mail is sent directly to the outside world with no human
   mediation. As a rule, such communications should be private, and the
   network policy must make explicit any reasons for teachers or
   researchers to have access to message content. Users must be made
   aware of times and circumstances under which private mail may be
   monitored.

   * Prodigy. Privacy in electronic mail communications seems like a
   straightforward issue--it is analogous to the U.S. mail. But what
   about network bulletin boards or Internet newsgroups? Posting a
   message in one of these public information exchanges may raise
   questions of freedom of expression among students and other network
   users, but no more than in any other public forum.

   One approach to dealing with this issue was described in the Wall
   Street Journal's technology supplement of November 15, 1993. Prodigy,
   a dial-up bulletin-board service jointly owned by IBM and Sears, has
   a strict editorial policy for both its public forums and its members'
   private email exchanges. Prodigy employs editors who screen every
   message before it is posted, sometimes delaying posting by up to 40
   hours. It also uses special software to screen messages for what it
   deems objectionable language. The result is a lowest-common-
   denominator approach to what is acceptable or unacceptable material.

   This approach undervalues the maturity of Prodigy's users. In the
   CoVis classroom, we want to strive to develop students' maturity, and
   in order to learn these lessons, they must feel that their message
   content is under their own control. To let students know what level
   of behavior is expected of them, we are very clear about the use of
   offensive, obscene, or inflammatory language on the network. These
   guidelines are not unfamiliar to the students in CoVis, as their
   local school codes of conduct include the same admonitions. Offensive
   messages posted by students are not ejected from the network.
   However, students can lose their privileges on the network if they
   post such messages (a significant disincentive for CoVis students),
   and they are encouraged to post a retraction or apology once they
   understand why their message was problematic. These interventions are
   only initiated upon the complaint of another user, not as part of an
   explicit editorial policy.

   * School Conduct Codes. Every school has a code of conduct for its
   students that details appropriate school behavior, outlines rights,
   and sets expectations for students. Because the CoVis Network is used

   as part of a school activity, the school's code of conduct applies to
   network activities. Thus, we believe the network use policy should be
   an extension of the school's policies. An important part of the
   development of the CoVis Network use policy was a close reading of
   the participating high schools' codes of conduct. For example, at one
   of our high schools, special rules against vandalism of computer
   equipment and unauthorized access to information exist. These rules
   cover such important concepts as computer piracy, hacking, and other
   tampering with hardware or software. Both CoVis schools have codes
   warning students that use of harassing or abusive language is
   unacceptable, as is obscenity. At the same time, both high schools
   place a high value on students' right to freedom of expression and
   outline the dimensions of that right in some detail.

   * Field Trips. All of the rules that apply to student conduct in
   school also apply when the students are off campus on field trips.
   The Internet offers many opportunities for virtual field trips to
   distant locations, and CoVis adds a new twist to this genre with the
   addition of full audio and video connections to remote locations.
   Students in the CoVis community will be able to "visit" the
   Exploratorium in San Francisco, directing a remote camera around the
   exhibit floor and engaging in conversations with guides and other
   museum visitors. It is important that students realize they act as
   ambassadors for their school in such encounters, and our policy
   states this explicitly.  Currently, parental permission slips are
   required before students may take field trips. At one of our
   participating high schools, such slips are required even for "trips"
   within the school building. Is there a precedent for extending the
   concept of permission slips to the virtual field trip? We do not
   believe so, but we do recognize the importance of written information
   alerting parents to interesting or innovative school activities.

Beyond the Barriers

   Barriers to internetworking in schools are being lowered every day,
   and soon electronic bulletin boards may be as familiar to the
   American classroom as blackboards. Educators are encouraged by
   continuing developments that make the Internet accessible to schools.
   This is accomplished in part through commercial networks such as
   America Online and Delphi and by the decreasing costs of modems and
   communications software. With the cooperation of nearby universities,
   dial-up Internet connections can now be obtained for an investment of
   under $100 per existing computer.

   Schools will find tremendous new opportunities for enhancing,
   extending, and rethinking the learning process with the advent of
   internetworking. But will they be ready to face the challenges? To
   date, schools have had little experience with advanced

   telecommunications technologies. Many classrooms still lack even such
   basic tools as telephones. Given the general lack of communication
   even between classrooms in the same school, it will not be easy for
   schools to join in the fast-paced discourse of the Internet. The
   CoVis Project has taken a proactive stance toward the issues that
   internetworking raises for schools with the development of a
   network-use policy based upon the best lessons available. We invite
   feedback on our policy and offer it as a contribution to this
   exciting and rapidly developing area of educational technology.

   Barry J. Fishman is a Ph.D. student in the Learning Sciences program
   of the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy.
   Roy D. Pea is Dean of the School and John Evans Professor of the
   Learning Sciences at Northwestern. They acknowledge the assistance of
   Laura D'Amico, Larry Friedman, Paul Reese, and Dick Ruopp in the
   preparation of this article. Their research is supported in part by
   National Science Foundation Grant MDR-9253462.

   Margin Notes: Electronic versions of the original texts of American
   Library Association, American Society for Information Science, and
   Houston Chronicle documents can be found at FTP (file transfer
   protocol) address ftp.eff.org, in the pub/academic/library/directory.

   The Communications Policy Forum meeting is reported on by Andrew Blau
   in the EFFector 5(4), also available from ftp.eff.org in the
   /pub/EFF/newsletters directory. Statistics about the Internet are
   available from ftp.nisc.sri.com, in the /pub/zone directory. Both of
   these FTP sites can also be reached via gopher.

For further reading:

   Roy Pea, "Distributed Multimedia Learning Environments: The
   Collaborative Visualization Project," Communications of the ACM (May
   1993).

   Denis Newman, Susan Bernstein, and Paul A. Reese, "Local
   Infrastructures for School Networking: Current Models and Prospects,"
   Bolt Beranek and Newman Tech Report No. 7726 (1992).

   Richard Ruopp, Shahaf Gal, Brian Drayton, and Meghan Pfister, LabNet:
   Toward a Community of Practice (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1993).

APPENDIX: THE COVIS NETWORK USE POLICY

A.  Mission Statement

   The Learning Through Collaborative Visualization Project (CoVis) was
   established to explore project-enhanced science learning supported by
   advanced computing applications in a secondary school environment.
   As such, the computer network environment supported by the project
   (the CoVis Network) is designed to enhance the learning and teaching
   activities of the participating science classrooms at New Trier and
   Evanston Township High Schools.  The term "network" in this document
   refers to a number of computers and other electronic tools that are
   connected to each other for the purpose of communication and data
   sharing.  CoVis is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded
   research project, and use of the network is therefore provided to
   allow the study of its impact on learning and teaching.

   1.  Purpose of the Internet

      The Internet (a global network made up of many smaller
      contributing networks) and its services are intended to support
      open research and education in and among US research and
      instructional institutions, plus research arms of for-profit firms
      when engaged in open scholarly communication and research.  Use
      for other purposes, e.g., for-profit activity or extensive
      personal business, is not acceptable.

   2.  Purpose of the CoVis Network

      The purpose of the CoVis Network is to facilitate communications
      and collaboration between members of the CoVis community.  Network
      use is primarily intended for the support of project work
      conducted for participating CoVis classes, and far less
      significantly for other purposes that students and teachers
      determine to be of educational value.  The CoVis Network has
      limited resources, and CoVis classrooms have limited time
      available for network- supported teaching and learning activities.
      Any use of the network which adversely affects its operation in
      pursuit of teaching and learning or jeopardizes its use or
      performance for other community members is prohibited, and may
      result in the loss of network privileges.

B.  Services Available on the CoVis Network

   The CoVis Network consists of a variety of computing equipment,
   software, and network connections.  This section describes the
   primary tools and services approved for use in the CoVis Network.
   Other tools may be used, but may not be supported by the system

   administrators:

      1.  Cruiser Videoconferencing.  Cruiser is a tool designed to
      allow video and audio connections between two people, each of whom
      must have a Cruiser station and access to the CoVis network.
      Cruiser conversations are private;

      2.  Timbuktu Screen-Sharing.  Timbuktu is a commercial software
      product that allows a Macintosh user to view or control another
      Macintosh computer remotely (with the remote user's permission).
      This is designed to allow two or more people to work together over
      the CoVis Network. Timbuktu sessions are private;

      3.  Collaborative Notebook.  The Notebook is a personal or group
      workspace designed to support project work in CoVis classrooms.
      Work done using the notebook may be either private or public, as
      designated by the user.  Users should be careful to note whether
      they are working in a private or a public portion of the notebook.

      4.  General-Use Internet Tools.  These include, but are not
      limited to, the following:

         a) Electronic Mail, or email.  Email is just like regular mail,
         except instead of paper, you use the computer.  Email
         correspondence is considered private.  The CoVis Project uses a
         program called "Eudora" for sending and receiving mail.

         b) Listservs.  A listserv is a means to broadcast an email
         message to many users for the purpose of maintaining a
         discussion list.  Although listserv messages are transmitted
         via email, correspondence is public, so extra care should be
         used when participating.  The program called "Eudora" would be
         used for participating in a listserv.

         c) Network News.  Netnews is a communications tool for large
         group discussion.  Netnews is essentially similar to a
         listserv, except that it does not use email as the means of
         communication.  Instead, you use software called a "news
         reader" to read and post messages to the appropriate groups.
         Newsgroups are very public, and should be used thoughtfully.
         The CoVis project employs a program called "NewsWatcher" for
         reading and posting news.

         d) File Transfer Protocol, or FTP.  File Transfer Protocol is a
         means of moving files between computers on the Internet. The
         CoVis project employs a program called "Fetch" for doing this.

         e) Telnet.  Telnet allows you to connect to other computers on
         the Internet, provided you know the machine's Internet address
         and appropriate password.  All provisions of this document
         apply to members of the CoVis community while using remote
         computers via Telnet.  The CoVis Project uses a program called
         "NCSA Telnet" for telnetting operations.

         f) Gopher.  Gopher is a means of navigating the Internet via a
         menu-driven or point-and-click interface to the computer.
         Gopher is a very convenient way to retrieve files and
         information from sources all around the globe. For most
         purposes, it may be considered an easier form of FTP and can be
         used to initiate Telnet sessions.  The CoVis Project uses a
         program called "TurboGopher" for gopher searching.

C.  Who is a member of the CoVis community?

   All account holders on the CoVis Network will be granted access to
   all services the network offers.  The following people may hold
   accounts on the CoVis Network:

      1.  Students.  Students who are currently enrolled in a CoVis
      class will automatically be granted a network account upon
      agreement to the terms stated in this policy;

      2.  Teachers.  Teachers of CoVis classes may hold accounts on the
      CoVis Network.  Other teachers may apply for accounts;

      3.  Scientists.  Scientists who wish to collaborate on student
      projects will be granted CoVis Network accounts.  The exact nature
      of the account (i.e., which services are available) will depend on
      individual circumstances;

      4.  Researchers.  The researchers conducting the CoVis project
      will hold accounts on the CoVis network;

      5.  Others.  Anyone may request a special account on the CoVis
      network.  These requests will be granted on a case-by-case basis,
      depending on need and resource availability.

      Note: Except in special cases listed above, people from the larger
      Internet community are not part of the local CoVis community, and
      will probably be unaware of the existence of this policy.
      However, you should always treat people you "meet" on the network
      with respect, as if they were a part of your community.

D.  Privileges and Rights of CoVis Network Community Members

   Members of the CoVis community have certain network privileges and
   rights.  These include:

      1.  Privacy.  All members of the CoVis community have the right to
      privacy in their email, Cruiser, Timbuktu, and notebook
      communications when so designated by the user. However, if a user
      is believed to be in violation of the guidelines stated in this
      policy, a system administrator or teacher may need to gain access
      to private correspondence or files.  An attempt will be made to
      notify the user of such inspections whenever possible.  As CoVis
      is primarily a research project, researchers may periodically make
      requests to study or view correspondence and files, but
      confidentiality is ensured in such circumstances.  Also, it is
      important that users recognize the fundamental differences between
      public (e.g., news) and private (e.g., email) forms of
      communication, and shape their content accordingly;

      2.  Equal Access.  All members of the CoVis community will be
      granted free and equal access to as many network services as their
      technology allows.  Exploration of the Internet is encouraged
      relative to the purposes of the CoVis Network;

      3.  Safety.  To the greatest extent possible, members of the CoVis
      community will be protected from harassment or unwanted or
      unsolicited contact.  Any community member who receives
      threatening or unwelcome communications should bring them to the
      attention of a system administrator or teacher.  Users must,
      however, be aware that there are many services available on the
      Internet that could potentially be offensive to certain groups of
      users.  The designers of the CoVis Network cannot eliminate access
      to all such services, nor could they even begin to identify them.
      Thus individual users must take responsibility for their own
      actions in navigating the network;

      4.  Intellectual Freedom.  The CoVis Network must be a free and
      open forum for expression, including viewpoints that are strange,
      unorthodox, or unpopular.  The network administrators will place
      no official sanctions upon the expression of personal opinion on
      the network.  However, the poster of an opinion should be aware
      that other community members may be openly critical of such
      opinions.   Occasionally, a message that you post may be met from
      outside the CoVis community with especially harsh criticism (a
      practice known as "flaming").  It is best not to respond to such
      attacks, unless you believe you are capable of a measured,
      rational reply.  Personal attacks are not an acceptable use of the
      CoVis Network at any time. The CoVis Project does not officially

      endorse any opinions stated on the network.  Any statement of
      personal belief is implicitly understood to be representative of
      the author's individual point of view, and not that of the CoVis
      Network, its administrators, or the participating high schools.

E.  Responsibilities of CoVis Network Community Members

   With the rights and privileges of membership in the CoVis Network
   community come certain responsibilities.  Users need to familiarize
   themselves with these responsibilities.  Failure to follow them may
   result in the loss of network privileges.  These responsibilities
   include:

      1.  Using appropriate language.  Profanity or obscenity will not
      be tolerated on the CoVis Network.  All community members should
      use language appropriate for school situations as indicated by
      school codes of conduct;

      2.  Avoiding offensive or inflammatory speech.  Community members
      must respect the rights of others both in the local community and
      in the Internet at large.  Personal attacks are an unacceptable
      use of the network.  If you are the victim of a "flame," take time
      to respond rationally, and bring the incident to the attention of
      a teacher or system administrator;

      3.  Adhering to the rules of copyright.  CoVis community members
      must respect all copyright issues regarding software, information,
      and attributions of authorship.  The unauthorized copying or
      transfer of copyrighted materials may result in the loss of
      network privileges;

      4.  Re-posting personal communications without the original
      author's prior consent is prohibited.  To do this is a violation
      of the author's privacy.  However, all messages posted in a public
      forum such as newsgroups or listservs may be copied in subsequent
      communications, so long as proper attribution is given;

      5.  Use of the network for any illegal activities is prohibited.
      Illegal activities include tampering with computer hardware or
      software, unauthorized entry into computers, or knowledgeable
      vandalism or destruction of computer files. Such activity is
      considered a crime under state and federal law;

      6.  Avoid the knowing or inadvertent spread of computer viruses.
      "Computer viruses" are programs that have been developed as
      pranks, and can destroy valuable programs and data.  To reduce the
      risk of spreading a computer virus, do not import files from
      unknown or disreputable sources.  If you do obtain software or

      files from remote sources, follow proper procedures to check for
      viruses before use. Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt
      system performance of the CoVis Network or any other computer
      system or network on the Internet by spreading computer viruses is
      considered criminal activity under state and federal law;

      7.  You have full responsibility for the use of your account.  All
      violations of this policy that can be traced to an individual
      account name will be treated as the sole responsibility of the
      owner of that account.  Under no conditions should you give your
      password to another user;

      8.  Impersonation is not permitted.  Real names must be used,
      pseudonyms are not allowed;

      9.  Anonymity is not allowed on the CoVis Network.  As an
      educational network, we believe that individuals must take
      responsibility for their actions and words;

      10.  Exemplary behavior is expected on 'virtual' field trips. When
      'visiting' locations on the Internet or using the Cruiser or
      Timbuktu communication tools, CoVis community members must conduct
      themselves as representatives of both their respective schools and
      the CoVis community as a whole.  Conduct that is in conflict with
      the responsibilities outlined in this document will be subject to
      loss of network privileges.

Note:

   This article is reprinted with the express permission of TECHNOS:
   Quarterly for Education and Technology.

   It originally appeared as: Fishman, B., and Pea, R.D. (1994). The
   internetworked school: A policy for the future. Technos: Quarterly of
   Education and Technology 3 (1), 22-26.

 

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