[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Franklin 4-2-2001; amended in its entirety 10-3-2011 by Ord. No. 04-12. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Electronic mail (e-mail) and Internet access to global electronic information resources on the World Wide Web is provided by the City of Franklin to assist employees in obtaining work-related data and technology. The following guidelines have been established to help ensure responsible and productive Internet and e-mail usage.
Anything subject to the Right to Know Law (RSA 91-A), including all Internet and e-mail data that is composed, transmitted or received via our computer communications systems is considered to be part of the official records of the City of Franklin and, as such, is subject to disclosure to law enforcement or other third parties, including public requests. Consequently, employees should always ensure that the business information contained in e-mail messages and other transmissions is accurate, appropriate, ethical, and lawful. There should be no expectation of privacy with regard to any messages created or stored within the systems.
The equipment, services, and technology provided to access the Internet remain at all times the property of the City of Franklin. As such, the City reserves the right to monitor Internet traffic as well as Intranet traffic, retrieve and read any data composed, sent, or received through our online connections and stored in our computer systems.
The City of Franklin reserves the right to access and disclose, for any purpose, the contents of any Internet messages sent to and from the City of Franklin's computer equipment, including e-mail. All users, using the Internet and Intranet waive any right to privacy in such messages and consent to their being accessed and disclosed by City of Franklin personnel. You should be aware that the deletion of any message or communication from the system may not completely eliminate the message from the system.
Unless the task is within the scope of your job duties, data that is composed, transmitted, accessed, or received via the Internet while in the workplace must not contain content that could be considered discriminatory, offensive, obscene, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or disruptive to any employee or other person. Examples of unacceptable content may include, but are not limited to, sexual comments or images, racial slurs, gender-specific comments, or any other comments or images that could reasonably offend someone on the basis of race, age, sex, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.
The unauthorized use, installation, copying, or distribution of copyrighted, trademarked, or patented material on the Internet is expressly prohibited. As a general rule, if an employee did not create material, does not own the rights to it, or has not gotten authorization for its use, it should not be put on the Internet. Employees are also responsible for ensuring that the person sending any material over the Internet has the appropriate distribution rights.
Internet usage should be limited to official City business during work hours. Internet usage during break or nonworking periods is permissible at the discretion of your department head but must conform to this policy. Personal social networking sites and blog activity should be conducted on personal time. Note that any social networking or blogging activity, whether conducted on work time or personal time and whether conducted in the workplace or not, that discloses confidential City information or harasses another employee of the City is subject to the same disciplinary action as if it happened in the workplace.
Internet users should take the necessary anti-virus precautions before downloading or copying any file from the Internet. All downloaded files are to be checked for viruses; all compressed files are to be checked before and after decompression. All files to be downloaded from portable media devices must go through your department head first.
Abuse of the Internet access and the Intranet provided by the City of Franklin in violation of law or the City policies will result in disciplinary action and could result in termination of employment. Employees may also be held personally liable for any violations of this policy.
The following behaviors are examples of previously stated or additional actions and activities that are prohibited and can result in disciplinary action:
Sending or posting discriminatory, harassing, threatening, derogatory, defamatory, obscene, sexual or otherwise inappropriate messages or images.
Using the organization's time and resources for personal gain.
Stealing, using, or disclosing someone else's code or password without authorization.
Copying, pirating, or downloading software and electronic files without permission.
Violating copyright laws.
Failing to observe licensing agreements.
Engaging in unauthorized transactions that may incur a cost to the organization or initiate unwanted internet services and transmissions.
Sending or posting messages or material that could damage the organization's image or reputation.
Attempting to break into the computer system of another organization or person.
Sending or posting chain letters, solicitations, or advertisements not related to business purposes or activities.
Using the internet for political causes or activities, religious activities, or any sort of gambling.
Jeopardizing the security of the organization's electronic communications systems.
Passing off personal views as representing those of the organization.
Sending anonymous e-mail messages.
Engaging in any other illegal activities.