Policy for Acceptable Use for the Internet
The Diocese’s goal in using the Internet is to improve communication among diocesan and parish personnel; to provide information to a larger audience; and to allow access to the wealth of information available on the Internet to parish and diocesan personnel.
The Internet should be viewed as a tool to further the purposes and goals of the diocese, which is the work of the Roman Catholic Church. It is therefore imperative that members conduct themselves in a responsible, ethical, and polite manner while using the Internet.
The intent of the diocese’s Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that all uses of the Internet are consistent with the purposes of the diocese. The policy does not attempt to articulate all required or proscribed behavior by its members. The Internet is an open network in both implementation and spirit. Technical measures could have been invoked to constrain Internet use, but they would have limited the utility of the Internet. Instead, in any specific situation, each individual's judgment of appropriate conduct is relied upon. To assist in such judgment, the following general guidelines are offered:
- All use of the Internet through diocesan accounts must be in support of the work of the church and the diocese.
- Any use of the Internet through diocesan accounts for illegal purposes, or in support of illegal activities, is prohibited.
- Any use of the Internet through diocesan accounts to communicate threatening, abusive, sexually oriented/explicit or obscene language or material is prohibited.
- Any use of diocesan e-mail accounts or web sites for commercial purposes is prohibited.
- Any use of diocesan e-mail accounts or web sites for partisan political lobbying is prohibited.
- No use of the Internet shall serve to disrupt the use of the network by other users.
- All material viewed on web sites should be considered copyrighted and not available for reproduction, unless specifically stated otherwise or unless specific permission is granted for reproduction. All parishes, schools and offices operating under the auspices of the Austin Diocese may reproduce all material on the diocesan Web site, www.austindiocese.org.
- Diocesan e-mail accounts should be used only by the authorized user(s) of the account for the authorized purpose. Passwords allowing entry into secured sections of the diocese’s web site should be used only by authorized personnel.
- All communications and information accessible via the Internet should be assumed to be private property. Permission should be received before a user posts information released by other individuals or parishes. Users should also make every effort to validate information and sources before posting information, and to list sources when passing along information received.
- Users are strongly encouraged to maintain virus protection software on their computers used for telecommunications.
- Schools and any other entities that allow children to have access to the Internet must have safeguards to ensure that children can not access inappropriate material.
- All diocesan-related conferences (chat rooms) and bulletin boards will be moderated.
For more information, contact the Communications Office or call (512) 949-2400.