Internet and Email Usage Policy

Effective performance of computer and telecommunications networks, whether local or global, relies upon users adhering to established standards of proper conduct. This policy sets forth general principles to be applied to all City employees who access the Internet and/or email services by using City computer equipment or via City paid access methods.

Internet access is a City resource and electronic mail messages are considered City work product. These services are publicly funded and should be used to facilitate City business. Any employee found abusing the privilege of Internet access or electronic mail use will be subject to discipline up to and including possible termination of employment.

Internet Use

  1. Use of Internet resources must be related to organizational objectives and be consistent with City of Lincoln business.
  2. Users must abide by copyright, contract or other local, state, or federal laws, City resolutions, Administrative Regulations and individual department policies.
  3. Use of Internet resources for commercial use is prohibited.
  4. Internet accounts shall be accessed only by the authorized owner of the account. Confidentiality of passwords and user accounts must be protected. Individual users can be held accountable for use of their account by others.
  5. Intentional use of Internet resources to access, transmit or retrieve any material or communications that are obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit; of a discriminatory or harassing nature or which are derogatory to any individual or group; or are threatening in nature is prohibited, except where such use is job-related. (e.g. law enforcement investigation).
  6. Intentional use of the Internet to access, transmit or download files that are knowingly dangerous to the integrity of the network is prohibited.
  7. The City reserves the right, at its discretion, to monitor Internet usage patterns to the extent necessary to ensure that the system is being used in compliance with this policy and other local, state or federal laws. (e.g. site accessed, on-line length, times of day accessed).

Email Use and Privacy Issues

  1. Electronic mail is a City resource and is provided as a business communication tool.
  2. The City reserves the right, at its discretion, to review any employee's electronic work product and messages and resource usage to the extent necessary to ensure that the system is being used in compliance with this policy and any other local, state or federal law. Such review will only be allowed by authorized personnel.
  3. All users of email should be aware that confidentiality of electronic mail cannot be assured and that any communications which need to remain confidential should not be sent over City provided email systems. People tend to speak freely through email because they falsely assume their messages are private and will be read only by the person receiving it. Even when an email message is erased, it is still retained for a period of time. There are now firms in existence that specialize in finding incriminating or sensitive information in computer systems, including files deleted months or years prior, that still reside inside backup tapes, diskettes or hard drives.

Email Etiquette

Users of email should consider the following guidelines when sending emails:

  1. Do not send offensive jokes, frivolous messages or anything which is or could be construed as discriminatory in nature.
  2. Do not write anything you do not want repeated. email can be forwarded to hundreds of people within or outside of the City or County.
  3. Protect your password and always log off when not using the system.
  4. Ask yourself: Would I want a member of the public or a jury to read this email message?

Management and users of Internet and electronic mail are jointly responsible for understanding the terms of this policy and monitoring the continued applicability of this resource to the user's assigned duties and responsibilities. Violations of this policy should be reported to the employee's supervisor, Department Head or the Director of Human Resources.