Signers of the IT Code of Conduct
The integrity of those staff that administer our computer systems is a topic of the highest importance. Most information that the university uses to operate is potentially at risk. My frequent interactions with staff to address security and information challenges lead me to believe that the integrity of our IT staff is of the highest caliber. A premeditated breach of this trust would most likely result in immediate termination.
A core responsibility of our job is to protect the privacy of WPI information even though it may be transmitted or stored in various formats-databases, files, email messages, voice conversations, wireless transmissions, etc. and distributed geographically. I believe that our quality work on system protection, data recovery, network security and data security enhance the protection and privacy of our information.
However, our collaboration with a diverse set of constituencies across campus to develop a network security policy uncovered a number of misconceptions about the operations of our systems administrators. For example, some believed that IT staff were routinely reading others' email or listening to their telephone conversations. This is certainly not the case! While technically possible, our staff may only take such actions under very specific conditions such as when we are presented with a subpoena for information from state or federal law enforcement authorities.
These questions have led us to more clearly communicate WPI IT policies and to express a Code of Conduct about our management of technology at WPI. Staff having privileged access to technologies that might give them access to others' information have read and signed the code. Their names are documented here.
IT has operated without a written code of conduct until this point. A comment heard many times as the document circulated throughout IT was that this code is nothing more than the way we have always done business. This is, in fact, the case but we hope that by having a written code signed by our staff, it will clearly demonstrate to the WPI community that we take our responsibilities very seriously.
George C. Gordon Library
Last modified: Nov 29, 2012, 15:02 EST