§ 30.173  ACCEPTABLE USES OF THE INTERNET AND COUNTY E-MAIL.
   (A)   General. Each county employee and official shall be issued an official county e-mail address, which shall be used and maintained for all official business and correspondence of county government.
   (B)   Acceptable uses of the internet and county e-mail. The county-provided internet and e-mail access is intended for business purposes only. The county encourages the use of the internet and e-mail because it makes communication more efficient and effective. However, internet service and e-mail are county property, and their purpose is to facilitate county business. Every user has a responsibility to maintain and enhance the county’s public image and to use county e-mail and access to the internet in a productive manner. To ensure that all users are responsible, the following guidelines have been established for using e-mail and the internet. Any improper use of the internet or e-mail is not acceptable and will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
   (C)   Unacceptable uses of the internet and county e-mail. The county internet and e-mail access may not be used for transmitting, retrieving or storage of any communications of a discriminatory or harassing nature or materials that are obscene or X-rated. Harassment of any kind is prohibited. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about race, age, disability, religion, national origin, physical attributes or sexual preference shall be transmitted. No abusive, profane or offensive language is allowed to be transmitted through the county’s e-mail or internet system. Electronic media may not be used for any purpose which is illegal, deceptive or against county policy or contrary to the county’s best interest. Use of county e-mail or internet for personal gain is prohibited.
   (D)   Communications.
      (1)   Each user is personally responsible for the content of all test, audio or images that he or she places or sends over the county’s e-mail/internet system. No e-mail or other electronic communications may be sent which hides the identity of the sender or represents the sender as someone else or someone from another entity. All messages communicated on the county’s e-mail/internet system should contain the user’s name. Excessive personal communications are prohibited. Any messages or information sent by a user to another individual outside the county via an electronic network (e.g., bulletin board, online service or internet) are statements that reflect on the county. While some users include personal “disclaimers” in electronic messages, there is still a connection to the county and the statements may be tied to the county.
      (2)   All communications sent by users via the county’s e-mail/internet system must comply with this and other county policies and may not disclose any confidential or proprietary information.
   (E)   Downloading and installing software. To prevent computer viruses from being transmitted through the county’s e-mail/internet system, there will be no unauthorized downloading of any unauthorized software. All software downloaded must be registered to the county. Users should contact the County Judge/Executive if they have any questions.
   (F)   Copyright issues. Copyrighted material belonging to entities other than the county may not be transmitted by users on the county’s e-mail/internet system. All users obtaining access to other companies’ or individuals’ materials must respect all copyrights and shall not copy, retrieve, modify or forward copyrighted materials, except with permission, or as a single copy, to reference only. Failure to observe copyright or license agreements may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
   (G)   Security. The county routinely monitors usage patterns for its e-mail/internet communications. The reasons for this monitoring are many, including cost analysis/allocation and the management of the county’s gateway to the internet. All messages created, sent or retrieved over the county’s e-mail/internet are the property of the county and may be considered public information. The county reserves the right to access and monitor all messages and files on the county’s e-mail/internet system. Users should not assume electronic communications are totally private and should transmit highly confidential data in other ways. Passwords and sign-on access codes shall not be shared with anyone including co-workers, family members or other unauthorized personnel. A user will be designated as system administrator for e-mail/Internet purposes. Users shall minimize the risk of disclosing personal information via electronic or other means. For more details, see § 30.174 of this chapter.
   (H)   Violations. Any employee who abuses the privilege of county-facilitated access to e-mail or the internet will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination. If necessary, the county reserves the right to advise appropriate officials of any suspected illegal violations.
(Ord. 4-2014, passed 7-31-2014, § 7.4)