and Other Unlawful Activities
(I) IN GENERAL.
-- In carrying out its responsibilities under subsection (h), each school
(A) adopt and implement an Internet safety policy that addresses--
(iii) unauthorized access, including so-called hacking, and other unlawful
activities by minors online .
young people are using the Internet to engage in a wide range of illegal activities.
Some young people do not know or do not think that the some of these activities
are or should be considered illegal. The best information source for information
on Computer Crime is the U.S. Department of Justice's (US DOJ) web site on computer
Types of Computer
the target of an offense When this occurs, a computer's confidentiality,
integrity, or availability is attacked. That is services or information are
being stolen, or victim computers are being damaged. The denial of service attacks
that were experienced by numerous Internet sites earlier this year and the recent
proliferation of the "I Love You" virus and its variants are but a
few examples of this type of computer crime.
are illegal under both federal and state statutes. Unfortunately, many technically
proficient teenagers are among the participants in such activities. Teenagers
who become part of "hacker tribes" can rationalize that they are not
engaging in activity that is wrong. In fact, they can point to many former "hackers"
who are leaders in the industry today.
address these issues in the Internet Use Policy. It is also advisable to include
a comprehensive study of computer crime in computer classes. The US DOJ site
provides a weekly update of computer crime events, including convictions. In
most communities, it would also be possible to bring in a guest speak from the
local law enforcement community to provide some "real world" information
on the consequences of engaging in such behavior.
proficient high school students in activities where they can use their advanced
skills in socially beneficial ways, such as assisting with system administration,
is an effective approach to help these students avoid becoming entangled with
"hacker tribes." Many states have initiated student technology programs,
often with industry assistance. Students coming out of these programs are highly
welcomed in the computer science and information technology programs in institutions
of higher education and in industry.
a tool for committing criminal behavior This category includes those crimes
that also occur in the "real world" but are now being seen with increasing
frequency on the Internet. These crimes includes transmission of obscene materials
or child pornography, fraud, intellectual property violations, and the sale
of illegal substances and goods, including drugs, online. Various illegal communication
activities may also occur, including harassment, threatening the life or safety
of another, stalking, and threatening the life of the President (just about
every district has had to deal with this activity).
Some of these kinds
of activities may reach the level of criminal conduct. Other activities, such
as harassment, may be considered inappropriate in school but may not reach the
level of severity of criminal conduct.
In addition to
unlawful activities, the District Internet Safe and responsible Use policy should
address other inappropriate activities. These include inappropriate language,
plagiarism, and copyright infringement.
Language Restrictions against inappropriate language should apply to all
speech communicated through the district Internet system, including but not
limited to public messages, private messages, and material posted on web pages.
Discussions regarding the free speech implications of such restrictions is included
in the Student Speech chapter. Restrictions can include the following:
- Users will not
use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful
- Users will not
post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a danger of disruption.
- Users will not
engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.
- Users will not
harass another person. Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that
distresses or annoys another person. If a user is told by a person to stop
sending them messages, they must stop.
- Users will not
knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person
Plagiarism has always been considered unacceptable in school but computers and
the Internet are making it easier for students to "cut and paste"
ideas and writings of other people into their own document. It is also possible
to find research papers for sale or provided at no charge on web sites. Educators
should be concerned about two kinds of plagiarism -- intentional and inadvertent.
Teachers can most effectively handle issues of plagiarism by the manner in which
they structure learning activities.
There are two ways
that students use the Internet as a tool to intentionally plagiarize. The first
is to find a paper on a site that sells or provides research papers specifically
for students to copy and submit as their own. The second is to find a paper
that some other student has written and posted on their personal student web
be aware of this kind of plagiarism, discuss the issue with students, and look
closely at the papers they receive for evidence of intentional plagiarism. If
a teacher has concerns about the source of a paper, conducting a search on a
particularly distinctive phrase contained in the document will frequently lead
to the original paper. A search on the most popular search engine using the
keywords describing the subject matter will often reveal such papers within
the first several pages of search results. There are also new services available
that will conduct such analysis. On those occasions when plagiarized papers
are discovered through the use of such search techniques present excellent "teachable
moments" to raise the awareness of all of the students in the school about
how teachers can easily identify such plagiarism.
is more accidental. Students sometimes inadvertently plagiarize because they
do not understanding how to incorporate the ideas of others into their paper
and provide appropriate citation. They may also lose track of their sources
as they are conducting their research, especially as they "surf" the
web. They may think that "copying and pasting" what others have said
is perfectly acceptable practice.
If teachers assign
students to write papers that involve merely the recitation of facts, they are
laying the groundwork for a greater amount of either intentional or inadvertent
plagiarism. Students can easily copy major portions of material from other authors
or find whole papers on a particular subject. It is not as easy to plagiarize
when assignments call for creativity and integration of ideas.
Ensuring that students
have the skills to paraphrase and summarize the ideas of others into their own
words, engage in effective note-taking, keep a bibliographic record, and understand
proper citation formats will reduce inadvertent plagiarism. Requiring students
to turn in their work-in-progress on the term paper during the term -- research
notes, outline, first draft, etc. -- will also help to prevent intentional plagiarism
as most of these materials are not available online.
The Copyright chapter addresses basic information about copyright. Students
may try to use the district Internet system to download, transmit, or provide
access to copyrighted material such as MP3 files of popular music or software.
Most of these activities require significant bandwidth. The district system
administrator should be able to detect such unauthorized activity through an
analysis of the Internet usage of any user that has a high level of traffic.