Laptop on desk


Purpose of the Policy

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is becoming increasingly dependant on effective and efficient electronic communications. Electronic messaging is a major feature of this communications infrastructure, and messaging standards are critical for easy receipt of messages and attachments. The volume and content of these messages are of organizational concern and we are required to manage this tool diligently and with good stewardship.


This policy applies to all employees of Azusa Pacific University with network access. The following issues are addressed in this policy:

  • Appropriate Use
  • Material Distribution
  • University rights and permissions
  • Authorized Access


Azusa Pacific University (hereafter referred to as “the company”) has established a policy with regard to electronic mail messages created, sent, or received by company employees using the company's electronic mail system. The elements of the policy are set forth below.

The company reserves the right to change them at any time as may be required under the circumstances or as determined by the Chief Information Officer.

The company maintains an electronic mail system. The purpose of this system is to assist company employees as they conduct business within the company-provided system. Nonemployees (including consultants and independent contractors) may not obtain company mail addresses, but rather must exchange messages through external Internet providers.

All messages composed, sent, or received on the electronic mail system are and remain the property of the company. They are not the private property of any employee.

The use of the electronic mail system is reserved solely for the conduct of business at the company. It is not intended for personal business. Participating in “chain letters” is one example of inappropriate use of electronic mail.

The electronic mail system may not be used to solicit or proselytize for commercial ventures or political causes, outside organizations, or other non-job-related solicitations. The exception to this is urgent and critical prayer requests for immediate family members.

The electronic mail system is not to be used to create, send, or forward messages that are obscene, pornographic, defamatory, harassing, threatening, containing racial or sexual slurs, or which are otherwise inappropriate in the context of the company’s ethos and core values.

The electronic mail system shall not be used to violate copyrights or other proprietary rights by distributing unauthorized copies of materials owned by others, nor shall it be used to distribute confidential or proprietary company materials without proper authorization.

The company reserves and intends to exercise the right to review, audit, intercept, access, and disclose all messages created, received, or sent over the electronic mail system for any purpose. The contents of electronic mail may be disclosed by the company without the permission of the employee as identified in the “Data Security FERPA” policy.

The confidentiality of any message should not be assumed. Even when a message is erased, it is still possible to retrieve and read that message. Further, the use of passwords for security does not guarantee confidentiality.

Notwithstanding the company's right to retrieve and read any electronic mail messages, such messages should be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Employees are not authorized to retrieve or read any e-mail messages that are not sent to them, except with the permission of the intended recipient. Any exception to this policy must receive prior approval by the employer.

Employees shall not use a code, access a file, or retrieve any stored information, unless authorized to do so.

Any employee who violates this policy or uses the electronic mail system for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

Any questions relating to the contents or implementation of this policy should be addressed through the Chief Information Officer.

Appendix A -- Policy Routing

Status: Discussion
Edit Date:
  • This policy was approved by the IT Cabinet on
  • This policy was approved by the UIMC on
  • This policy was approved by President’s Cabinet on
  • This policy was approved by Academic Cabinet on

Approved by: John C. Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology
Author: John C. Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology

Participation in the InCommon Federation (“Federation”) enables a federation participating organization (“Participant”) to use Shibboleth identity attribute sharing technologies to manage access to on-line resources that can be made available to the InCommon community. One goal of the Federation is to develop, over time, community standards for such cooperating organizations to ensure that shared attribute assertions are sufficiently robust and trustworthy to manage access to important protected resources. As the community of trust evolves, the Federation expects that participants eventually should be able to trust each other’s identity management systems and resource access management systems as they trust their own.

A fundamental expectation of Participants is that they provide authoritative and accurate attribute assertions to other Participants, and that Participants receiving an attribute assertion protect it and respect privacy constraints placed on it by the Federation or the source of that information. In furtherance of this goal, InCommon requires that each Participant make available to other Participants certain basic information about any identity management system, including the identity attributes that are supported, or resource access management system registered for use within the Federation.

Two criteria for trustworthy attribute assertions by Identity Providers are: (1) that the identity management system fall under the purview of the organization’s executive or business management, and (2) the system for issuing end-user credentials (e.g., PKI certificates, userIDs/passwords, Kerberos principals, etc.) specifically have in place appropriate risk management measures (e.g., authentication and authorization standards, security practices, risk assessment, change management controls, audit trails, etc.).

InCommon expects that Service Providers, who receive attribute assertions from another Participant, respect the other Participant’s policies, rules, and standards regarding the protection and use of that data. Furthermore, such information should be used only for the purposes for which it was provided. InCommon strongly discourages the sharing of that data with third parties, or aggregation of it for marketing purposes without the explicit permission1 of the identity information providing Participant.

InCommon requires Participants to make available to all other Participants answers to the questions below.2 Additional information to help answer each question is available in the next section of this document. There is also a glossary at the end of this document that defines terms shown in italics.

Federation Participant Information

The InCommon Participant Operational Practices information below is for:

InCommon Participant organization name
Azusa Pacific University

The information below is accurate as of this date
November 14, 2012

Identity Management and/or Privacy information

Additional information about the Participant’s identity management practices and/or privacy policy regarding personal information can be found on-line at the following location(s).


Contact information

The following person or office can answer questions about the Participant’s identity management system or resource access management policy or practice.

Name: James Janssen
Title or role: Director of IMT Engineering
Email address: jjanssen (at) apu (dot) edu
Phone: (626) 815-6000
Fax: (626) 815-3885

Identity Provider Information

The most critical responsibility that an IdentityProvider Participant has to the Federation is to provide trustworthy and accurate identity assertions.3 It is important for a Service Provider to know how your electronic identity credentials are issued and how reliable the information associated with a given credential (or person) is.


If you are an Identity Provider, how do you define the set of people who are eligible to receive an electronic identity? If exceptions to this definition are allowed, who must approve such an exception?

Azusa Pacific University grants enterprise credentials to all affiliated members of the APU community. Exceptions may only be approved by a executive manager.

“Member of Community”4 is an assertion that might be offered to enable access to resources made available to individuals who participate in the primary mission of the university or organization. For example, this assertion might apply to anyone whose affiliation is “current student, faculty, or staff.”

What subset of persons registered in your identity management system would you identify as a “Member of Community” in Shibboleth identity assertions to other InCommon Participants?

Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Emeritus, and Board Members

Electronic Identity Credentials

Please describe in general terms the administrative process used to establish an electronic identity that results in a record for that person being created in your electronic identity database? Please identify the office(s) of record for this purpose. For example, “Registrar’s Office for students; HR for faculty and staff.”

Electronic credentials are issued automatically at the time of admission for students. Credentials for Faculty and Staff are provisioned individually at the start of employment. Student accounts will automatically be transitioned to alumnus status after student status is inactive. An inactive Faculty or Staff account may be transitioned to Emeritus status under special circumstances. Additional guest or vendor credentials may be created by executive approval only. All account provisioning and modification is performed by the Information, Media and Technology department.

What technologies are used for your electronic identity credentials (e.g., Kerberos, userID/password, PKI, ...) that are relevant to Federation activities? If more than one type of electronic credential is issued, how is it determined who receives which type? If multiple credentials are linked, how is this managed (e.g., anyone with a Kerberos credential also can acquire a PKI credential) and recorded?

A unique UserID and password are used to uniquely authentication an account.

If your electronic identity credentials require the use of a secret password or PIN, and there are circumstances in which that secret would be transmitted across a network without being protected by encryption (i.e., “clear text passwords” are used when accessing campus services), please identify who in your organization can discuss with any other Participant concerns that this might raise for them:

All submission of authentication credentials are protected by SSL encryption.

If you support a “single sign-on” (SSO) or similar campus-wide system to allow a single user authentication action to serve multiple applications, and you will make use of this to authenticate people for InCommon Service Providers, please describe the key security aspects of your SSO system including whether session timeouts are enforced by the system, whether user-initiated session termination is supported, and how use with “public access sites” is protected.

CAS (JASIG’s Central Authentication System) is configured with a 60 minute timeout after inactivity and allows user-initiated session logout. Information is submitted with SSL encryption and authentication is limited to specifically enabled services. Shibboleth Identity Provider authenticates through CAS and has a 20 minute inactivity session timeout but does not provide a user-initiated logout.

Are your primary electronic identifiers for people, such as “net ID,” eduPersonPrincipalName, or eduPersonTargetedID considered to be unique for all time to the individual to whom they are assigned? If not, what is your policy for re- assignment and is there a hiatus between such reuse?

Our federated identity number is unique and not reused in order to generate an eduPersonTargetedID attribute. A UserID or equivalent eduPersonPrincipalName may be reused but the identifier will not be. A UserID may be immediately reused after deprovisioning of the old UserID though it is unlikely to occur since they are issued on a first initial and last name basis for Faculty/Staff and include a 2-digit year of admission for student accounts.

Electronic Identity Database

How is information in your electronic identity database acquired and updated? Are specific offices designated by your administration to perform this function? Are individuals allowed to update their own information online?

Basic contact information and password credentials may be updated by the user. Electronic credentials for a user account are managed by the Information, Media and Technology department. PeopleSoft represents our central identity database for all users and is updated with the latest information by the office of record responsible for the user’s role.

What information in this database is considered “public information” and would be provided to any interested party?

No information is considered publicly available. User attributes may be provided to an affiliated Service Provider by approval only.

Uses of Your Electronic Identity Credential System

Please identify typical classes of applications for which your electronic identity credentials are used within your own organization.

Portal access, email, educational web services and account transaction applications.

Attribute Assertions

Attributes are the information data elements in an attribute assertion you might make to another Federation participant concerning the identity of a person in your identity management system.

Would you consider your attribute assertions to be reliable enough to:

  • control access to on-line information databases licensed to your organization?
  • be used to purchase goods or services for your organization?
  • enable access to personal information such as student loan status?

Privacy Policy

Federation Participants must respect the legal and organizational privacy constraints on attribute information provided by other Participants and use it only for its intended purposes.

What restrictions do you place on the use of attribute information that you might provide to other Federation participants?

Attribute information provided by Azusa Pacific University is to be only used for the specific access control purpose for which it was intended. Any other use requires explicit permission.

What policies govern the use of attribute information that you might release to other Federation participants? For example, is some information subject to FERPA or HIPAA restrictions?

Attribute information provided to other Federation participants should be treated as subject to FERPA restrictions, even in those circumstances where information would be considered “public” information under FERPA.

Service Provider Information

Service Providers are trusted to ask for only the information necessary to make an appropriate access control decision, and to not misuse information provided to them by Identity Providers. Service Providers must describe the basis on which access to resources is managed and their practices with respect to attribute information they receive from other Participants.

What attribute information about an individual do you require in order to manage access to resources you make available to other Participants? Describe separately for each service ProviderID that you have registered.

Not Applicable

What use do you make of attribute information that you receive in addition to basic access control decisions? For example, do you aggregate session access records or records of specific information accessed based on attribute information, or make attribute information available to partner organizations, etc.?

Not Applicable

What human and technical controls are in place on access to and use of attribute information that might refer to only one specific person (i.e., personally identifiable information)? For example, is this information encrypted?

Not Applicable

Describe the human and technical controls that are in place on the management of super-user and other privileged accounts that might have the authority to grant access to personally identifiable information?

Not Applicable

If personally identifiable information is compromised, what actions do you take to notify potentially affected individuals?

Not Applicable

Other Information

Technical Standards, Versions and Interoperability

Identify the version of Internet2 Shibboleth code release that you are using or, if not using the standard Shibboleth code, what version(s) of the SAML and SOAP and any other relevant standards you have implemented for this purpose.

Shibboleth IDP 2.3.x

Other Considerations

Are there any other considerations or information that you wish to make known to other Federation participants with whom you might interoperate? For example, are there concerns about the use of clear text passwords or responsibilities in case of a security breach involving identity information you may have provided?

Information provided to Service Providers is only to be used for its intended purpose and only for the agreed-upon length of time.

Additional Notes and Details on the Operational Practices Questions

As a community of organizations willing to manage access to online resources cooperatively, and often without formal contracts in the case of noncommercial resources, it is essential that each Participant have a good understanding of the identity and resource management practices implemented by other Participants. The purpose of the questions above is to establish a base level of common understanding by making this information available for other Participants to evaluate.

In answering these questions, please consider what you would want to know about your own operations if you were another Participant deciding what level of trust to place in interactions with your online systems. For example:

  • What would you need to know about an Identity Provider in order to make an informed decision whether to accept its assertions to manage access to your online resources or applications?
  • What would you need to know about a Service Provider in order to feel confident providing it information that it might not otherwise be able to have?
  • It also might help to consider how identity management systems within a single institution could be used.
  • What might your central campus IT organization, as a Service Provider, ask of a peer campus Identity Provider (e.g., Engineering and Computer Science Department, central Library, or Medical Center) in order to decide whether to accept its identity assertions for access to resources that the IT organization controls?
  • What might a campus department ask about the central campus identity management system if the department wanted to leverage it for use with its own applications?

The numbered paragraphs below provide additional background to the numbered questions in the main part of this document.

InCommon Participants who manage Identity Providers are strongly encouraged to post on their website the privacy and information security policies that govern their identity management system. Participants who manage Service Providers are strongly encouraged to post their policies with respect to use of personally identifying information.

Other InCommon Participants may wish to contact this person or office with further questions about the information you have provided or if they wish to establish a more formal relationship with your organization regarding resource sharing.

Many organizations have very informal processes for issuing electronic credentials. For example, one campus does this through its student bookstore. A Service Provider may be more willing to accept your assertions to the extent that this process can be seen as authoritative.

It is important for a Service Provider to have some idea of the community whose identities you may represent. This is particularly true for assertions such as the eduPerson “Member of Community.” A typical definition might be “Faculty, staff, and active students” but it might also include alumni, prospective students, temporary employees, visiting scholars, etc. In addition, there may be formal or informal mechanisms for making exceptions to this definition, e.g., to accommodate a former student still finishing a thesis or an unpaid volunteer.

This question asks to whom you, as an Identity Provider, will provide electronic credentials. This is typically broadly defined so that the organization can accommodate a wide variety of applications locally. The reason this question is important is to distinguish between the set of people who might have a credential that you issue and the subset of those people who fall within your definition of “Member of Community” for the purpose of InCommon attribute assertions.

The assertion of “Member of Community” is often good enough for deciding whether to grant access to basic on-line resources such as library-like materials or websites. InCommon encourages participants to use this assertion only for “Faculty, Staff, and active Students” but some organizations may have the need to define this differently. InCommon Service Providers need to know if this has been defined differently.

For example, if there is a campus recognized office of record that issues such electronic credentials and that office makes use of strong, reliable technology and good database management practices, those factors might indicate highly reliable credentials and hence trustworthy identity assertions.

Different technologies carry different inherent risks. For example, a userID and password can be shared or “stolen” rather easily. A PKI credential or SecureID card is much harder to share or steal. For practical reasons, some campuses use one technology for student credentials and another for faculty and staff. In some cases, sensitive applications will warrant stronger and/or secondary credentials.

Sending passwords in “clear text” is a significant risk, and all InCommon Participants are strongly encouraged to eliminate any such practice. Unfortunately this may be difficult, particularly with legacy applications. For example, gaining access to a centralized calendar application via a wireless data connection while you are attending a conference might reveal your password to many others at that conference. If this is also your campus credential password, it could be used by another person to impersonate you to InCommon Participants.

“Single sign-on” (SSO) is a method that allows a user to unlock his or her electronic identity credential once and then use it for access to a variety of resources and applications for some period of time. This avoids people having to remember many different identifiers and passwords or to continually log into and out of systems. However, it also may weaken the link between an electronic identity and the actual person to whom it refers if someone else might be able to use the same computer and assume the former user’s identity. If there is no limit on the duration of a SSO session, a Federation Service Provider may be concerned about the validity of any identity assertions you might make. Therefore it is important to ask about your use of SSO technologies.

In some identity management systems, primary identifiers for people might be reused, particularly if they contain common names, e.g. [email protected]. This can create ambiguity if a Service Provider requires this primary identifier to manage access to resources for that person.

Security of the database that holds information about a person is at least as critical as the electronic identity credentials that provide the links to records in that database. Appropriate security for the database, as well as management and audit trails of changes made to that database, and management of access to that database information are important.

Many organizations will make available to anyone certain, limited “public information.” Other information may be given only to internal organization users or applications, or may require permission from the subject under FERPA or HIPAA rules. A Service Provider may need to know what information you are willing to make available as “public information” and what rules might apply to other information that you might release.

In order to help a Service Provider assess how reliable your identity assertions may be, it is helpful to know how your organization uses those same assertions. The assumption here is that you are or will use the same identity management system for your own applications as you are using for federated purposes.

In order to help a Service Provider assess how reliable your identity assertions may be, it is helpful to know how your organization uses those same assertions. The assumption here is that you are or will use the same identity management system for your own applications as you are using for federated purposes.

Your answer to this question indicates the degree of confidence you have in the accuracy of your identity assertions.

Even “public information” may be constrained in how it can be used. For example, creating a marketing email list by “harvesting” email addresses from a campus directory web site may be considered illicit use of that information. Please indicate what restrictions you place on information you make available to others.

Please indicate what legal or other external constraints there may be on information you make available to others.

Please identify your access management requirements to help other Participants understand and plan for use of your resource(s). You might also or instead provide contact information for an office or person who could answer inquiries.

As a Service Provider, please declare what use(s) you would make of attribute information you receive.

Personally identifying information can be a wide variety of things, not merely a name or credit card number. All information other than large group identity, e.g., “member of community,” should be protected while resident on your systems.

Certain functional positions can have extraordinary privileges with respect to information on your systems. What oversight means are in place to ensure incumbents do not misuse such privileges?

Occasionally protections break down and information is compromised. Some states have laws requiring notification of affected individuals. What legal and/or institutional policies govern notification of individuals if information you hold is compromised?

Most InCommon Participants will use Internet2 Shibboleth technology, but this is not required. It may be important for other participants to understand whether you are using other implementations of the technology standards.

As an Identity Provider, you may wish to place constraints on the kinds of applications that may make use of your assertions. As a Service Provider, you may wish to make a statement about how User credentials must be managed. This question is completely open-ended and for your use.


access management system
The collection of systems and or services associated with specific on-line resources and/or services that together derive the decision about whether to allow a given individual to gain access to those resources or make use of those services.

The identity information provided by an Identity Provider to a Service Provider.

A single piece of information associated with an electronic identity database record. Some attributes are general, others are personal. Some subset of all attributes defines a unique individual.

The process by which a person verifies or confirms their association with an electronic identifier. For example, entering a password that is associated with an UserID or account name is assumed to verify that the user is the person to whom the UserID was issued.

The process of determining whether a specific person should be allowed to gain access to an application or function, or to make use of a resource. The resource manager then makes the access control decision, which also may take into account other factors such as time of day, location of the user, and/or load on the resource system.

electronic identifier
A string of characters or structured data that may be used to reference an electronic identity. Examples include an email address, a user account name, a Kerberos principal name, a UC or campus NetID, an employee or student ID, or a PKI certificate.

electronic identity
A set of information that is maintained about an individual, typically in campus electronic identity databases. May include roles and privileges as well as personal information. The information must be authoritative to the applications for which it will be used.

electronic identity credential
An electronic identifier and corresponding personal secret associated with an electronic identity. An electronic identity credential typically is issued to the person who is the subject of the information to enable that person to gain access to applications or other resources that need to control such access.

electronic identity database
A structured collection of information pertaining to a given individual. Sometimes referred to as an “enterprise directory.” Typically includes name, address, email address, affiliation, and electronic identifier(s). Many technologies can be used to create an identity database, for example LDAP or a set of linked relational databases.

Identity is the set of information associated with a specific physical person or other entity. Typically an Identity Provider will be authoritative for only a subset of a person’s identity information. What identity attributes might be relevant in any situation depend on the context in which it is being questioned.

identity management system
A set of standards, procedures and technologies that provide electronic credentials to individuals and maintain authoritative information about the holders of those credentials.

Identity Provider
A campus or other organization that manages and operates an identity management system and offers information about members of its community to other InCommon participants.

An electronic identifier created specifically for use with on-line applications. It is often an integer and typically has no other meaning.

personal secret (also: verification token)
Used in the context of this document, is synonymous with password, pass phrase, or PIN. It enables the holder of an electronic identifier to confirm that s/he is the person to whom the identifier was issued.

Service Provider
A campus or other organization that makes on-line resources available to users based in part on information about them that it receives from other InCommon participants.


Azusa Pacific University's domain name (APU.EDU) and other University computer, network, electronic mail systems, communications, and Internet services exist primarily for the transmission and sharing of information for the University's purposes. The use of by any member must be consistent with the mission of Azusa Pacific University and is subject to control by the University. The University will attempt to protect and maintain user privacy, but observation and monitoring of traffic flow and content/usage may be necessary at the University's discretion for security, policy, and other legal reasons. The end-user who originates communications and traffic will be responsible if the communications and traffic do not conform to this or any other University policy.

User Requirements

  1. Respect the privacy of others. For example, users shall not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files belonging to other users.
  2. Only use your own account and password; never misrepresent yourself as another user.
  3. Do not let others use your login and password to the APU network, email or computers.
  4. Respect the legal protection provided by copyright and licenses to programs and data.
  5. Respect the integrity of so as not to interfere with or disrupt network users, services, or equipment. Interference or disruption includes, but is not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer viruses, and use of the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, communications, or information devices or resources.

Acceptable Uses

  1. Use as a vehicle for scholarly or University-related communications.
  2. Use in applying for or administering grants or contracts for research or instruction.
  3. Use in activities of research or direct support for instruction.
  4. Use must be consistent with University standards as defined in its publications.

Unacceptable Uses

  1. Use of or any other University computing resources for illegal purposes.
  2. Use of or any other University computing resources to transmit or receive threatening, obscene, or harassing materials.
  3. Sending unsolicited advertising.
  4. Use for personal for-profit business is not permitted.
  5. Use of the network by employees for entertainment and recreational games is not acceptable during business hours. (Generally between the hours of 7am to 10 pm)

Enforcement and Violations

Action may be taken by system management, and is subject to the guidance and authority of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), to prevent possible unauthorized activity by temporarily deactivating any member. Reasonable efforts will be made to inform the member prior to disconnection and to re-establish the connection as soon as an acceptable understanding has been reached. Any disciplinary action deemed necessary will be handled through the normal channels as explained and set forth in the, student, employee or faculty handbooks.

Purpose of the Policy

Azusa Pacific University (APU) has made it possible for employees to access the global set of computer networks known as the “Internet” or “world wide web” (hereafter referred to as the Internet), using APU-owned and provided equipment. Such use is subject to the policy stated below. [See also the separate APU Electronic Mail Usage Policy, which specifically applies to the use of electronic mail, including sending such mail via Internet addresses.]


This policy applies to all Azusa Pacific University employees. This policy addresses the following issues: appropriate access, university public relations, and misuse


Any use of APU facilities or equipment in violation of this policy will subject employees to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, as well as potential criminal prosecution. Access to the Internet through APU-provided equipment, as with other company-provided tools, is for business use. Occasional personal use that does not interfere with the employee’s job performance is acceptable (e.g. during breaks or lunch), but such use remains subject to the provisions of this Policy.

APU will monitor all usage, including web sites visited and files/programs downloaded, to ensure compliance with this Policy.

No information shall be “posted” (i.e., “uploaded”) to the Internet, representing APU, without first coordinating with the Office of the CIO or the Director of University Marketing and Creative Media. Misuse of APU-provided Internet access is prohibited. Misuse can occur through viewing web sites, downloading information, or uploading information, and specifically includes: Accessing or distributing information that is obscene, pornographic, defamatory, harassing, threatening, contains racial or sexual slurs, or otherwise is inappropriate in the context of APU’s Christian ethos and Core Values.

Violating copyrights or other proprietary rights through unauthorized copying [ask if you are not sure!] Unauthorized distribution of APU materials (particularly confidential or proprietary information); Attempting to “break in” to unauthorized computer networks or systems.

Any questions concerning this Policy and/or appropriate use of APU-provided Internet access should be directed to the Office of the CIO, who will consult with Human Resources and the President’s Cabinet as appropriate.

Appendix A -- Policy Routing

Edit Date:
  • This policy was approved by the IT Cabinet on
  • This policy was approved by the UIMC on
  • This policy was approved by President’s Cabinet on
  • This policy was approved by Academic Cabinet on

Approved by: John C. Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology

  • Author: John C. Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology


The primary purpose of this policy is to inform, educate, and set expectations for the members of the university community of their individual and corporate responsibilities toward the use of information, products, and services obtained from the internet. Internet filtering is provided to all students, faculty, and staff to protect them from the unintentional or deliberate accessing of internet content that is offensive and inappropriate. This policy is complementary to the “Acceptable Use Policy,” which states:

Azusa Pacific University’s domain name ( and other university computer, network, and electronic mail systems exist for the primary purpose of transmitting and sharing information for the university’s purposes. The use of by any member must be consistent with the mission of Azusa Pacific University and is subject to control by the university. Computer, network, communications, and internet services exist to promote the purposes of the University. Every attempt to protect privacy will be maintained, but observation of traffic flow and content may be necessary at the university’s discretion for security and legal reasons. The end-user who originates traffic will be responsible if the traffic does not conform to this policy.


APU’s internet filtering is performed through a subscription service. The hardware and database, referred to as an application in this policy, is developed and maintained by a nationally recognized, publicly held company.

How Filtering Works

The internet filtering mechanism uses several categorization technologies to group URLs. These include human review, a licensed contextual URL filtering engine, internally developed neural net analysis programs, and automated recognition of content labels generated by the Internet Content Rating Association that web developers often put on their sites. In addition, to ensure that categories are continually refreshed with new URLs, the mechanism relies on a technology called adaptive filtering, which automatically logs accesses by existing users to URLs that are not included in the existing categorized database. These URLs are then sent to a central repository, where they are reviewed along with the requests of other filtering appliances that subscribe to this service on a daily basis. The URLs are then categorized, added to the database, and an updated database is automatically sent to APU’s filtering appliance. The same process works similarly in reverse when a legitimate website has been labeled inappropriately—the customer appliance marks the URL as legitimate, and the URL is uploaded to the central repository and evaluated.

Does Filtering of Internet Content Impact Performance?

The internet-filtering appliance relies on a firewall-independent technology called pass-by filtering, which reviews every packet of information that goes out to the Web—including HTTP, FTP, NNTP, chat, peer-to-peer, and streaming media—and stops those destined for websites or file-sharing applications that have been blocked. Operating in much the same manner as a network sniffer that scans all network traffic, the appliance’s high-performance pass-by filtering technology can accurately filter a full 100 Mbps of bandwidth, as much as two times the bandwidth possible with other vendors’ internet filters. By-pass filtering eliminates bottlenecks that often occur with other filtering technologies.


Azusa Pacific University will use software filters and other techniques whenever possible to restrict access to inappropriate information on the internet by students, faculty, and staff at all areas on campus including labs, classrooms, libraries, and offices. Inappropriate information is defined as information related to gambling, pornography, and anonymous proxy services. Reports of attempted access will be reported and scrutinized by management on a regular basis. See the Enforcement of Policy section on this page, as well as Appendix A (below) for all categories available to be filtered by the internet-filtering appliance.

Additionally, website categories or individual websites that consume excessive amounts of network resources, or pose a security risk to APU, will be subject to review and possible temporary blocking. A recommendation may be made to the University Information Management Committee (UIMC) for permanent blocking.


APU assumes no liability for any direct or indirect damages arising from the user’s connection to the internet. APU is not responsible for the accuracy of information found on the internet, and only facilitates the accessing and dissemination of information through its systems. Users are solely responsible for any material that they access and disseminate through the internet.

Process to Block or Unblock Websites

Students, faculty, and staff may find that a website should be blocked or a legitimate website is unintentionally blocked. The steps below should be taken to report that a website should be blocked or request that a legitimate site be unblocked.

Requests to block or unblock a website must be submitted through the IT Support Center, with the URL intended to be accessed or blocked and a brief description of what the site represents.

  1. Each request will be forwarded to the appropriate representative for review:
    1. Students: Student Affairs
    2. Faculty: Dean
    3. Staff: Deputy Chief Information Officer
  1. If the request is determined to be valid, the site will be filtered or unfiltered and a notification will be sent indicating that the request has been honored. In the event the request is determined to be invalid, an explanation will be provided.
  • If the requester does not agree with the filtering decision, an appeal can be made through the office of the chief information officer (CIO), with consultation of the appropriate President’s Cabinet member.

Enforcement of Policy

Upon receiving notice from the internet filtering system of inappropriate access, the following process will be employed:

  1. First Offense. A description of inappropriate access with date, time, amount of time spent at the offending website(s), and amount of content reviewed or downloaded is reported to the following:
    1. Students: Student Affairs
    2. Faculty: Dean
    3. Staff: Supervisor
  2. Second Offense:
    1. APU user is immediately denied access to the internet.
    2. The appropriate department is advised of the offense:
      1. Students: Student Affairs
      2. Faculty: Dean
      3. Staff: Supervisor
      4. IT receives return of the written warning with a signature indicating that the offender has acknowledged the warning and is providing signed commitment to refrain from further activity.
      5. APU user is given access.

Appeal can be made through the office of the chief information officer (CIO).

Appendix A

Categories available by Netspective filtering:

  • Advertising
  • Alcohol
  • Art
  • Automotive
  • Chat
  • Chat Extended
  • Consumer Information
  • Criminal Skills
  • Cult and Occult
  • Drugs
  • Dynamic Hosting
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Finance/Investing
  • Gambling
  • Games
  • General Business
  • Glamour
  • Government
  • Hacking
  • Hate Speech
  • Health
  • Hobbies
  • Hosting Site
  • Internet Tools
  • Job Search
  • Law
  • Lingerie
  • Mature Content
  • Military
  • News
  • Nudism and Naturism
  • Peer-to-Peer
  • Personals/Dating
  • Politics and Religion
  • Pornography
  • Portal
  • Reference
  • Science
  • Sex Education
  • Sexual Advice
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Shopping
  • Society
  • Sports
  • Streaming Media
  • Streaming Internet Radio
  • Technology
  • Tobacco
  • Travel
  • Violence
  • Weapons
  • Web Email
  • Web Log
  • Web Search
  • Web Search Filtered
  • Not Rated

Purpose of the Position

The University has determined Information Technology (IT) standards for the effective operation of core applications and software products. These standards and guidelines are agreed upon for common use in APU. There is a need to balance this centric set of standards with a liberating academic environment that enables faculty to provide an excellent, effective, innovative, and efficient learning, teaching, and research environment.

Ethos: Technology should be entrusted to those who utilize it with appropriate responsibility and accountability.

University Standards and Guidelines

University standards and guidelines are instituted to support the administration of the university, its business processes, and academic instruction. As such, these standards and guidelines are agreed upon by the UIMC4, and entrusted to the Office of the CIO for implementation, support, and training.

Principles for Faculty Research and Teaching IT programs

No software, technology, or media should be used if it is illegal or unethical. It should not conflict with the values and mission of APU and identified in the “Software Copyright DMCA, TEACH ACT” policy. The university should not be at risk (organizational, financial, legal et al.) through the introduction of new technology and software. Learning from technology related programs and initiatives should be shared with UIMC for communal learning and stewardship purposes. Projects and initiatives, outside of UIMC5, undertaken by departments or faculty within these principles, must be within the authority, budget, and responsibility of the Dean and Department Chair. It is the prerogative of the Dean to implement additional principles or procedures that are more stringent than this organizational position. IT will provide support services within their capacity and capability, to install hardware, and software, and provide first-line troubleshooting as requested by the Dean.

Appendix A – Policy Routing

Status: Approved Edit Date: Approved on:




  1. Such permission already might be implied by existing contractual agreements.
  2. Your responses to these questions should be posted in a readily accessible place on your web site, and the URL submitted to InCommon. If not posted, you should post contact information for an office that can discuss it privately with other InCommon Participants as needed. If any of the information changes, you must update your online statement as soon as possible.
  3. A general note regarding attributes and recommendations within the Federation.
  4. “Member” is one possible value for eduPersonAffiliation as defined in the eduPerson schema. It is intended to include faculty, staff, student, and other persons with a basic set of privileges that go with membership in the university community (e.g., library privileges). “Member of Community” could be derived from other values in eduPersonAffiliation or assigned explicitly as “Member” in the electronic identity database. Learn more about Member of Community