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Subject: AEJ 98 PatnodeR QS Acceptable use policies and the ideology of the Internet
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 19 Dec 1998 09:04:26 EST
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (949 lines)


The Ideology of the Internet
 
 
The Mythos of Cyberspace:
Acceptable Use Policies
and the Ideology of the Internet
 
 
 
 
 
 
Randall Patnode
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
CB 3365, Howell Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
(336) 222-1004
email: [log in to unmask]
 
 
 
 
 
Submitted to the Qualitative Studies Division
AEJMC Annual Meeting
Baltimore, Md.
July 1998
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Running Header: The Ideology of the Internet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Mythos of Cyberspace:
Acceptable Use Policies
and the Ideology of the Internet
 
 
 
Introduction    In a speech to the National Press Club at the end of 1993, Vice
President Al Gore summarized much of the sweeping rhetoric that had developed
around the Internet up to that time. "Virtually every business and consumer in
America will benefit dramatically from the telecommunications revolution," he
told the journalists. Allowing myth to mingle with reality, the vice president
joked: "I see even Santa Claus is now on the Internet with his own E-Mail." Gore
went on to predict that the Internet would empower individuals, enhance the
quality of their lives, spur economic growth, help to build a healthier, more
prosperous, better educated society, and foster greater personal freedom.[1]
        Scholars who have studied the development of communication technologies point
out that such lofty predictions are common at the introduction of a new medium.
Yet, these arguments often belie the ideology that governs the new medium and
often contradicts the rhetoric.
        This paper argues that one of the primary mechanisms for communicating the
ideology of the Internet is the acceptable use policy. Such policies have become
a matter of routine for institutions that provide access to the Internet and are
readily available for patrons to read. AUPs presume to outline appropriate modes
of behavior for system users, describe the limitations of the system, and
establish areas of responsibility for institutions and their patrons. Acceptable
use polices acknowledge a certain tension about the Internet, simultaneously
offering its benefits and warning of its dangers. This paper examines AUPs in
their two most common settings: the public library and the K-12 school system.
 
Technology and Ideology
        In defining ideology, I borrow Mimi White's definition: "the common sense
principles that endow the system with meaning for those who participate in
it."[2] By their nature, common sense principles are less noticeable and more
difficult to identify than rhetorical promises. Rhetorical reality is argued
into existence, whereas ideology is assumed into existence. Rather than
questioning ideology, we tacitly accept it. In doing so, we give authority to
the mechanisms that reproduce ideology.
        In "The Mythos of the Electronic Revolution," James M. Carey and John J. Quirk
describe how the electrical technology historically has been identified with "a
new birth of community, decentralization, ecological balance and social
harmony."[3]The rhetoric paints electrical technology as the great benefactor of
humanity, a catalyst for social change and a more harmonious community. It is a
force that overcomes the limitations of history and politics.[4]Yet, the
technology did not always measure up to its promise. Citing the Pentagon, NASA,
the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the large power utilities as examples, Carey
and Quirk argue that electrical technology recentralized power rather than
dispersing it, polluted the environment, and disrupted a sense of community.
        T.R. Young notes that much of the rhetoric about the information age amounts to
mystification, offering technology as the "new savior in technical
apparition."[5] Technology, he goes on to say, is represented as ideology in
seven ways: 1) Technology is seen as having redemptive power (a notion that
defies history). 2) Technology provides an "automatic emancipatory capacity"
(which ignores the varying social uses of technology). 3) The agency of
progressive change is shifted from people working collectively to the
technological apparatus ("Such transfer of agency tends to reproduce
powerlessness among the powerless while the exercise of power by an elite is
counted as natural."). 4) Uncritical research is conflated with science, giving
false respectability to the research and transforming scientists into
"merchants, hucksters, and publicists." 5) The praise tends to present a
one-sided view of the technology. 6) The organization of capitalist production
is offered as "normal" and becomes the embodiment of ideology. "The very
normality of this organization of technology tends to foreclose alternative
patterns of use." 7) Technology tends to be analyzed in terms of cost-benefit
concerns rather than social or political concerns.[6]
 
Technology as Symptom
        The comments of vice presidents notwithstanding, many critics would insist that
rather than transforming society, new media technologies are defined according
to their function within the social-political system. In writing about
television in the 1970s, Raymond Williams pointed out that new media are
products of the industrial process of a capital economy. This process creates
new needs and new possibilities, and television was an intrinsic outcome that
process.[7]
        Similarly, Carolyn Marvin sees the role of new media imbedded in history and
class issues, as "existing groups perpetually negotiate power, authority,
representation, and knowledge with whatever resources are available. New media
intrude on these negotiations by providing new platforms on which old groups
confront one another. Old habits of transacting between groups are projected
onto new technologies that alter, or seem to alter, critical distances."[8]
        Marvin's historical study of electrical technology suggests that ideology forms
partly as a response to fear. New media of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, she says, inspired attempts to "simplify a world of expanding
cultural variety to something more familiar and less threatening. That impulse
fixed on one-way communication from familiar cultural, social, and geographic
perimeters as a preferred strategy to two-way exchange, with its greater
presumption of equality and risks of unpredictable confrontation."[9]New media
also become the site of class struggles. "New media embody the possibility that
accustomed orders are in jeopardy, since communication is a peculiar kind of
interaction that actively seeks variety. No matter how firmly customer or
instrumentality may appear to organized and contain it, it carries the seeds of
its own subversion." [10]
        The contradiction between rhetoric and ideology surfaces in cultural
communications as well. Cultural theorist Tony Bennett argues that museums,
while ostensibly intended to provide collective ownership of cultural property
and democratic access to that property, have been remarkably effective in
developing the social practices that distinguish and police the boundaries
between the dominant and popular classes.[11]
        Social practices develop around virtually all new media, but perhaps nowhere so
obviously as with the Internet. The network that gives the appearance of being
governed by no one attempts to self-regulate with "netiquette," a loose
collection of rules of behavior (i.e., prohibitions against using discussion
lists as a mass advertising opportunity -- a practice that has been dubbed
"spamming"). Expressions of netiquette pervade the Internet and are the
foundation of acceptable use policies. As will be shown later in this paper,
these expressions make up much of the ideological fabric of the Internet.
 
Acceptable Use as Ideology
        This study looked at acceptable use policies in two arenas: public libraries
and K-12 schools. Data for the public libraries was collected in a previous
study;[12] data for the K-12 polices was collected exclusively for this
study.[13] In all, 116 policies from public libraries and 46 policies from K-12
schools were examined for specific policy attributes or statements.
        In broad terms, AUPs serve to: 1) educate users about what the Internet is and
is not (for instance, "The Internet is a worldwide network"); 2) to provide
warnings, especially about content; 3) to set limits -- for instance, on time
and printing resources; and 4) to establish responsibility. AUPs are often
directed at the parents of minors, whose children may be using the Internet at
school or at the library. Fifty-nine percent of the K-12 AUPs in this study
required written parental permission for students to use the Internet (see
Appendix B). Parental permission for using public library Internet terminals was
required in 22 percent of the cases sampled (see Appendix C).
        AUPs, especially those in the K-12 setting, are remarkably similar, often
employing the same language. This similarity is partly a product of the
technology. Monographs on how to write AUPs stress using existing models and
make it easy for the would-be policymaker to view other policies by providing
electronic links to those policies.[14] One might easily construct a workable
policy by simply cutting and pasting text off the Internet. This is an important
distinction. Much of the "policymaking" with regard to AUPs is in fact policy
adoption, that is, borrowing wholly or partially from other policies. The
technology that the policies intend to police makes it possible to select and
reproduce existing information with great ease. Rather than considering Internet
issues as something new, policymakers are accepting precedents from other
venues. This is the "common sense" nature of ideology in action.
        The degree to which AUPs are read and absorbed by the intended receiver is
difficult to judge. The Dallas Public Library makes its AUP among the most
obtrusive of those sampled, requiring patrons to view the policies page before
they can go on to view the rest of the library's offerings.[15] But even this
does not guarantee that anyone reads the page, only that they click on the
button that makes the policy page disappear. K-12 AUPs are probably better read
than the public library policy statements because parents usually must sign a
waiver stating that they have read the policy.
        The schools and public libraries offer two different models for Internet use.
Public libraries typically present an information collector model. They
generally offer access to the World Wide Web and other databases but provide no
ability for patrons to send or publish information. K-12 schools typically
present a collector/publisher model, allowing students, teachers, and
administrators to both send and receive information. The collector/publisher
model entails more potential control problems, which explains why public library
AUPs range from a few sentences to a page of text while K-12 school AUPs are
typically three or more pages long. Publishing makes the user more active, and
thus more susceptible to dangers and more capable of creating dangers for
others.
 
Tension and Contradiction
        Acceptable use policies typically begin by extolling the virtues of the
Internet. The AUP for the Searsport (Maine) District Middle/High Schools, for
instance, declares the potential of the Internet in following way: it is a
valuable research tool; it helps teachers and students communicate with each
other; it enables students to watch history in the making; it will bring
geographically isolated students closer to centers of art, education and
commerce.[16]
        As Stanley Deetz points out, this kind of tacit acceptance of improved
interpersonal communication as a result of a new technology is ideological. He
suggests that new communication technologies are merely substituting a newer,
cheaper electronic "way of being" with others for the older transportation "way
of being."[17] In making the substitution, however, the rhetoric assumes that
the benefits of the transportation (i.e., physical) connection carry over to the
electronic connection. In fact, the Internet experience is highly mediated,
essentially an exchange of words and symbols on cathode ray tubes.
        Deetz notes that neither form of connection is better than the other, and
neither form is neutral. The electronic connection, for instance, speeds
decision making and encourages focus and reaction, while the transportation
connection "encourages holism, connectedness, and proaction."[18] Marvin makes a
similar point about older technologies: Electrical communication made possible
communication with someone who wasn't there. "New kinds of encounters collided
with old ways of determining trust and reliability, and with old notions about
the world and one's place in it." [19]
        The Internet offers several new kinds of "encounters." The absence of
face-to-face (or even voice-to-ear) communication, for instance, makes possible
the "virtual" experience, which in turn contributes to problems with anonymity,
deception, harassment, and obscenity. The fact that these issues are addressed
by in the K-12 acceptable use polices suggests the existence of an ideological
preference in how to handle them.
 
Property First
        As shown in Figure 1, the most common attribute in K-12 policies is one that
protects a property right, namely copyright. Copyright issues comes in several
forms: illegally downloading or distributing software (software piracy),
plagiarism, illegally copying information (downloading), and illegally
distributing the work of others for profit or other gain. Statements of the
supposed educational intent of Internet access, what might be assumed to be a
high priority for schools, rank third.
 
Figure 1
Most Common Policy Attributes - K-12 Schools
 
Policy Attribute
Percent *
Bars violating copyright law
92
Violations may result in loss of access
86
Access is for educational purposes
73
Bars disrupting network
71
Violations may result in disciplinary action
71
Files are not private
71
Bars sending or displaying offensive, obscene, or illegal messages
69
Bars inappropriate or obscene language
69
Bars using system to harass, insult, threaten or attack others
65
Access is a privilege
63
 
n=46
* Percent of sampled polices that include the attribute
 
        The property right is protected in K-12 policies in part because schools
generally provide students with a greater range of interactive privileges than
the public libraries. Students are routinely assigned email accounts and
computer space to store their files. Unlike library patrons, K-12 students have
access to the technology that allows them to infringe on property rights with
relative ease.
        The use of new technology to circumvent property control is not new. John Fiske
has observed that the advent of photocopiers, audio and video recorders have all
challenged the boundaries of copyright. "Producers and distributors have had to
argue for elaborations and extensions of copyright laws to maintain some control
over exchange-value and its base in scarcity."[20] In this regard, acceptable
use policies may be serving as an injunctive norm until the legal system can
come to terms with the potential of the technology. Of course, the notion that
individuals have a right to control their property in all domains is an
ideological assumption of capital economies, one that goes unchallenged in
acceptable use policies and Internet rhetoric.
        Another "hot-button issue" addressed by K-12 acceptable use policies is
privacy. Forty-nine percent of AUPs contain some language admonishing students
to respect the privacy of others by not stealing account passwords or otherwise
trying to break into computer accounts. Students are also advised to protect
their own privacy by not giving out personal information online (49 percent of
AUPs). This common sense nod to privacy, however, is contrasted with the fact
that 71 percent of K-12 policies declare that student computer accounts are open
to inspection by system administrators. In effect, privacy is encouraged only so
far as it does not disrupt the status quo.
        By contrast, the policy attribute most commonly listed by public libraries is
one that attempts to limit the library's liability (see Figure 2). In fact, the
top two attributes are concerned with responsibility for acquiring information.
The high rank of these attributes reflect the public library's role as
information collector rather than collector/publisher. Library AUPs are
concerned with children gaining access to "inappropriate" material, but more
importantly, the governmental bodies that fund the libraries are concerned with
being held accountable for damages resulting from children being exposed to such
material. Acceptable use policies suggest the interest in managing Internet
content stems mostly from legal concerns, not social welfare. At stake is the
preeminence of the dominant class and its institutions, which typically protect
their interests through the common sense morality of law.
 
Figure 2
Most Common Policy Attributes - Public Libraries [21]
 
Policy Attribute
Percent **
Library is not responsible for information on the Internet
87
Parents are responsible for their children
74
Internet users may find objectionable material
60
Internet users may lose net privileges for policy violations
46
Bars attempting to violate system security
46
Bars illegal activities on Internet workstations
42
Bars violation of copyright while using the Internet
39
Limits use of Internet workstations
38
Bars use of user's own software
25
Limits printing off the Internet
23
 
n=116
** Percent of sampled polices that include the attribute
 
        In both K-12 and public library policies, access to the system is the chief
means of enforcing acceptable use. The rhetoric of the Internet suggests a
system under the control of no particular institution, and therefore a system
with no institutional enforcement. Indeed, it has often been argued that,
because of the Internet's distributed architecture (lacking a central hub),
geographically dispersed users, and unique content, it would be impossible for
one authority take control of the system.[22]Information paths are so numerous
that information would simply flow around roadblocks. Yet, access to the
Internet is controlled. Commercial (America Online, Compuserve, etc.) and
quasi-governmental interests (universities, libraries, community freenets, etc.)
say who may and may not tap into the Internet. The access right of any voice
that ventures outside of acceptable use can be revoked at any time. So while the
rhetoric of the Internet often speaks of enhanced democracy, acceptable use
suggests the perpetuation of bureaucracy.
 
 
The Internet as Ideological State Apparatus
        Louis Althusser's notion of the ideological state apparatus (ISA) provides a
useful structure for thinking about acceptable use policies and the reproduction
of ideology. ISAs "produce in people the tendency to behave and think in
socially acceptable ways," says Fiske.[23]Althusser identified eight ISAs:
religious, educational, family, legal, political, trade union, communication,
cultural.[24]
         In breaking with traditional Marxist thought, Althusser dismissed the notion
of "false consciousness." He insisted that although an independent reality
exists, it cannot be experienced because of the intervention of ideology.[25]We
live in and through ideology, not reality, he argued. For Althusser, ideology is
more than just a "spiritual" state; ideology has a material existence, meaning
that it leads to attitudes, behaviors and social practices. Through the everyday
rituals of the ISA, ideology interpellates, or "hails," individuals. Or, as Mimi
White puts it, "Ideology asks us to recognize and position ourselves within its
terms of reference."[26] Those who are hailed do not recognize the ideology but
reproduce the ideology by engaging in the everyday rituals.
        To this, Fiske adds that ISAs are all patriarchal. They are concerned with
accumulating and preserving wealth; they endorse individualism and competition
between individuals; and they present themselves as socially neutral, treating
all classes equally.[27]
        The Internet exhibits many characteristics of the ISA. Despite its image as
vast, free-wheeling, and idiosyncratic, the Internet is under the control of
institutional entities, at least at the access level. Acceptable use policies
are a mechanism for reproducing ideology, outlining the limitations for the
social practice of communicating on the Internet. The limits described by AUPs
indicate the degree to which the Internet is concerned with accumulating and
preserving wealth, property, and power for the dominant class. And finally,
under the guise of netiquette and policy, the Internet presents itself as
socially neutral, offering established notions of property, identity, and
individual rights as common sense.
 
Conclusions
        Much of the AUP discourse paints the Internet as a deterministic force: the
Internet makes wonderful and scary things possible. Yet, technology is
inanimate; it takes no moral ground. What the Internet has made possible, the
AUPs seem to say, is left for the human user to control. Control is attempted
through acceptable use policies, essentially technological commandments. In this
view, it is the responsibility of good cybercitizens to overcome the potential
of the technology, to resist the pull of technology to purposes that conflict
with the dominant ideology.
        The mythos of cyberspace, then, to borrow a label from Carey and Quirk, picks
up on a historical tradition that dates back to the 19th century. The rhetoric
of the Internet promises unfettered democracy and personal freedom, while the
ideology of the Internet, as indicated by acceptable use policies, promises a
much more conservative future.
 
APPENDIX A - List of acceptable use policies sampled for content analysis
 
 
 
Riverdale School, Portland, Ore.
http://www.riverdale.k12.or.us/policy/policy.html
 
Canby School District, Canby, Ore.
http://www.canby.k12.or.us/District%20Technology/Policies/Internet/StudentForm.h
tml
 
New Hampton School, New Hampton, N.H.
http://www.nhs.pvt.k12.nh.us/nhs/technology/nhsaup.html
 
Miller High School, Corpus Christi, Texas
http://www.miller.corpus-christi.k12.tx.us/
 
Inter-Lakes School, Meredith, Center Harbor and Sandwich, N.H.
http://www.inter-lakes.k12.nh.us/aup.htm
 
Taconic High School, Mass.
http://cbcc.bcwan.net/policy/policy.html
 
Lebanon Community School, Lebanon, Ind.
http://www.bccn.boone.in.us/lcsc/LCSC_aup.html
 
Portsmouth City School District, Ohio
http://portsweb.scoca.ohio.gov/acceptab.htm
 
Antelope Union High School, Wellton, Ariz.
http://www.primenet.com/~antelope/aup.htm
 
John Burroughs School, St. Louis, Mo.
http://jbworld.jbs.st-louis.mo.us/acceptuse.html
 
North Shore Country Day School, Winnetka, Ill.
http://www.nscds.pvt.k12.il.us/nscds/aup/aupls.html
 
Tigard-Tualatin School District, Tigard, Ore.
http://www.ttsd.k12.or.us/policy/network/aup.html
 
Rich County School District, Utah
http://www.rjh.rich.k12.ut.us/richaup.htm
 
Scotch College Junior School, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
http://www.scotch.vic.edu.au/Adminjs/jsuse.htm
 
Milan Community School Corporation, Milan, Ind.
http://www.milan.k12.in.us/use.htm
 
Franklin County Technical School, Turners Falls, Mass.
http://k12s.phast.umass.edu/~tdun/accepu.html
 
Searsport District High School, Searsport, Maine
http://home.acadia.net/searsporths/sdhshome.html
 
Paris Union School District, Paris, Ill.
http://www.paris95.k12.il.us/aup.html
 
Hill School, Pottstown, Pa.
http://thehill.org/~lhuskey/jprlib/policies/aup.html
 
The Rivers School, Weston, Mass.
http://www.rivers.org/Documents/AUP.html
 
Bernalillo High School, N.M.
http://tesuque.cs.sandia.gov/schools/aup.bernalillo.html
 
Pickford Schools, Mich.
http://www.eup.k12.mi.us/pickford/policy/use/compuse.htm
 
Bellaire High School, Texas
http://www.bellaire.org/AUP.html
 
Northeast Dubois County School Corporation, Dubois, Ind.
http://www.nedubois.k12.in.us/aup.htm
 
Campbell Hall School, North Hollywood, Calif.
http://www.campbell.pvt.k12.ca.us/about_us/techplan/tp_cat_03.html
 
Kansas City Kansas City Schools, Kan.
http://www.kckps.k12.ks.us/internet.html
 
Edward Smith School, Syracuse, N.Y.
http://www.scsd.k12.ny.us/EdSmith/TechCommittee/aup.html
 
Cimmaron High School, N.M.
http://tesuque.cs.sandia.gov/schools/aup.cimarron.html
 
Mescalero Apache High School, N.M.
http://tesuque.cs.sandia.gov/schools/aup.mescalero.html
 
North Chadderton School, Olham, England
http://www.zen.co.uk/home/page/nchadd/aupst.htm
 
South Grenville High School, Ontario, Canada
http://www.lgboe.edu.on.ca/sgdhs/aupfinal.htm
 
Lewis Junior High School, San Diego, Calif.
http://www.acns.lewis.edu/infopubs/usepolicy.shtml
 
Manzano High School, N.M.
http://tesuque.cs.sandia.gov/schools/aup.manzano.html
 
Eastside Union High School
http://www.esuhsd.k12.ca.us/infosys/use06.html
 
Lakehead Board of Education, Ontario, Canada
http://www.lhbe.edu.on.ca/tipp/Hammpoli.htm
 
Shelby County Schools, Ky.
http://www.kde.state.ky.us/kde/kets/saup.html
 
Packenham Secondary College, Victoria, Australia
http://www.nex.net.au/users/alant/agree.htm
 
Edgar Allen Poe Elementary, Houston, Texas
http://www.houston.isd.tenet.edu/PoeEs/InformationPages/usepolicy.htm
 
Waterloo County Board of Education, Kitchner, Ontario
http://elem.wcbe.edu.on.ca/~mcquarrie/aup.html
 
Valley Elementary, Ogden, Utah
http://www.weber.k12.ut.us/elem/valley/acceptab.htm
 
Lilburn Middle School, Lilburn, Ga.
http://www.mindspring.com/~lmsmedia/aup.html
 
Clinton Prairie, Frankfort, Ind.
http://wvec.k12.in.us/~dchase/acceptable.html
 
Anoka-Hennepin District 11, Coon Rapids, Minn.
http://www.anoka.k12.mn.us/Technology/AUP.Policy.html
 
Harriet Lee Junior High School, Woodland, Calif.
http://www.yolo.k12.ca.us/leejhs/aup.html
 
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H.
http://www.exeter.edu/public/aup.html
 
Boston Public Schools, Mass.
http://www.boston.k12.ma.us/WWW/policies/aup.htm
 
Brother Martin High School, New Orleans, La.
http://www.gnofn.org/~brmartin/acpoluse.html
 
Pillager Schools District, Minn.
http://www.pillager.k12.mn.us/iaup.html
 
Austin Independent School District, Texas
http://www.austin.isd.tenet.edu/distprof/aup.html
 
New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology, Hampton, Va.
http://www.nhgs.tec.va.us/contributions/use_policy.html
 
Lakeview High School, Columbus, Neb.
http://gilligan.esu7.k12.ne.us/~lweb/Lakeview/AUP.html
 
Rockbridge County Schools, Lexington, Va.
http://www.rcs.rang.k12.va.us/Internet/aup.htm
 
North Pole High School
http://www3.northstar.k12.ak.us/schools/nph/resource/usepol.htm
 
Culver Education Foundation, Culver, Ind.
http://www.culver.pvt.k12.in.us/pages/acceptuse.html
 
Kentridge High School, Kent, Wash.
http://www.kent.wednet.edu/KSD/KR/Technology/aup.html
 
Cajon Valley Union School District, El Cajon, Calif.
http://www.grossmont.k12.ca.us/cvsd/policy.html
 
Breathhitt County Schools, Jackson, Ky.
http://www.breathitt.k12.ky.us/aup_rule.htm
 
Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School
http://www.curley.pvt.k12.fl.us/OTHERS/ACCEPTAB/ACCEPTAB.HTM
 
Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco, Calif.
http://www.sacred.sf.ca.us/unkefer.web.sites/code.html
 
Idaho Falls School District 91, Idaho
http://www.d91.k12.id.us/www/admin/usepol.htm
 
South Western School District, Hanover, Pa.
http://www.swsd.k12.pa.us/aup.htm
 
Patrick Fogarty Secondary School, Orilla, Ontario, Canada
http://www.encode.com/user/pfss/aup.htm
 
Marshall District #C-2
http://www.vsat.com/mhs/aup.htm
 
Calexico Unified School District, Calif.
http://bordernet.calexico.k12.ca.us/policy/
 
Ridgewood Community High School, Norridge, Ill.
http://www.ridgenet.org/ridge/netuse.htm
 
Honolulu, Hawaii
http://www.k12.hi.us/~atr/ILK/html/policy/aupolicy.html
 
Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Madison, Wisc.
http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/jefferson/aup.htm
 
Shorecrest Preparatory School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
http://www.shorecrest.org/Txt/AccUsePolicy.html
 
Durham Board of Education, East Whitby, Ontario, Canada
http://www.durham.edu.on.ca/acceptableguidelines.htm
 
Paintsville Independent Schools, Ky.
http://www.phs.paintsville.k12.ky.us/aup.htm
 
Lee County Public School System, Va.
http://207.48.129.10/aup3.htm
 
Alpine School District, American Fork, Utah
http://www.alpine.k12.ut.us/ASD/Util/AUP1.html
 
Riverside Unified School District, Calif.
http://www.rusd.k12.ca.us/Education/Technology/AUP.html
 
Greenland Central School, Greenland, N.H.
http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~gcs/aup.htm
 
Montgomery County Public Schools, Blacksburg, Va.
http://www.bev.net/education/schools/admin/int-use.html
 
Christianburg Primary Schools, Va.
http://www.bev.net/education/schools/cps/cpscom.htm
 
Five Forks Middle Schools, Lawrenceville, Ga.
http://www.mindspring.com/~ffms1/aup.html
 
Gilmore College for Girls, Victoria, Australia
http://www.unimelb.edu.au/tisp/wwebs/policies/gilmore.html
 
Warwick State High School, Queensland, Austrailia
http://www.unimelb.edu.au/tisp/wwebs/policies/warwick.html
 
Chico Unified School District, Chico, Calif.
http://wombat.cusd.chico.k12.ca.us/services/policy.html
 
Atlanta High School, Atlanta, Texas
http://atlanta.isd.tenet.edu/aisd_aup.html
 
South Bend Community School Corp., Ind.
http://www.sbcsc.k12.in.us/sbcsc.pages/6440.html
 
Western Cape Schools, Cape Town, South Africa
http://www.wcape.school.za/wcsn/aup.htm
 
Fillmore High School, Calif.
http://www.fillmore.k12.ca.us/about.htm
 
All Saints Episcopal School, Tyler, Texas
http://www.gower.net/Community/All.Saints/policy.html
 
O'Neill High School, Highland Falls, N.Y.
http://www.mhrcc.org/hfcsd/aup.html
 
Central City Public Schools, Central City, Neb.
http://gilligan.esu7.k12.ne.us/~esu7web/resources/aups/cechs.aup.html
 
United Independent School District, Laredo, Texas
http://www.united.isd.tenet.edu/data.html
 
Warwick Schools, R.I.
http://www.warwick.wa.k12.ri.us/parents.htm
 
Churchland Academy Elementary
http://pps.k12.va.us/~caes/aupinet.html
 
 
 
 
Appendix B - K-12 policy attributes
 
 
 
Policy attribute
Percent
Bars violating copyright law
92
Violations may result in loss of access
86
Access is for educational purposes
73
Bars disrupting network
71
Violations may result in disciplinary or legal action
71
Files are not private
71
Bars sending or displaying offensive, obscene, or illegal  messages or pictures
69
Bars inappropriate or obscene language
69
Bars using system to harass, insult, threaten or attack others
65
Access is a priviledge
63
Bars commercial use of network
61
Written parental permission required
59
Internet is worldwide system
55
Internet connects individuals
53
School does not have control over content
51
School not responsible for consequences of using system
49
Bars trespassing in others files
49
Bars sharing passwords
49
Do not give out personal information
49
May contain inappropriate material (not of education value)
47
Bars using others passwords
47
Bars product advertising or political lobbying
45
Bars vandalizing property of other organizatons
41
Bars use for illegal activity
41
Bars intentionally wasting resources
39
Internet support teaching and learning
35
Blocks or otherwise limits access to inappropriate material
35
Report security problems or misuse to authorities
31
May contain offensive information
27
Agree to hold school harmless
24
Do not post personal information about others
24
Student access only with teacher or adult supervision
22
Internet is highway
22
Bars interfering with others work
20
Bars distributuion of trade secrets
20
Respect privacy and rights of others
20
Use at your own risk
18
Training will be provided
18
Parents should monitor home use of system
18
May contain inaccurate information
16
Bars chain letters
16
User is responsible for his account
14
Internet is a network
14
School not financially liable
14
Bars posting anonymous messages
14
Bars plagiarism
14
Parent is responsible for child
12
Benefits outwiegh risks
12
May contain illegal material
12
Bars game playing and gambling
12
Internet is a tool
10
Affirms rights of students to send and receive information
10
Bars non education use
10
Bars unauthorized downloading of software
10
Bars gaining unauthorized access
10
May contain defamatory info
8
Bars breaching security of system
8
Prohibits forgery or impersonation
8
Report inadvertent access of inapprop material
8
Internet contains potential dangers
6
Net contains controversial material
6
Bars loading software onto school system w/o permission
6
System may be prone to interruption
6
opinions etc are not the school's
4
May contain adult-oriented material
4
Bars posting false or defamatory information
4
Bars viewing classified material
4
Do not agree to meet with person you met online w/o perm
4
Do not respond to unsolicited online contact
4
Bars publishing without permission
2
Bars accesssing fee-based info w/o perm
2
Permits upload and download of public domain programs
2
Files are private
2
May inspect file directories
2
 
n=46
 
 
 
Appendix C - Public library policy attributes
 
 
 
Policy attribute
Percent
Library is not responsible for the info. on the Internet
87
States that parents are responsible for children
74
Warns users they may find objectionable material
60
Supports the ALA Bill of Rights in Internet policy
18
Library respects user privacy when using Internet
8
Have time limits on use of Internet workstations
38
Uses filtering software on Internet workstations
2
Has sign-up sheets for use of Internet workstations
23
Charges fees to use Internet workstations
3
Requires users to sign an acceptable use agreement
16
Warns users of loss of net privileges for violations
46
Offers Internet training classes to the public
13
Have some limitations on printing from Internet
23
Limits use of Internet workstations to card-holders
10
Children may use Internet with parent's permission
19
Children may use Internet if accompanied by parent
8
Bars viewing inappropirate material on Internet
19
Bars violation of copyright while using Internet
39
Bars attempts to violate system security
46
Bars use of user's own software
25
Bars using Internet workstations to harass others
20
Bars users from sending e-mail
13
Bars users from using their own disks
9
Bars illegal activities on Internet workstations
42
Bars misrepresenting oneself on the Internet
12
Bars commercial use of the Internet via workstations
8
 
n=116
 
 
 
[1] Al Gore, Speech to the National Press Club, Dec. 21, 1993,
http://sunsite.unc.edu/nii/goremarks.html (4 Jan. 1998).
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]
[10]
[11]
[12]  Policy attributes for the public library study fell into 26 groups. See
David Burt, "Public Library Internet Access Policies," Lake Oswego Public
Library, http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/library/poli.htm (9 Sept. 1997)
[13]  Based on a content analysis of 46 K-12 acceptable use policies,  gathered
Oct. 27, 1997, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Alta Vista search key words: "school
acceptable use policy." See Appendix A for complete list and addresses of
policies sampled.  Attributes were either descriptive statements (i.e., "The
Internet is a worldwide network...") or normative statements (i.e., "Respect the
privacy of others..."). More than 150 attributes were coded, and these were
collapsed into 74 groups (see Appendix B).
[14] One example is Dave Kinnaman, "Critiquing Acceptable Use Policies,"
http://www.io.com/~kinnaman/aupessay.html (19 Sept. 1997)
[15]  "Internet Acceptable Use Policy," Dallas Public Library,
http://www.lib.ci.dallas.tx.us/ (31 March 1998).
[16]  "S.D.H.S. Internet Acceptable Usage Policy," Searsport District High
School, http://home.acadia.net/searsporths/acceptable.html (27 Oct. 1997).
[17]
[18]
[19]
[20]
[21] This data comes from an ongoing content analysis of public library
acceptable use polices by  David Burt, Information Technology Librarian for the
Lake Oswego(OR) Public Library. Information contained here was current as of
Aug. 8, 1997. See David Burt, "Public Library Internet Access Policies," Lake
Oswego Public Library, http:// www.ci.oswego.or.us/library/poli.htm (9 Sept.
1997). See also David Burt, "Policies for the Use of Public Internet
Workstations in Public Libraries," Public Libraries, May/June 1997.
[22] James Boyle calls these three conditions the "Internet Trinity," although
he does not necessarily agree that the Internet is beyond governmental control.
See James Boyle, "Foucault in Cyberspace: Suveillance, Sovereignty, and
Hard-Wired Censors," http://www.wcl.american.edu/ pub/faculty/boyle/foucault.htm
(25 Feb. 1998).
[23]
[24]  Althusser distinguished the ideological state apparatus from the
repressive state appartus, such as the police or the military, which functions
by violence or threat of violence.
[25]
[26]
[27]

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