V. Ownership and Disclosure of Information

    The University owns the computers and networks that comprise the institutional information technology infrastructure. The electronic allocation of file space to a user does not assign legal ownership of the content. Rather, it is the granting of permission to use these institutional facilities subject to the policies and regulations of the University and applicable statutes. Collective bargaining agreements and related University policies govern ownership of intellectual property.

    Files stored on University systems may be subject to disclosure under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act or the Hawai‘i Uniform Information Practices Act. In addition, it is the policy of the University to cooperate with all legally empowered investigations initiated by law enforcement agencies when presented with a legitimate court order such as a warrant or subpoena. As has been made abundantly clear in highly publicized legal cases, this may include archives of electronic mail sent or received. In addition, the contents of files on University systems may be inspected in the context of a duly authorized University investigation.

    Users should be aware that most institutional systems are backed up on a routine basis to ensure the ability to recover from computer or network failures or disturbances. Backup procedures are generally not designed or intended for long-term storage of files. However, all users should be aware that files or email messages that they have deleted may still persist on backups and may therefore be subject to disclosure in a duly authorized investigation.