UNH CIS Signals

Information Technology Laws You Should Know

Petr Brym

November, 2008

Police car lightsDid you know that attempting to access another person’s computer account is not only a violation of the UNH policy on Acceptable Use for Information Technology Resources, but may be a crime? When accessing services online, whether on the UNH campus or on the Internet, computer users are often prompted with a login screen where we are asked for our username and password. While the screen may not have the exact language saying so, entering someone else’s username and trying to guess their password is something that you should not and must not do. This was one of the many helpful clarifications offered by State of New Hampshire Deputy Attorney General Bud Fitch, who kicked off UNH’s October Cyber Security speaker series with his presentation about the State of New Hampshire Laws that pertain to Information Technology.

Fitch also discussed RSA 359-C20, the requirements for providing notice of a security breach. If you work at UNH and handle, store, transmit personal information, or provide services or technologies to facilitate such activities, you must be aware of this statute. Without delay, you must also report the situation to the UNH Chief Information Officer Tom Franke (tom.franke@unh.edu) and UNH IT Security Officer Petr Brym (it.security@unh.edu) if you have reason to believe that such personal data was lost, stolen, or could otherwise become available to unauthorized persons. Visit cis.unh.edu/itsecurity to view a copy of this statute and other helpful information. The Chief Information Officer and IT Security Officer will then work with you, USNH Legal Counsel, and other appropriate decision-makers to determine whether the situation requires further notification to the State of New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, as well as those persons whose personal information may have been compromised. Failure to communicate situations that may fall under this statute could have grave legal, financial, and public relations consequences. Please contact it.security@unh.edu to learn more about this reporting requirement as it relates to Information Technology and your work at UNH.

Visit doj.nh.gov/index.html for the New Hampshire Department of Justice’s wealth of information. Additionally, visit nh.gov/government/laws.html to view the State of New Hampshire Statues as well as any updates to RSA 359-C20.