Does Bethany use a web filter to block objectionable content?
Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) has chosen to provide internet services in order to facilitate access to information that is useful for students in achieving their academic goals and for faculty and staff who assist the students in fulfilling their goals. As a reflection of the Bethany Lutheran College’s mission statement, the College chooses to not provide resources that it believes to be contrary to the educational and spiritual mission of the College.
In the same manner in which the BLC Memorial Library selects resources for inclusion in its offerings based upon usefulness in fulfilling the academic mission of the College, Internet service is designed to offer a positive addition to the academic resources available to students, faculty and staff. Just as some publications are not suitable for inclusion in the College library, some internet sites are not suitable for access through the College network.
As the Internet is constantly growing and changing, the College does not claim the ability to monitor the content and quality of all sites. We have chosen to limit access to certain categories of content that do not seem to have any inherent academic value and are likely to contain material at odds with the mission of the College. Such distinctions are by definition subjective. Some sites that are legitimate for academic research will inadvertently be blocked. Partial sites cannot be blocked. It is all or nothing.
Our internet filter is managed by our internet provider. While it can block many categories, we have the following content blocked:
- Adult Content such as child and adult pornography is blocked.
- Explicit art, obscene and tasteless content, and sites with R-rated materials produce a warning.
- Paper mills which facilitate cheating are blocked.
- File sharing applications are limited in available bandwidth. This is part of our compliance with the Higher Education Act.
- Known virus, phishing, spyware and proxy sites are blocked.
If there is an obvious category of sites that are legitimate by College standards and are necessary for academic work at BLC, a request to review such content can be submitted to the Director of Information Technology Services or the Dean of Students.
Can I use my Xbox (and other gaming consoles) to connect to the Internet?
Yes. You will need to bring your console to the IT Services office (Meyer Hall 203) for us to set it up. Bear in mind that gaming traffic gets assigned a lower priority than other network traffic, and your console may not be able to connect during peak usage times.
Can I use peer-to-peer file sharing programs (Napster, KaZaa, BitTorrent, eDonkey, etc.) while at Bethany?
No. Access to peer-to-peer file sharing programs is blocked for several reasons. First, it consumes a tremendous amount of bandwidth, slowing the performance of legitimate academic applications. Second, the legality of file-sharing programs remains in doubt, and as a Christian college, we strive to uphold the law. Third, because of the dubious legality, the RIAA and other organizations have launched punitive lawsuits against both colleges and individual students over peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, and we wish to protect both the college and our students from costly litigation.
However, we try to allow access to legal online music distributors, such as the iTunes Music Store, GrooveShark, and Last.fm.
Can I play on-line computer games (World of Warcraft, other MMORPGs, Battle.net, etc.) over the Bethany network?
Yes. However, only a limited amount of bandwidth is available for gaming, so you may be unable to connect during peak traffic times. (The status of on-line gaming servers, of course, is beyond our control.)