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Thursday, 13 September 2007 10:05


Unlawful behaviours

External attacks


Internet has become part of our daily life. This dramatic change happened quite swiftly. Only ten years ago seemed to us highly improbable and futuristic to perform an action so usual nowadays like sending an e-mail. On the other hand now, only thinking of being deprived, for any reason, of the connection to Internet means an insuperable drawback. All that has been said to demonstrate how much the Web and new technologies are pervading our work, study and recreational activities.

Internet is not an option any more, in school it has become an important didactic and administrative instrument. The basic technical skills to use the Web - more and more widespread among managers, teachers, administrative staff and students - are adequate to grant a legal and conscious use of the Web? Probably NOT!

Observing the behaviours of some Web users we can notice dubious conduct or even illegal. Some examples:

  • privacy and image protection violation;
  • slander;
  • unauthorized access to a computer system;
  • diffusion of programs intended to damage or to interrupt a computer system;
  • copyright law violation;
  • illicit interception, restriction or interruption of telematic connections;
  • use not according with school policy;


Italian law defines two classes of crimes:

  1. not computer related
  2. computer related

Are defined not computer related crimes:

All crimes or violations of Civil Law or Penal Code in which the use of computer technology has not been a determining factor to perform the act itself.

some examples:

  • insult;
  • slander;
  • threats and annoyances;
  • unlawful personal data processing and privacy violation;
  • copyright violation.

even if those crimes are committed using technologic instruments ( e-mail, dicussion groups, chat lines, short messages, web pages) they still are considered not computer related crimes and are punished accordingly.

Are defined computer crimes:

All crimes or violations of Civil Law or Penal Code in which the use of computer technology has been a determining factor to perform the act itself

some examples:

  • unauthorized access to a computer system;(art. 615 ter Penal Code)
  • diffusion of programs intended to damage or to interrupt a computer system; (art. 615 quinques)
  • computer damage(articolo 635 bis);
  • unlawful possession of access codes to computer systems;(art. 615 quater)
  • informatic fraud.(art. 640 ter)

The two faces of computer outlaws: hacker and cracker
The term hacker usually has a rather negative connotation, though the New Hacker's Dictionary by Eric S. Raymond defines a hacker "A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities".
Cracker is somebody who acts to break the law with the purpose of causing damage.

Unlawful behaviours

This term defines all behaviours and attitudes towards computers that are not "appropriate" to work and/or school context.
To invest online in the stock market or to visit pornographic web sites as an adult is not a crime and cannot be punished.
But if those activities are done at work or in the computer class at school this behaviour can be criticized.
But to what extent?
"Unappropriate" behaviours could not be questioned if the employee or the student has never acknowleged a document clearly forbidding such activities. For this reason is important to develop and disseminate an internet use policy.
Policies are a group of shared rules that define a clear and correct attitude all users must keep when using Internet. For further information refer to the site section concerning the policy issue.

Referring to the previous examples, the school principal can state that investing online in the stock market or visiting pornographic web sites at work or in school are behaviours unappropriate to working or learning purposes, also because facilities (computers, internet connection) owned and paid by the school are used for private purposes.

External attacks

In this class are included all informatic crimes against the Institution committed by persons not belonging to the school or belonging to the school but physically located outside the school at the moment of the offence.

The crime can damage the school and/or a third party. At any rate the school principal can be held responsible for Civil or Penal Code violations. For further information refer to the privacy sectiion.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 May 2009 10:25
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