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The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is here

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

The Protection of Personal Information Act (4 of 2013) (POPIA) is in full effect from 1 July 2021.  A brief summary of the POPIA Act is available here.

To support the University community’s readiness for POPIA, the Division for Information Governance has launched a series of guides and tools at www.sun.ac.za/privacy, including our institutional privacy regulations, an online privacy impact self-assessment, and channels for reporting incidents or breaches of personal information.

The Division for Information Governance also offers awareness sessions, facilitated privacy impact assessments, and internal advisory and consulting services by request. For more details, contact privacy@sun.ac.za

Also read POPIA: How valuable is personal information?

Everlytic, the digital messaging platform, also has various of helpful articles on its website, as well as a handy POPIA Powerpoint guide.

Downloading of films and series can be traced and fined

Thursday, May 20th, 2021

With a fast internet connection and unlimited, “free” internet, it’s possible to download movies and series to your heart’s content. Unless you use a pay streaming platform it’s also illegal. Additionally, if you use the university’s network and/or devices it’s also a breach of the university’s Electronic Communications Policy – a policy all students and staff agree to when they annually activate their network access. Therefore your network access can be revoked if you are caught downloading and hosting illegal content.

Up to a few years back television networks and film companies weren’t geared to trace and stop downloading and distribution of illegal movies. It was just too difficult and not cost-effective. This is no longer the case – even in South Africa. Everything you do online can be tracked and traced.  

Information Technology receive regular notifications from companies such as Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures indicating that illegal, copyrighted material is being downloaded and seeded (distributed) from IP addresses within the university’s network. These emails include the specific IP address which we can trace to the user, the material downloaded and distributed and at which times. When we receive these notifications, we immediately send an email to the user of the address with a written warning. If they do not comply, these companies will take legal action.

The distribution or seeding of copyrighted material without a licence is both a criminal and civil offence in South Africa, even if distribution takes place from BitTorrent. Just because it’s available via a torrent, it doesn’t mean it’s legal.

In South Africa, under the Copyright Law of 1978, you can be sentenced for up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to R10,000 for each item you distribute. Between 2010 and 2012, 200,000 people have been sued for uploading and downloading copyright material via BitTorrent.

So before you download the latest episode of your favourite series or stream movies from an illegal file sharing site, consider the consequences. There are many legal options to watch media online, from Netflix  to Showmax, so rather be safe and legal.

MORE INFORMATION:

How does BitTorrent and seeding work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent 

http://www.bittorrent.com/help/guides/beginners-guide

 


Example of a warning letter:

We are writing this letter on behalf of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (“Rights Holder”) who own certain rights under copyright law in the title White House Down.

You are receiving this notice because your Internet account was identified as having been used recently to copy and/or distribute illegally the copyrighted motion pictures and/or television shows listed at the bottom of this notice. This notice provides you with the information you need in order to take immediate action that can prevent serious legal and other consequences. These actions include:

1. Stop downloading or uploading without authorization any motion pictures or TV shows owned or distributed by Rights Holder; and
2. Permanently delete from your computer(s) all unauthorized copies you may have already made of these movies and TV shows.
If this notice is being received by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), please forward the notice to the individual associated with the activities.
The unauthorized distribution or public performance of copyrighted works constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, Title 17 U.S Code Section 106(3)-(4). This conduct may also violate the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and The Universal Copyright Convention, as well as bilateral treaties with other countries that allow for protection of Rights Holder copyrighted works even beyond U.S borders.
Below is the detail for your reference:
– ————- Infringement Details ———————————-
Title: White House Down
Timestamp: 2013-09-19T23:18:28Z
IP Address: 146.232.***.**
Port: *****
Type: BitTorrent
Torrent Hash: *************************************


 [SOURCE: http://mybroadband.co.za]

 

 

External emails not delivered

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Since Friday, 30 April, many external emails have not been delivered to SU staff and student mailboxes. These messages have been placed under quarantine by Microsoft for security reasons.

The issue was reported to Microsoft earlier this week and is receiving urgent attention from both Microsoft’s engineers as well as our own system engineers. 

We realise that important messages might have been queued and therefore we will release all pending messages tomorrow ((Friday, 7 May) afternoon at 16:00 as a temporary solution to the problem.

Please take note that messages could include spam or phishing emails and you need to be extra careful when dealing with these particular messages.

We apologise for the inconvenience and hope that the situation will be resolved soon. 
Any enquiries regarding this can be logged on the ICT Partner Portal.

POPIA: How valuable is personal information?

Thursday, April 15th, 2021

Personal information has value—to the individual, to researchers, to the University, and to malicious attackers. The first step towards appropriately securing personal information involves building a proper understanding of the value of the personal information you use for institutional processes and research projects.

The Division for Information Governance has launched an online privacy impact self-assessment tool. The assessment allows you to quickly assess the value of personal information based on legislative definitions and how the information may be abused by malicious users. The assessment results provide further guidance on addressing the risks associated with working with higher value personal information.

For the more complex or higher value institutional processes and research projects, the Division offers facilitated impact assessments. For more details, visit www.sun.ac.za/privacy or contact privacy@sun.ac.za.

Also read our previous article, “Getting ready for the Protection of Personal Information Act”  here.

[Article provided by Division for Information Governance]

Change your password online

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

In the past, the IT Service Desk was your first stop when you forgot your password (we know, it happens to us too!) or had to change your password. Unfortunately, due to various security risks, as well as the very strict new data protection acts, the Service Desk is no longer allowed to change or reset your password for you. (You can read more about the university’s own Data Privacy Regulation here)

We would like to encourage staff and students to use the Password Selfhelp website in future. We realise that this might be inconvenient, but for your and our own protection, we will have to follow this procedure. 

 The Password Selfhelp website (www.sun.ac.za/password) offers two options: 

  1. Change Password for users who know what their password is and want to change it. 
  2. Reset Password for users who forgot their password. 

To use the online Password Selfhelp, your cellphone number or an alternative email address has to be on the HR records, otherwise, you will not be able to change your password. You can update this information by logging onto SUN-e-HR though the staff portal,  http://my.sun.ac.za or contacting your department’s HR contact person. 

Select the My Profile link – Personal Information

Log on to SUN-e-HR.

Select Basic Details – Update, Other, Personal Email Address 

or

Select  Phone Numbers – Update

During the password change process a PIN code, consisting of 8 numbers, will be SMSed or emailed to the user (depending on which option he/she selected) Please use this PIN to change your password on the self help website. As soon as the password has been changed, the user will be notified by means of SMS or email.

If you have not requested a password change, please notify the IT Service Desk immediately at 808 4367.

IMPORTANT!

If you are working from home you will also need to follow these instructions after you’ve changed your password to ensure that it sync properly across devices and accounts.

 

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