BetaBeat is reporting that Northern Illinois University has enacted an Acceptable Use Policy that denies students access to social media sites and other content the university considers “unethical” or “obscene.”
Effective for residents, students and staff, the restrictions span across the NIU network, which includes both campus research and education center as well as the school’s Wifi network. Enacted July 25, the revised policy isn’t entirely new, but the implementation of a new filter that will strictly enforce it is.
One of the most controversial of the restriction is on political activities such as surveying, polling, material distribution, vote solicitation and organization or participation in meetings, rallies and demonstrations, among other activities.
In addition, illicit activity discovered during “routine monitoring” by the university is grounds for an investigation. According to BetaBeat, the policy is loaded with phrases like “but not limited to” and “etc.” to make it all as vague as possible. What exactly each bullet point means is unclear, but the idea of such censorship is concerning students.