Is BUMail really just for “U”?

MOE SIMMONS | STAFF REPORTER

 

While students are in class, a Dawg Alert is sent out to the entire campus. The Butler University Police Department has reason to suspect that someone is a potential threat to the safety of the campus.

BUPD does not know for sure who the person could be. It would need more personal information to narrow whom the threat is.

Could anyone’s messages be searched? Is personal information actually private online?

If an on-campus crisis or emergency ever happened, junior Evan Krauss, student support service member for the information department, said personal information will still be safe.

In a hypothetical sense, if something drastic such as the example above occurred, Krauss said the school will not go through BUmail for security purposes or prevention.

Krauss is the first person an individual will talk to when discussing technological and security issues with their devices.

Butler’s Information Technology prefers to use the least amount of personal information possible when dealing with any issues regarding technology.

Krauss said his position would not deal with severe emergency issues. However, IT does not grant permission for personal information for higher positions.

“Across the board at IT, we do not want to know your information,” he said. “Just for your sake and our sake, we do not need to know those types of things. We know your Butler email is fine. Your password, we don’t want to know that.”

Higher positions in IT deal with solving more difficult computer issues rather than granting permission for personal accounts. Krauss said the IT department does not have that type of access, nor do they want it.

Freshman Marvin Scott, Jr., said he considers himself to be an open person. However, when it comes to the Internet and emails, he prefers to keep his information private.

Scott is the son of a Butler professor. He said he believes Butler should not be able to go through personal emails alone. But, he said, if the campus is at risk, it should bring in outside help.

“I do believe that, however, if there is a security crisis on campus or something like that, they should go to national authorities,” he said. “They should go through a different authority, so, technically, they aren’t doing that.”

However, Scott said he believes Butler could go through personal emails if it wanted to.

“Butler University is a private institution,” he said. “That means they can basically do whatever they want with anything that has their name on it, including the emails.”

David Harting is a senior computer science major. He said he considers himself to be a private person and prefers to keep information to himself.

“I don’t like the idea of other people seeing what I write in private,” he said, “or having my ideas presented in front of people. Stuff gets taken out of context.”

When it comes to the Internet privacy  Harting said he believes nothing is private on the Internet. Nothing can be completely secure, and he does not trust any type of online privacy.

An outside example that relates to Harting’s belief in online privacy is the incident between North Korea and Sony for the distribution of “The Interview,” according to The New York Times.

Guardians of Peace, a North Korean hack group, wanted all access of the movie taken down of the website. The group threatened the employees and executives of the company to release embarrassing information if they did not comply.

Sony ended up taking down the movie after its networks were hacked and the threats were heightened.

In regard to Butler, Harting said in a case of an emergency, he thinks the school can go through emails since it is considered its property.  It should be used for protection, not prediction.

“For personal emails I believe in the right of privacy unless someone breaks the laws. Then Butler can search,” Harting said. “I am OK with it; however, it becomes dangerous when they are looking through people’s emails to predict it.”

Some students believe in special circumstances for the university to go through private information. Although, the school does not have the ability to do it nor want to.

“We want as little information from someone as possible to fix their issue,” Krauss said. “That is just out of respect and courtesy for their privacy, because we don’t need to know most things that most people think we need to know..”

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