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Official Information Security Management System (ISMS) symbol. Information on this page is an important part of our security policy Legal compliance policy

Like all forms of communication, all uses of the Internet and e-mail are subject to all relevant legislation. Staff shall therefore familiarise them selves with the key provisions of the following legislation:

To ensure compliance with information and computer legislation, as well as these guidelines, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) has the right to monitor any use made of the Internet and inspect the contents of e-mail and file transfers received, or sent, by its users as specified in HFRS Communication, Internet, Intranet and Monitoring Policy.

Other particular points to note are provided below:


Like all correspondence, e-mail cannot be regarded as purely private and only seen by the intended recipient. It may also be regarded as official correspondence of HFRS. Staff shall be aware that e-mail can be stored, forwarded and distributed to large numbers of people at the touch of a button. Therefore be aware that:

e-Mail has been used successfully as evidence in libel cases and industrial tribunals. Sending defamatory mail, even internally, could make HFRS liable to pay heavy damages to injured parties.

It should also be noted that the 1998 Data Protection Act gives data subjects the right to request disclosure of their personal details contained in e-mails.


Under the 1988 Copyright, Designs & Patents Act the illegal copying of software is regarded as theft.

The rights of computer software designers/writers are protected by this Act. It is an

offence to copy, publish, adapt or use computer software without the specific authority of the copyright holders.

The full text of the 1988 Copyright, Designs & Patents Act is available on the HMSO web site.

Staff shall be aware that all software or data files developed by staff on HFRS’s computing equipment are the property of HFRS. They may not be made available for use outside of HFRS without prior approval.

Any breach of the Act could result in disciplinary or even legal action.

Managers shall ensure that all software has been obtained legally.

HFRS staff shall not engage in illegal file sharing on HFRS computing equipment which may result in a breach of copyright under the 2010 Digital Economy Act

Third-party information

Some of the information you receive or obtain from clients, suppliers and other third parties may be confidential or contain proprietary information. Like any other confidential information HFRS has a duty to maintain its confidentiality and only use it for certain limited business purposes consistent with any applicable agreements which HFRS may have with the third party.

When making use of third party information users shall be aware that such information may be protected by intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright under the 1988 Copyright, Designs & Patents Act) and such usage may be subject to limitations and restrictions. Particular care is needed when sending attached files or reproducing information from the Internet.

Computer Misuse Act

1990 Computer Misuse Act compliance guidance

The 1990 Computer Misuse Act introduced the following offences in relation to computer misuse:

Managers should ensure that computer equipment, software, and peripherals are only used by authorised personnel for authorised purposes.

In order to gain full protection from unauthorised use it is necessary to warn prospective users that they must be authorised. Please note that any breach of the Act could result in disciplinary or even legal action.

The full text of the 1990 Computer Misuse Act is available on the HMSO web site.

Data Protection Act/Freedom of Information

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has an Information Compliance Officer and information on Data Protection can be accessed here: along with information on the Freedom of Information Act:

Health and safety display screen equipment

To comply with the Heath and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (the DSE Regulations) and amendments made to these regulations in 2002. Users should refer for further information on the DSE regulations here: