No first amendment rights on government computers

E-mail is for official use only. It is not intended for sending jokes, spiritual inspirations, chain letters or offensive material. (Photo illustration by Margo Wright)

E-mail is for official use only. It is not intended for sending jokes, spiritual inspirations, chain letters or offensive material. (Photo illustration by Margo Wright)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- "I just hate my boss!" my friend said in an e-mail.
   "Dear Friend, this is not a chain letter!"
   "My church is having a benefit concert ..."
   What's the harm in forwarding your club, volunteer or religious organization e-mails to the other Tinker members?
   Murphy's Law takes effect here, resulting in your e-mails being delivered to hundreds of people throughout your organization and others. Accidentally, the e-mails are re-routed to someone you didn't want to see your hateful message. You only meant for your friend to see it. Someone always gets hurt and there is no luck associated with e-mails.
   Hence, it is pointless to send five copies of an e-mail to people you know. In fact, it is vigorously discouraged. By sending these messages through the government e-mail service, you are needlessly burdening an already overworked system.
   If you break the chain and fail to send five copies of this letter to other unfortunate individuals, then absolutely nothing extraordinary will happen to you -- except not having to explain to your commander why you were using government equipment for personal communication or gain.
   While it is human to gossip, using a government computer to send the latest news is not tolerated at Tinker.
   E-mail has become an integral part of the job and a critical resource in accomplishing the Air Force mission. Use of e-mail comes with responsibilities, which each user must understand and follow.
   Whether you are military, civilian or contractor, your Department of Defense e-mail account is for conducting official business. It is not for sharing your political views, opinion of your favorite sports team, sending the latest jokes and spiritual inspirations, forwarding chain letters or sending harassing, intimidating, abusive or offensive material to or about others. The misuse of e-mail may result in mandatory retraining or possibly the loss of network access.
   Use common sense and be professional. If you have to ask yourself "should I send this?" then maybe you shouldn't. Because once you send it, you no longer control where it ends up. Think before you send.
   So, if you enjoyed this story please send it to five of your friends for good luck. 
   (Editor's note: Stacy Cameron, 72nd Communic-ations Squadron contributed to this article.)