University Policy on the Use of IT Facilities
It is the policy of the University to maintain, for academic purposes, access for its community to local, national and international sources of information and to provide an atmosphere that encourages access to knowledge and sharing of information.It is the policy of the University that computing facilities will be used by members of its community with respect for the public trust through which they have been provided, and in accordance with policy and regulations established from time to time by the University and its Faculties, Board of Studies, Board of Schools, Colleges and other bodies.
In accordance with the above policies, the University works to create an intellectual environment in which all members may feel free to create and to collaborate with colleagues both at the University of Durham and at other institutions without fear that the products of their intellectual efforts will be violated by misrepresentation, tampering, destruction or theft.
Access to the computing facilities both within the University and without, sharing of information, and security of the intellectual products of the community, all require that each and every user accept responsibility to protect the rights of the community. Any member of the University community who, without authorisation, accesses, uses, destroys, alters, dismantles or disfigures University computing facilities, including those owned by third parties, thereby threatens the atmosphere of increased access to those facilities. Such a person threatens the security within which other members of the community may create intellectual products and maintain records, and in the light of the University's policy in this area, has engaged in unethical and unacceptable conduct.
In the final analysis, the health and well-being of this resource is the responsibility of its users who must all guard against abuses which disrupt or threaten the long-term viability of the systems at the University of Durham and beyond. The University requires that members of its community act in accordance with these responsibilities, this policy, relevant laws and contractual obligations, and the highest standard of ethics. The University characterises as unethical and unacceptable, and just cause for taking disciplinary action within the regulations of the University, and/or legal action, any activity which, without the prior permission of a properly recognised authority:
- accesses, modifies, tampers with or destroys or in any way jeopardises the integrity of any stored program or data;
- uses, modifies, tampers with, damages or destroys any computer equipment, which shall include moving, opening or disconnecting the equipment, or attaching other equipment:
- removes, defaces, or destroys printouts, documents or support material;
- copies, modifies, deletes, disseminates, breaches confidentiality or copyright requirements, or uses any part of information not provided by or generated by or addressed to the persons involved, which may become available to them in whatever form through their use of University computer facilities.
This policy applies to any member of the University of Durham or user of University IT facilities whether at the University or beyond. IT facilities include computer and computer peripherals, communications lines and equipment (including telephone equipment used for data communications purposes), computer software and information stored in computer systems. Individual units within the University may define "conditions of use" for the facilities under their control. These conditions must be consistent with this overall policy, with the General Regulations of the University and with the Regulations for the Use of IT Computing Facilities, but may provide additional detail, guidelines and/or restrictions.
(The University acknowledges that this Policy Statement is freely adapted from a Statement issued by the University of Michigan).