Scope | Control of IT Facilities | Authorisation | Use of Facilities | Additional Rules for use of Central Computing Service Facilities | Web Servers & Sites | External Guidelines | Infringements
1. These guidelines cover
the use of University of Essex owned or licensed IT facilities, including
computers, peripherals, networks, software and data, and also IT facilities
owned by other organisations or privately owned which are directly attached to
the University data network, physically or by wireless connection, or which use
for data transfer telephone lines serving the University. These are all referred
to as "University IT facilities" for the purpose of these guidelines.
2. The guidelines lay down
obligations applying to all users of University IT facilities, and to staff and
students of the University using other IT facilities to communicate with or
otherwise use University IT facilities. They supplement, and in some cases
reiterate, English law relating to the use of IT facilities. Breach of these
guidelines constitutes a breach of University regulations.
3. The Information Systems Services web site
gives further guidance and advice on the use of IT facilities, as well as
additional rules and guidelines which may be issued from time to time on the use
of central facilities.
4. The University reserves
the right to exercise control over all activities on its IT facilities and
networks, including monitoring of systems and electronic communications and
access to external electronic resources. The reasons for undertaking such
monitoring include: to establish the existence of facts, to ascertain compliance
with regulatory or self-regulatory practices or procedures or to ascertain or
demonstrate standards which are or ought to be achieved (quality control and
training), to prevent or detect crime, to investigate or detect unauthorised use
of telecommunication systems or, to secure, or as an inherent part of, effective
5. This monitoring is
permitted within the terms allowed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act
(RIP) 2000 and The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception
of Communications) Regulations 2000. These Regulations constitute formal notice
that communications may be intercepted for reasons allowed within these Acts.
6. To use any IT facilities
at the University you must have authorisation to use those specific facilities.
This authorisation is granted by the department owning the facilities. (In these
Guidelines, "department" means academic department, centre, institute,
administrative section, or service.)
7. In addition, if the
facilities are controlled by a central computing account and password, you must
be registered with the Computing Service and have your own central computing
account and password, or you must be using a special computing account set up
for teaching purposes and which you have been temporarily authorised to use. The
central computing account and password is usable throughout the University. (An
example of an IT facility which does not require a computing account is a
Library catalogue terminal. Permission to use such terminals is granted as part
of the general authorisation to use the Library.)
8. If you are an authorised
user of an active computing account and password, you are thereby permitted to
use the central IT user services run by the Computing Service.
The criteria governing those eligible to register for a computing account
are available on request from Information Systems Services and on the University
web site. Students are allocated a computing account automatically as part of
their initial registration with the University. Staff and others eligible to use
IT facilities must register explicitly with the Information Systems Services
using the relevant form.
10. Computing accounts and
passwords are granted to individuals, or in certain cases to groups of
individuals. You must not use, or attempt to gain access to, the computing
account belonging to another individual or group of individuals. In the case of
an individual account, you must not disclose your password to any other person
nor allow another person to use your account. If you are a member of a group
with a group account, you must not disclose the password to any person outside
the group nor allow any person outside the group to use the account. As an
exception, a head of department may grant a staff member the right temporarily
to use the account of another individual or group with the agreement of the
latter, for example in an individual's absence.
11. You may use University
IT facilities for purposes related to University work or study, and for a
limited and reasonable amount of personal use. Such use is a privilege and not a
right and must not inhibit or interfere with the use by others for University
12. You must not use
University IT facilities for outside work, whether paid or unpaid, or for
non-University activities which generate income, except by explicit permission
of a head of department, and in the case of central facilities the Director of
13. You must not use
University IT facilities to engage in any unlawful activity, or to infringe
14. You must not use
University IT facilities without permission. This includes using computers and
networks, or accessing, copying, reading, or storing software, databases,
messages or data. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to any
University IT facilities, or use University facilities to gain unauthorised
access to other IT facilities.
15. You must not deliberately or
recklessly act in a way which directly or indirectly causes disruption to
others' use of University IT facilities, or so use University IT facilities to
disrupt the use of IT facilities elsewhere.
16. You must not knowingly
download, transmit, store, generate or use any program, tool or virus designed
to damage or disrupt or in any other way interfere with the functioning of IT
facilities, unless explicitly authorised to do so as part of your University
work, and you must take sufficient care to minimise the risk of doing this
inadvertently. If you suspect you have a virus then you must take action to
17. You must not alter
computer material on University IT facilities without permission of the owner or
licence holder. This includes systems software, other software, configurations,
databases, messages, data files, web pages or web sites. Likewise you must not
use University IT facilities to alter computer material elsewhere without
18. In general, systems and
application software that is installed or otherwise available within the
University is protected by licence agreements. You must not use such software
unless you have permission to use it under University licence agreements. You
must not copy software which is installed or otherwise available unless you have
explicit permission or own a licence which permits you to do that.
19. You must treat as
confidential any information to which you gain access in using University IT
facilities and which is not on the face of it intended for unrestricted
dissemination. You must not copy, modify or disseminate such information without
explicit permission from an authorised person. The ability to read or alter
information held on a computer system does not imply permission to do so.
20. Any information about
living individuals must be held in accordance with University policy and the
responsibilities as a Data User under the Data Protection Act 1998. Further
guidance is available on these responsibilities is given on the Records
Management website or from the University Information Manager.
21. In order to ensure effective
running of IT services, or to manage costs, the University from time to time
imposes controls on the use of systems. An example is the use of firewalls in
some areas of the University. You must not attempt to circumvent such controls.
22. You must not use University
IT facilities to create, transmit, store, download or display any offensive,
obscene, indecent or menacing images, data or other material, or any data
capable of being resolved into such material. (There are certain exceptions for
academic purposes, which require the explicit authorisation of a head of
23. You must not use
University IT facilities to defame, harass, offend or hinder another person, by
creation, transmission, storage, download or display of materials, or by other
24. You must not send an
email or message that does not correctly identify you as the sender, or which
appears to originate from another person, or otherwise attempt to impersonate
another person. You must not send unsolicited emails to a large number of
recipients, without proper authorisation to do so, or unless the recipients have
indicated an interest in or consented to receiving such email.
25. You must not use
University IT facilities to create, access, store or transmit material in a way
which infringes a copyright, trade mark, or other intellectual property right.
26. You must not cause
damage to University-owned IT facilities, or move or remove such facilities
without authorisation. Any damaged or faulty facilities should be reported to
that repairs can be made.
27. In using central
facilities you must observe rules or guidelines issued from time to time by
Information Systems Services.
28. Open access computing
laboratories are open long hours, some of them around the clock. To help keep
them in working condition, you must not cause litter or damage, and must not
bring food or drink into the laboratories or consume it there, except by prior
arrangement with the Computing Service. You must not smoke in the laboratories.
29. You must vacate computers in
open access laboratories promptly when the laboratory is being closed, at the
start of a booked teaching or demonstration session, or at other times when
requested by an authorised member of staff.
30. Computers are not allowed to
be reserved by individuals.
31. You must not use
laboratory computers for non-work purposes if the laboratory is full and any
user is waiting for a machine.
32. Certain work stations in
open access laboratories have special facilities to support disabled users. You
must vacate such a work station should somebody with a requirement to use its
resources need it.
33. You must not attempt to
change or reconfigure the operating system or other software on open access
34. A web server set up on
University IT facilities must be authorised by a head of department, or by the
Director of Information Systems, and the server must be registered with
Information Systems Services. (Web servers with restricted access, authorised
and set up as part of IT course work or research, are exempt from the preceding
provision.) The person setting up or registering the server is responsible for
ensuring that the server is well-managed, and that its content and management
complies with these guidelines. (Web server
35. Third party or guest web
sites may be hosted on University IT facilities only with the agreement of the
Director of Information Systems and must be registered with Information Systems
Services by a University staff member or student. The person registering the
site is responsible for ensuring that its content and management complies with
36. You must comply with all relevant external guidelines and laws which affect your use of University IT facilities, including:
Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988
Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992
37. If a student of the
University is found to infringe these guidelines, his or her computing account
may be suspended by the Director of Information Systems and a report made to the
Proctor and the relevant head of department.
38. If a member of the
University staff is found to infringe these guidelines, his or her computing
account may be suspended by the Director of Information Systems acting on behalf
of the Vice-Chancellor, and a report made to the Vice-Chancellor and the
relevant head of department.
39. If an authorised user
who is neither a student nor a staff member of the University is found to
infringe these guidelines, his or her authorisation will be revoked and
computing account withdrawn by the Director of Information Systems.
40. If material accessible via the University network, including a web site or server, is suspected to be in violation of these guidelines, then access to the material, or to the systems hosting the material, may be suspended by the Director of Information Systems pending an investigation.
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