Ohio University Policy and Procedure

Computer and Network Use Policies

SUPERCEDED on October 28, 2002

Current Version

Procedure No.:   91.003

Page No.:        1, 2 and 3 of 3

Date Issued:     2/4/97

Issued By:       David Fritchley

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General Principles

Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Ohio University imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to university policies, and local, state, and federal statutes.

Access to the university's computing facilities and resources is granted solely to Ohio University faculty, staff, registered students, and individuals outside the university who are authorized to use services that have been made available through Ohio University. The university reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing privileges and access to its resources.

Computers and network resources can provide access to resources both on and off campus. Such open access is a privilege, and requires that individual users act in a responsible and acceptable manner. Acceptable use always is ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. Acceptable use demonstrates respect for intellectual property, truth in communication, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals' right to privacy and freedom of intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance. The university considers any violation of acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense and reserves the right to test and monitor security, and copy and examine any files or information resident on university systems allegedly related to unacceptable use.

Those who do not abide by the policies and guidelines listed below should expect at least suspension of computer privileges and possible disciplinary action in accordance with university rules for misconduct and existing judicial, disciplinary, or personnel processes. Offenders may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state laws, and should expect the university to pursue such action.

Computer Services/Communication Network Services should be notified about violations of computer laws and policies, as well as about potential loopholes in the security of its computer systems and network. The user community is expected to cooperate with Computer Services/Communication Network Services in its operation of computer systems and networks as well as in the investigation of misuse or abuse.


Ohio University's computers, networks, and other information resources (i.e., Web pages, Gopher servers, and other information servers) may not be used in any manner prohibited by law or disallowed by licenses, contracts, or university regulations. Organizations, faculty, staff, and individuals are accountable for the information they publish across computing resources, and they must be aware of university policies regarding confidential information, harassment, use of university computer, and intellectual property. In making acceptable use of resources, you must:

  1. use resources only for authorized purposes.

  2. protect your login ID and system from unauthorized use. The University is not responsible for activities on your login ID or that originate from your system.

    [Here begins page 2 of the hardcopy version.]

  3. access only files and data that are your own, which are publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.

  4. be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, or wasting computer time, connect time, disk space, printer paper, manuals, or other resources.

In making acceptable use of resources, you must NOT:

  1. Provide login ID codes and system access for the purpose of using resources in violation policy, or in violation of Federal, State and/or local statutes.

  2. Use copyrighted images, text, or software without permission or in violation of the copyright laws of the United States, or violate terms of applicable software licensing agreements.

  3. Use resources to violate the university codes of conduct or engage in any illegal activity.

  4. Use resources for private financial gain or compensation except as permitted under Ohio University Policy and Procedure 17.900, or for partisan political purposes.

  5. Use resources to intimidate or single out individuals or groups for degradation or harassment in violation of federal or state law and other university policies.

  6. Use resources to provide materials whose nature or volume compromise the ability of the server to serve other users' documents.

  7. Use a computer account for which authorization has not been granted, use the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system, attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes, or mask the identity of an account or machine.

  8. Knowingly perform an act that will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks, including (but not limited to) knowingly running or installing on any computer system or network, or give to another user, a program intended to damage or to place excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.

Misuse of computing, networking, information, or World Wide Web resources may result in the loss of computing privileges. Additionally, misuse can be prosecuted under applicable statutes. Offenses that are in violation of local, state, or federal laws may be reported to the appropriate university and law enforcement authorities. Users may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable university or campus policies, procedures, or collective bargaining agreements. Complaints alleging misuse of computer resources will be directed to those responsible for taking appropriate disciplinary action. Reproduction or distribution of copyrighted works, including, but not limited to, images, text, or software, without permission of the owner is an infringement of U.S. Copyright Law and is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment. Violators will be subject to university rules and regulations.

[Here begins page 3 of the hardcopy version.]

Additional Use Policies

Additional use policies and terms and conditions may be in place for specific electronic services offered by Ohio University, such as the World Wide Web, Gopher, University Records, and Student Code of Conduct policies. You must familiarize yourself with any of these when you agree to use these services.

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Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohiou.edu/policy/s91-003.html) on February 27, 2003.

Please E-mail any comments or suggestions to "polproc@www.ohiou.edu".