PtyS/LPL Computer and Network Usage Policy

Machines connected to the LPL network must be configured to minimize the risk of systems compromise. Automated updates must be employed when appropriate. The LPL network includes all ethernet connections in the Kuiper Space Sciences building and the 9th floor of Gould Simpson building. LPL System Administrators are authorized to update machines in a timely manner or remove them from the network until they are updated.

The Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Lab (PtyS/LPL), provides computing resources and worldwide network access to qualified members of the university community for legitimate academic and administrative purposes. All members of the university community utilizing PtyS/LPL computer and network resources are expected to be aware of specific policies governing their use, and should act responsibly while using shared computing and network resources. Specific usage policies and guidelines follow, but may not be all inclusive. All policies are subject to change as the computing and network environment evolve.

Each person using PtyS/LPL computer and network resources should:

1. Take no actions that violate the Codes of Conduct and Academic Integrity, Classified Staff Personnel Policy Manual, University Handbook for Appointed Personnel, or other applicable policy or law. This is not a comprehensive list of applicable University policies. In the event of a conflict between policies, the more restrictive use policy shall govern. University operational units may define additional ‘Conditions for Appropriate Use’ for local computing and network facilities to supplement this policy provided that such conditions must be consistent with and subordinate to this policy.

2. Use security measures to protect the integrity of information, data, and systems. Users shall protect their computer systems and accounts by using strong passwords, installing anti-virus software consistent with management directives and keeping such software, as well as the operating system and application security patches, up to date. Users are responsible for safeguarding their identification codes and passwords, and for using them only as authorized. Examples of misuse include using a computer account and/or obtaining a password that you are not authorized to use, using the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system, and using a "sniffer" or other methods in an attempt to "crack" passwords.

3. Clearly and accurately identify yourself in electronic communications. Concealing or masking the identity of electronic communications such as altering the source of an email message by making it appear as if the message was sent by someone else, or the sending of anonymous email is in violation of this policy.

4. Use computer and network resources efficiently. Due to limited bandwidth, playing network games such as "Mud" or "Moo" are prohibited, as are other high use applications such as "IRC's". Use PtyS/LPL printers for academic or administrative purposes only. Using PtyS/LPL printers as a "copy machine" to print multiple copies of a document is prohibited. Other examples of inappropriate use include deliberately wasting computer resources by sending unsolicited mail either individually or via listservs and/or newsgroups (SPAM's), and sending "chain letters" or engaging in "pyramid" schemes.

5. Do not harass or intimidate or use computer and network resources for unlawful acts. The University, in general, cannot and does not wish to be the arbiter of content maintained, distributed or displayed by users of the University’s computing and network resources. For example, the University, in general, cannot protect users from receiving e-mail they may find offensive. Using the University’s computer or network resources for illegal activities, however, is strictly prohibited. Unlawful use of University computer and network resources can expose the individual user and the University to damages claims, or potential criminal liability. Unlawful uses may include, but are not limited to: harassment and intimidation of individuals on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability; obscenity; child pornography; threats; theft; attempting unauthorized access to data; attempting to breach security measures on any electronic communications software or system; attempting to intercept electronic communication transmissions without proper authority; and violation of intellectual property or defamation laws. Do not use computer systems to send, post, or display abusive, slanderous or defamatory messages, text, graphics, or images. By using the University’s computer and network services, each user accepts the responsibility to become informed about, and to comply with, all applicable laws and policies.

6.The use of university computer resources and networks is for legitimate academic or administrative purpose. Incidental personal use is permissible to the extent that it does not violate other provisions of this policy, interfere with the performance of employee’s duties, or interfere with the education of students at the university. Use of your computer account or the network for commercial activities that are not approved by appropriate supervisory University personnel consistent with applicable policy, or for personal financial gain (except as permitted under applicable academic policies) is prohibited. Examples of prohibited uses include using your computer account for engaging in unauthorized consulting services, software development, advertising products/services, and/or other private commercial activity.

7. Respect copyright and intellectual-property rights. Users must adhere to the U.S. Copyright Act, and the terms and conditions of any and all software and database licensing agreements. Any form of original expression fixed in a tangible medium is subject to copyright, even if there is no copyright notice. Examples include music, movies, graphics, text, photographs, artwork and software, distributed in any media -- including online. The use of a copyrighted work (such as copying, downloading, file sharing, distribution, public performance, etc.) requires either (A) the copyright owner’s permission, or (B) an exemption under the Copyright Act. The law also makes it unlawful to circumvent technological measures used by copyright owners to protect their works. Copyright infringement exposes the user, and possibly the University, to heavy fines and potential criminal liability. Therefore, without limitation of other possible sanctions, the University may refuse, suspend and/or terminate computer and network access, with respect to any user who violates the copyright law, or who uses the University’s computer or network resources contrary to the terms of the University’s software or database license agreements.

8. Respect University property. Misuse of university property includes, but is not limited to, theft or damage of equipment or software, knowingly running or installing computer viruses or password cracking programs, attempting to circumvent installed data protection methods that are designed and constructed to provide secure data and information, or in any way attempting to interfere with the physical computer network/hardware, or attempting to degrade the performance or integrity of any campus network or computer system.

9. Respect and adhere to other departmental/college/Internet Service Provider's acceptable use policies. When using a PtyS/LPL computer system and/or network to connect to a non-PtyS/LPL system or network, adhere to the prevailing policies governing that system or network. However, this does not in any way release your obligation to abide by the established policies governing PtyS/LPL computer systems and networks.

10. Make only appropriate use of data to which you have access. Authorized university personnel (e.g. system, network and database administrators, among others) may have access to data beyond what is generally available. Privileged access to data may only be used in a way consistent with applicable laws, University policies, and accepted standards of professional conduct. Those who have access to databases that include personal information shall respect individual privacy and confidentiality, consistent with applicable laws and University policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Users should be aware however that state laws and university policies, guidelines and regulations may prevent the protection of certain aspects of individual privacy. Both the nature of electronic communications, and the public character of the University’s business make certain uses less private than users may anticipate. For example,, in certain circumstances, the University may permit the inspection, monitoring or disclosure of e-mail, consistent with applicable laws and with the University’s Electronic Mail Policy.

Consequences of Misuse and/or Non-Compliance

Misuse of computing and network resources or non-compliance with written usage policies may result in one or more of the following consequences:

  • Temporary deactivation of computer/network access
  • Permanent deactivation of computer/network access
  • Disciplinary actions taken by the department or Dean of Students Office
  • Expulsion from school or termination of employment
  • Subpoena of data files
  • Legal prosecution under applicable Federal and State laws
  • Possible penalties under the law, including fines and imprisonment