Reviewed 1/18/07

I. BACKGROUND

The University of Miami’s information technology resources have been assembled to facilitate the pursuit of excellence in the University’s missions of teaching, research, and service. These pursuits are founded upon the basic principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression which transcend the means of communication used to convey these messages. The proliferation of technology continually provides new and different means of communicating the results of these endeavors, which must be adequately managed and protected while recognizing these very important principles. The opportunity to use computing systems and software, as well as internal and external data networks, is important to all members of the University community. To preserve that opportunity for the full community, each individual student must comply with institutional and external standards for acceptable use of these shared resources. Although modest personal use of University-supplied technology resources may improve the skills of individual users and otherwise contribute indirectly to the University’s mission, these resources should be used primarily for University-related educational and administrative purposes. By using University information technology facilities and resources, users agree to abide by all related University policies and procedures, as well as applicable federal, state, and local law. Violations may result in University disciplinary action or referral to appropriate external authorities.

II. ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

The University of Miami maintains a computing system for the academic and administrative use of faculty, staff, and students. The University strives to provide a robust, resilient, and reliable information technology infrastructure to enable excellence in scholarship and education through the effective and innovative use of computers and information technology. The University of Miami computing systems and network are resources provided for all members of the University community. Because computing and network resources are shared, individuals should use the systems responsibly in pursuit of academic and administrative functions, and in doing so, are not to infringe on the rights, integrity, or privacy of others or their data. In using the computing systems and network, individuals and groups must abide by standards of lawful and ethical behavior.

III. USER OBLIGATONS

Use of the University of Miami’s computing systems and network is a privilege that carries numerous obligations. By using the University of Miami’s computing systems and network, you (the “User(s)”) agree to abide by the following User Obligations:

* Responsible and Lawful Conduct. By using the University of Miami’s computing systems and network, Users agree that information posted on or distributed through the systems or network contains no obscene material; no advertising material or promotional material promoting products or services, except as may be permitted pursuant to University World Wide Web Policies - A047; no material which constitutes libel, slander or invasion of privacy or publicity rights; no violation of copyrights or trademarks; no incitement to riot or violence; and no violation of federal, state or local law. This paragraph is not intended to limit academic freedom.

* Respect for the University of Miami’s Computing Systems and Network administration. Users should use the systems and network in a way that promotes the University of Miami’s academic mission. Accordingly, when it is necessary to perform systems administration, or, in order to protect the University of Miami’s legal interests, network administrators may access all files and data on the University Computing Systems and Network. In addition, the University may monitor and/or review any user ID, user activity, files, and data on the University systems and network, “freeze” or remove access to any files or data which the University reasonably believes violates User Obligations in accordance with applicable University policies. 

* Responsible Use of Computing and Networking. Users may not obstruct any others’ work by using unnecessarily large amounts of system resources (such as disk space, output devices, CPU time, and network bandwidth) or deliberately causing any machine to crash or shut down. Given the finite capacity of available systems, Users must be responsible in their use of resources so as not to interfere unreasonably with the activity of other users.

* Responsible Use of Accounts. Users may not give away or share any userid and password, for any reason, or under any circumstances. Users may not use someone else’s account, either with or without permission. Individual accounts cannot be transferred to or used by another individual. Users also agree that attempts to gain access to any account not belonging to them or to a system on which they are not an authorized user will be treated as a violation of University policy, and their computing privileges may be revoked.

* Responsible Use of Bandwidth. The University of Miami is committed to providing adequate network capacity for the academic and administrative computing needs of the University community. As desktop computers and servers have become a part of everyday life on campus, the volume of information transmitted through the University network has grown significantly. The growth in network use has increased the need for responsible use of the network resources, as excessive network traffic can interfere with the academic and administrative functions of the University. Members of the University community must employ good judgment in the use of the network. If the network is hindered by servers or computers using excessive bandwidth, those machines will be disconnected.

* Respect for Copyright. Distribution of material copyrighted by another violates federal law unless the distribution is with permission or license, or constitutes fair use of the copyrighted material. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the University, once notified of alleged copyright violations, will disconnect from the network the server or computer of the individual(s) involved. The individual who is distributing the copyrighted materials is responsible for any copyright infringement.

* Respect for System Security. It is the responsibility of every User to protect the integrity and security of the data in personal accounts. Each User must accept responsibility for all matters pertaining to the proper use of personal accounts; this includes choosing safe passwords and ensuring that file protections are set correctly.

* Respect for the Ownership of Proprietary Software. Users must not make or use unauthorized copies of proprietary software, even when that software is not physically protected against copying.

Users are given access to the University of Miami’s computing systems and network because they are tools to help them meet their academic goals. This access, however, is a privilege, not a right. Preventing others from fulfilling their academic or business-related goals by using the system irresponsibly is not permitted.

IV. Examples of usage that could result in disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:

* Using computing or network resources for the purpose of harassing another individual or group

* Using computing or network resources for a commercial purpose

* Sending electronic chain mail or mass unsolicited mail

* Maintaining a server that contains files for which you do not have proper permission to store or redistribute

* Altering e-mail or Usenet headers to hide the identity of the sender/poster or to attribute the e-mail or posting to someone other than the sender/poster

* Using talk, write or IRC (inter-relay chat) resources in an abusive or frivolous manner

* Accessing or transmitting obscene material in violation of federal, state or local law.

* Posting inappropriate material to Usenet or a Web site
* Using large amounts of disk space to store files not related to your academic pursuits
* Excessive use of programs for non academic purposes in a manner that taxes the system’s resources.
* Attempting to gain access to any computing, network, academic or business resources which you are not authorized to use, including those of third parties.
* Using server resources to engage in activities in violation of federal, state or local law or other University policies.

The University of Miami will hold responsible the owner of any account through which security violations or irresponsible use occurs or individuals who inappropriately obtain and/or make use
of another User’s account or password. The University of Miami also reserves the right to withhold computing privileges from those who do not abide by the letter or intent of this policy document. Violations of this policy by the students referenced below shall be referred to the following offices for appropriate disciplinary action:

Undergraduate:  Dean of Students
Graduate:        Dean of the Graduate School
Law:              Dean of Students
Medical:          Dean of Student Affairs