Acceptable/Permissible Usage

What activities are prohibited by the University?

University electronic communications resources may not be used for unlawful activities, such as:

  • interfering with, tampering with, or disrupting resources
  • intentionally transmitting any computer viruses, worms, or other malicious software
  • attempting to access, accessing, or exploiting resources you are not authorized to access
  • knowingly enabling inappropriate levels of access or exploitation of resources by others
  • downloading sensitive or confidential electronic information/data to computers that are not adequately configured to protect it from unauthorized access
  • using the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system
  • violating terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws
  • attempting to monitor or tamper with another user’s electronic communications, or reading, copying, changing, or deleting another user’s files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner
  • commercial purposes not under the auspices of the University
  • personal financial gain (except as permitted under applicable academic personnel policies)
  • non-incidental personal use
  • deliberately wasting computing resources
  • uses that violate other University or campus policies/guidelines
  • disclosing any electronic information/data you do not have a right to disclose

Additional University policies such as those pertaining to personal conduct, use of University name and logo, or sexual harassment, for example, do apply to the use of all campus computing and network resources.

What are appropriate uses pertaining to email?

Members of the University community are strongly encouraged to use the same personal and professional courtesies and considerations in electronic communications as they would in other forms of communication.

Email users shall not:

  • send or forward electronic mail chain letters or their equivalents in other services
  • spam, that is, exploit email systems for purposes beyond their intended scope to amplify the widespread distribution of unsolicited electronic communications

Users of University electronic communications resources shall not, either directly or by implication, employ a false identity (the name or electronic identification of another). However, a supervisor may direct an employee to use the supervisor’s identity to transact University business for which the supervisor is responsible. In such cases, an employee’s use of the supervisor’s electronic identity does not constitute a false identity.

What counts as incidental personal use?

Incidental personal use:

  • does not directly or indirectly interfere with the University’s operation of electronic communications resources. This includes causing excessive strain on any electronic communications resources, or unwarranted or unsolicited interference with others’ use of electronic communications resources.
  • does not interfere with the user’s employment or other obligations to the University
  • does not burden the University with noticeable incremental costs

Examples of such personal use that may burden the University include listening to radio stations over the network, downloading large video files, and exchanging large personal files through peer-to-peer network connections using programs such as KaZaA, Morpheus, etc. Although use of these or similar applications may, or may not, violate other parts of the policy, the combined personal use of them definitely costs a significant amount of money and places large loads on the campus network. When aggregated, these uses are not incidental use.

The University is not responsible for any loss or damage incurred by an individual as a result of personal use of University electronic communications resources.

What are the consequences for misuse?

Because UC Berkeley extends to students, faculty, and staff the privilege to use its computers and network, this access may be restricted or rescinded according to law or University or law school regulations. In addition to any possible legal sanctions, violators of these laws or policies may also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion, pursuant to various University policies and agreements.

In compliance with the DMCA, the university reserves the right to suspend or terminate access to university electronic communications systems and services by any user who repeatedly violates copyright law.

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