University of Minnesota, Crookston
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University of Minnesota, Crookston
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UMC Campus Guidelines for Acceptable Use of Computing Resources

The purpose of UMC's provision of access is to support research and education in and among schools and academic institutions in the U.S. by providing access to unique resources and the opportunity for collaborative work. The use of your account must be in support of education and research and be consistent with the educational objectives of the University of Minnesota. The computing and network resources of the University may not be used by members of the University community for commercial purposes or for financial gain. Use of other organizations' networks or computing resources must comply with rules appropriate for that network. The privilege of using the computing resources provided by the University is not transferable or extendible by members of the University community to people or groups outside the University.

Transmission of any materials in violation of any U.S. or state organization is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material, or materials protected by trade secret. Use for product advertisement or political lobbying is also prohibited. Students must be sensitive to the public nature of shared facilities, and take care not to display on screens in such locations images, sounds or messages which could create an atmosphere of discomfort or harassment for others. You must also refrain from transmitting to others in any location inappropriate images, sounds, or messages which might reasonably be considered harassing.

Computing resources at UMC are a limited resource shared by many. When inappropriate use of these resources occurs, other users experience problems with access to those resources. In general, users should avoid activities that consume more than their fair share of the resources. See also University of Minnesota Web Policies.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston campus and the University as a whole spend a great deal of money on data infrastructure and Internet connectivity. The primary purpose of this expenditure is to allow students to use resources on the Internet for educational purposes. Other (non-educational) uses are considered secondary, but are not a problem unless and until the amount of bandwidth used for these applications interferes with the primary functions. During certain periods of time, the campus network has been overwhelmed with non-educational traffic to the extent that email and other educational applications don't function well. We have a fixed amount of bandwidth (see definition below) available and must operate within that limit.

UMC remains committed to the wide use of the Internet, especially in an educational setting, but also for a variety of other uses. However, the core services of email, web access, printing, and the like must be maintained. To this end:

a) No computers in the dorms may be "servers", that is they may not run web services or other file sharing programs. Exemptions are available where needed for courses requiring this, and will be issued on a per-course basis, applying only for the period that the student is in that course, and only for course material. Caution: most software which allows you to download music or other media from the internet also uses your computer to share your files with others, in this mode this software is prohibited, but may be used if the only use is downloading and not file-sharing.

b) Do not change the name of your University-provided computer or reconfigure the network portion of your University-provided computer.

c) During times of extremely heavy traffic, certain machines that represent a disproportionate share of the traffic may be shut down temporarily to restore operations. To respond to this problem, we will block access of the problem computer until the person responsible for that machine agrees to have it diagnosed or agrees to not run file-sharing software again.

For example, in the past it has been common for one machine to use as much as 50% of the traffic in Skyberg hall (approx 250 users). At the same time, performance there has been awful.

d) Systematic controls are also being developed and installed to automatically reduce the amount of bandwidth available to secondary programs (those with little or no educational value). Generally, these will not block the use of the problem software, but will restrict the amount of bandwidth available to those applications in order to keep the rest of the network "up" for ordinary users.

Further details can be found within our Copyright Violations & High Bandwidth Abuse Policy.

Definition of Bandwidth:

The flow of data, typical units are bits per second or bytes per second. Bandwidth is to a data jack as water flow is to a shower. Shared bandwidth is equivalent to a limited city water supply, if a large amount is used elsewhere you are not going to have all you need.

Date Last Modified: 11/10/2005