RIT Network Acceptable Use Guidelines

The RIT Code of Conduct for Computer & Network Use guides the use of computer and network resources at RIT. This is a summary of the RIT Code of Conduct. The full text is available here. The computing, network and information resources of the Rochester Institute of Technology are intended to support the mission of teaching, scholarly activity and service for the Institute's students, faculty, and staff. Appropriate use of the computer and networking facilities by members of RIT's academic community should always reflect academic honesty and good judgment in the utilization of shared resources and observe the ethical and legal guidelines of society.

Responsible Use of Resources

Passwords and similar authorization information should not be disclosed to any individual (NOTE: this includes everyone - even parents, roommates, or siblings), including a faculty or staff member unless the person is an authorized system administrator performing account maintenance activities for which the password is required. Users must not allow others to make use of one's account(s) or network access privileges to gain access to resources to which they would otherwise be denied. Users must not utilize any hardware or software in an attempt to compromise the security of any system, whether internal or external to the RIT systems or network. Examples of prohibited behaviors include but are not limited to Trojan horses, port scanning, and the launching of or knowing of transmission of viruses or worms. Any member of the RIT community who attaches a computer to the RIT network must take measures to ensure that the computer is protected against compromise by an external or internal attack.

Personal Usage

No member of the RIT community may use any resource owned or maintained by RIT to run a business or commercial service or to advertise for a commercial organization or endeavor. The transfer of published copyrighted material such as software and music is not allowed. It is irrelevant whether or not any profit is made for such distribution. The mere fact of providing uncontrolled access to such material is illegal.

Harmful Activity

Individuals must not use their RIT computer privileges to cause harm to any person or computer, whether internal or external to RIT. Examples of harmful activity include but are not limited to disabling other's computers, altering information integrity and E-mail spamming.

RIT Rights

Users should be aware that their use of RIT's computing and network resources is not completely private. Those responsible for maintaining RIT's computing and network resources have the right to allocate resources at their discretion. They also may control access to its information and the devices on which it is stored, manipulated, and transmitted in accordance with the policies of the Institute and the laws of the State of New York and the United States. Authorized systems administrators also may access others' files for the maintenance of network computer and storage systems, for the maintenance or security of networks. They may also access others' files and data on network devices or in transit.

Investigations and Sanctions

Reports of suspected violations of this Code of Conduct are investigated by the designated professional staff in Information and Technology Services in Consultation with the RIT Information Security Officer and/or Public Safety. Serious or persistent violations may result in temporary or permanent restrictions. Violators of statutory law will be turned over to Public Safety. RIT may impose a range of penalties on users who violate the policies regarding the usage of Institute computing resources including the suspension of computer and network privileges. Appeals to charges of violation of these policies will follow the normal RIT Judicial Process. Questions about the appropriateness of any use of resources should be directed to the staff of ITS or to the systems personnel responsible for the resource in question. To view a copy of the RIT Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use please refer to your student handbook or go to http://www.rit.edu/computerconduct/.

Sensible Network Use: Your Rights & Responsibilities

The content of any files or services made available to others over the network is the sole responsibility of the person with ownership of, or administrative authority over, the computer providing the service. It is this person's responsibility to be aware of all applicable Federal laws, State laws and RIT policies. This person is liable for any violations of Federal or State laws, or Institute policies. The RIT Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use is located at http://www.rit.edu/computerconduct/

Any person operating a device that interferes with the general use or quality of service of the RIT network is disconnected from the network until the problem is resolved. If the condition is an imminent hazard to the RIT network or disrupts the activities of others, the offending computer system or the subnet to which it is attached may be disconnected without prior notice. This latter course of action may affect many other persons connected to the network.

Any person attaching a computer or other device to the residential network is responsible for the security of his or her own system and for any intentional or unintentional activities from or to that network connection. This includes (but is not limited to) attempting to monitor other network connections, attempting to hijack a connection, virus/worm infections or any other activity that may impact the overall security of the network.

RIT has received a significant number of copyright infringement complaints in the last several years. These notices come from companies that search the Internet on behalf of copyright holders such as the recording, movie and software industries. The notifications identify an RIT IP (Internet Protocol) address that is, without permission of the copyright holder, sharing a specific file or files on the Internet. In order to avail itself of protection provided to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, RIT must act to ensure these infringed works are no longer being shared.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing applications on campus are typically involved. These applications include KaZaA, Gnutella, Bit Torrent, Direct Connect, and Limewire. These applications are used to exchange music, movies, videos, and other electronic data. The use of these applications turns a computer into a server, providing download access to users elsewhere on the Internet. Violations of U.S. Copyright Law, and at RIT, a violation of the RIT Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use (http://www.rit.edu/computerconduct/) occurs when copyrighted files are shared. Violations of U.S. Copyright Law can result in fines of $500,000 per infringing work and prison sentences. RIT students have been subject to legal action under the provisions of U.S. Copyright Law. File-sharing applications can also consume a massive amount of RIT's network resources. Given the technology expectations of the RIT students, faculty, and staff, high quality Internet access is vital. RIT takes copyright infringement very seriously.

More information about the Copyright Infringement Process.