Arts Computing Office Account Usage Policy

The policies governing the use of computing accounts on Arts Computing Office (ACO) computing systems consist of the Statement on Use of University of Waterloo Computing and Network Resources together with this document.

The ACO provides computing resources on request to students, staff, and faculty within the Faculty of Arts, and to some extent to members of the wider community. The provision of a computer account by ACO carries with it certain conditions and responsibilities which this policy statement endeavours to explain. Misuse of accounts or violation of the delineated conditions may result in disciplinary action under various University policies.

  1. All computing resources (e.g. computer accounts, printer access, network access) are provided to support the research, instructional, and administrative needs of the University. In this context, students are provided with computing resources for carrying out work related to their courses, projects or theses and should confine the uses of the resources to activities related to this work. A moderate amount of personal use of computing resources is acceptable. For example, occasionally sending electronic mail to friends or relatives or offering personal items for sale through a newsgroup such as is an acceptable use of resources. It is inappropriate to use computing resources for commercial activities without making prior arrangements with the Associate Dean for Computing.
  2. Computing resources are to be used only by the person or group to whom the resources are given. The account should not be shared with others (e.g., your best friend or family members). If an account is shared, the owner of the account must assume supervisory responsibility and may be held accountable for the actions of others. It is inappropriate to obtain covert or illicit access to another person's account.
  3. The ethical uses of University computing resources are governed by uWaterloo Policy Number 33, Ethical Behaviour. Unethical conduct using a computer account is inappropriate. Examples of inappropriate use of computing resources include:
  • Repeatedly sending messages to another person in order to prevent access to e-mail
  • Repeatedly displaying images in a public lab or printing the images on a public printer after being asked to stop because other individuals find the images offensive
  • Sending unsolicited hate-mail messages to other users
  • Mailing chain letters or participating in a "pyramid" scheme
  • Sending e-mail or posting news under a false name
  • Accessing another person's files or account without permission
  • Damaging, tampering with, or removing equipment.
  1. Attempting to attain unauthorized access to another's directories or files or in any way attempting to evade system security is considered to be inappropriate behaviour, even if it is only for purposes of browsing and not for acquiring data. If a user is able to circumvent system security, the individual has an obligation to inform ACO of this possible breach so that ACO may take steps to prevent further occurrences.
  2. Since the University computing resources are shared by a large number of users, individuals are expected to respect others' rights to use the facilities. Monopolizing system resources represents inappropriate behaviour and a misuse of computer resources. Examples include:
  • locking a public terminal for more than 15 minutes
  • submitting many printing requests (or a single very large request) at prime time where such requests would be bound to delay many other legitimate users
  • playing computer games at prime time
  • excessive transferring of material over the campus networks
  • attempting to defeat the normal deletion of temporary files (e.g. from /tmp and /usr/tmp).
  1. Public computing areas should be treated with the same respect that would be given to any study area. In general, disruptive or destructive behaviour is inappropriate. Examples of such behaviour include loud or extended conversations or unusually noisy or loud computer applications. Food or drinks are prohibited from the labs  to avoid damage to computers or furniture. Work areas should be left clean for the next user.
  2. Although the information and activity associated with a user account is generally considered private, in special circumstances System Administrators may need to access user processes and/or files to maintain proper operation of the systems. Also, on occasion, System Administrators may need to access user accounts while investigating illegal or inappropriate use of the computing facilities. By accepting a computer account, the user implicitly consents to such access.

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