Computing and Network Acceptable Use Policy

The University of Missouri Acceptable Use Policy applies to all users including faculty, staff, students, and guest users of University of Missouri computer networks, equipment, or computing resources. The University guidelines stated here provide some specifics, but should not be taken to supersede or conflict with the UM policy or any federal or state law.

The University provides access to computing, networking and information resources for students, faculty and staff in support of the mission of teaching, research, public service, and in support of the official duties of the university. When activating an account or registering a network device, a user implicitly affirms that he or she will abide by the broadest interpretation of the following policies. Failure to follow policies may result in loss of computing privileges. The University may monitor computer use to protect the efficient operation, integrity and availability of the campus computing environment. The University may terminate the account of anyone who has been determined to use his or her access for unlawful purposes or in contravention of this policy.

Legal and Ethical Computer Use

Three legal concepts lie behind the following policy. It is unethical and illegal, without proper and valid authorization, to:

  1. Obtain access to services and data that do not belong to you;
  2. Consume or utilize services that do not belong to you;
  3. Alter or destroy data that does not belong to you.

The rules below are vigorously enforced by the University. Users who do not comply may have their account(s) restricted, revoked or their access curtailed. Certain cases of abuse may result in prosecution, termination, or academic probation.

The policy can be summarized in these statements:

Be respectful and considerate of the rights of others. Do no harm. Break no law.

This means that the following items are some examples of things that would *not* comply with the simple policy above:

  • Using the University's computing facilities to gain unauthorized access to any computer system.
  • Infringing on the privacy rights or copyrights of others.
  • Using computing facilities to harass other users or to do mischief.
  • Sending electronic messages to unwilling recipients.
  • Unnecessarily preventing other authorized users from using a terminal or other resource.
  • Distributing a program that can damage the user or system environment.
  • Using any ID, account or file without proper authorization.
  • Falsifying your identity by using or intentionally seeking access to an ID that is not yours.
  • Endangering or interfering with the operation of any computer system.
  • Changing or altering hardware or software configurations on campus computers or networks.
  • Copying data or software without proper authorization.
  • Distributing, through any mechanism, electronic or otherwise, a copy of a copyrighted material to someone else without proper authorization.
  • Using computing facilities to plagiarize the work of others.
  • Using University computing facilities for personal profit.

Actions which could affect the user:

Misuse of University computing facilities will be dealt with on a case by case basis. The users subject to charges of misuse will be dealt with in a manner consistent with the laws of the state of Missouri, the policies of the University of Missouri and the Bylaws of the Missouri S&T General Faculty. The Information Security Officer is responsible for making these misuses known to the appropriate University administrators. The Information Security Officer may impose temporary restrictions on the offender's computer access in order to ensure that the network remains stable and secure for all University users.

The Missouri statutes make computing tampering offenses a Class A misdemeanor for a first-time offender, which can carry a one-year prison sentence and a fine of $1,000. If the offender makes a profit of at least $150 from the offense, he or she may be charged with a Class D felony, which can carry a five-year sentence and fine of $5,000. If an individual guilty of tampering with computer equipment is to have caused $1,000 or more in damages, the offense becomes a Class C felony, which can carry a seven-year sentence.


University of Missouri Acceptable Use Policy 

Note: All IT policies and procedures are subject to annual review.