Peer-to-Peer & File Sharing Applications Policy

The University allows the use of peer-to-peer and file sharing applications for legitimate business and academic use. For that reason, peer-to-peer and file sharing applications are allowed on the campus network.

However, since a disproportionate amount of peer-to-peer traffic consists of downloading movies, music, videos, and games for personal enjoyment, there are a few things you should know about peer-to-peer and file sharing applications:

  1. The University Computing & Network Facilities Acceptable Use Policy strictly prohibits the duplication or uncontrolled distribution of any file that is protected by copyright.

    The University is obligated to vigorously pursue claims of copyright infringement. Individuals found to be in violation of applicable copyright laws will be referred to Student Affairs (Students) or Human Resources (Faculty / Staff) for disciplinary action.

  2. Peer-to-peer and file sharing applications tie up network resources.

    Bandwidth is a precious commodity. Priority is given to applications which directly serve the interests of the University -- specifically research, academic use, and business use. P2P protocols also create an excessive load on wireless access points due to the large number of simultaneous connections which can impair the network performance for other users. For these and other reasons, peer-to-peer protocols are blocked to all users by default.

  3. Limited peer-to-peer traffic is allowed only as long as it does not compromise the campus network and does not violate above rules.

    Customers of IT who use peer-to-peer and do not have any sort of virus-protection software (or an outdated version) leave themselves open to malicious code, which in turn can threaten the campus network as a whole. IT reserves the right to disconnect a customer's computer from the network if IT determines that a customer has a vulnerable or compromised machine. IT strongly recommends anyone using peer-to-peer software to keep their anti-virus software up to date as well as installing anti-spyware software (such as Spybot Search-and-Destroy).

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