Columbia University maintains certain policies with regard
to the use and security of its computer systems, including
the network. All users of these facilities are expected
to be familiar with the policies and the consequences of
violation as listed below.
- Unauthorized attempts to gain privileged access or access
to any account or system not belonging to you on any University
system are not permitted.
- Creation of any program, Web form, or other mechanism
that asks for a Columbia user identity and password, e.g.
UNI, CUNIX ID, is prohibited except by using the methods
documented for the Columbia secure server at http://www.columbia.edu/acis/webdev/managing.html
or with the permission of the Deputy Vice President for
Academic Information Systems or the Deputy Vice President
for Administrative Information Services.
- Computer and network accounts provide access to personal,
confidential data. Therefore, individual accounts cannot
be transferred to or used by another individual. Sharing
accounts or passwords is not permitted.
- Each user is responsible for the proper use of his or
her account and any activity conducted with it. This includes
choosing safe passwords, protecting them, and ensuring
that file protections are set correctly.
- Each system owner is responsible for the security of
any system he/she connects to the network. A system seen
to be attacking other systems, e.g. having fallen victim
to viruses/worms, will be taken off the network, generally
without notice, until it has been made secure. Security
information is available at http://www.columbia.edu/acis/security/.
- No University system or network may be used as a vehicle
to gain unauthorized access to other systems.
- Any user who finds a possible security lapse on any
University system or network must report it to the system
administrators. To protect your files and the system,
don't attempt to use a system under these conditions until
the system administrator has investigated the problem.
- All users should be aware that the system administrators
conduct periodic security checks of University systems
and networks, including password checks. Any user found
to have an easily guessed password will be required to
choose a secure password during his or her next login
- User files on central University systems are kept as
private as possible. Attempts to read another person's
protected files will be treated with the utmost seriousness.
The system administrators will not override file protections
unless necessary in the course of their duties, and will
treat the contents of those files as private information
at all times.
- No University system or network may be used for any
purpose or in a manner that violates University statutes
or regulations or federal, state or local law.
- Please keep in mind that many people use University
systems and networks for daily work. Obstructing this work
by consuming gratuitously large amounts of system resources
(disk space, CPU time, print quotas, network bandwidth)
or by deliberately crashing the machine(s) will not be tolerated.
Please cooperate by running large jobs on shared systems
at off-peak hours and by using the "nice" command
to lower the priority of CPU-intensive processes.
- Use of any University system by outside individuals
or organizations requires special permission from the system's
administrator and payment of fees to the University and
to the appropriate software vendors where applicable.
- Use of University systems or networks for commercial
purposes, except where explicitly approved, is strictly
prohibited. Such prohibited uses include, but are not limited
to, development of programs, data processing or computations
for commercial use and preparation and presentation of advertising
- Frivolous, disruptive, or inconsiderate conduct in computer
labs or terminal areas is not permitted.
- No University computing facility may be used for playing
- Copying, storing, displaying, or distributing copyrighted
material using University systems or networks without
the express permission of the copyright owner, except
as otherwise allowed under the copyright law, is prohibited.
Under the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of
1998, repeat infringements of copyright by a user can
result in termination of the user's access to University
systems and networks. See information on copyright at
- No e-mail may be sent or forwarded through a University
system or network for purposes that violate University statutes
or regulations or for an illegal or criminal purpose.
- Electronic mail, like user files, is kept as private
as possible. Attempts to read another person's electronic
mail will be treated with the utmost seriousness. The University
and its administrators of central e-mail systems will not
read mail unless necessary in the course of their duties.
Also, there may be inadvertent inspection in the ordinary
course of managing and maintaining the computer network
and in carrying out other day-to-day activities. On central
systems e-mail that cannot be delivered to one or more addressees
is directed to the system administrators for purposes of
assuring reliable e-mail service, in most cases as "headers-only".
- Users should be aware that their "deletion"
of electronic information will often not erase such information
from the system's storage until it is overwritten with other
data and it may, in any case, still reside in the University's
network either on various back-up systems or other forms,
and even if erased, may still exist in the form of print-outs.
- Nuisance e-mail or other online messages such as chain
letters, obscene, harassing, or other unwelcome messages
- Unsolicited e-mail messages to multiple users are prohibited
unless explicitly approved by the appropriate University
authority. See http://www.columbia.edu/cu/policy/mass_emails.html.
- All messages must show accurately from where and from
whom the message originated, except in the rare, specific
cases where anonymous messages are invited.
- The University reserves the right to refuse mail and
other connections from outside hosts that send unsolicited,
mass or commercial messages, or messages that appear to
contain viruses to University or other users, and to filter,
refuse or discard such messages.
Violations of these policies may result in the immediate
suspension of computer account and network access pending
investigation of circumstances and may lead to their eventual
revocation. Serious violations of the policy will be referred
directly to the appropriate University or outside authorities;
unauthorized use of University computing facilities can
be a criminal offense. The penalties may be as severe as
suspension or dismissal from the University and/or criminal
Rev 1.3.3 2003.01.08
Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital
to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies
to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It
encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, the
right to privacy, and the right to determine the form, manner,
and terms of publication and distribution.
Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced,
respect for the work and personal expression of others is
especially critical in computer environments. Violations
of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of
privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secrets and copyright
violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members
of the academic community.