Acceptable Use Policy
Issued: May 2016
Author: S. Wood
Last Reviewed Date: 04/05/2016
1. Janet is the name given to an electronic communications network and associated electronic communications networking services and facilities that support the requirements of the UK education and research communities. Organisations in the UK education and research communities use Janet to fulfil, and to undertake activities supporting, their missions of providing education, research, and business and community engagement.
2. This Acceptable Use Policy applies in the first instance to any organisation authorised to use Janet (a “User Organisation”). It applies also to use of Janet by the User Organisation’s own members and all those to whom it otherwise provides with access to Janet (collectively, its ''Members”). In conjunction with the Janet Security Policy, it is an integral part of the Terms and Conditions for the Provision of the Janet Service (the “Janet Terms”).
3. The Acceptable Use Policy does not determine the eligibility of any particular organisation or individual to have a connection to and use Janet services. This eligibility is determined by the Janet Eligibility Policy. The Acceptable Use Policy merely defines acceptable and unacceptable use of Janet by those who have been provided with access to Janet services under the terms of the Janet Eligibility Policy.
4. Copies of the Janet Terms, and of the Janet Eligibility and Security Policies may be found on the Jisc website.
5. A User Organisation and its Members may use Janet for the purpose of communicating with other User Organisations and their Members, and with organisations, individuals and services attached to networks which are reachable via Janet. All use of Janet is subject to the Janet Terms.
6. Subject to clauses 8 to 16 below, Janet may be used by a User Organisation and its Members for any lawful activity in furtherance of the missions of the User Organisation. Use by the User Organisation and its Members may be in pursuance of activities for commercial gain as well as for not for profit activities. (See Note 1.)
7. It is the responsibility of the User Organisation to ensure that its Members use Janet services in accordance with the Acceptable Use Policy, and with current legislation. (See Note 2.)
8. Janet may not be used by a User Organisation or its Members for any activity that may reasonably be regarded as unlawful or potentially so. This includes, but is not limited to, any of the following activities. (See Note 3.)
9. Creation or transmission, or causing the transmission, of any offensive, obscene or indecent images, data or other material, or any data capable of being resolved into obscene or indecent images or material. (See Note 4.)
10. Creation or transmission of material with the intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.
11. Creation or transmission of material with the intent to defraud.
12. Creation or transmission of defamatory material.
13. Creation or transmission of material such that this infringes the copyright of another person.
14. Creation or transmission of unsolicited bulk or marketing material to users of networked facilities or services, save where that material is embedded within, or is otherwise part of, a service to which the user or their User Organisation has chosen to subscribe.
15. Deliberate unauthorised access to networked facilities or services. (See Note 5 and Note 6.)
16. Deliberate or reckless activities having, with reasonable likelihood, any of the following characteristics:
16.1 wasting staff effort or Janet resources, including time on end systems on another User Organisation’s network, and the effort of staff involved in the support of those systems;
16.2 corrupting or destroying other users’ data;
16.3 violating the privacy of other users;
16.4 disrupting the work of other users;
16.5 denying service to other users (for example, by overloading of access links or switching equipment, of Janet services, or of services or end systems on another User Organisation’s network);
16.6 continuing to use an item of software or hardware after the Janet Network Operations Centre or its authorised representative has requested that use cease because it is causing disruption to the correct functioning of Janet;
16.7 other misuse of Janet, such as the introduction of “viruses” or other harmful software via Janet to resources on Janet, or on another User Organisation’s network.
Access to Other Networks via Janet
17. Where Janetis being used to access another network, any deliberate or persistent breach of the acceptable use policy of that network will be regarded as unacceptable use of Janet. Any activity as described in clause 16 above, and where applied either to a user of that network, or to an end system attached to it, will also be regarded as unacceptable use of Janet.
18. Any deliberate or persistent breach of industry good practice (as represented by the current standards of the London Internet Exchange) that is likely to damage the reputation of Janet will also be regarded prima facie as unacceptable use of Janet.
19. It is the responsibility of the User Organisation to take reasonable steps to ensure its Members’ compliance with the conditions set out in this Policy document, and to ensure that unacceptable use of Janetis dealt with promptly and effectively should it occur. The discharge of this responsibility includes informing all Members of the User Organisation with access to Janet of their obligations in this respect. (see Note 7.)
20. Where necessary, service may be withdrawn from the User Organisation, in accordance with the JanetTerms. Where violation of these conditions is unlawful, or results in loss or damage to Janet resources or the resources of third parties accessible via Janet, the matter may be referred for legal action.
Note 1: The Acceptable Use Policy does not make any particular statement as to the acceptability of using Janet for activities resulting in commercial gain to the User Organisation, other than this is acceptable where lawful. However, it should be noted that there are legal constraints applying to a publicly funded User Organisation in such activities. Where the User Organisation is operating as an economic undertaking the issue of State Aid will need to be considered. There is also an issue of the status of both Janet and the User Organisation’s network as private networks. Both are addressed in the Janet Eligibility Policy and more particularly in the Janet factsheets referenced therein.
Note 2: It is preferable for misuse to be prevented by a combination of responsible attitudes to the use of Janet resources on the part of its users and appropriate disciplinary measures taken by their User Organisations.
Note 3: The list of unacceptable activities in this section is not exhaustive. The purpose is to bring as clearly as possible to the reader’s attention those activities most commonly associated with the abuse and potentially unlawful use of a network.
Note 4: It may be permissible for such material to be received, created or transmitted where this is for properly supervised and lawful purposes. This may include, for example, approved teaching or research, or the reception or transmission of such material by authorised personnel in the course of an investigation into a suspected or alleged abuse of the institution’s facilities. The discretion to approve such use, and the responsibility for any such approval, rests with the User Organisation. Universities UK has provided guidance on handling sensitive research materials.
Note 5: Implicit authorisation may only be presumed where a host and port have been advertised as providing a service (for example by a DNS MX record) and will be considered to have been withdrawn if a complaint from the provider of the service or resource is received either by the UserOrganisation or by Janet. For all other services and ports, access will be presumed to be unauthorised unless explicit authority can be demonstrated.
Note 6: Where a User Organisation wishes to commission or itself perform a test for vulnerabilities in its IT systems (for example, via “penetration testing”) this, as an action authorised by the User Organisation, will not be a breach of clause 15. However, the User Organisation should inform the Janet CSIRT, in advance of the test, of the source, nature and timing of the test. This is to avoid wasting the time and resources of the CSIRT in investigating the perceived attack on the User Organisation, or automatically blocking it.
Note 7: In order to discharge this responsibility, it is recommended that each User Organisation establishes its own statement of acceptable use within the context of the services provided to its Members. This should be cast in a form that is compatible with the provisions of this Acceptable Use Policy. Such a statement may refer to, or include material from this document. If material is included, this must be done in such a way as to ensure that there is no misrepresentation of the intent of the JanetAcceptable Use Policy. The Janet Service Desk can advise on this aspect if required.