Acceptable Use Policy

The following acceptable use policy for university and departmental computing resources was approved by the Department of Sociology faculty on April 9, 2004.

Network Activity

All computer network activity that takes place in the Sociology Department, whether from wired or wireless connections, occurs over network resources that are owned and operated by Duke University. Use of these resources is subject to a policy published by the Duke University IT Security Office and endorsed by the Information Security Steering Committee. This policy prohibits:

  1. The use of Duke network resources in violation of federal or state law, University policy or regulation, or Duke's contractual obligations to network service providers that connect Duke to the Internet.
  2. The use of Duke network resources to acquire data or resources to which the user has no right.
  3. The use of Duke network resources to intentionally harm individuals or interfere with the use of network or computing resources at Duke or elsewhere.

Duke University reserves the right to collect evidence of alleged violations of acceptable use and to revoke computing privileges of alleged violators, followed by timely notification of such action.

In keeping with the values of freedom of expression and diversity of opinion, it is not our desire or intent to exercise a censorship role over what is published or transferred over Duke networks. Users of Duke networks have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Network activities will be investigated by system administrators only as required by reports of illegal activity or to resolve technical problems.

Departmental Activity

The Department of Sociology is the owner and maintainer of additional computing resources that include servers for mail, web and file services and desktop PCs for use by specific individuals or groups of individuals. It is the intent of the Department that these resources be used in a manner that maintains a harmonious and secure computing environment for use by all Sociology faculty, staff and graduate students.

Computers are widely used in shared office settings, where some uses of computers can be objectionable to others. Use of discretion and restraint to minimize the discomfort or inconvenience your activities may cause others is expected.

Departmental computing resources are intended for professional use in carrying out the instructional, research and administrative missions of the department. In keeping with this principle, the following are not acceptable uses of departmental computing resources:

  1. Downloading of intellectual property, such as music or videos, in violation of copyright laws.
  2. Installation and use of proprietary software for which licensing fees have not been paid.

Departmental system administrators will exercise mechanisms of access control, software audits, quota restrictions and log analysis to ensure that usage is in compliance with departmental acceptable use and best practice security standards. Shared resources will be monitored to ensure that individual uses do not overwhelm network bandwidth, storage and printing capacities in ways that impair the ability of others to do their work.

In performance of these duties, departmental system administrators will respect the privacy of user home directories and mail holdings, in both on line storage and off line backup storage.


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