Skip to navigation content (Press Enter).

University Technology Services

Code of Conduct for Computer & Network Users

Complete Policy Title: Code of Conduct for Computer & Network Users
Policy Number:
Approved by: CMCC
Date of Most Recent Approval: September, 1995
Revision Date(s): April, 2003
Position Responsible for Developing
and Maintaining the Policy:
Director, CIS
Contact Department: University Technology Services
DISCLAIMER: If there is a discrepancy between this electronic policy and the written copy held by the Policy owner, the written copy prevails.
Code of Conduct For Computer and Network Users

McMaster University's computing systems and networks are provided to support authorized research, education, administration, intellectual pursuits and related support service goals and objectives. Use of these facilities, including electronic communications, should be conducted in a professional and responsible manner. We support the following EDUCOM code:

A Policy on Intellectual Rights
A respect for intellectual labour 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 privacy, and right to determine 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 secret and copyright violations, are grounds for sanctions against members of the higher education community.

In May 1982, the Senate of McMaster University approved, for application to students enrolled at McMaster University, the following policy regarding academic offenses other than those covered under the definition of academic dishonesty:

It shall be considered an academic offense for an individual, or a group of students, to be involved in acts which disrupt the University's ability to pursue its academic objectives. Such actions as deliberate disruption of classes and theft, misappropriation or destruction of instructional or research equipment or material (including library materials, computer time and/or files, and the like), shall be considered academic offenses.

Terms and Conditions are imposed by the various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and operating organizations of the external peer networks (e.g. ORION, CA*Net) in which McMaster participates in order to gain off-campus connectivity. Some extracts from the current ISP (FibreWired Hamilton, in conjunction with Hydro One Telecomm) are listed below.

Schedule "A" - Acceptable Use Policy
The Customer asserts that it has in place those policies, procedures and practices necessary to inform its users that they may not violate any of FibreWired's CSA or AUP terms and that it will take prompt action to deal with any such violations reported to it by FibreWired.

The Customer shall take all reasonable precautions to cause end users not to and shall take remedial action when end users:

(i) invade another person's privacy; unlawfully use, possess, post, transmit or disseminate obscene, profane or pornographic material; post, transmit, distribute or disseminate content which is unlawful, threatening, harassing, abusive, libelous, slanderous, defamatory or otherwise offensive or objectionable; unlawfully promote or incite hatred; or post, transmit or disseminate objectionable information, including, without limitation, any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any municipal, provincial, federal or international law, order or regulation;

(ii) access any computer systems, software, data, or any confidential, copyright protected or patent protected material of any other person, without the knowledge and consent of such person, make unauthorized attempts to gain access to any account or computer resource not belonging to the Customer (i.e. engage in spoofing), or otherwise gain unauthorized access to, alter, or destroy any information of another person by any means or device;

(iii) upload, post, publish, deface, modify, transmit, reproduce, or distribute in any way, information, software or other material which is protected by copyright, or other proprietary right, or related derivative works, without obtaining permission of the copyright owner or rights holder, or otherwise complying with applicable laws;

(iv) directly or indirectly restrict, inhibit or otherwise interfere with the ability of any other person to access or use the Internet, including without limitation by posting or transmitting any information or software which contains a virus, lock, key, bomb, worm, trojan horse or other harmful or debilitating feature; or

(v) send unsolicited e-mail that causes complaints from the recipients of such unsolicited e-mail (i.e. engage in spamming), nor send large quantities of unwanted or unsolicited e-mail to individual email accounts (i.e. engage in mail-bombing).

External Networks - Terms and Conditions Common to the Use of External NetworksExternal Networking organizations supply their members with connectivity amongst themselves, with directly-connected networks, and indirectly with the rest of the global Internet, without regard to the nature of the traffic transmitted to or from a member, with the following exceptions, which relate to illegal or anti-social behaviour:

  1. The network must not be used for illegal purposes. The transmission of any material that is in violation of any Canadian federal or provincial statute or court order is prohibited.
  2. The network must not be used to attempt unauthorized access to systems, software or data, nor to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, propagation of computer worms and viruses, the broadcast of intrusive or unsolicited advertising, any behaviour that impacts negatively the work of users of the external network or other connected networks.
  3. The network must not be used to transmit any communication where the meaning of the message, or its transmission or distribution, is intended to be or is likely to be perceived as being abusive, offensive, or harassing to the recipient or recipients thereof.
  4. Access to other networks or services on other networks reached via the immediately external network must comply with the acceptable-use provisions of the other network or service.

The directors of the external network are sole arbiters of what constitutes violation of any of the above requirements. The remedy available to them to deal with such violations shall be the sanctions described by that organization (typically the University is given a time period within which to sanction the responsible party, and if this is not done, the University as a whole will be disconnected).

General Obligation to Resolve Reports of Improper Behaviour
The Member is responsible for being able to identify the individual under its control whom it will hold accountable for any transmission that originated within its internal network. The Member agrees to expeditiously resolve any report sent to its designated representative of improper behaviour (as described herein) originating from its internal network, and to take whatever internal action it deems will prevent the recurrence of such behaviour.

The following examples provide guidelines for determining whether a particular action or use is acceptable, but do not enumerate all such uses. As a user of McMaster's computing and networking facilities, DO NOT:

  • Obtain and/or use others' passwords without their knowledge and consent.
  • Aid or abet unauthorized use of McMaster's computing and networking facilities.
  • Attempt to gain access to files and resources to which you have not been granted permission.
  • Download, copy or distribute copywritten materials.
  • Intentionally develop or use any unauthorized mechanism to avoid charges levied by the University for computing services.
  • Try to "crash", or unnecessarily retard, the network or computing systems.
  • Make copies of others' files without their knowledge and consent.
  • Use the system for non-academic purposes which interfere with the prime goals and objectives listed in the opening paragraph. (For example, playing games on a workstation when another student needs it to do course work).
  • Print or plot posters and banners under academic accounts.
  • Steal, vandalize or obstruct the use of computing equipment, facilities, or documentation.
  • Use University computing facilities for personal and/or corporate gain. For example, the sale of the results of computer runs made or of a computer program developed under a University computer charge number.
  • Copy any application, network or system software products which are on University owned systems.
  • Misuse electronic mail and communications networks. For example, using the network for commercial purposes; sending obscene and/or prejudicial messages.
  • Use any software obtained illegally or not properly licensed for our systems.

Should an occasion arise where computer or network abuse is suspected, the University reserves the right to examine passwords, accounting information, files, programs, printouts, tapes or any other computer related material belonging to the users of UTS facilities.

Computer and network abuses are not taken lightly and will be reported to the appropriate University officers. Reasonable suspicion may result in the withdrawal of computing privileges pending investigation and corrective action.

In addition, a computer related offense may be an offense under the Criminal Code or University sexual harassment and human rights policies and may be dealt with as such by the University. In particular, copying any application, network or system software products which are on University owned systems constitutes THEFT and anyone found doing so may be subject to disciplinary action by McMaster University as well as possible criminal prosecution by the producers of the copied software.

Although UTS endeavours to preserve the security of passwords, charge numbers and files, security could be breached through actions and means beyond UTS' reasonable control. You are accountable for the activities performed under your logon id and are urged, therefore, to safeguard your passwords, charge numbers and data.

All McMaster University computer and network users are expected to adhere to the following policies and terms and conditions for the services used:

Service Bulletins

Citrix Receiver Client Update

UTS asks Citrix users to upgrade Citrix Receiver Client to the most current version by February 28, 2017. See UTS Citrix website for installation and removal information.

Mosaic Upgraded Interface

Service Desk

Client Self Service:
Hours: Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Phone: 905-525-9140 x24357 (2HELP)
Location: Main Campus BSB Rm. 245
Service Catalogue:

Great Idea Site

Great Idea