AUP – Acceptable Usage Policy

Background and Definitions

  1. HEAnet is the name given to the collection of networking services and facilities which support the communication requirements of the Irish education and research community.
  2. HEAnet provides services to three categories of organisation – member, user and connected.
  3. Member organisations are those organisations that have involvement in the management of HEAnet and from the Board of HEAnet Limited. These are the seven Universities, Dublin Institute of Technology, the Higher Education Authority, the Institutes of Technologys,the Department of Jobs, Enterprise &Innovation and the Libraries Consortium.
  4. User organisations are those organisations that the Board has decided are eligible to subscribe for HEAnet services.
  5. Connected organisations are those organisations that the Board has decided are eligible to connect to HEAnet. Such organisations are only allowed to connect to sites directly connected to HEAnet – i.e. they are not allowed to transit HEAnet into other networks.
  6. This policy statement applies to all three categories of organisation. It is the responsibility of User Organisations to ensure that members of their own communities use HEAnet services in an acceptable manner and in accordance with current legislation.
  7. Organisations using HEAnet should establish their own acceptable usage policies in a form that is compatible with the conditions expressed in this policy.
  8. An organisation availing of HEAnet services is a user organisation. It is acceptable for a user organisation to extend access to others on a limited basis (subject to 9 & 10 below). Where the extension of such access to a particular user or group of users requires additional resources it is acceptable for the organisation to recover these costs, providing the cost of HEAnet’s services are not presented to such end users with any supplemental charge.
  9. A user organisation may provide HEAnet services to organisations which support the aims and objectives of HEAnet and which, in the opinion of the user organisation, have a contribution to make to the HEAnet community of members.
  10. Relevant & suitable third parties, who receive network connectivity via a HEAnet user organisation, must not receive material competitive advantage from their connection to the HEAnet network. Such third parties may not resell any HEAnet services.
  11. HEAnet may provide services to third parties (not members of HEAnet) provided that, in doing so, there is benefit to the membership of HEAnet.

Acceptable Usage

HEAnet services should be used in such a way as to:

  • apply public funding only to the purposes for which it was voted;
  • abide by the law of the land;
  • and not conflict with or override the rules and regulations of member organisations

HEAnet will actively seek grants, subventions and other assistance towards its aims and objectives from public and private sources as appropriate.

A code of acceptable behaviour in the usage of HEAnet services is given below.

HEAnet Code of Behaviour

HEAnet provides enabling and enhancing services for member organisations in the pursuance of their official activities of instruction, research and development, and associated academic activities, and for administration in direct support of such use.

It is not permitted to use HEAnet services for any activity which purposely:

  • seeks to gain unauthorised access to the resources of member organisations
  • adversely affects the operation of HEAnet services or jeopardises the use or performance for other users
  • wastes resources (people, capacity, computer)
  • destroys the integrity of computer-based information
  • compromises the privacy of users
  • creates or transmits (other than for properly supervised and lawful research purposes) any offensive, obscene or indecent images, data or other material, or any data capable of being resolved into obscene or indecent images or material
  • creates or transmits defamatory material
  • transmits material in such a way as to infringe the copyright of another person or organisation
  • transmits unsolicited commercial or advertising material
  • causes offence or discriminates on grounds of race, creed or sex. In particular, compliance with the Employment Equality Act 1998, Equal Status Act 2000 and the Equality Act 2004 is required – including any amendments to said acts
  • conflicts with practices as laid down from time to time by the Board
  • contravenes the law of the State (in particular, but not exclusively, the Data Protection Act and the Criminal Damages Act (1991))

HEAnet subscribes to the Hotline service of the Internet Services Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI).  User organisations may from time to time receive notices from www.hotline.ie requesting the removal of specific material from websites or newsgroups being hosted by their users and providing that it is technically practical to do so, User organisations must comply with such notices within a reasonable time.

As a member of the ISPAI, HEAnet subscribes to the ISPAI Code of Practice and Ethics (http://www.ispai.ie/code-of-practice/code-of-practice-and-ethics/).

It is the responsibility of user organisations to restrict traffic according to their own requirements and to secure themselves against the misuse of HEAnet services.

It is the responsibility of the user organisation to take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the conditions of acceptable usage and to ensure that unacceptable usage of HEAnet services does not occur. The discharge of this responsibility must include informing all users of HEAnet services of their obligations in this respect.

Where necessary, HEAnet service may be withdrawn from the user organisation. This may take one of two forms:

  • An indefinite withdrawal of service, should a violation of these conditions persist after appropriate warnings have been given by HEAnet. Such a withdrawal of service would only be made on the authority of the Board. Restoration would be made only when the Board was satisfied that the appropriate steps had been taken at the organisation involved to ensure acceptable behaviour in future.
  • A suspension of service, should a violation of these conditions cause serious degradation of the service to other users. Such a suspension would be made on the judgement of the Board, and service would be restored when the cause of the degradation of service to others had been removed.

The responsibility for interpreting these terms lies with the Board. The Board reserves the right to review these conditions from time to time.