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UMass Amherst IT Policy: Network Registration Conditions of Use

By registering a computer on the UMass network, you agree to adhere to the Conditions of Use outlined below and understand that violations of the Conditions of Use will be punished according to appropriate University policies or State and/or Federal laws.

General Principles

Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by the University of Massachusetts Amherst (referred to as the "University") imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to University policies, local, state, and federal laws.

Acceptable use is always ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system and network security mechanisms, and individuals' rights to privacy and to freedom from intimidation and harassment.


In making acceptable use of resources, you agree to:

  • Be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks, degrading services, or abusing any network equipment or resource.
  • Use resources only for authorized purposes.
  • Protect your UMass Amherst IT Computing Account and your computer system from unauthorized use. You are responsible for all activities on your UMass Amherst IT Computing Account and the ones originating from your computer system or network connection assigned to you.
  • Access only information that is your own, that is publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.
  • Use only legal versions of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor license requirements.

You further agree NOT to:

  • Create, use, or distribute illegal copies of copyrighted material, store such copies on University systems, or transmit them over University networks.
  • Use another person's computer system, UMass Amherst IT Computing Account, password, files, or another persons data without permission.
  • Allow anyone else to use your UMass Amherst IT Computing Account or network connection.
  • Use computer programs to decode passwords or access control information.
  • Attempt to circumvent or subvert system or network security, including network address assignments (DHCP).
  • Engage in any activity that might be purposefully harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, damaging files or making unauthorized modifications to University data.
  • Use University resources for commercial or partisan political purposes, such as using electronic mail, web-sites, or any University resource to circulate advertising for products or for profit.
  • Use electronic mail, messaging, or any network service to harass or intimidate another person, for example, by broadcasting unsolicited messages, by repeatedly sending unwanted mail, or by using someone else's name or UMass Amherst IT Computing Account.
  • Waste computing resources or network resources, for example, by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop, excessive "pinging", sending chain letters or unsolicited mass mailings (Spam).
  • Use the University systems, networks, or services for personal gain; for example, by selling or granting access to your UMass Amherst IT Computing Account or to University systems or networks, or by performing work for profit with University resources in a manner not authorized by the University.
  • Engage in any other activity that does not comply with the General Principles presented above.


The University considers any violation of acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense. We reserve the right to copy and examine any files or information resident on University systems allegedly related to unacceptable use and to protect our network from systems and events that threaten or degrade operations.

Violators are subject to disciplinary action as prescribed in the Code of Student Conduct, Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities, and employee handbooks. Offenders also may be prosecuted under laws including (but not limited to) the Communications Act of 1934 (amended), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, The Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1989, Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, Massachusetts General Laws, No Electronic Theft Act of 1997, Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1999, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

Information Disclaimer

Individuals using computer systems owned by the University are subject to applicable laws and University policies. The University disclaims any responsibility and/or warranties for information and materials residing on non-University systems or available over publicly accessible networks. Such materials do not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or values of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the University, its faculty, staff, or students.

These guidelines should not be construed as a limit on any individual's right under the constitutions of the United States or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.