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Durham University IT services regulations

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28th Mar 2006 | 03:05

Some amusing or odd features:
  • Blasphemy and racism are forbidden, along with the usual porn. This probably covers some fortune(1) jokes.
  • You can get permission to look at porn for research purposes, but there is no such exemption for reverse engineering software (so no software security research).
  • You are not allowed to "access, download, store, or process" comercial spam, or anything that causes "annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety".
  • Durham ITS takes a cut of research grants which have provision for computing costs.
  • Durham claims all "intellectual property" you create and must be involved in any commercial exploitation.
  • For the purpose of these regulations, "any remote IT facilities are deemed to be [Durham] University IT facilities".

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Comments {17}

oldbloke

from: oldbloke
date: 28th Mar 2006 07:59 (UTC)

You are not allowed to "access, download, store, or process" comercial spam

I take it they have infallible filters on the mailhubs, then. Otherwise you don't get a lot of choice.

Durham claims all "intellectual property" you create and must be involved in any commercial exploitation.

We have that. It's a bugger when you want to do a bit of freelance.

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from: Dave Holland [org.uk]
date: 28th Mar 2006 08:33 (UTC)

Their process for allowing Internet access to guest computers seems a little odd, too. It appears that they have a magic intercepting proxy that waits to see your computer update its antivirus definitions before you are allowed unfettered access. Bit of a bummer if you're using Linux!

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from: stephdairy
date: 28th Mar 2006 09:38 (UTC)

Presumably you could wget http://www.norton.com/virusdefs or similar...

(S)

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from: Dave Holland [org.uk]
date: 28th Mar 2006 09:40 (UTC)

yep - there was a list of "approved" antivirus products on the wall, but life was too short for me to guess URLs, and I had a temporary login for the university's terminal room PCs, so I used that instead...

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from: stephdairy
date: 28th Mar 2006 09:37 (UTC)

Do they actually enforce the blasphemy thing?

(S)

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from: ex_robhu
date: 28th Mar 2006 12:29 (UTC)

Yeah that really is shocking isn't it? Are such restrictions legal?

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A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 28th Mar 2006 16:04 (UTC)

Given that blasphemy is illegal anyway, it'd be hard to see why it would be.

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from: ex_robhu
date: 28th Mar 2006 16:08 (UTC)

Is blasphemy of any kind illegal?

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Korenwolf

from: korenwolf
date: 28th Mar 2006 21:07 (UTC)

Only against the Christian religion in the UK, hence the plans to bring in the religious discrimination bill.

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A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 28th Mar 2006 10:22 (UTC)

Do they actually forbid "racism" as opposed to racist abuse or incitement to racial hatred or whatever?

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Edith

from: edith_the_hutt
date: 28th Mar 2006 10:28 (UTC)

I thought that was usually worded along the lines of things which some members of the university may find offensive these days.

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A zero-width positive lookahead assertion

from: pseudomonas
date: 28th Mar 2006 10:30 (UTC)

That sounds frighteningly arbitrary. I hope that there are at least get-out clauses for allowing quoting of racist material without endorsement.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 28th Mar 2006 13:00 (UTC)

Nope!

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M'lisilinaath Thabana

from: naath
date: 28th Mar 2006 14:27 (UTC)

I guess no-one at Durham studies, say, WWII then, or the slave trade. Bummer for the history department really.

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from: anonymous
date: 28th Mar 2006 15:13 (UTC)

For the purpose of these regulations, "any remote IT facilities are deemed to be [Durham] University IT facilities".
and
Durham claims all "intellectual property" you create and must be involved in any commercial exploitation.

must surely conflict in interesting ways...

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(Deleted comment)

Korenwolf

from: korenwolf
date: 28th Mar 2006 21:09 (UTC)

I wonder how much of it is actually enforceable if someone decided to argue the toss and take the legal route. There are certainly bits which could easily fail a "reasonableness" test.

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