This section lists examples of acceptable behavior as well as behavior that may constitute a violation of University policy. The list is not all-inclusive; in addition, each situation must be considered in light of the specific facts and circumstances to determine if a violation has occurred.
Acceptable behavior: A visiting relative is curious about Princeton's on-line services and Internet access. You demonstrate some of the facilities, and even let the visitor do some "hands-on" work, for example specifying some search terms for a World Wide Web search. You may also let the visitor check his or her own e-mail. But you are careful to retain control; you do not allow the visitor free rein, and do not allow the visitor to generate e-mail that will show a Princeton.EDU domain return address.
Acceptable behavior: A supervisor explains that others in the department may need to continue work on a particular document during your planned absence, and, if no alternate practical means of ready access are available, asks that you provide the account password for access to the document. You do so.
Acceptable behavior: A group of visiting scholars has arranged through Conference and Event Services to have University network access and netIDs during their stay on campus.
Violation: You have a departmental computer account that provides access to certain shared files, to Princeton's general campus resources, to the Internet and World Wide Web. You do not use that account, and give the account and password to the director of a local community service agency, who uses it.
Violation: You have registered your device for the campus network. You are running a system that lets you set up e-mail accounts for other people. You want to offer free access to the device to people around the world with an interest in a specific public issue of great importance, and also give them e-mail accounts on your machine. (You can allow them access to information you have on your machine, provided it is not copyrighted by someone else, but it is a violation to extend to them e-mail accounts or access to other resources within the princeton.edu domain.)
Violation: Without University authorization, you use your campus-connected personal device to host a website, register a domain, or operate a mail-exchange server for a charitable or educational organization. (Hosting commercial sites or domains is expressly forbidden.)
Violation: You have discovered a new kind of peer-to-peer file-sharing software, and install it in space allocated to you on a shared central or departmental server. (To do so without violation, you would need permission from the unit responsible for the server-which is unlikely to be given.)
Violation: You expose your networked device to misuse by leaving it connected but unattended (or otherwise unprotected) in a common area of your dorm room or, if an employee, in your office or work space, for an extended period of time.
Acceptable behavior: While browsing the World Wide Web, you find a table of information and are impressed by the presentation. You view the source data, and make a note of some of the commands the author used to create that display. You use some of the same commands to create a similar table, containing information you want to present via World Wide Web.
Acceptable behavior: You create a Web page, and include a link to someone else's Web page with identification of that page.
Acceptable behavior: You use a network sharing tool to download MP3 or other audio format music files for which you have obtained permission, or film or television files for which you have obtained permission, and you password-protect those files so no one without authorization can get them from your device.
Acceptable behavior: You are testing beta-release software, and know it could fix a problem a colleague is experiencing. You contact the manufacturer, and get permission to share the upgrade with your colleague, who already has a legally obtained copy of the current production product.
Acceptable behavior: You enjoy a song that is on a CD you bought or that you downloaded via a legal service such as iTunes, and you want to use it as a kind of personal theme song on your Princeton web page. You contact the agent of the artist who holds the copyright, and obtain permission to use the song in that fashion, giving proper credits as defined in your agreement with the artist's agent.
Violation: You have legally obtained an on-line copy of an audio format music file, or film or television show file. You have a network sharing tool empowered, which permits others around the world to upload copies of that file from your storage space, and you have put no protections in place to prevent uploading.
Violation: Episodes of a favorite TV show are made Web-available for viewing only via a network streaming site that is authorized by the copyright holder. Since the rights-holder is allowing anyone to view the episodes, you make a copy of your favorite and allow others on the Internet to share your copy.
Violation: You are asked by a computer manufacturer to participate in a beta test of a new operating system. You try it and it fixes many known problems. Without asking permission of the manufacturer, you put the software up on your server and post a message to a message board announcing that people may get a copy, free, at that location.
Violation: Your department has just added a new staff position. The individual hired into the position has a computer, but not a copy of the word-processing package you and the rest of the office use. The department does not have enough in the budget to buy another copy of the software, so you make a copy of your installer for the new staff member to use. (If you have questions regarding the propriety of such action, contact the OIT Help Desk for guidance.)
Violation: You missed seeing a television show you like, and can't find a legal on-line source from which to view it, so you use a file-sharing tool like BitTorrent to find a copy on the Internet and download it so you can see it.
Violation: You subscribe to Netflix, but find the transmission slow, so you download a film to view via BitTorrent.
Violation: You create an electronic copy of a new novel and put it on-line, so you and your friends at other schools or in other places can look at the same text at the same time.
Violation: You bought a commercial disk of a recent film you like, but the disk was lost in an airport as you traveled. You later download another copy of the film from the Internet to replace the disk you lost.
Acceptable behavior: You are alone in a campus computer cluster, and use the computer to initiate some favorite music to provide background noise while you work. However, when other people arrive to use the cluster, you stop the music.
Acceptable behavior: You have an assignment that requires you to work with a collection of images some might find quite gruesome, and you need to use a computer in a campus cluster. You locate a machine that is situated in such a way as to protect others from inadvertently witnessing the images just by walking by.
Violation: You live in the dorm; you and two friends are together, joking about a fourth person who seems to have a personal interest in you. You go into e-mail on your Dormnet device, and create a sexually explicit message to the person with the apparent personal interest. You have no intention of sending the message, but one of your visitors hits the "send" key. Both you and the person who caused the message to be sent will be held responsible for the incident.
Violation: You and a friend are visiting a classmate at his home far from campus, and find the classmate’s Gmail account open and active while the classmate is out of the room. You take the opportunity to look at the e-mail and images stored on the account, and to forward some of the most embarrassing to other Princetonians as if they came from the classmate.
Violation: You create or display in the workplace, on a device that others could or may see, an image that might reasonably be found offensive or inappropriate within the context of the workplace.
Violation: You change the system sound on residential college cluster computers to a potentially offensive or irritating noise.
Violation: You digitize an intimate photograph and install it as the background image on the workstations in a departmental cluster.
Violation: You e-mail, tweet or IM to others an image or joke that reasonably might be perceived by the recipient(s) as intimidating, hostile, threatening, or demeaning.
Violation: You use a public cluster to print a poster slandering an individual.
Violation: Knowing that your start-up screen or background display for the device on in your dormitory room desk might be considered offensive by some, you nonetheless seek in-person help from a computing support person or residential computing assistant without suppressing the display.
Acceptable behavior: You are an officer in a recognized campus organization, and (with approval from the appropriate University authority) send e-mail to all the members of the organization regarding a coming event.
Acceptable behavior: Someone "spams" you; you refrain from reply, but report the matter to the appropriate authority.
Acceptable behavior: You want to post a follow-up to an item on a message board you read, but you notice the previous poster has posted that item to several dozen message boards. You send your posting only to the intended message board.
Acceptable behavior: You create and run a script that accepts information from a web form and sends the information to a set single address or fixed set of recipient addresses.
Violation: You create and/or run e-mail server software configured to accept e-mail messages from arbitrary senders and deliver to arbitrary recipients (an open relay).
Violation: Someone has "spammed" several electronic mailing lists to which you subscribe, so you "get him back" by sending seven hundred identical derisive mail messages to the person's e-mail address.
About retaliation: Retaliation in kind is not appropriate behavior, as it continues to victimize other people. There are appropriate avenues for protest, which will not violate University policy. See "Where to turn" in the section of this policy called "Protection for you."
Acceptable behavior: Your recognized campus organization publishes Web pages. The group's home page contains this accurate information: "Membership in [name of group] requires payment of twenty dollars annual dues."
Acceptable behavior: You use e-mail to apply for a grant that will help pay for your textbooks and travel.
Acceptable behavior: Your child has outgrown an infant stroller and you want to sell it. You use your University access to post a "for sale" notice to the relevant University message board. (Use of your University address in posting such a notice to an outside message board would not be appropriate under University policy.)
Acceptable behavior: You are a student seeking summer employment, and use e-mail to communicate with prospective employers.
Acceptable behavior: You are about to graduate from Princeton, and use e-mail to communicate with potential employers.
Acceptable behavior: You are a faculty member whose scholarly publication is carried by an on-line bookseller; you make the book title on your web page serve as a "hot link" to the point of sale.
Acceptable behavior: Your recognized student organization has a CD that the group has been authorized to sell via the World Wide Web. You offer it for sale following the regulations for e-commerce established by the Treasurer’s Office.
Violation: You are an officer in a recognized University organization that is supported by fees from members and "friends of" the organization. The organization has a WWW page explaining its activities. Rather than just state that support is by subscription from members and friends and stating factual information regarding fees, you post an appeal, "Send your dollars in now! Support this cause at Princeton."
Violation: You contract with a commercial firm to include a banner ad on your Princeton University personal home page, so that you will get a small payment each time someone connects to the company's site from the banner-link on your web page.
Violation: You are a University employee who manages a summer camp for children interested in chess. You use your Princeton University e-mail address and affiliation to advertise the camp.
Violation: You run an advertisement of your own for-pay service on your web page.
Violation: You use your networked device and assigned University IP address (Internet Protocol address) to register a domain and/or host a website or operate a mail-server with a .com designation.
Violation: Without University authorization, you provide a mail exchange agent (i.e., e-mail service) for a .org domain on a device connected to the University network.
Violation: You agree to let a commercial service use the excess capacity on your University-connected device as a network distribution point for files or services. (Such an agreement also entails use of the University's bandwidth, which you are not authorized to assign for such purposes.)
Acceptable behavior: You use University equipment to record a debate between candidates for state office in order that a Politics class can view the video.
Violation: You use your University access to post to a message board indicating that Princeton University supports a current candidate for political office.