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Internet terms of use

Disclosure date: 18 November 2013

Reference: FOI2013/1018

Request

1.) If students at your institution have to agree to a Terms of Service/Acceptable Use Policy before they are granted access to network resources, please provide a copy of this.

2.) Could you confirm any disciplinary or punitive actions that students might face as a result of breaking such Terms of Service/Acceptable Use Policy?

3.) Does your network employ any kind of traffic shaping that limits the use of particular internet protocols such as BitTorrent? Does your institution block access to file sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay or other kinds of sites (for instance, pornography sites)?

4.) If your institution does block certain sites or implements traffic shaping on protocols, please could you confirm the broad internal process by which sites or protocols are chosen for blocking. If an external service such as BT’s ‘Cleanfeed’ is used to regulate the sites to which students have access, please confirm the details of this.

5.) Do you conduct any analysis, whether automated or manually, that investigates the volume of traffic upon your network? If so, please provide a summary of the amount and proportion of upstream and downstream traffic (accounted for separately if possible) which is utilised for the ten most popular protocols (such as streaming video, BitTorrent, email, and so on).

6.) Please could you also provide any available breakdown if possible of the use of legitimate media consumption upon your network, such as the amount of traffic generated by the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Spotify, or to Apple's iTunes store.

7.) Could you confirm your internal processes for dealing with infringement notices sent to you from rights holders, such as in the case of a student sharing copyrighted content over BitTorrent without authorisation.

8.) Are there any procedures in place to censure such activity, or restrict network usage for those students whose activities result in infringement notices from rights holders?

9.) Please confirm the total number of takedown/infringement/DMCA-style notices that you have received this year.  Additionally, please confirm the numbers of notices received over each of the previous 10 years if this information is available.

Response

1.) Logon to our domain requires compliance with SOAS’s IT policy, which can be found at http://www.soas.ac.uk/lis/policies/itpolicy/ on the SOAS website. This is currently being redrafted.

2.) Students in breach of the IT Policy, and in particular the section on computer misuse, would be subject to the SOAS Student Disciplinary Procedures. The outcome of these procedures, should the allegation be upheld, would depend on the nature and seriousness of the breach. Details of the procedures can be found at http://www.soas.ac.uk/students/disciplinaries/.

3.) No, SOAS does not block access to any sites based purely on content or type (see question 4).

4.) We do not block traffic to sites via content filtering or traffic shaping. We do, however, use DNS real time blacklisting that null routes any domains/sites that are known to be serving malware; the "cleanfeed" reference sites we use are as follows:

http://www.malwaredomains.com/
https://zeustracker.abuse.ch/
https://spyeyetracker.abuse.ch/
http://hosts-file.net/
http://www.malware.com.br/lists.shtml

5.) SOAS does not hold this data: ICT only retains raw traffic figures with no protocol analysis.

6.) See answer to question 5.

7.) SOAS would identify the user using the IP Address in the infringement notice via DHCP and network authentication logs. For completeness, we would then identify the network traffic of the infringement using our firewall logs to satisfy ourselves that the notice is correct. We then forward the copyright infringement notice to the user (either staff or student) to ask them to remove the copyrighted content or software from their PC.

8.) If users do not respond promptly, they receive a final warning: “Failure to respond to this warning may result in disciplinary action including suspension of your network access."

9.) One in the last year and fewer than 10 in the last 10 years.