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ETS Acceptable Use Policies

ETS Acceptable Use Policies Educational Technology Services Acceptable Use Policies Revised: April 2017

In support of the University's mission of teaching, research, and public service, Educational Technology Services (ETS) provides computing, networking, and information resources to the University community. Access to ETS facilities is a privilege conditioned upon your compliance with the current Acceptable Use Policies. Please recognize that maintaining a productive computing environment is a cooperative venture—successful delivery of quality services depends on individual users acting responsibly.

Students, as an ETS user you have promised to know and abide by all ETS policies. You are also bound by the UC San Diego Student Conduct Code and other policies described on the Office of Student Conduct websiteHonor your commitment, read the policies carefully.

ETS users are liable for any and all activities on their accounts. All relevant federal and state laws, as well as University and campus regulations and policies apply. 

Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to, the activities in the following list.

  • Violation of applicable federal or state laws and campus regulations, including but not limited to the transmission of threats, harassment, defamation, obscenity, and pornography; theft of or unauthorized access or use of University resources; conduct unreasonably obstructing or disrupting teaching, learning or research.

  • Copyright infringement. Be aware that reproduction or distribution of copyrighted works, including, but not limited to, images, text, or software, without permission of the owner is an infringement of U.S. Copyright Law and is subject to civil damages and/or criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment. This includes activities such as making software available for copying on your computer and connecting that computer to the UCSD network (whether via the VPN or on-campus network).

  • Giving other people access to your computer account without ETS authorization.

ACCOUNT SHARING IS A SERIOUS POLICY VIOLATION. STUDENTS SHOULD NOT GIVE OR ALLOW ACCESS TO THEIR ACCOUNTS TO ANYONE, INCLUDING TRUSTED FRIENDS, CLASSMATES OR RELATIVES. Indications of account sharing are generally indistinguishable from the symptoms of account piracy. Sharing therefore creates an emergency situation for system administrators and results in a major waste of staff time.
  • Engaging in activities which compromise computer security or disrupt services, at any site. Including but not limited to: Using resources or accounts without authorization. Capturing passwords. Collecting or using tools designed to check for computer system or network security vulnerabilities without prior written approval from ETS.

  • Altering University system software or hardware configurations or circumventing resource control mechanisms.

  • Knowingly running or installing on any computer system or network, or giving to another user, a program intended to damage or to place excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes but is not limited to programs known as computer viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.

  • Using facilities for commercial purposes, or personal financial gain (except where permitted by academic policy). This includes setting up a commercial Web site on your personal computer which is made accessible to the world via a connection to the UCSD network.

  • Sending electronic junk mail or chain letters.

  • Posting material to electronic bulletin boards, news groups, or mail lists which is illegal, or otherwise at variance with applicable codes or rules for network access and use (e.g. Usenet rules published in news.announce.newusers).

  • Engaging in activities which result in an excessive and avoidable level of complaints to University officials. For example, publishing controversial material without identifying the individual or organization responsible for the publication and without providing a clear means for direct feedback and handling of complaints by the publisher.

  • Wasting resources; leaving non-essential processes running when you are not logged in.

  • Tying up special equipment unnecessarily and thereby preventing others from doing their work. Filling up public areas of disk with large files. Running simultaneous compute intensive jobs.

  • Using accounts for unauthorized purposes. Computing related to sponsored research projects may be performed by students using ETS "student" systems (supported by instructional computing fund sources) if the work is being done for academic credit and the primary purpose of the computing is the instruction and training of the student. ETS reserves the right to adjust account resource allocations to avoid over-use of "student" systems for sponsored research computing.

ETS student personal accounts may be used incidentally for UCSD employment including Teaching Assistant positions. Note however they are not intended to support UCSD employment and ETS does not expand the normal account resource allocations to accommodate special requirements of employment. At the instructor's request, ETS will provide special purpose Teaching Assistant accounts with suitable resource allocations for ETS supported courses.


Violations of ETS policies may result in the disabling of an account and loss of computing privileges. Additionally, violations may subject the account holder to disciplinary action under University regulations, and criminal prosecution under applicable statutes. ETS reserves the right to disable accounts without notice to halt or prevent suspected violations of computing policies. If you are unsure about the permissibility of any behavior or use, send mail to to request clarification.

Privacy and Service Access Notices

Be aware that computer files, electronic mail and accounts are not private in an absolute sense. Various persons such as instructors, administrators and operations personnel have access to individual accounts and files.

In compliance with the UC Electronic Communications Policy, issued November 17, 2000, ETS makes every effort to provide reliable service, and respects the privacy of electronic communications. As a practical matter, in order to provide technical assistance with electronic communications services such as electronic mail, ETS treats requests for assistance as implied consent to inspect electronic communication records. Such requests may be made directly to ETS or indirectly via communications with another University office. In any event, inspection is limited to the least perusal necessary to render the requested assistance.

Electronic communications, computing, and network services may be interrupted or discontinued for operational needs and when accounts are deactivated in accordance with established account administration procedures. Accounts on ETS instructional systems are issued a weekly allocation of Computing Units (CUs) which limit the computing resources that the account may consume during the week. Accounts which exceed their CU limit are deactivated until they receive their next allocation.

Additional Notes

Several useful reference documents concerning applicable laws and University regulations are available at Included among these are UCSD Electronic Communications Procedures and Practices (PDF)

Student Affairs applies ETS Acceptable Use Policies to students, affiliates, administrative units, programs and activities within the Student Affairs jurisdiction.