Information technology resources are valuable assets provided to enhance the core functions of the University of Tennessee. The use of the university's information technology resources is a privilege extended to authorized users for education, research, service, and administration. This ACCEPTABLE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES POLICY (AUP) governs the use of the university's information technology resources in an atmosphere that encourages free exchange of ideas and an unwavering commitment to academic freedom. The university community is based on principles of honesty, academic integrity, respect for others, and respect for others' privacy and property. The university seeks to:
protect the confidentiality and integrity of electronic information and privacy of its users, to the extent required or allowed under federal and state law, including the Tennessee Public Records Act.
ensure that the use of electronic communications complies with the provisions of university policy and state and federal law; and
allow for the free exchange of ideas and support of academic freedom.
The university cannot protect users from the presence of material they may find offensive. The presence of such material must not be represented or construed as an endorsement or approval by the university.
This policy applies to all students, staff, and others, referred to as users throughout this policy, while accessing, using, or handling the University of Tennessee's information technology resources. In this policy, "users" include but are not limited to subcontractors, visitors, visiting scholars, potential students, research associates, grant and contract support personnel, media representatives, guest speakers, and non-university entities granted access. All "users" are required to be familiar with and comply with this policy.
In this policy, “users” are those who access, use, or handle the university’s IT
resources.They include, but are not
limited to: students, faculty, staff, subcontractors, visitors, visiting scholars,
potential students, research associates, grant and contract support personnel, media
representatives, guest speakers, and non-university entities or individuals who
are granted access.
This policy applies to all university IT resources, whether individually controlled,
shared, stand-alone, or networked. It applies to all computers and communication
facilities owned, leased, operated, or provided by the university or otherwise connected
to university IT resources. These include, but are not limited to: networking devices,
personal digital assistants, telephones, wireless devices, personal computers, workstations,
mainframes, minicomputers, and any associated peripherals and software, whether
used for administration, research, teaching, or other purposes. This policy also
applies to all personally owned devices used to store, process, or transmit university
information or that are otherwise connected to university IT resources.
At minimum, individual university units (such as campuses or institutes, departments,
colleges, and divisions) must follow these principles and rules while connected
to university IT resources. Each unit is responsible for security on its systems.A unit may apply more stringent security
standards than those detailed here, provided these do not conflict with or lower
standards or requirements established by university IT policies.
1.All users are expected to comply with university IT security policies and
follow IT security best practices where possible.
The university provides electronic resources to users to help the university fulfill
its mission. The university routinely monitors electronic data, software, and communications.There should be no expectation of privacy
for any information stored, processed, or transmitted on university IT resources.
As required by state law, the university hereby notifies users that email may be
a public record and open to public inspection under the Tennessee Public Records Act, unless the email is covered by an exception to the Act, such as personally
identifiable student information, proprietary information, or trade secrets. (See
Information Classification Policy: IT 0115, sections two and three.)
Users should be aware that any activity on systems and networks may be monitored,
logged, and reviewed by university approved personnel or may be discovered in legal
proceedings. All documents created, stored, transmitted, or received on university
computers and networks may be subject to monitoring by systems administrators.
The university reserves the right to access, monitor, review, and release the contents
and activity of an individual user's account(s), including email, on any account
on any university-owned or non-university-owned resource on or off university property
connected to university networks.This
action may be taken to maintain the network's integrity and the rights of those
with authorized access, to safeguard against threatened security of a computer or
network system, to protect from other suspected misuse of university resources,
or to respond to the legitimate business needs of the university. Prior approval
from the Information Security Office (ISO) or another authorized university office
(such as the Office of General Counsel, Audit and Consulting Services) or a subpoena
or court order must precede this action.
a.Comply with university policies and follow university best practices where
possible to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of computer
systems and information on all devices under their control.
b.Make regular backups of information and files as appropriate.
c.Control and secure physical and network access to IT resources and data.
d.Properly log out of sessions.
e.Monitor access to their accounts.
If a user suspects unauthorized activity or that their account has been compromised,
they must report it and change passwords immediately.
f.Install, use, and regularly update virus protection software.
Use only the passwords and privileges associated with their computer account(s)
and use those account(s) only for their authorized purpose.
i.Respect and honor the rights of other individuals with regard to intellectual
property, privacy, freedom from harassment, academic freedom, copyright, and use
of IT resources.
j.Use university provided software in a manner that strictly adheres
to all licensing provisions, including installation, use, copying, number of simultaneous
users, and other terms of the license.
5.Users will not:
a.Provide access codes to any unauthorized user.
b.Use accounts, access codes, privileges or IT resources for which they are
c.Tamper, modify, or alter any restrictions or protections placed on their
accounts, the university’s system, or network facilities.
d.Physically damage or vandalize IT resources, or use IT resources to damage
other university resources or systems.
e.Commit copyright infringement, including file sharing of video, audio, or
data without permission from the copyright owner.
f.Use IT resources to introduce, create, or propagate computer viruses,
worms, Trojan horses, or other malicious code.
g.Obtain extra IT resources or gain access to accounts for which they are not
Eavesdrop on or intercept other users’ transmissions.
i.Attempt to degrade the performance or availability of any system or
to deprive authorized users access to any university IT resources.
j.Misrepresent their identity with actions such as IP address "spoofing,"
email address falsification, or social engineering.
k.Send email chain letters or mass mailings for purposes other than official
l.Use university resources to relay mail between non-university email
m.Engage in activities that violate state or federal law, a University contractual obligation, or another University policy or rule including but not limited to Human Resources policies and Standards of Conduct for students.
Comment or act on behalf of the university over the Internet without authorization.
o.Connect devices (such as switches, routers, hubs, computer systems, and wireless
access points) that are not approved by the central campus or institutional IT organization
to the network.
p.Use without authorization any device or application that consumes a disproportionate
amount of network bandwidth.
q.Respond to electronic requests (email, instant message, text message, etc.)
that ask for generally protected information, such as passwords, social security
numbers, or credit card numbers.
6.Violation of copyright law or infringement is prohibited by university policies
and state and federal law.Generally,
only the owner of a copyrighted work may reproduce, create other works based on
the copyrighted work, distribute, perform, or publically display a copyrighted work.Any unauthorized use of copyrighted
material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the user
to discipline as a violation of one or more provisions of the general standard of
conduct in the student handbook or to discipline under the Code of Conduct in the
Human Resources Policy and Procedures.
While the university has deployed and maintains various technologies that actively
prohibit copyright infringement activities, the university does not actively monitor
its network for copyright infringement, but does investigate all complaints or notices.In the event that the university receives
notice a potential copyright violation, the university does investigate all complaints
Acts of copyright infringement will be addressed according to the Sanctions section
of this policy.In addition, infringement
of copyrighted work, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may also
involve civil lawsuits by the copyright owner.Possible penalties include actual damages and profits or statutory damages
of up to $30,000 for each work infringed (or up to $150,000 for each willful infringement),
court costs, attorney fees, and other civil damages.Criminal penalties for willful infringement may include, depending upon the
value of the work(s) infringed, fines and imprisonment for up to 5 years as provided
in 18 USC 2319.
7.Software may not be copied, installed, or used on university IT resources
except as permitted by the owner of the software and by law. Users will properly
license software and strictly adhere to all licensing provisions, including installation,
use, copying, number of simultaneous users, and terms of the license.
All copyrighted information, such as text and images, retrieved from IT resources
or stored, transmitted, accessed, or maintained with IT resources must be used in
compliance with applicable copyright and other laws. Copied material must be properly
credited using applicable legal and professional standards.
9.Each department is responsible and accountable for maintaining records of
purchased software licensure. The providing organization is responsible for maintaining
records and information related to centrally provided software.These records are subject to internal audit for compliance.
not addressed by this policy about computer software use or specific license agreements
should be directed to the appropriate campus or institute Position of Authority
for InformationTechnology (POA) or their designee (see
university's IT resources are provided for use in conducting authorized university
business.Certain users, such as students
in university housing and network guests, use university IT resources for personal
needs.Nevertheless, all users are
prohibited from using these resources for personal gain, illegal activities, or
a.The prohibition against using the university's IT resources for personal
gain does not apply to:
Consulting and other activities that relate to a faculty member's professional development
or as permitted under university policy. For approved consulting and other activities,
see policies covering outside services in the campus and institutional faculty handbooks.
b.Incidental, de minimis personal use of these resources is permitted by this
policy, except when such use:
i.Is excessive or interferes with the performance of the user's university
Results in additional incremental cost or burden to the university's IT resources.
any state or federal law or is otherwise in violation of this or any other university
Results in additional risk to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability to
the university’s IT resources.Personal
use of university owned IT resources that access or maintain restricted information
(such as medical records, student records, social security numbers, or credit card
numbers) is discouraged.
c.University departments may impose more stringent restrictions on personal
IT resources may not be used for commercial purposes, except as specifically permitted
under other written university policies or with the written approval of the Chief
Information Officer. Any such commercial use must be properly related to university
activities and provide for appropriate reimbursement of taxes and other costs the
university may incur by reason of such use.
".edu" domain on the Internet has rules restricting or prohibiting commercial use;
activities not appropriate for the ".edu" domain but otherwise permissible by the
university's IT resources policies must use other domain designations.
of IT Resources
should report all suspected or observed illegal activities to the appropriate university
administrative office. Examples include
theft, fraud, copyright infringement, illegal electronic file sharing, sound or
video recording piracy, hacking, and viewing or distribution of child pornography.
of networks or computers at other sites through the university’s IT resources will
be treated as an abuse of IT resource privileges.
law prohibits the use of university resources for campaign or political advertising
on behalf of any party, committee, agency, or candidate for political office. (Tennessee
Code Annotated § 2-19-201 et seq.). This does not prohibit use of university resources
to discuss or examine political topics or issues of public interest, so long as
it does not advocate for or against a particular party, committee, agency, or candidate.
Violations of university policies, state
or federal laws, and other misuse of university resources may
result in termination
of access, disciplinary review, expulsion, termination of employment, legal action,
and other appropriate disciplinary action. Notification will be made to the ISO,
the POA for Information Technology at each respective campus or institute, and the
appropriate university office (such as the office for student conduct matters, human
resources, general counsel, campus, or institute police department) or local and
federal law enforcement agencies.
The POA and the ISO are authorized to isolate and disconnect computer systems from
the network while responding to a suspected or reported security incident to minimize
the risk to the university’s network infrastructure.Termination of access may occur without contacting the administrator, user,
or custodian of the violating system.
Access to the university’s IT resources will only be restored when either the POA
or the ISO (whichever approved the initial removal of access) receives reasonable
assurance that the incident has been resolved.