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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Computer and Network Usage

For a complete text of the currently applicable version of this policy, see Administrative Guide Memo 62, Computer and Network Usage Policy, available at


The following is quoted from the policy:

Users of Stanford network and computer resources have a responsibility not to abuse the network and resources. This policy provides guidelines for the appropriate and inappropriate use of information technologies.


The following summarizes the policy on Computer and Network Usage:

In particular, the policy provides that users of University information resources must respect software copyrights and licenses, respect the integrity of computer-based information resources, refrain from seeking to gain or permitting others to gain unauthorized access, including by sharing passwords, and respect the rights of other computer users.

This policy covers appropriate use of computers, networks, and information contained therein. As to political, personal and commercial use, the University is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and, as such, is subject to specific federal, state, and local laws regarding sources of income, political activities, use of property, and similar matters. It also is a contractor with government and other entities, and thus must assure proper use of property under its control and allocation of overhead and similar costs. For these reasons, University information resources must not be used for partisan political activities where prohibited by federal, state, or other applicable laws, and may be used for other political activities only when in compliance with federal, state, and other laws, and in compliance with applicable University policies. Similarly, University information resources should not be used for personal activities not related to appropriate University functions, except in a purely incidental manner. In addition, University information resources should not be used for commercial purposes, except in a purely incidental manner or except as permitted under other written policies of the University or with the written approval of a University officer having the authority to give such approval. Any such commercial use should be properly related to University activities, take into account proper cost allocations for government and other overhead determinations, and provide for appropriate reimbursement to the University for taxes and other costs the University may incur by reason of the commercial use. Users also are reminded that the .edu domain on the Internet has rules restricting or prohibiting commercial use, and thus activities not appropriately within the .edu domain and which otherwise are permissible within the University computing resources should use one or more other domains, as appropriate.

The University's Information Security Officer is authorized in appropriate circumstances to inspect or monitor private data (including email), such as when there is a reasonable cause to suspect improper use of computer or network resources.

For further information on the topic of peer-to-peer file sharing, see the section above on Copyright.

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