ITS Header Photo Bar

Information Technology Services

Acceptable Use Policy

Adopted by the University of Missouri-St. Louis Senate, April 12, 2001
As part of its educational and research missions, the University of Missouri-St. Louis strives to provide quality technology-based facilities. These include large and small systems, communication networks, personal computers, video and multimedia devices, as well as associated software, files and data. Although computers affect how individuals communicate and interact with each other, computers do not change underlying societal values and established individual rights with respect to personal privacy and ownership of property. Computing facilities are recognized as community resources. Each user, therefore, is expected to act responsibly so as not to violate the rights of others.

Listed herein are certain responsibilities and the ethical behavior expected of each computer user. The guidelines presented here reflect U.S. Copyright Law, State of Missouri Statutes, and additional specific rules imposed by the Campus. Information Technology Services and the Office of Student Affairs maintain current copies of the pertinent federal and state statutes available for reference.


U.S. Copyright Law and Software Licensing
Computer software may be protected by federal copyright law.

Most software available in University facilities is proprietary and is protected by licensing agreements in addition to the copyright law, and therefore should not be copied.

Special provisions for copying may be granted by the copyright owner and will be specified within the software package, documentation, or license agreement. Read and understand these provisions carefully before making any copies.

Under no circumstances should copyrighted software be distributed outside the University through any mechanism, electronic or otherwise.

The user is responsible for being aware of licensing restrictions for the software used. Lack of knowledge does not justify a violation of the law.

When in doubt, do not copy. Violation of copyright law or licensing agreements may result in University disciplinary action and/or legal action.

In order to receive support from Information Technology Services or vendors, you may be asked to produce manuals, original diskettes, serial number, or other proof of proper software licensing. In addition, vendors normally require proof of ownership to upgrade to a new version of the product.


State of Missouri Law: 569.093 - 569.099 Cum Supp RSMo 1992
Missouri State law makes illegal the unauthorized access and interference with computer systems or computer data, corruption or destruction of computer data and interference with other computer users. To be in compliance with the State statutes, follow the procedures listed below.

Do not attempt to access any computer unless you are authorized.

Protect your passwords. You are responsible for unauthorized use of your userid as well as for refraining from using someone else's userid.

Do not access the private computer files of others, even if those files are unprotected.

Do not endanger or interfere with the operation of any computer system.

If you violate these statutes, you may be criminally charged with a misdemeanor or felony. You may also be liable for compensatory damages and attorneys' fees in a civil lawsuit.

537.525 RSMO Cum Supp 1992

UM-St. Louis Standards of Conduct
Computer access is a privilege granted to an individual and may not be transferred to, or shared with another person without explicit authorization from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, or the appropriate system administrator.

The University of Missouri System also has an acceptable use policy. The current policy can be found in the Collected Rules and Regulations Chapter 110.005. Users include faculty, staff, students, and guest users of the University of Missouri computer networks, equipment, or connecting resources. One part of that policy states that users have the responsibility to protect their user ID, password and system from unauthorized use.
As part of the responsibility to protect systems from unauthorized use, UM-St. Louis includes protecting data on systems from unauthorized access. Portable devices such as laptops and removable storage media are particularly vulnerable to theft, which may expose sensitive data to unauthorized use. Employees who use such devices that contain University data are strongly advised to work with Information Technology Services to find appropriate ways to protect the data should the device be stolen. Protection may include encryption or other technical mechanisms.

All computer users are expected to observe ethical behavior in the use of University equipment and services. Unacceptable behavior includes:

  • damaging any University hardware, software, or connectivity devices  
  • deleting any University-provided software 
  • deleting or changing any data, communication, or Web document not belonging to the user  
  • wasting limited resources, such as unnecessary or excessive printing 
  • disproportionately using cpu, memory, disk space, or email capacity 
  • simultaneously using multiple terminals or microcomputers 
  • importing software of unknown or suspicious function or quality (the primary vehicle for introducing viruses) using University computing facilities for commercial purposes or personal profit, except as provided for in University regulations  
  • representing oneself falsely in any electronic transaction 
  • infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others

No person may use University computing resources for any illegal or unauthorized act. In particular, individuals may not use computing resources to violate any state or federal laws or any regulation of the University of Missouri - St. Louis, including, but not limited to, any laws or regulations governing the creation, dissemination or possession of pornography or other illegal documents or images; and the possession or use of programs, files or instructions for violating system security. In addition users are bound by the MORENET agreement that prohibits, among other things, campaigning and commercial activities (see, for example, the policy at:

All users of University computing equipment and services are expected to observe the rights of users. Unacceptable behavior includes:

  • damaging hardware or software belonging to others
  • deleting software, data or communications belonging to others
  • unauthorized examination of programs, data or communications belonging to others  
  • sending annoying or obscene messages or images to other users 
  • interfering in any way with another's use of University equipment or services 
  • displaying obscene images or messages in a public setting 
  • posting of inappropriate Web materials  
  • harassing individuals using electronic transmissions

All user files are subject to examination and deletion by the appropriate system administrator without notice to the user in the process of maintaining system integrity.

Administrators of individual systems and/or laboratories may impose additional restrictions upon their use. Individuals should check with appropriate representatives of those systems and/or laboratories to determine additional rights and responsibilities.

In particular, users should be aware of campus email and Web policies, as well as any law governing their use. Some relevant campus policies governing email and web are listed below.


Email Policies
All electronic mail sent through UM-St. Louis servers must contain the true identification information of the sender. The forging of return addresses is called spoofing. Spoofing of an email address is not permitted. Tampering with email headers is prohibited.

No email should be addressed to more than fifty users at a time. Any email messages addressed to 50 or more addresses is considered bulk email. To address all faculty members, permission must be granted by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. To address all students, permission must be granted by the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. To address all staff members, permission must be granted by the Vice Chancellor of University Relations. (Please note that sending messages to "listervs" or other University-based group communication protocol does not violate this requirement.)

Electronic mail "spamming," or flooding of the Internet with many copies of the same message, is prohibited.

Commercial activities and political campaigning through email are prohibited.

Do not send email to those parties who do not wish to receive it. If another member of the University community asks not to receive your email, stop sending it.

Mail bombing is prohibited. You may not send an electronic mail message to other accounts with the intent of disrupting the recipients' use of their accounts. This includes sending unwanted, frequent or extremely large messages.

The sending of chain letter type electronic mail messages are prohibited.

Any electronic mail which disrupts or interferes other network users, services, or equipment is prohibited. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. transmission of virus software 
  2. unsolicited bulk email ("spam")  
  3. threatening or harassing material.

Web Policies
Unofficial pages cannot have any official or official-appearing University logo and should not appear to be representative of the University or one of its units or of a collective or official position.

Regardless of source or type, ALL documents mounted on the Web via UM-St. Louis servers are automatically subject to applicable laws and University guidelines, rules, and regulations applicable to their creation, display, and use, including, but not limited to the Collected Rules and Regulations, Business Policy Manual, and the University codes of conduct for faculty, staff, and students.

All Web pages are subject to regulations covered by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code). This includes the use of text, graphics, movies, and audio files on the Internet. Even if there is no explicit statement of copyright, U.S. Copyright Law states that original works may not be reproduced, distributed, or displayed without permission of the creator or copyright holder.

Disciplinary Action
Access to computing resources is contingent upon prudent and responsible use. Inappropriate use of computing services and facilities may result in loss of computing privileges. In addition, disciplinary and/or legal action will be pursued for violation of these codes and statutes through appropriate University procedures.