QA433 ICT Regulations

If you have any queries about these regulations please contact Information Solutions and Services

In support of its mission of teaching and research, University of Galway provides access to computing resources for students and staff of the University within available resources. Access to the University's computing facilities is a privilege granted to members of the University. The University reserves the right to limit, restrict or extend computing privileges and access to its information resources.

University computing resources are provided to facilitate a person's work as a member of staff or student of University of Galway and/or for educational, training, or research purposes. Computing or network resources must not be used for any commercial or significant personal use.

Providing a secure, efficient and reliable computing and network system depends on the cooperation of all users who are required to use the resources in a responsible manner, respecting the integrity of the computer systems, networks and data to which they have access.

User Code

No person shall jeopardise the integrity, performance or reliability of the University's computer equipment, software and other stored information.

Users are required to take appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of University of Galway's Computer Systems. This integrity may be jeopardised if users do not take adequate precautions against malicious software (e.g. computer virus programs).

Users must not undertake any actions that bring the name of University of Galway into disrepute.

The ability to undertake any action does not imply that it is acceptable.

In particular users are not permitted to use any University of Galway computing or networking resources for any activity which:

  • Seeks to gain unauthorised access to the resources of other organisations. The user may use approved University links to other computing facilities for which they are authorised. When using external facilities the user must also abide by their rules or code of conduct
  • Adversely affects the operation of University of Galway computer systems and network or jeopardizes the use or performance for other users
  • Wastes resources (people, network bandwidth, computer)
  • Destroys the integrity of computer-based information
  • Compromises the privacy of users. No user shall interfere or attempt to interfere in any way with information belonging to another user. Similarly no user shall make unauthorised copies of information belonging to another user. Existing norms of behaviour apply to computer-based information technology just as they would apply to more traditional media. Examination of any files on the computer of a colleague is equivalent to examining their filing cabinet. Seeking to find unprotected files on a multi-user system falls into a similar category
  • Creates or transmits (other than for properly supervised and lawful research purposes) any offensive, obscene or indecent images, data or other material, or any data capable of being resolved into obscene or indecent images or material
  • Creates, transmits or publishes defamatory material or material in violation of any right of any third party
  • Transmits material in such a way as to infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of another person or organisation
  • Transmits unsolicited commercial or advertising material
  • Causes offence or discriminates on grounds laid down in current Equality legislation including grounds of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, disability or membership of the travelling community. Whilst it is possible to send communications which may be offensive, obscene or abusive, such behaviour is not acceptable
  • Conflicts with practices as laid down from time to time by the Director of Information Solutions and Services
  • Contravenes the law of the State (in particular, but not exclusively, the Data Protection Act (2003), the Criminal Damages Act (1991), the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act (1998) and the Copyright Act (1963)(2000).

Use of Software 

In this context, "software" is taken to comprise programs, routines, procedures and their associated documentation, which can be implemented on a computer system, including personal computers and workstations. Software and/or information provided by University of Galway may only be used as part of the user's duties as a member of University of Galway or for educational purposes. The user agrees to abide by all the licensing agreements for software entered into by the University with other parties.

The user undertakes not to infringe any copyright of documentation or software. 
Thus any software, data or information which is not provided or generated by the user personally and which may become available through the use of computing or communications resources shall not be copied or used without permission of University of Galway, or the owner of the software, data or information.

User Registration and Authentication

In order to use the computing facilities of University of Galway a person must first be authorised. University registration grants authorisation to use some or all of the computing and networking facilities of the University. During registration, a password will be allocated for the exclusive use of the person registering with the University. Passwords used must adhere to accepted good password practice.

Unauthorised use must not be made, or attempted to be made, of computing or network resources allocated to another person. The user is responsible and accountable for all activities carried out under their username. The password associated with a particular username must not be divulged to another person. Attempts to access or use any user's account, which is not authorised to the user, are prohibited. Such attempts may be in breach of the Criminal Damages Act (1991).

The University requires the completion of a Node Registration Form, available from Information Solutions and Services, for all computing equipment which is to be connected to the University Network. The Head of Department and where appropriate, a permanent member of staff, must sign this form.

Email and Internet Access

The above code of conduct applies in particular to the use of electronic communication facilities provided by University of Galway. Such facilities are provided to facilitate a person's work as a member of staff or student of University of Galway and/or for educational, training, or research purposes. Email must not be used for any commercial or significant personal use. Care must be taken to ensure that any file, document or software is not transmitted or copied in breach of copyright or intellectual property rights. If emails are being sent to express personal as opposed to University views, users should put in a disclaimer to that effect in their message.

Rights and Responsibilities of the University

Ownership: All email accounts maintained on the email systems are the sole property of University of Galway. The University encourages the use of email and respects the privacy of users. It does not routinely inspect, monitor or disclose electronic messages without the users consent. However the Director of Information Solutions and Services or his nominees may access any individual's account, without the user's consent, if required by law or where there is reasonable evidence that violation of law or University policy may have taken place or where failure to do so may hamper the University functioning administratively or meeting its teaching or research obligations. Users will be notified of any such action taken, which is lawful and consistent with other University policies, at the earliest possible opportunity.

Monitoring of Information: Users should be aware that, during the performance of their duties, certain members of Information Solutions and Services staff, who operate and support the electronic communication facilities (email and internet access) need from time to time to monitor transmissions or observe certain transactional information to ensure the proper functioning of the systems. On these and other occasions they may inadvertently observe the contents of electronic communications. Except as provided by law or this policy they are not permitted to hear, see or read the contents of electronic communications intentionally, observe transactional information that is not germane to the foregoing purpose, or otherwise disclose what they have heard, seen or read.

Privacy: On exception to this is when Information Solutions and Services personnel are required to inspect the contents of electronic communications when re-directing or disposing of otherwise undeliverable mail or for transactional records. Such unavoidable inspection is limited to the least invasive level of inspection required to perform such duties. This exemption is subject to the same rule of non-disclosure except in so far as is required, in good faith, to deliver the undeliverable electronic communication to its intended recipient. 
Except as provided above, Information Solutions and Services personnel shall not search electronic communications or transaction logs for violations of law or policy. In the event that Information Solutions and Services personnel discover violations of law or policy in the course of their duties they shall report all such occurrences to the Director of Information Solutions and Services.

Backup of information: All central servers are backed up on a regular basis with a view to speedy and complete restoration in the event of a disaster and as a consequence copies of email files and logs are stored and retained, consistent with the QA419 Backup Policy of Information Solutions and Services which is published seperately.

Confidentiality: Regardless of the level of protection provided for internet communications, confidentiality cannot be assured. Confidentiality may be compromised by: law or policy, including this policy, by unintended redistribution or by the inadequacy of current technologies to protect against unauthorised access. Therefore, users should exercise extreme caution in using internet communications to transmit confidential or sensitive matters. The nature of email is that there is no guarantee of delivery or confidentiality. Therefore the University cannot accept any liability for delivery or confidentiality in respect of any message sent from or to the University.

Routine Monitoring: Staff should be aware that the University keeps logs of all access to the internet via the proxy server for the purposes of analysing statistically the University Internet traffic. Logs include the identifier of the computer accessing the Internet, the identification of the site being accessed and the amount of data being transferred. These logs are kept for one month and are also kept off-line by virtue of our QA419 Backup Policy.  Information Solutions and Services may be requested to reveal such logs in the event of the law being broken or by court order.

Individual Information: Information Solutions and Services shall only permit the disclosure of sites accessed by an individual without their consent when required and consistent with law, where there is reasonable evidence that violation of law or University policy may have taken place or where failure to do so may hamper the University functioning administratively or meeting its teaching or research obligations. Such disclosure will be authorised by the Director of Information Solutions and Services. 

Persons who break this code of conduct may find themselves subject to University of Galway disciplinary procedures and/or criminal procedures.

If you have any queries about these regulations please contact Information Solutions and Services