29 April 2003

Connection of private computers to the University Network

Things to consider before connecting a private computer to the University network.

TSU is often approached to aid in the connection of non-University computers to the University network. Since TSU has no control over the setup of the private computers, this can cause us some problems. As the University explores ways of getting students to supply their own computers, this issue will obviously become more of concern, as it is already with visitors to the University who bring their own computers.

Some of the issues that need to be addressed with the connection of private computers to the University network include:

  1. Knowledge and expertise required to configure the computer to conform to the technical requirements of the University;
  2. Connecting to printers, email servers and the World Wide Web; and
  3. Introduction of virus and other malicious code to the network.

The TSU already support around 500 computers on staff desks, in computer labs and resources centres, and computer bought from consultancy and other funds held off-campus in staff homes.

We do not have the resources available to manage the integration of unknown computers in addition to the University owned systems. What we can do is provide some generic advice via the Web for people wanting to connect their own computers to the University network, but it is their responsibility to configure the machines correctly. Any computer disrupting the network or being used contrary to the Network Access and Usage policy [http://www.canberra.edu.au/uc/policies/it/nap.html] will be removed from the network. Under the policy, the following applies:

By connecting a private machine to the University's network a user has acknowledged that they will be bound by the University's conditions of use of information technology services, including this statement. By so doing the user acknowledges that the network traffic generated by the private machine is generated in pursuit of University business only. While that traffic is traversing the University's network, it is subject to the same right of inspection as traffic originating from University-owned machines and servers.

The authority to inspect the machines, servers and files resides with the Executive Director, Pro Vice-Chancellor or other manager who is responsible for the network. Disclosure to an external organisation will only be considered on production of a legal authority.