BHSU Peer to Peer Policy

1.0 Purpose

This policy has been implemented in order to mitigate exposure of BHSU to security risks and liabilities associated with the irresponsible use of P2P applications on University resources.

2.0 Scope

This policy shall apply to all computer workstations, laptops, servers, networked appliances, and any other device capable of participating in a P2P network if such device is owned by BHSU; or any device utilizing University network resources, even if that device is owned privately or by a third party.

3.0 Policy

3.1 Prohibited Activity This policy strictly prohibits the distribution, downloading, uploading, or sharing of any material, software, data, document, sound, picture, or any other file that is:

  1. Specified as illegal by any federal or state law, statute, proclamation, order, or decree.
  2. Copyrighted and not authorized for distribution by the copyright owner.
  3. Considered to be proprietary, privileged, private, or otherwise vital to the operation of the university; including, but not limited to, personnel, student, financial, or strategic records and documents, or any material governed by federal and state regulations.

Any non-academic or non-research related P2P activity is strictly forbidden in the cases of:

  1. Computer labs.
  2. Computer workstations and other network devices readily accessible to multiple users.
  3. Computer workstations and other network devices used in daily operation by areas and departments heavily affected by federally mandated regulatory compliance.

Users of BHSU resources may not attempt to circumvent, bypass, defeat, or disrupt any device, method, or technology implemented by the university for the purpose of P2P mitigation.

3.2 Rights and Responsibilities  

  1. Students, faculty, staff, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at BHSU shall bear legal/financial responsibility for events resulting from their own use of P2P applications.
  2. Individual departments, colleges, administrative areas, and other entities must respond in a timely and efficient manner to all inquiries and complaints that arise in regard to this policy.
  3. BHSU may be required by federal law to report certain illegal activities to specified law enforcement agencies without notice to the user or the appropriate department.

3.3 Technology Mitigation  

  1. P2P traffic may be blocked or be limited in bandwidth, to ensure that network resources are available for all business- and education-related needs and processes.
  2. Outbound P2P traffic positively identified as copyrighted material will be blocked.  

4.0 Enforcement

4.1 Faculty, Staff, and Students Any faculty, staff, or student found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, expulsion, and/or termination of employment in accordance with procedures defined by BHSU administrative policies stated in the handbook governing that individual.

4.2 External Entities Any external entity, contractor, consultant, or temporary worker found to have violated this policy may be held in breach of contract, and as such, may be subject to grievances or penalties allowed by such contract.

5.0 Definitions

  1. P2P (peer-to-peer), in the context of this policy, is defined as direct data communication between two or more network capable devices over the Internet or other network, usually for the purpose of sharing any data file (including, but not limited to: music, pictures, video, software, and documents).
  2. P2P network, in the context of this policy, is defined as a collection of distributed network-capable devices participating in P2P activity.
  3. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) application is defined as any application that allows a network-capable device to participate in one or more P2P networks.
  4. Sharing, in the context of this policy, describes the action and activity of making any data file available to one or more P2P networks.
  5. Logs are defined as collections of information, typically used to document activity and events.
  6. Uploading describes network trafficking of data files originating from the BHSU network and destined for an external network.
  7. Downloading describes network trafficking of data files originating form an external network and destined for the BHSU network.
  8. The BHSU network and networking resources describe all materials and devices owned by BHSU and used to provide network connectivity to any network capable device. This includes all jacks, cable, hubs, wireless access points, switches, and routers.

6.0 Revision History

1.0 March 18, 2009