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MIT issues statement on computer misuse

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- James D. Bruce, Vice President for Information Systems, issued a statement on MIT's rules for use of technology in light of the alleged misuse of computers.

"If true, this is a very serious violation of MIT's rules and the law," said Bruce. "The violations would include misuse of copyrighted materials and software, overloading the MIT system, and using expensive bandwidth that MIT has to pay for."

Laura Avakian, vice president for human resources, said her office has the matter under investigation.

MIT's policy ( is as follows:

"13.2.3 Responsible Use of MIT Computers, Networks, and Telephones

"MIT's computers, networks, and telephones offer many opportunities to share information on campus and to access resources off campus. All members of the MIT community are obligated to use these facilities in accordance with applicable laws, with Institute standards of honesty and personal conduct, and in ways that are responsible, ethical, and professional.

"The use of MIT's telephones is restricted to Institute business and necessary personal telephone calls. Necessary personal telephone calls include calls to arrange family and personal schedules, medical-related calls, and other reasonable calls; these calls should be brief. No reimbursement to MIT is required for such calls.

"Telephone calls related to personal businesses and activities are prohibited unless a personal telephone credit card is used or an explicit agreement for reimbursement to MIT has been established with the appropriate organization.

"MIT's computing and networking facilities and services are to be used for Institute purposes only and not for the benefit of private individuals or other organizations without authorization. Unauthorized access to and use of MIT computer and network services violates this policy.

"Members of the Institute community should not take unauthorized actions to interfere with or alter the integrity of MIT computers, networks, telephones, or the information accessed through them. Efforts to restrict or deny access by legitimate users of the Institute's computers, networks, and telephones are unacceptable. Individuals should not use MIT facilities to interfere with or alter the integrity of any other computers, networks, telephones, or information, irrespective of their location.

"Destruction, alteration, or disclosure of data or programs belonging to others without authorization is inappropriate. Individuals should not connect unauthorized equipment to or tamper with MIT information technology facilities or equipment. Using any of the information technology resources of the Institute for unethical purposes, such as harassment, is unacceptable."

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