Regulations For The Use Of Computer Facilities

This document is definitive!


Those applying to use BSU computer facilities should read these regulations, return a signed copy to the Server Team and retain a copy for reference. Successful applicants will receive details of permitted services and information about user-names and passwords. Applications for restricted services must be authorised by the relevant data owner.

BSU computer facilities include personal computers, server computers, data network equipment and telecommunications equipment. The regulations cover other connected computers and networks external to BSU. Breach of the regulations will lead to disciplinary investigation, and may result in withdrawal of computer facilities, or exclusion from the University.

Part 1 of the regulations is based on the following Acts of Parliament: the Computer Misuse Act 1990; the Copyright Designs and Patents Act; the Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998; the Defamation Act 1996; the Obscene Publications Act; the Telecommunications Act 1984; and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2001. Offences against these Acts may result in criminal prosecution.

Part 2 is determined by BSU, and may not be varied except by written permission of the Director or his nominee.

Part 1

Users of BSU computer facilities must not:

  • make unauthorised access to, or modification of, any data, program, facility or service
  • waste BSU computer resources or staff time
  • corrupt or destroy other users' data
  • violate the privacy of other users
  • disrupt the work of other users
  • deny the use of BSU computer services to other users
  • introduce computer viruses, worms, logic bombs or Trojan horses
  • create or transmit any offensive, obscene or indecent image, data or other material, or any data capable of being resolved into an obscene or indecent image or material
  • create or transmit material designed or likely to cause insult, annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety
  • create or transmit defamatory material
  • use unlicensed software
  • create or transmit material such that this infringes the copyright of another person
  • alter work protected by copyright when it is copied into a website even with the owner's permission
  • fail to credit in any website work protected by copyright even with the owner's permission
  • include in any website a trade-name, logo or trademark of any organisation without the owner's permission
  • process personal data in a way that infringes the principles of the Data Protection Acts.

Part 2

Users of BSU computer facilities must not:

  • encrypt data without supplying the encryption key to Computing Services (who may be required to disclose the key to the police)
  • use BSU computer facilities for financial gain
  • use BSU facilities to play a computer game except as a legitimate part of an academic programme
  • maliciously, mischievously or negligently create or transmit material that may cause adverse publicity for the University
  • leave accessible PCs unattended without logging off
  • remove computer equipment without the authority of the budget holder
  • disclose his/her password to another user
  • use another user's password
  • choose a password that is easy to guess
  • use a modem on a PC connected to the college network unless it is registered with Computing Services
  • install a device which supports wireless networking unless they are a member of Computing Services

Part 3 - Discussion Board Rules

By posting messages to our VLE or discussion board systems (including our Facebook pages), you are automatically agreeing to abide by these house rules.

These rules exist so that everyone can get the best out of contributing to our discussion boards. They aim to protect anyone who reads or contributes to the boards, and to help everyone to have a fun and safe time.

If you come across any messages or threads which break the rules, just click the complaints buttons to report it to the moderators.

We reserve the right to change these rules at any time by posting changes online. You are responsible for regularly reviewing information posted online to obtain notice of such changes. Your continued use of this site after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of these rules as modified by the posted changes.

Rules For Contributing

Please keep your contributions civil, tasteful and relevant. Our aim is to provide a place in which conversations are constructive, mature, interesting and entertaining.

  • Please, no flaming or trolling. Flaming means posting something that's angry and mean-spirited - the online equivalent of flying off the handle. It's not a pretty sight, and we recommend constructive discussion as a far more satisfying pastime. Trolls say deliberately provocative things just to stir up trouble - it's not polite, so please don't do it.
  • Unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, or otherwise objectionable material is not acceptable. You'll notice 'profane' in the list here. This means that swearing is not allowed, and if you do swear, a moderator may **** out all except the first and last letters, or where that isn't possible, will remove the message entirely. If you feel compelled to swear, then use the first and last letters and ****'s for the rest. Some swearing - such as quotes from poems or plays in reviews, for example - may be editorially acceptable, but in everyday communication, it is not. All the types of content above break these rules. Please don't post it, or you may find we close down your account if you keep breaking the rules.
  • Please be patient. People of all ages and abilities may use these boards, so please remember this when posting.
  • No spamming or flooding. Spamming is the posting of the same (or very similar) messages to lots of boards. Flooding is when the same (or very similar) message is posted over and over again to the same board. It's especially antisocial if it's off-topic for those boards. So please don't deliberately send the same message, or very similar messages, to loads of different boards, or post the same message to one board multiple times. We'll simply remove your messages, and possibly your account.
  • No advertising. Advertising is not allowed anywhere on the BSU web-site. Writing entries that review or criticise commercial products are obviously fine, as long as they're balanced, but adverts aren't.
  • Postings or entries containing languages other than English may be removed. Because we have to ensure we understand a message before we can pass it, languages other than English may have to be removed. It's also polite when posting to a board to stick to the same language as the other messages in that board; posting something in a different language halfway through is not very constructive.
  • Please don't impersonate others. Everyone has a unique UserID, so you can't get away with impersonating other people anyway, but it's rude and unacceptable to even try.
  • Be careful with including e-mail addresses, instant messaging numbers and the like in contributions, and please do not include anyone else's personal details. You may include your own personal e-mail address or instant messaging number in your contributions (providing it is acceptable, ie not vulgar or offensive), but please be aware that you are potentially opening yourself up to a lot of e-mail, and possibly spam e-mail too, and you should be absolutely sure that you want people to be able to contact you like this. We recommend you set up a new e-mail account specifically for people to contact you on, if you wish to publicise a contact point. It's OK to include general contact details for companies, for example, but you must only include publicly available details, such as the address of a restaurant, the telephone number if it is in the telephone directory, or the e-mail address for a company's customer support. It is not acceptable to publicise anyone else's private contact details other than your own, and we will remove any such postal addresses or telephone numbers from contributions.  Staff will never ask your for your username or password in these Discussion Boards.
  • Only include suitable URLs in your contributions. Links to web-sites we consider unsuitable will be removed, so if you are considering contributing something that contains a URL, please make sure that it adds value and interest to the subject of your message, and isn't, for example, purely commercial. Unsuitable sites would include those with racist material, pornographic or sexually explicit material, potentially defamatory material, anything which encourages illegal activities, material which infringes copyright, sites which purely plug or promote commercial products or services without containing material which enhances the subject matter, or sites which may offend our users. We may also have to fail links to sites which are in languages other than English, for the reasons described above.
  • Please don't abuse the complaints system. The complaints button exists to enable visitors to let us know about content which breaks these rules. We take complaints very seriously, and we've set a system in place which will enable us to deal with them as a priority. Please do not use the complaints system to alert us to multiple Postings, spelling mistakes and so on: anyone who abuses the complaints system repeatedly may have their account suspended.
  • Please don't post for suspended people. Anyone who posts communications from person whose accounts have been suspended may also have their own account suspended. If we suspects for any reason that an account has been opened and/or is being primarily operated by or on behalf of a banned person, the holder of the suspect account may be asked to prove their identity to our satisfaction.
  • We reserve the right to remove any threads and messages that are excessively critical of BSU.

About The Law

Here are a couple of points which relate to the law. If anything you post is illegal (defamatory, for example), condones illegal activities (such as recommending drug taking) or infringes the copyright of a third party (content that you haven't written, in other words), then it has to be removed.

About Your Privacy

We will not publish or provide your e-mail address to anyone, unless it is in the interests of public safety to do so. Our registration process requires you to supply us with your e-mail details, but we will only use this information to validate your access to this message board system.

Guest accounts which are not used for more than a year will be deleted.  We reserve the right to capture your IP address at registration and on each subsequent login.  This information can then be used to trace/block you if you break the rules.

If You're Under Age 16

Please get your parents' or guardians' permission before taking part in our discussion boards.

Never reveal any personal information about yourself (for example, your telephone number, home address or email address) without getting your parents' or guardians' permission first.

Learn how to stay safe online by reading through these websites:

If you are approached by someone online who makes you feel uncomfortable, or asks you inappropriate questions, tell a family member or a teacher immediately.


The following websites can be used to report inappropriate behaviour to the authorities: