Ethical guidelines

UNINETT’s ethical guidelines for network use—UNINETT memo 94-007

Over the years, vast resources, from both academic and commercial actors, have been put into developing today’s global infrastructure of interconnected networks. Such networks have become ever-more important as infrastructure for education and research, and many users depend on these networks in their daily activities. Operational stability and rational resource use have become a shared interest and goal for users, operating organizations and those who pay.

It is generally accepted that networks should be as open as possible, and that restrictions should be minimal. In order for this to work, users need to comply with generally accepted ethical standards for network use. Many take this for granted, because the ethical standards for network computer use are very similar to standards for acceptable behaviour elsewhere in society.  

Unfortunately, bad behaviours do exist, and UNINETT has defined the following as unethical and unacceptable:  

All use that purposely

  • seeks disproportionate access to network resources
  • violates network guidelines for acceptable use
  • wastes resources (people, communication capacities, computer equipment)
  • destroys content or structures in electronic data
  • violates the privacy of other users
  • offends or insults other users

UNINETT will at all times try to keep these ethical guidelines up to date and in line with international practices and standards.