Internet code of practice


The Internet Code of Practice refers to all types of electronic communications services and systems, such as the World Wide Web and email.

This Code, together with the Guide to Legislation, should be read in conjunction with University Regulations, the University's Code of Practice on Data Protection, and with the Joint Academic Network (JANET) Acceptable Use Policy, and such other regulatory and advisory documents.


The University of Leicester is committed to allowing its members the freedom to engage in academic investigation and scholarly debate and accepts that the use of the Internet makes a valuable contribution to the exercise of these privileges. In addition, the University also aims to benefit from the Internet by presenting itself favourably to the rest of the world. The purpose of this Code of Practice is to ensure that the Internet is used in a way which is beneficial to all the members of the University, and which protects the good name of the institution and all its members, and your attention is drawn to the University's right to monitor your use of the network as set out in the Improper Use clause.

All those who have access to online services through the University's network are responsible for making themselves aware of the legal consequences attached to the inappropriate use of those services. The Guide to Legislation (Word 55.4KB) sets out the criminal penalties and civil liabilities which may follow the contravention of some relevant current legislation.

Improper use

  • Users should be aware that failure by individuals to comply with this Code may expose the University to serious liability. Although no institution can be expected to monitor all the vast amount of information disseminated and accessible through its network, the University of Leicester retains the right to monitor a selection of messages and materials sent over its network to check that this facility is not being abused, and is committed to responding promptly to any potentially damaging publication by withdrawing from its services any unacceptable materials and taking any other necessary action. This means that users responsible for such materials may have their communications intercepted and their University IT account disabled.
  • Users are reminded that its IT systems are provided principally for academic and administrative purposes. They must not be used to access or disseminate materials of a pornographic or obscene nature or which may cause offence when viewed in a public area such as an open access user area.
  • Users must not install or use file-sharing or 'peer-to-peer' software for the illegal downloading of copyrighted material.
  • Unless the police are involved from the outset, when different procedures may apply, any suspected improper use will normally be investigated in the first instance by IT Services. The Director of IT Services will report to the Registrar and Secretary on the outcome of such investigations.
  • Users should note that it is possible for an individual to breach Regulations, or to discredit or harm the University, without a criminal offence having been committed. The University will not hesitate to take disciplinary action in such cases.
  • The Director of IT Services will refer to the Registrar and Secretary any requests for access for research purposes to networked material of a potentially compromising nature.

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