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HARNET Acceptable Use Policy

Goal and Purposes of HARNET

HARNET (Hong Kong Academic and Research Network) is managed and operated by the Joint Universities Computer Centre (JUCC) to provide quality, equitable, and cost-effective information and communication resources to JUCC Members and to promote innovation, research and educational excellence in Hong Kong. HARNET is for the use of persons legitimately affiliated with JUCC Member or Affiliate Organisations, and to facilitate the exchange of information consistent with the academic, educational, research, collaboration and other official purposes of the JUCC Members. All individuals affiliated with JUCC Member or Affiliate Organisations are responsible for seeing that computing and networking resources are used in an effective, ethical and lawful manner, and that the guidelines provided in this document are followed, both in letter and in spirit. (ITSC is a full member of this company).

HARNET Rules and Regulations

Users who access the Internet also access the HARNET, so that users must also abide by the rules as laid down by the Joint Universities Computer Centre (JUCC). Use of the HARNET shall conform to the following principles:

  • Avoid interfering with the work of other users on the network.
  • Avoid disrupting the network host systems (nodes).
  • Avoid disrupting network services.
  • Avoid violating any applicable laws and regulations governing access to systems, information and data on the HARNET and the Internet, and transmission of information and data through the HARNET and the Internet.

The following guidelines are set for HARNET users according to the mentioned principles of acceptable use of the network in particular cases:  

  1. HARNET is not to be used for commercial purposes, such as marketing or business transactions between commercial organizations.
  2. Commercial advertising is forbidden. Discussion of a product's relative advantages and disadvantages by users of the product is encouraged. Vendors may respond publicly to questions about their products as long as the responses are not in the nature of advertising.
  3. A user is not allowed to transfer or resell the network resource, which has been allocated by a JUCC member institution or a HARNET participating affiliated organization, in various possible forms, such as network bandwidth and connection time, access rights, computer budget, etc.
  4. Any waste of network resources is unacceptable, e.g. repetitive retrieval of copies of the same files by a user who does not keep a copy on his own system.
  5. Activities which will interfere with the intended use, cause congestion or impair the healthy state of the network are unacceptable and prohibited. Experiments on the network which will lead to exhaustively flooding its available bandwidth should be avoided.
  6. Irresponsible use of electronic mail, e.g. chain letters, broadcasting messages, and the use of other network communications to harass or offend other users of the network are prohibited.
  7. Research and experimentation on the network should be carried out with great caution. Negligence in the conduct which will lead to contrary of the aforementioned guidelines is irresponsible and unacceptable.
  8. Users of HARNET must not compromise the confidentiality and privacy of other users of the network and the integrity of data and information mounted on or transmitted through the network. A breach of these principles is generally considered a legal offence. Unauthorized reading, altering, intercepting of, electronic eavesdropping on, any network communications over the network or data kept on systems on the network are examples of violation of these principles.
  9. Any communication which violates applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to those related to copyright, data privacy and transmission of obscene and indecent materials, is not allowed. Final authority for HARNET Acceptable Use Policy lies with the JUCC Steering Committee. It is the responsibility of HARNET Member representatives to contact the JUCC Steering Committee, in writing, regarding questions of interpretation. Until such issues are resolved, questionable use should be considered 'not acceptable'.