Rules and Guidelines
All users are bound by the rules of the University Information Strategy and Services Syndicate and breach of them may constitute a criminal offence. College also prohibits students running a web server on their personal machines.
People who host a website on Zeus should read the University Computer Service Guidelines and the JCSUguidelines (below).
In order to encourage reasonable, productive use of the College’s web facilities, and, more importantly, discourage misuse thereof, it is requested that users of the JCSU webserver conform to the following guidelines. This document is largely a restatement and clarification of the agreements most users will have signed to gain access to the Cambridge University Data Network, but contains more practical detail than general principles and rules.
Please understand that whereas these guidelines have no legal or institutional force as far as the law or College is concerned, users found to be in breach of the guidelines will be reported to the relevant authorities, and, that frequent random checks are conducted on individual users’ webspace.
In order to protect both yourself and the College from legal liability, and avoid bringing the College into disrepute, you are asked to:
- refrain from storing prohibited material,
- be exceptionally careful about storing dubious material,
- include a disclaimer on your main page
(these guidelines use the word dubious to describe cases of material on the borderline of acceptability)
The following material (much of which is illegal) should be regarded as prohibited and should never be stored on College webspace, irrespective of whether it is visible from the Internet, encrypted or otherwise obscured:
- defamatory material
- Anything likely to reflect badly on someone’s reputation and lower him/her in the eyes of normal members of society, e.g., calling someone a “liar”, “thief”, “crook”, “paedophile”, etc.
- material likely to cause sexual arousal; material sexually objectifying those depicted; images portraying or suggesting nudity (Example)
- unauthorised copyrighted material
- material you are not authorised to reproduce; most commercial software; copyrighted music and videos; large sections of books; “warez”, copy protection / licence codes, etc.
- discriminatory material
- anything inciting racial hatred, sexist material, etc.
- anything likely to prejudice legal proceedings
- courts sometimes impose reporting restrictions on cases still in progress or cases which are still in the pipeline: if the newspapers aren’t allowed to publish something, chances are neither can you
- advertising, commercial material
- you are not allowed to use the JCSU for your own financial gain – do not use it for carrying advertisements
The following should be considered as being on the borderline of acceptability:
- bad language
- The words f*ck, c*nt, sh*t, bugger and their compounds and derivatives should be avoided. If it’s not allowed on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops, it probably shouldn’t be on Zeus.
- You shouldn’t pretend to be representing someone else. In particular, be careful when using the College crest, the JCSU logo, the University’s coat of arms and the insigniae of the various clubs and societies. Try to avoid using company logos.
- nuisance / misuse of resources
- Anything designed maliciously to waste people’s time or the University’s network resources, or the time and effort of system managers: web spam, history traps, etc.
Wasting people’s time includes deliberate creation of material intended to create unnecessary work for those administering or monitoring the website.
- links to dubious pages
- You should avoid making links to pages containing any dubious or prohibited material, whether located on the College webserver or an external site (Example)
- provocative images
- images which are not sufficiently explicit to constitute pornography yet depict people in poses more provocative than everyday life (Example). The photo linked here is intended as a litmus test: anything more explicit should be considered unacceptable.
- hate pages
- Pages devoted to inciting hatred against or belittling an individual, such as the various “Punch Rush Limbaugh” and “Slap a Spice Girl” pages. (Example)
Common sense exceptions to bad language and impersonation guidelines include parody and self-deprecatinghumour. The other main exception is where the dubious material itself is being discussed, e.g., in a discussion of the etymology of particular swearwords or a biologial dissertation on human anatomy, these guidelines themselves, etc.
You should make sure that your intent is obvious to any reasonable observer.
Bringing the College into disrepute
The College provides you with access to the webservers free of charge, allowing you to make information available to the whole world at minimal cost. Remember that what browsers see under jesus.cam.ac.uk may be their first impression of the College and may influence those intending to apply. It is therefore essential that the College’s own webserver not be used for disseminating material which may portray the College in anunfavourable light. Such material includes but is not restricted to:
- The prohibited and dubious material mentioned above
- Criticism of College policy or staff
- Misrepresentations of College life (e.g. portraying students as drunkards or implying that feasts happen frequently, etc.
- Material which would undermine campaigns such as Target Schools.
It is trivial to restrict information so that it may only be accessed from within College; you are strongly advised to prevent the distribution outside College of any information of the types specified above. See below for technical details.
Your main page should contain a disclaimer to the effect that the pages contained in your webspace are your own and do not represent the College. You should also state your email address in the disclaimer as the first contact for queries and complaints; mention firstname.lastname@example.org as an administrative contact for taking things further. This guideline is currently not enforced.
- Don’t include images from external, untrusted sites using IMG SRC – a user on the external site may maliciously change the image so that your page inadvertently includes prohibited material
- When linking to external, untrusted sites from within frames, use TARGET="_top" to avoid the external pages appearing inside your frames
- If using a guest book or other CGI/PHP program or similar which allows visitors to add content to your pages, log hostnames and the time and date of any such additions, and display these to make it clear that the material can’t possibly represent your views since you didn’t write it
Complaints about content held on this server should be directed to email@example.com. If yourwebspace is cited in a complaint, its contents will be audited. Frequent random audits are also carried out.
If any prohibited or dubious material is found in your webspace in an audit, you will be asked to explain and remedy the situation, and your public_html directory may be renamed so that none of your webpages can be seen from the Internet. You are free to rename the directory back again when you’ve dealt with whatever the problem was. Failure to comply promptly may result in the matter being taken out of your hands and yourwebspace being removed and potentially used as evidence against you.
Note that even if you do remove any offensive material you may still face disciplinary action. Not every inquiry arising from a complaint will involve any breach of the rules; the complainant may have standards which could be considered unreasonable, or the complaint may be vexatious (e.g., if the complainant bore you a grudge)
- If in doubt, ask, either the zeus admins, firstname.lastname@example.org or the JCSU Communications Officerjcsuemail@example.com
- “webspace” means all your files on zeus, not just the public_html directory.
- Not everyone has a sense of humour like yours
- Not everyone has a sense of humour
- Consider limiting anything you don’t want widely available to the Jesus domain, or requiring password access (see below)
- Be careful when using frames: it’s quite trivial to make external sites’ pages appear as if they were on the College server – they may well be interpreted as part of your webspace in an audit, so it’s only advisable to do this if you have the ability to modify pages so linked.
You can restrict access to a directory such that only computers within Jesus College may see it; to do so, create a file called .htaccess in the directory, with the following contents:
<limit get=""> order deny,allow deny from all allow from 172.31. </limit>
This method may be taken further to require a username and password to access certain directories. Bear in mind, however, that the administrators and auditors of the webserver can bypass password protection.
You may also consider restricting access to files or directories using Raven authentication by creating/editing the.htaccess in the directory in the following way
To limit access to users with a Raven account put the following contents in the file:
AuthType Ucam-WebAuth Require valid-user
Alternatively to limit access to certain users you can put the following in the file:
AuthType Ucam-WebAuth Require user crsid crsid crsid
More detailed explanations can be found here.