Machine Usage Agreement
Everyone provided an account on one of the WiCS machines must sign the agreement in the final section. While guest account users on our office terminals are not required to sign this document, they are subject to the same rules and regulations and will be held responsible for their actions should an issue arise. This document does not state who will be allowed accounts on WiCS machines, the normal expiry period of accounts, nor any other similar matters. Further, this policy does not, in general, guarantee any rights to users.
Additional policies for group accounts and administrative accounts are not yet available. There is also a brief summary of the usage policy available.
The usage policy is divided into the following sections:
- Acceptable and Unacceptable Use
- User Responsibilities
- Auditing and Logging
- Rights of the Systems Committee and the WiCS Committee
Note that in the following sections, the term "user" implies a user of a WiCS machine, unless otherwise specified.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Use
The WiCS machines are intended for learning, personal projects, and general use in accordance with the aims of WiCS. Projects of interest may be given special priority by the WiCS Systems Committee ("wics-sys").
Users must adhere to WiCS' policies concerning machine usage.
Users are responsible for any activity on their own accounts. Users, and not WiCS, will be held accountable for any of their illegal, damaging or unethical actions. Such actions are not permitted on WiCS machines, and all machine usage is governed by our Code of Conduct. Additionally, all users are governed by this machine usage agreement, local laws, and University policy.
Users must act responsibly, and the needs of others with regard to computing resources must be considered at all times. In particular, no user should use any resource to an extent that other users are prevented from similarly using that resource, and no user's actions shall disrupt the work of other users.
Users must also abide by the usage policies of all machines that they connect to from WiCS machines, or use to connect to WiCS machines. It is the users' responsibility to check the policies of all machines that they connect to.
On WiCS machines, users are only permitted access to their own personal accounts. In particular, users may not attempt to gain access to other accounts, attempt to access other users' private files, nor may they attempt to obtain the password of any account other than their own.
While the WiCS System Committee works on a best effort basis to ensure machines are kept secure and user privacy is maintained, wics-sys offers no guarantee of privacy. It is a good practice to treat all data stored on our machines as public.
An account may only be used by the person assigned to it. Users are not permitted to share passwords with anybody, or let anyone else use their accounts. Users should consider the security implications of their actions. For example:
- Passwords for accounts on WiCS machines should not be used on other machines
- No machines should be granted automatic access to WiCS accounts (e.g. via .rhosts files).
The appropriate members of the Systems Committee must be notified immediately in the event that a security problem is found. The problem should neither be exploited nor made public until it can be corrected.
Auditing and Logging
The WiCS Systems Committee keeps records ("logs") on our machines to:
- Collect and store diagnostic information to aid in debugging hardware and software issues;
- Document machine usage and activity;
- Refer to for auditing purposes.
The logs contain records of user and machine activity. The Systems Committee reserves the right to share these records with University Computing or local law enforcement as required.
Rights of the Systems Committee and the WiCS Executive
The WiCS Systems Committee may examine any files or programs believed to be consuming excessive resources or in violation of the usage policies for the WiCS network. Examination of a program includes examination of the running process and its binary. Files believed to be the data or source to the process may also be examined. The process may be killed, stopped or otherwise interrupted at the discretion of the Systems Committee. If the Systems Committee takes any of the above actions, the owner of the process will be notified.
The Systems Committee may at any time revoke a user's permission to access an account provided that a written (possibly electronic) explanation is given. Cause for removal of access to an account includes, but is not limited to, violation of the machine usage policy, violation of University policy, or violation of the law. In the event of a dispute, a user whose account has been revoked may appeal to the WiCS Undergraduate Committee for its reinstatement.
The WiCS Undergraduate Committee has the right to update any policy, including this one, with reasonable notice.
- WiCS: The Women in Computer Science Undergraduate Committee of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. The WiCS office is located in room 1003 of the Mathematics 3 Building (UW campus), telephone number (519) 888-4657 x30295.
- WiCS Network: The network of computer hardware and peripherals owned by, rented to, on loan to, or otherwise under the control of WiCS.
- Machine: Computer, terminal or other piece of hardware. Non-WiCS machines include the MFCF student computing environment, the Computer Science Club Machines, and the student labs.
- Systems Committee: An appointed body responsible for the operation of the WiCS network and the software that runs on it.
- Network Bandwidth: The number of bytes per unit of time that can be handled by the network(s) in question. These networks include the University of Waterloo on-campus network and the Internet.
- Computing Resources: Resources WiCS considers limited include:
- public temporary disk space
- swap space
- other commonly held disk space (which may include the home file system)
- CPU time (including graphics cards)
- ttys and pseudo-ttys
- network bandwidth
I have read and understood the usage policy of 19 December 2015, and I agree to use my account on the WiCS network in accordance with this policy. I am responsible for all actions taken by anyone using this account. Furthermore, I accept full legal responsibility for all of the actions that I commit using the WiCS network according to any and all applicable laws.
I understand that with little or no notice machines on the WiCS network and resources on these machines may become unavailable. Machines may be halted while users are using them, and I will not hold the WiCS responsible for lost time or data.