Peer-to-Peer Policy

Version 1.0.1

For Students, Faculty, Staff, Guests, Alumni


The purpose of this policy is to establish the University’s position on prohibiting and blocking the use of peer-to-peer applications on its IT Resources.


This IT policy, and all policies referenced herein, shall apply to all members of the University community including faculty, students, administrative officials, staff, alumni, authorized guests, delegates, and independent contractors (the “User(s)” or “you”) who use, access, or otherwise employ, locally or remotely, the University’s IT Resources, whether individually controlled, shared, stand-alone, or networked.

Policy Statement

  • The University prohibits using peer-to-peer applications; however, the University understands there may be legitimate academic uses for peer-to-peer applications and will review requests on a per-need basis.
  • The University mandates that all IT Resources be used consistently with the Acceptable Uses of IT Infrastructure and Resources and comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act and all other applicable laws and regulations.
  • The University is under no obligation to protect a User from a complaint or action arising from any violation, or alleged violation of the law, including infringement of any intellectual property right due to use of peer-to-peer, or any other type of file-sharing, software, or networks.
  • Users should understand material accessible through the internet does not mean that accessing such material is authorized by the third-party rights holders. Sometimes, content is only accessible after a User pays for it and may not be authorized for distribution by those who hold rights to that content.
  • The University employs various deterrents such as bandwidth management technology to ensure peer-to-peer programs do not degrade network speeds or any other portion of the IT Resources.
    • The Office of Information Technology uses tools to perform this work and reserves the right to install or change packet shaping and traffic monitoring technologies at any time.
    • Should peer-to-peer programs degrade the performance of the IT Resources, appropriate action will be taken against the User or Users responsible for such degradation or another negative impact.
  • Users should be aware that peer-to-peer applications are not necessarily harmless, and using them, in addition to potentially degrading the IT Resources’ performance, may:
    • Violate the copyright, patent, trademark, or other rights;
    • May result in the disclosure of confidential information; and
    • May jeopardize the security of the IT Resources.
  • The University implements safeguards against the illegal exchange and distribution of copyrighted materials. Disproportionate bandwidth usage and the unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted materials constitute a violation of the Acceptable Uses of IT Infrastructure and Resources Policy Statement.


IT Resources include computing, networking, communications, application, and telecommunications systems, infrastructure, hardware, software, data, databases, personnel, procedures, physical facilities, cloud-based vendors, Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors, and related materials and services.

Peer-to-peer applications are programs that allow computers to share data in the form of music, movies, games, or any computer file or software over a local network and the internet without accessing a centralized distribution server or set of servers.

Related Policies and Procedures

Acceptable Uses of IT Infrastructure and Resources Policy Statement

Implementation Information

Review Frequency Triennial 
Responsible Person Senior Director of IT Security and Assurance
Approved By CISO
Approval Date 09/12/2018

Revision History

1.0 09/12/2018 Initial document
1.0.1 02/05/2020 Update to the policy statement

Policy Disclaimer Statement

Deviations from policies, procedures, or guidelines published and approved by Information Security and Assurance (ISA) may only be done cooperatively between ISA and the requesting entity with sufficient time to allow for appropriate risk analysis, documentation, and possible presentation to authorized University representatives. Failure to adhere to ISA written policies may be met with University sanctions.

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