Prohibited Software Policies

General Information

Network Services is responsible for the design, throughput, availability, and overall health of the university’s network.  Network Services does not monitor the specific data or files that users download or copy over the network.  However, Network Services does monitor and study specific types of network traffic and the programs that generate this traffic, especially P2P software.

P2P Software

Network Services defines “P2P software” as any software that is designed to share files among multiple users in an uncontrollable way. “Uncontrollable” means that standard networking tools cannot stop the file sharing because the software was written to circumvent all standard methods of controlling network traffic.

Network Services actively monitors the following examples of P2P software:

  • Ares
  • BitTorrent
  • Direct Connect
  • eDonkey/eMule
  • FastTrack (Kazaa)
  • Gnutella (including e.g. Limewire, Bearshare, etc.)
  • Soulseek
  • DAAP (myTunes/ourTunes)
  • MP2P (Blubster, Piolet, etc.)
  • PPLive
  • WinMX/WinZO
  • Filetopia
  • WASTE
  • IRC XDCC Send/Receive
  • NNTP alt.binaries or ARTICLE downloads

Why prohibit P2P traffic?

P2P traffic from all of ResNet overwhelms the internet connection that serves ResNet.  Due to P2P traffic, there have been a significant number of student complaints that the internet in their dorm rooms is unusable. Adding on to the available internet bandwidth has only resulted in more P2P traffic that uses up the new bandwidth instantly. The network connections in the dorms are provided for students primarily to facilitate their education, and other uses are secondary.  P2P programs are not considered useful to student education and make up the largest abuse of the ResNet network bandwidth, resulting in poor to non-existent network performance for all ResNet users. The saturation of the ResNet network also has the potential to affect the rest of the UCF network outside of ResNet.  To prevent bandwidth abuse, accidental or intentional, Network Services has prohibited the use of any P2P traffic. All network users must adhere to this policy for the responsible use of P2P software.

Use of P2P Software

  • The university’s computing and telecommunications resources shall not be used for any type of P2P file sharing without the express consent of Network Services
  • Network Services will consent to the use of P2P software on a per-user basis only when provided with specific, written purposes directly related to, or in support of, the academic, research, or administrative activities of the university.
  • Permission to use P2P software will be revoked at the discretion of Network Services. This includes but is not limited to the following reasons: service abuse, degradation of the performance of the network, use for purposes other than university business.

User Responsibility

  • Network users shall educate themselves on P2P software through the resources provided on the Network Services page on this website.
  • Network users shall not knowingly download, install, or use P2P software.
  • Network users shall remove any P2P software that is discovered on any resource attached to the university network, including personal property, unless granted specific permission by the Network Services to be used.

Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this policy, the following terms are described as follows:

  • Telecommunications means all communications made through or on university telephones, electronic mail, radios, facsimile machines, or any other electronic communication device
  • University Communications means all communications that have a university business purpose
  • Personal Communications means all communications that do not have a university business purpose
  • Use of Telecommunications Equipment means any use of the university’s telecommunications equipment by anyone for university or personal business
  • System Administrator means the person(s) responsible for managing central computer or file servers, including operating systems and application software
  • Network Administrator means the person(s) responsible for managing telecommunications network software, hardware infrastructure, or access rights for local area networks (LANS) or wide area networks (WANS)
  • Server means a computer that supports access to electronic services or information for network users.
  • Information Technology Resources means the technology infrastructure for processing and exchange of information, including computing and telecommunications (voice, video, and data) devices and associated resources to operate, maintain, and utilize the technology infrastructure.
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing software refers to the use of the following UCF-prohibited software and its clones: BitTorrent, Audio Galaxy, Kazaa, IMesh, Morpheus, Gnutella, Bearshare, Limewire, Napster, Winmix, Edonky2000, Direct Connect, etc.

Game Updates and Other Software

Since Network Services monitors software protocol and not content, some programs that use P2P as part of their programming will not be exempted from the prohibition. For example, World of Warcraft uses BitTorrent to distribute its patches by default. However, World of Warcraft also offers the option of using standard web downloads for updates and not P2P protocols, as do most major games. Check your documentation for how to disable P2P protocols in all the software you own.

Network Services does not keep a comprehensive list of every program or activity that uses the above protocols. We do know that while Skype used to use a version of FastTrack, we don’t detect the Skype version. iTunes also uses DAAP for sharing your iTunes library to other users on the network in some situations.  It is the student’s responsibility to understand the software that they are installing and running on their PCs and to make sure that any of the above protocols are disabled.

Contributions

Network Services will gladly review and post on this website any student-submitted instructions or tips to help others disable their P2P.

World Of Warcraft

The Background Downloader is the part of the program that downloads the new patches using BitTorrent connections. Click here to disable the Background Downloader.

Click here to open up a wiki that gives alternate links for downloading the updates using http connections through a browser.