Serious problems with the security of computer networks around the world have forced us to introduce a formal policy regarding the use of computers on our network.

Accounts on the UBC Theory systems are a priviledge, not a right, and are provided under the following conditions:

  1. ) All your accounts will be terminated a few days after you leave UBC. You may request an extention of the life of your account for the purposes of transfering files to your new location.
  2. ) Your account and your password are supplied for your use only. Do not give your password to anyone else. If you believe that anyone might know it, change it immediately. If you have a guest or a friend who needs brief access to a computer, either sign him on to your account yourself, or ask us to give him/her a temporary account. Use anonymous ftp to transfer files to users elsewhere- do not give them your password to sign onto your account. Evidence that others are using your account will result in loss of the account.
  3. ) Although we will attempt to maintain a reasonable level of confidentiality, your account, your files, your email, etc. should be regarded as potentially public. If it is really important, encrypt it, and de-encrypt it only when you need to use it. There are programs (eg crypmount) which can make a file into an encrytped container which you can mount when needed. We reserve the right to access your accounts and files to fix problems, or if we suspect wrongdoing of your or other's part but we cannot read encrypted files. There is no known way of reading an encrypted file without knowing the password.
    Although backups are made nightly using rsync onto another machine, however you assume the burden of keeping backups of crucial information. We will not be responsible for any direct or consequential damages which result due to loss damage or destruction of your data, however caused, or because of the access to your data by anyone else, however caused.
  4. ) Never use telnet or .rhosts to access other machines. Always use ssh to connect to other machines.
  5. ) Use the machines responsibly. UBC regulations do not allow the machines to be used for outside for-profit activities without the express permission of a designated UBC authority. Furthermore, the use of the theory machines for personal, non-UBC related affairs is condoned only in so far as such use does not hamper the use of the machines for Univesity related business. In particular the theory machines are for the use of the members of the theory group on the Physics department.
    Any use of the machines to harass, distribute pornography, or to "spam" (mail to a large number of newsgroups or people who you have no reason to believe want to receive your mail) will result in immediate loss of your priviledge to use the theory computers. Any complaints that we receive from others that such activity has taken place will be taken very seriously.
  6. ) Theory group account holders must further agree to abide by the general policy guidelines set out by the Physics and Astronomy Department for computer use. These can be obtained from Ron Parachoniak or read here:
Those who do not abide by these rules are subject to having their computer priviledges revoked. In other words we are really serious about this! We have been fortunate so far in our group but there have been many other systems on the international network which have been very seriously affected by security violations.

The machines are for the use of the theory group. The above rules are to ensure that they remain useful. At times the rules may get in the way. Let us know if this happens so that we can find ways around the problems. Please do not try to get around the security measures on your own, as the problems created could affect everyone.

If you have any questions or if you disagree with any of these rules please feel free to speak with Bill Unruh. BUT YOU STILL MUST ABIDE BY THESE RULES.

Appeals for loss of your account should be directed in the first instance to one of us, then to the head of the department of Physics and Astronomy.