Compliance Tool Being Implemented to Combat Illegal Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Recent regulations issued under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 now require that Saint Joseph’s certify that we have developed plans, which may include the use of technology-based deterrents, to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials on campus. Compliance to these HEOA regulations is a condition of our eligibility to receive federal student aid funds.

For that reason, the Office of Information Technology is currently implementing a new compliance tool aimed at detecting illegal peer-to-peer file sharing on University networks and equipment. This tool, initially being deployed in student residence halls and the campus-wide wireless network, will identify any peer-to-peer file sharing activities. When illegal activities are identified on a computer, warning messages will be issued and network access of the offending computer will be suspended for a period of time.  When this occurs, the copyrighted materials and software (such as BitTorrent or LimeWire) must be removed from the offending computer.

Furthermore, repeat or egregious unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by employees will be considered a violation of the Policy Governing the Use of Computing and Network Resources at Saint Joseph’s University and a basis for appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment at the University.

Failure by the University to comply with these new regulations would jeopardize financial aid upon which many students depend. Consequently, we take this responsibility very seriously and ask for your full cooperation.

Please note, while the University does not seek to, nor will it, monitor all traffic across its networks and through its equipment, it is possible that, while seeking to deter illegal peer-to-peer distribution of copyrighted materials (e.g., music and movies), the programs tested or used for this purpose may also identify the distribution of other types of illegal material or activity (e.g., child pornography or gambling) or network activity and/or conduct that is inconsistent with or in violation of University policies. In the event that the University does discover such material or activity, it shall take appropriate action pursuant to any applicable internal policies and consistent with any applicable legal obligations to report such information to external authorities.

See the following for more information about the Higher Education Opportunity and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: