NCSU Assoc. Provost's letter

Since this actually spark some discussion, I decided to post the message
received by the NCSU student in full (as seen on his web site):

Article 473 of ncsu.eos:
Path: taco.cc.ncsu.edu!news
From: Bill Willis 
Newsgroups: ncsu.general,ncsu.eos,ncsu.unity,ncsu.announce
Subject: webserver performance and inappropriate use
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 07:53:14 -0500
Organization: North Carolina State University
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Xref: taco.cc.ncsu.edu ncsu.general:1718 ncsu.eos:473 ncsu.unity:274 

NOW HEAR THIS -- www4.ncsu.edu is having great trouble delivering anything
like responsive performance. Nothing is broken, it is just getting a ton
of requests.

Students in several classes are required to develop web pages, and this
performance is very detrimental to their ability to complete assignments.
Other students legitimately use the server to express their academic
interests, ideas, etc. I must do something to improve performance.

A big part of the performance problem is the publication of libraries of
image files. Many of these image files are of a questionable nature and
absolutely nothing to do with academic work here at NCSU. In many cases
these images are copyrighted material for which no permission has been
obtained. Finally, many of the images would be considered illegal in many
areas of the country. I cannot invest in greater webserver resources,
while the current resource is being wasted by this type of use. It is
simply an inappropriate use of tax/fee dollars.

Our policy states that NCSU systems may be used "for personal purposes so
long as such use (1) does not violate any law or University policy, (2)
does not involve significant use of University resources, direct costs, or
substantial interference with the performance of University duties and
work,...". At this point, the publication of images is interfering with
the performance of University duties and work.

In order to reduce this inappropriate behavior I am instituting the
following procedure.  I will have our webmaster report the 10 pages which
generate the highest transfer volume on a weekly basis.  I will review the
material in these pages and determine if they are legitimately used in
academic pursuit.  If they are not, the publisher will bet dealt with
under our published sanctions.  Violation #1 will be a warning.  Violation
#2 will result in the loss of privileges for one week, etc...  Access to
the webpage will be turned off until the offender can be contacted. If
the material is clearly illegal or constitutes behavior which violates the
student code of conduct, it will be reported to the student judiciary.
They will determine if additional action is necessary.

I have postponed taking this kind of action for some time. I do not want
to be in the business of monitoring what students do, read, or say. But,
at this point, I have no choice. I must respond to user complaints about
performance by insuring that the high volume users which tax our system
are using the system for legitimate work.

Dr. Bill Willis                             Bill_Willis@NCSU.edu
Associate Provost for Academic Computing    (919) 515-2516
Box 7109, Room M2 Hillsborough Building
Raleigh, NC 27695-7901

(From http://www4.ncsu.edu/eos/users/r/rfbatcho/www/webstuff.html)