In order to fulfil our obligations under the Janet Acceptable Use Policy, we need to control who has access to computers attached to the University's network and the services accessible from it. This is reflected in the University's IT Acceptable Use Policy.
All members of the University are bound by the IT Acceptable Use Policy, which states that "All users must correctly identify themselves at all times. A user must not masquerade as another, withhold his/her identity or tamper with audit trails."
If we cannot identify who is using one of the University's computers at any given time, then the institution, its senior officers and IT staff, may be liable if they are used for illegal acts. These could include downloading and distribution of child pornography, distribution of racist or defamatory material, breaking into computers anywhere in the world and so on. If such activity was traced to Loughborough University, in particular to a machine that required no authentication for its use, the institution itself, its senior officers and IT staff, could face the courts. It would be very difficult to divert liability if we had failed to ensure that access to any service required basic authentication via a login requiring a username and password.
In the case of office computers used by only one individual, and student computers in Halls of Residence, it is clear which member of the University is responsible for use of the computer at any given time. However, in various areas of the University, there are open access computers for students, or computers shared between staff, which pose a risk. We have ensured that all such computers are set up with a login using centrally issued usernames, linked to student and staff registration.
In many cases, IT Services will be able to assist department IT staff to set such computers up in standard ways. In other cases, it may be necessary to devise other solutions, such as tightly locked down machines for a specialised purpose, disconnection from the network, or a supervised, manual booking system.
Department IT staff are asked to ensure that all the department computers are suitably configured. If you need advice, please contact your schools IT staff in the first instance.