Code of Ethics for Computing and Information Resources

The ethical principles which apply to everyday community life also apply to computing. Every member of the Purdue University Calumet community has two basic rights: privacy and a fair share of resources. It is unethical for any person to violate these rights.

Along with these rights comes a responsibility to respect the intellectual work and property of others. Without this respect, academic discourse and enterprise cannot flourish. The university community should respect the rights of all authors and publishers in all media. These rights include the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and the right to determine the form, manner and terms of publication and distribution.


On shared computer systems, every user is assigned an identification number. The identification number is for the exclusive use of the owner. All data belongs to someone. Data should be assumed to be private and confidential unless the owner has explicitly made it available to others. Messages transmitted to other users should always identify the sender. Network traffic should be considered private. Obscenities should not be transmitted. Records related to the use of computing and information resources are confidential.


No one should deliberately attempt to degrade or disrupt system performance or to interfere with the work of others. Failure of the computer system or network security or knowledge of a special password should not be used to alter computer systems, obtain extra resources, or take resources from another person. Computing equipment owned by individuals should be used only with the owner’s permission. University resources are provided for University purposes only.

Intellectual Rights and Responsibilities

No one should copy computer software, including programs, applications, databases and codes, without a license or permission from the author or publisher.

No one should alter the form or content of any computer software without the express permission of the author or publisher to do so.

Plagiarism of software, as in any other media, is a violation of the right of the author to have his/her work acknowledged. Computing and information resources are community resources. Theft, mutilation, and abuse of these resources violate the nature and spirit of community and intellectual inquiry.

System Administration

Occasionally, computing center staff may access an owner’s data, but only when strictly necessary for the maintenance of a system and with the approval of the computer center director. If a failure is found in the security of any computer system or network, it should be reported to the computer center director and not used for personal gain or to disrupt the work of others.

This code of ethics establishes general guidelines for the use of computing and information resources. Failure to observe the code may lead to disciplinary action. Offenses that involve academic dishonesty will be dealt with through University disciplinary procedures.