Peer To Peer Usage (P2P) Policy (VII.C.2)

Peer To Peer Usage (P2P) Policy (VII.C.2)

Volume VII , Information Technology
Chapter C, Peer To Peer Usage
Issuing Office: OVCIS
Responsible Officer: VCIS
Responsible Office: OVCIS
Originally Issued August 9, 2010
Most Recently Revised February 15, 2012

Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Who Should Know This Policy
Related Documents

Statement of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all University use of the Internet is legal, and complies with University values and policies; and that staff and students have access to web sites and Internet services legitimately needed for their University work.  The University’s information technology systems must not be used by University:

  • For the purposes of creating, accessing or transmitting or otherwise dealing with content which may reasonably be regarded as the intellectual property rights of others, making unauthorized copies of licensed software or copyrighted material that is prohibited by law, or
  • In a manner which is contrary to University policies; or
  • In a manner which may otherwise expose the University to legal liability.

In order to comply with the letter and intent of the University IT Resource Acceptable Use Policy, Peer-to-Peer applications are restricted on all Purdue University Calumet wired and wireless networks the Purdue University Calumet VPN.

Reason for Policy

It is accepted that the internet has become an essential tool in education and research.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications are used to connect a computer directly to other computers in order to transfer files between the systems. Frequently such applications are used to transfer copyrighted materials such as music and movies.

Who Should Know This Policy

Vice Chancellors
Directors / Department Heads
All Employees
All Students
Student Organizations


For questions about this policy, requests for exception, and appeal, contact

The Vice Chancellor of Information Services Email:


Internet: an electronic communications network that connects computer networks and organizational computer facilities around the world.

Intranet: a network operating like the Internet but having access restricted to a limited group of authorized users such as employees of a company, or the University’s community.

Service/protocol filtering: removing access to a specific service e.g. P2P services, Chat.

P2P (or peer-to-peer): describes a network which enables the sharing of content files containing audio, video, data or anything in digital format from one client machine to another.

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act): A United States copyright law which criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as Digital Rights Management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works and it also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.


To stem the use of P2P applications, CTIS blocks well-known P2P ports. However, some applications will still negotiate connections on dynamic ports. If a system is detected engaging in P2P activity on the wired network, a temporary second level block is put in place on that system which shuts down the P2P traffic. A notice is then sent out to the registered computer owner, University Village Administrators, as well as CTIS Networking.  The system identification is then logged.

If a particular system is blocked several times, it will be removed from the network until such time as the user uninstalls the offending software or states that they will not use it on the PUC Network. Systems owned by PUC will have the software removed unless it is deemed necessary for the transfer of scientific data or other such valid use.

If a system engages in P2P traffic on the PUC Wireless network, that system is promptly removed from the wireless network as it is a clear violation of the acceptable use policy that the user is forced to agree to in order to use the wireless network.

If a user engages in P2P activity while connected to the PUC network via VPN, the user is identified and notified by email that this is a violation of the acceptable use policy. Continued use of P2P application over VPN may result in the termination of VPN access.

Information Services is not always successful in preventing the use of these applications. Occasionally a DMCA violation notice is registered with Information Services regarding an offense. Typically these offenses are the result of a user sharing copyrighted materials.

When a DMCA violation notice is received, the offending system is immediately removed from the network pending a further investigation. Once the user is identified Information Services sends an official notice to the Dean of Students.

Once the notice is forwarded, Disciplinary Hearings and possible sanctions may result at the discretion of the Dean of Students.  Internet access will be restored only upon written request from the Dean of Students.

In any dispute about the classification, blocking or unblocking of internet categories the Vice Chancellor for Information Services will be the final arbitrator.


Examples of P2P applications are BitTorrent, Gnutella, Limewire, eMule and Ares Galaxy. Of these applications, BitTorrent has value in the scientific community. If your work requires the use of BitTorrent, an exception may be made for your system. A request for an exemption may be made by submitting a request for security policy exception.

Individuals who have requested an exception and have been denied have the right to appeal. The appeal should be in writing or via e-mail and sent to

Related Documents

Purdue University Calumet information on the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Request for Security Policy Exception