Skip navigation

Policy: Acceptable use of information technology


To establish the standards of acceptable use of the University’s information technology (IT) and information infrastructure, and end-to-end network by authorised users.


Permission for members of the University community to use the University’s IT and information infrastructure is contingent on compliance with this policy.


The policy applies to all members of the University community who have been granted access to IT and information infrastructure, including but not limited to ANU staff, students, VaHAs, contractors and affiliated organisations.


Authorised user: a person who has been granted access to all or part of the information infrastructure of the University by a responsible officer, as defined in the Information Infrastructure and Services Rule.

Communications Room: A Communications Room is a dedicated room, usually air-conditioned and secured with physical and/or electronic locking, containing ICT infrastructure (e.g., servers), communication, security and networking equipment and their associated components. A Communications Room is a ‘controlled room’ meaning only approved staff may have access to the room for security reasons.

Data: Includes raw data, micro data, unorganised facts or data sets in any format.

Information: Data that is processed, organised, structured or presented in a given context so as to make it useful in any format.

Information infrastructure: includes the buildings, permanent installations, information services, fixtures, cabling, and capital equipment that comprises the underlying system within or by which the University:

  • holds, transmits, manages, uses, analyses, or accesses data and information; and
  • transmits electronic communication.

Integrated Communication Network (ICN): the University network infrastructure including the following network sites – Acton Campus, ANU UniLodge, Hume Library Store, Gowrie Hall, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Siding Spring Observatory, North Australia Research Unit, University House Melbourne, ANU Medical School remote sites and hospitals, and ANU Exchange sites.

Network access: access to the University’s ICN.

Network connecting devices: includes servers, storage devices, desktop computers, laptop computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers, mobiles, tablet devices, other personal computing devices, and any computing devices with networking interfaces capable of connecting to the ICN.

System owner: the senior member of staff with delegated responsibility for information assets, including defined responsibilities for the security of the data, information and application component of the asset, determining appropriate classification of information, defining access rights, the implementation and operation of enterprise systems, and ensuring that information asset risk is identified and managed. System owners are a Service Division Director or an equivalent management position.

User: a person (wherever located) who accesses the information infrastructure. This includes services intended for public use.

VaHA: Visiting and Honorary Appointments; formerly referred to as Persons of Interest (POIs).

Visitors: authorised users who are part of the University community, but are not ANU staff or students, who have been approved by a delegate to have access to specific information infrastructure and services. This term preplaces the previously use term of affiliate.

Policy statement

  1. This policy and related documents draw their authority from the Information Infrastructure and Services Rule.
  2. Acceptable use is defined as activities undertaken in the course of performing the functions of the University, as specified by the Australian National University Act 1991.
  3. Members of the University community are permitted use of the University’s IT and information infrastructure, unless explicitly denied use by the University, or under specific legislation. Authorised users are required to use IT and the end-to-end network responsibly, safely, ethically, and legally.
  4. University IT facilities and services, such as email, must not be used to conduct personal business or unauthorised commercial activity. Limited personal use of University IT is acceptable, however access can be revoked at any time and is subject to the same monitoring practices as employment related use.
  5. ITS Division is the owner of all of the University’s Communications Rooms and responsible for the management of staff access to the rooms and the ICT equipment within. F&S Division is responsible for facility management of the Communications Rooms including physical security, power management and climate control.

University responsibilities

  1. To support its core activities of teaching and research, the University is responsible for:
  1. ensuring the security, integrity, accessibility, authority, and fitness of the University’s IT and information infrastructure;
  2. providing users with relevant legal information regarding the use of IT and information infrastructure;
  3. ensuring software used by the University is licensed in accordance with the procurement and contracts licensing procedures, as found in the ANU Policy Library;
  4. backing up University data and information in University storage infrastructure subject to any requirements under the Records and Archives Management policy;
  5. providing infrastructure networks to meet the information access needs of the University, and to enable collaboration with external, local, national and international research and education institutions;
  6. governance, management and assurance of all systems, including enterprise systems and applications; and
  7. the design, operation, and management of the end-to-end data and voice networks.

User responsibilities

  1. Authorised users of the University’s information infrastructure and end-to-end network use the University’s IT and information infrastructure in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the Code of Conduct, Discipline Rule and Information Infrastructure and Services Rule. These provisions include but are not limited to the following statements.
  2. Authorised users of the University’s information infrastructure and end-to-end network:
  1. use IT and information infrastructure within the directions, limits, and obligations of University Statutes and Rules, and maintain an appropriate level of awareness and compliance with University policies and procedures; and
  2. use software and services within the conditions of use specified in the software licence or within any licence agreement between the University and a vendor.
  1. Authorised users of the University’s information infrastructure and end-to-end network do not:
  1. attempt to breach security to access information or parts of the information infrastructure that are outside their authority;
  2. allow access to the information infrastructure or end-to-end network to unauthorised users;
  3. use another user’s credentials, masquerade as, or represent, another user;
  4. intentionally connect compromised or unapproved devices, or communication equipment to the University’s information infrastructure or end to end network;
  5. use IT, information infrastructure, or the end-to-end network to harass, threaten, defame, libel, or illegally discriminate (as defined in relevant legislation);
  6. create, transmit, access, solicit, or knowingly display or store electronic material that is offensive, disrespectful, or discriminatory, as identified under the Code of Conduct and Discipline Rule;
  7. contravene any provision of the Copyright Act 1968, including, but not limited to, unauthorised use of copyright material, and downloading or sharing pirate content using the University’s information infrastructure or end-to-end network;
  8. modify or remove University information without authority to do so;
  9. breach the confidentiality of others, or the University, and the confidential information of others or the University. Information is considered confidential, whether protected by the computing operating system or not, unless the owner intentionally makes that information available; and
  10. damage or destroy IT equipment used to access the information infrastructure and end-to-end network.


  1. Identified breaches of this policy and related documents are investigated under the following:

Legislation, standards, and regulations

  1. To enable better practice within its policy and procedural frameworks, the University recognises, and is consistent with, the following standards and regulations:


Printable version (PDF)
Title Acceptable use of information technology
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_001222
Purpose To establish the standards of acceptable use of the University’s Information Technology (IT) and information infrastructure, and end-to-end network by authorised users. Acceptable use of information technology policy, policy Acceptable use of information technology
Audience Staff, Students, Alumni, Affiliates
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Information Technology - Usage
Effective Date 28 Oct 2023
Next Review Date 28 Sep 2028
Responsible Officer: Director, Information Technology Services
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Information Technology Services
Authority: AS ISO/IEC 27002:2015
Australian National University Act 1991
Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014
Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)
Privacy Act 1988
Telecommunications Act 1997
Telecommunications Regulations 2021
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979
Information Infrastructure and Services Order 2020
Australian National University (Governance) Statute 2023
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.