Network Policy

Network Policy Regarding Devices Connected to the Caltech Network (CITnet)

General Statement

We at IMSS are dedicated to providing a reliable network environment to facilitate education, research, operations and Institute approved business services for the Caltech Community. The Caltech Community shall be defined as all currently enrolled students and those employed by the Institute.

The California Institute of Technology Computing Network (commonly referred to as "CITnet" or "The Network") includes all physical cabling at Caltech, all Dial-Up access, Charter Cable Modem Service provided through Caltech, Wireless technologies at Caltech, Virtual Private Networking, and all remote locations which are connected directly to CITnet.

In our effort to provide a secure and reliable networking environment, we reserve the right to monitor network activity to aid in the solving of problems encountered with or on the CITnet.

Acceptable Devices

The Institute Policy on Acceptable use of Electronic Information Resources details the use of electronic devices at Caltech. These devices are to be in good working order and designed not to interfere with other devices connected to CITnet or the network operations of the Institute. These devices must be used for Institute related activity. IMSS reserves the right to restrict access to devices which are connected to the Institute through MAC Address or IP address blocking.

Contractors and other Non-Caltech personnel are not provided access to Caltech resources and need to make their own arrangements for Voice and Data Network Services. Voice and Data Services may be obtained by Local Carrier or Cellular Service Provider.

Ownership/Responsible Parties

The Owner or Responsible Party (RP) for a device connected to CITnet must have a valid Caltech email address to facilitate contact if there is a problem with the device. The Owner or RP is responsible for the use or misuse of the device that is attached to CITnet.


Security measures should be taken to ensure that the device connected to CITnet is not vulnerable to compromise. Compromised or problem hosts connected to CITnet will be blocked until they are repaired. Recommended actions for devices connected to CITnet include: fully patched Operating Systems; current anti-virus software and virus definitions; secure passwords, personal firewalls, and intrusion detection software. More information on this can be obtained at IMSS Computer Security.

Unacceptable Activities While Connected to CITnet

Caltech will not support or condone the activities listed below:

  • Activities which excessively consume CITnet Resources
  • Activities which violate the Caltech Honor Code,Caltech Policies, or IMSS Policies
  • Activities which violate Local, State or Federal Law, and/or International Treaty
    This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Providing Services which interfere with the legitimate function of other devices connected to CITnet (examples include DHCP Servers, devices running RIP, RAS Servers consuming DHCP Addresses which have not been registered with IMSS...)
    • Commercial Activities not approved by Caltech's Department of Business and Finance
    • Sending Spam (Unsolicited Bulk and/or Commercial Email)
    • Open E-Mail Relays
    • Denial of Service Attacks
    • Hacking
    • Cracking
    • Probing, scanning or other activities done to learn about CITnet connected devices, whether innocent or malicious in nature (Allowances will be made for System Administrators performing security scans on systems they manage in the course of their job duties.)
    • Packet Sniffing
    • Content Sniffing
    • Unauthorized access to hosts on CITnet or other Networks
    • Illegal distribution of any copyrighted material
    • "Stealing" or "Borrowing" IP addresses
    • Any activity that tarnishes Caltech's professional image (IMSS may not be the policing agency in these matters)

Response to unacceptable activities

Caltech will work in cooperation with law enforcement agencies when a crime is committed. General inquiries and requests for assistance may be submitted at (request type IMSS-->Network, Wireless & Remote Access-->Other). Legal action, subpoena, Cease and Desist Orders must go through Caltech's Office of General Counsel, who may be reached at (818) 354-0999.

For incidents which do not warrant involvement of law enforcement agencies or Caltech disciplinary groups (for example, the Dean of Undergraduate Students OfficeDean of Graduate Students OfficeBoard of ControlGraduate Review Board...), hosts which participate in unacceptable activities will be blocked from CITnet access and the RP contacted. When the problems are resolved, hosts will be granted access to CITnet.