The Australian Astronomical Observatory is a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. As such, our computer network is owned and operated by the government, and this imposes additional rules and regulations upon all staff and visitors.
In general, government ICT security rules would prohibit visitors from using our network, and certainly it is not usually possible for visitors to connect their own equipment to a government network.
Given the nature of the AAO’s business, there is a clear business case to allow for our visitors to use our facilities and to connect their own computers to our network. The AAO has received waivers to the normal government rules to allow this to happen. We do ask that all our visitors are careful to use these facilities only for the intended purpose. Any misuse may expose the user to criminal action and other sanctions, and could put at risk the waivers that allow this use by all visitors.
There is zero tolerance by the government for misuse of ICT facilities, and being a government network, consequences may be far more severe than those for a similar breach elsewhere. We monitor and log most network activity.
Some of the rule waivers in place do not apply to staff members, so we do ask that you be sensitive to this. For example, staff are prohibited from connecting their own PC to the network, and are not permitted to use non AAO email services at work.
You may use the AAO ICT facilities to:
- Connect your own computer to the AAO network, provided that you have registered its MAC address with us. (This privilege does not extend to other devices such as smart phones, tablets etc)
- Interact with AAO systems for the purpose of your visit.
- Copy your observing data. (This includes connecting a mass storage device to an AAO computer to facilitate the transfer of your data)
- Collaborate with colleagues with regard to your science and research
- Communicate with your home institution (Including sending your observing data there)
- The use of internet for items related to your visit
- Reasonable personal use, such as sending and receiving emails, communicating with family, using internet banking and other similar web access. (this does not extend to using the network for predominantly personal entertainment purposes such as watching non work/visit related videos, downloading large files not related to your visit or similar)
ICT users must not use the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources to access, display, download, create, distribute, copy or store illegal or offensive material.
Examples of this type of action include, but are not limited to:
- Pirated software and/or copyright material
- Racist material
- Pornography, nudity
- Links to such material
- Use as a medium for comment or distributing content that could be defamatory or offensive
- Use for the distribution of communications containing offensive language
- Harassment, sending of abusive email/s, or making personal attacks on any person or entity.
ICT users must not use the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources in the following manner:
- Purposefully gaining unauthorised access to, or performing an unauthorised modification of ICT Facilities and Resources
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources with the intention of obtaining a benefit by deception or other means
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources to facilitate the perpetration of a crime
- Sharing AAO User account credentials (username and passphrase)
- Removing ICT equipment from AAO premises without appropriate permission
- Recording AAO passphrases and usernames to hardcopy in an insecure way
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources for commercial purposes other than AAO business
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources for political campaigning or comment
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources to transmit, store or create defamatory content
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources to transmit, store or create offensive displays
- Purposely renaming or masking unauthorised files in an endeavour to hide their true contents
- Downloading/Installing applications not approved for use on the network
- Attempting to bypass AAO Internet Gateway/filters
- Accessing unauthorised remote computers i.e. private home networks
- Using the AAO’s ICT Facilities and Resources for activist, fan club or similar activities
- Discrediting the Australian Government
- Interfering with AAO business activities
- Impairing the operation of AAO ICT Facilities and Resources or official data
- Purposefully gaining unauthorised access to AAO data or information
- Managing personal commercial business from AAO ICT Facilities and Resources.