Frequently Asked Questions
What is Network Quarantine?
At times it becomes necessary to isolate a computer from the campus network in order to protect the integrity of the network and/or the institution. One situation where this becomes necessary arises from use of a computer to conduct illegal activities or activities that violate university policy; another arises from a computer generating network traffic that adversely impacts the performance of the network. Network quarantine is the mechanism employed by ITS to isolate offending computers from the campus network until these kinds of problems can be rectified.
Network Quarantine Levels
There are three levels of network quarantine with each successive level having more restrictive network access and more stringent requirements for removal from quarantine. The levels are:
All web traffic is redirected to a quarantine web site. The web site provides information about the possible problem along with suggested remedial actions. It also provides a link for the user to remove the computer from quarantine unilaterally, and hopefully after the problem has been corrected.
All web traffic is redirected to a quarantine web site. The web site provides information about the possible problem along with suggested remedial actions. Students are directed to the Dean of Student's Office for removal.
All network communication is disabled. Additionally, the network port to which the offending computer is connected may be disabled. No network communication is possible.
What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is legislation enacted by the United States Congress in October 1998 that made major changes to the US Copyright Act. These changes were necessary in part to bring US copyright law into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances Phonograms Treaty. The DMCA also strengthened the legal protection of intellectual property rights in the wake of emerging new information communication technologies, i.e., the Internet.
The DMCA has five titles, or sections, with Title II having the most immediate impact on the MSU community. Title II outlines certain legal duties with which Online Service Providers (OSPs) must comply in order to limit their legal liabilities in the event a user of their service violates copyright laws. An OSP is defined as "an entity offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications". For purposes of the DMCA, MSU is regarded as an OSP for users of the MSU information technology infrastructure.
The copyright owner can choose to either send complaints through the OSP for action, or serve legal notice to the infringer directly. Pleading a lack of knowledge about copyright infringement laws will not excuse the user from legal consequences. It is the user's responsibility to be aware of these legal consequences. For this reason, MSU strongly encourages users to educate themselves about the current state of copyright law as it applies to file sharing over the Internet, and to keep up to date on changes to copyright legislation.
What is the No Electronic Theft Act?
Congress enacted the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act in 1997 to facilitate prosecution of copyright violation on the Internet. The NET Act makes it a federal crime to reproduce, distribute, or share copies of electronic copyrighted works such as songs, movies, games, or software programs, even if the person copying or distributing the material acts without commercial purpose and/or receives no private financial gain. Prior to this law being passed, people who intentionally distributed copied software over the Internet did not face criminal penalties if they did not profit from their actions. Electronic copyright infringement carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The NET Act is applicable in situations such as running a file sharing application with outgoing transfers enabled, hosting files on a web account, transferring files through IRC, and other methods of making copyrighted material available over networks.