Acceptable Use Policy

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Nederlandse versie: Gebruiksvoorwaarden

Acceptable Use

This Acceptable Use Policy governs the use of the Nikhef networking and computer services; all users of these services are expected to understand and comply to these rules.

Other terms

Monitoring and logging of network traffic and e-mail

Systems and networks are constantly monitored to detect problems in time and be able to intervene to prevent damage. This is done only for administrative, operational, security, and systems analysis purposes, and to attribute usage to users and groups. In order to trace problems on the network to the source, logs of all network traffic flows (but not their content) may be kept.

Network traffic may also be analysed and stored, in order to trace the source of network issues, and to be able to detect, resolve, and prevent cyber-security incidents. The retention period depends on the type of traffic, and this data is searchable for no longer than 31 days. The data is destroyed after 45 days, unless it is part of an ongoing forensic investigation. Except during occurances of active cybersecurity incidents, the data is only and exclusively analyzed for known indicators of cybercrime ("indicators of compromise") through automated means. The data will not be searched manually unless there are due reasons to do so. Such manual searches by the Nikhef computer security team are recorded and made available upon request.

Email transactions (sender and recipient, but again not content) are also stored for a period of up to 90 days. Finally, security events related to service access (regarding identity and access rights) are retained for a period of up to 400 days.

Because many systems are backed up automatically, the above-mentioned log and transaction data are subject to a supplementary back-up period of a maximum of 100 days.

This data is only accessible to system administrators and CSIRT members, whose access is controlled based on the usual Nikhef login and password controls.

These data will of course be handled with due care: data that can be traced back to individual users (including email) will only be reviewed if there is a well-founded suspicion of substantial misuse or of illegal activity. We follow the guidelines of the Dutch Data Protection Authorities (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens) with regard to working in networks.

Would you like to know what (kind of) information is known about you in the logs? Then ask the CT, via


Access to services may at any times be suspended or terminated discretionarily for administrative, operational or security purposes. It is common for access to be suspended as part of an incident investigation, even when a violation is merely suspected. As a general matter prior to terminating service, Nikhef will attempt to work with the User to cure violations and to ensure that there is no re-occurrence of the violation.


In no event will Nikhef be liable to any user or third party for any direct, indirect, special or other consequential damages for actions taken pursuant to this AUP, including, but not limited to, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data, or otherwise, even if Nikhef was advised of the possibility of such damages.

Reporting abuse

Complaints regarding violations of this AUP, as well as concerns regarding objectionable material sent from or distributed via Nikhef, will be accepted via e-mail at, so long as a valid return address is included. Nikhef must be able to independently verify each instance of abuse: for objectionable email each complaint must include the COMPLETE TEXT OF THE OBJECTIONAL MESSAGE, INCLUDING ALL HEADERS. Please do NOT send excerpted parts of a message; sending a copy of the entire message, including headers, helps to prevent misunderstandings based on incomplete information, or information used out of context. Full headers demonstrate which path the message has taken, and enable us to determine whether any part of the message has been forged. This information is vital to our investigation. If you consider material located on Nikhef resources (e.g. published via its web site) to infringe on your rights, provide the complete URL, the time you visited this URL, and complete and sufficient evidence as to why you consider such a publication to infringe on your rights under Dutch Law.


Nikhef is not responsible for the content of email communications sent by its users, not for information published on user personal home pages. This responsibility rests with the user. At its sole discretion, Nikhef reserves the right to remove materials from its servers and to terminate access to services for the user that Nikhef determines has violated this AUP.


Nikhef retains the right to modify the AUP at any time. Such modifications shall become effective at the moment they are adopted by Nikhef and will apply to all users, current and future.


The above text mentions several times the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT). For more information about the role of this team, see the contact page at


Employees who disagree with the application of this policy, should at first contact the head of the CT department, and otherwise consult the FOM algemeen klachtrecht (UR-17) (in dutch).