(Original post by ISS Monkey 2)
Let's be clear, we will never release any student details to any of these companies/legal people without police involvement (i.e. a RIPA/Warant). If it's got that bad then you're in a lot of trouble.
As for supposed to be controlling and Orwellian feelings, you're a regular here Cal you'll know I've spoken on numerous occasions that we are working to open things up. I'm not sure what controlling you think we do, okey, NAT is restrictive at the moment and you have to go through web caches. But there's nothing we as "Big Brother" have decided that doesn't fit into Newspeak and have had removed.
(This is of course where you find an example I don't know about
I don't have a problem really with what people do on ResNet providing it's legal and fine within the AUP of the university and our provider... ja.net. You can surf all the porn sites you want, online dating, gambling, etc. I don't care, it's your lives. You're certainly not going to end up in Room 101 once you share my opinions.
ISPs (of which Lancaster is one) are having a very difficult time trying to adapt to the pressures out there. We are still learning. Let's take a copyright complaint for example, it's not really any different then a Galgate local seeing you steal flowers from his garden and then writing us a letter to complain. I would hope you would expect to get told off for it.
As much as my personal opinion damns and disagrees with the way the RIAA and MPAA work or the ethics of the film and music industry, copyright theft is still illegal. The uni has just been doing for years what the companies that have decided to cooperate with the RIAA and MPAA will be doing shortly.
Additionally, and this isn't my bailiwick, part of your student contract is not to bring the university into disrepute. It could be argued that by many students breaking copyright law at Lancaster would bring a negative image on the university in the IT sector.
I don't want that bad image, working here at Lancaster is a pretty big feather in peoples caps. We run a large university, we run the ja.net regional network and we run a regional broadband consortium that connects all the primary and secondary schools in Cumbria and Lancashire. This is a huge achievement with the resources we have, and people know us for it.
So if you want to take my warning about copyright complaints to be Orwellian, that's fine and I suspect it'll unfortunately have to be one of the points that staff (essentially by our jobs and contracts) have to always disagree with students.
On the other hand if I've misunderstood your point let me know, I enjoy things like this. Honestly, I'm happy to discuss this. Give me an example which I haven't addressed with things like opening up NAT (which I'll note it's the ISS techies like me who are driving it because we think it's the right thing to do, not pressure from the students union or suggestions via our user services department).
There's something in the back of my mind about great power and great responsibility, but it seems a bit to much of a cliché.