Porn students face action

February 9, 1996

University College London has threatened its students with disciplinary action if they misuse the college computing system, writes Jennie Bristow.

Offences include "downloading pornography from the Internet" and bringing the college into disrepute by using "racist, sexist, obscene or otherwise illegal material" on the Net.

Offending students will have their accounts suspended and possibly be referred to the dean of students for further action. According to Robert Clarke of the college user centre, the action followed cases of misuse including hacking, sending abusive messages and downloading pornography. However, the rules raised broader questions about freedom of speech.

Adam Hibbert, a first-year philosophy student at UCL, said: "I'd like to be able to talk as freely on the Internet as I do in the common room. At UCL, you can't talk freely anywhere because there are too many rules governing what you can and cannot say. The best way of challenging prejudiced ideas is to argue against them."

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