Web 'bomb recipe' student disciplined

September 8, 1995

Dundee University is to mount an internal publicity campaign on its computing code of conduct following the discovery that a student published an alleged bomb recipe on the university's Internet pages.

But the university has no plans to restrict students' access to computing facilities.

"Despite this incident, we are very keen that students use information technology to its maximum advantage in pursuit of their studies and in terms of a wider university education," said Richard Murphy, director of Dundee's information technology services.

"In recognition of the importance of computer skills in today's business and academic world, we do provide our students with wide and easy access to computer facilities, including the Internet - facilities which we expect them to use responsibly."

Dundee's preferred approach was to educate students in responsible behaviour rather than looking at withdrawing facilities, he said.

A magazine article on Internet activity following terrorist bombings in Tel Aviv and Paris alerted Dundee to the bomb recipe on student Allan John Paterson's personal home page.

"This was not accessible through the university's World Wide Web page. You had to know what it was called to get to it," Mr Murphy said. "The material was not new, and I am sure it or something similar is still available, although hopefully not at UK academic sites."

Mr Murphy said Mr Paterson had been disciplined by a university panel, but would not elaborate on what sanctions it had imposed, apart from confirming that he had not been expelled.

Disciplinary action could also include suspension from using computing facilities, or a fine, he said, and the police would also be informed if the law appeared to have been broken.

Dundee is planning measures to make its code of conduct better known throughout the university. A new electronic publishing editorial board will be looking at the general issue of using computing facilities and will produce a code of practice.

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