Cisco Clean Access Removal at UND sign now

We, the Students and Faculty of University of North Dakota, call for the immediate removal of Cisco Clean Access and the limitations and restrictions it imposes on all non-University owned computers and network devices. Cisco Clean Access creates more frustration than it solves problems, and creates potential security risks by forcing users of Microsoft Windows to install unverified/unverifiable software (the "Clean Access Agent"). Furthermore, the Cisco Clean Access system has restricted, affected, or limited various legitimate network traffic with some (but not all) complaints detailed below:





1) VoIP and Internet-capable devices: Cisco Clean Access requires login at 12-hour intervals, making it impossible to set up and forget a VoIP device. A computer with a web browser must be used to maintain the login, or the phone will cease to ring every twelve hours.





2) Student-run servers: Within an environment such as the University of North Dakota, which is conducive to learning and education, there should be no surprise that more than a few students choose to operate their own servers from their Internet connections. Cisco Clean Access ensures that their servers will be inaccessible at twelve-hour intervals without intervention, and that not all traffic will necessarily get through regardless.





3) Bandwidth and QoS: Since installation of Cisco Clean Access, bandwidth degradation has been highly noticeable. Prior to installation, it was possible to download at sustained rates of 1MBps, but a survey of present bandwidth speeds show that rates vary wildly from 200bps to 300KBps. More than once, bandwidth and QoS issues have prevented students and faculty from downloading and installing security updates - a task that Cisco Clean Access is allegedly ensuring will be enforced.





We argue that this is not acceptable. This is not an acceptable use of government tax dollars or student tuition. This is not an acceptable means of protecting non-University computers from Internet-related threats.





An alternative plan for security and safety is outlined below:





1) Provide virus scanning software for students and faculty who wish to install it on their personal computers, as well as information on obtaining free and commercial alternatives to the University offering.





2) Advise Microsoft Windows users of how to enable automatic updating of their operating system.





3) Provide an HTTP proxy that can be used if desired, but is not required. Explain the benefits and detriments to prospective users.





4) Provide documentation, a workshop, or possibly a one-credit class teaching Internet-related "best practices" to assist less knowledgeable students and faculty in avoiding Internet-related threats, as well as covering copyright issues that may be of concern.





This alternative plan provides similar levels of security and safety, and will not interfere with users who do not wish to be protected and hindered by the University.

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Veronica RobinsonBy:
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UND President Kupchella

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