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Guidelines for Handling Illegal Material
2. Principles for Dealing with Illegal Material
The guidelines aim to implement the following essential
- The police are the appropriate people to be investigating
- The risk of exposing users and staff to potentially harmful
material must be minimised.
- As little damage as possible should be done to any evidence of
- Allegations of the presence of illegal material on systems
connected to the University network must be reported to and dealt
with by authorised staff as soon as possible (MoU principles 1 and
- As soon as the likely presence of such material is confirmed,
the matter must be handed to the police with the minimum delay,
with the evidence in the best condition that can be achieved (MoU
principles 3 and 4).
- These guidelines must be followed, or any departure from them
documented with reasons for doing so, to demonstrate that staff
have acted responsibly and professionally (MoU principle 5).
At the University of Oxford:
- Authorization may only be given by the Head of Department, Head
of College, the Proctors, the Registrar or other person to whom
such authority has been delegated. Hereafter known as "The
- Police contact can be made through the University Marshall at
the University Security Office who will ensure that the report is
correctly passed on without undue delay.
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