The Company, which provides Services, offers its Clients and their customers and users, the means to acquire and disseminate a wealth of public, private, commercial, and non-commercial information. The Company respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue the Company reserves the right to take certain preventive or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, the Company has an Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”), which supplements and explains certain terms of each Client’s respective service agreement and is intended as a guide to the Client’s rights and obligations when utilizing the Company’s services. This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) will be revised from time to time. A Client’s use of the Company’s services after changes to the AUP are posted on the Company’s web site, http://www.firstlink.com/legal/, will constitute the Client’s acceptance of any new or additional terms of the AUP that result from those changes.
One important aspect of the Internet is that no one party owns or controls it. This fact accounts for much of the Internet’s openness and value, but it also places a high premium on the judgment and responsibility of those who use the Internet, both in the information they acquire and in the information they disseminate to others. When Clients obtain information through the Internet, they must keep in mind that the Company cannot monitor, verify, warrant, or vouch for the accuracy and quality of the information that Clients may acquire. For this reason, the Client must exercise his or her best judgment in relying on information obtained from the Internet, and also should be aware that some material posted to the Internet is sexually explicit or otherwise offensive. Because the Company cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, the Company cannot accept any responsibility for injury to its Clients that results from inaccurate, unsuitable, offensive, or illegal Internet communications.
When Clients disseminate information through the Internet, they also must keep in mind that the Company does not review, edit, censor, or take responsibility for any information its Clients may create. When users place information on the Internet, they have the same liability as other authors for copyright infringement, defamation, and other harmful speech. Also, because the information they create is carried over the Company’s network and may reach a large number of people, including both Clients and non-Clients of the Company, Clients’ postings to the Internet may affect other Clients and may harm the Company’s goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, Clients violate the Company’s policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities:
1. Spamming – Sending unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over the Internet (known as “spamming”). It is not only harmful because of its negative impact on consumer attitudes toward the Company, but also because it can overload the Company’s network and disrupt service to the Company’s other Clients. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a complaint is received, the Company has the discretion to determine from all of the evidence whether the email recipients were from an “opt-in” email list. See also http://www.firstlink.com/legal/
2. Intellectual Property Violations -Engaging in any activity that infringes or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of others, including copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, software piracy, and patents held by individuals, corporations, or other entities. Also, engaging in activity that violates privacy, publicity, or other personal rights of others. The Company is required by law to remove or block access to Client content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also the Company’s policy to terminate the privileges of Clients who commit repeat violations of copyright laws.
3. Obscene Speech or Materials – Using the Company’s network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or obscene speech or material. The Company is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through the Company’s network.
4. Defamatory or Abusive Language – Using the Company’s network as a means to transmit or post defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening language.
5. Forging of Headers – Forging or misrepresenting message headers, whether in whole or in part, to mask the originator of the message.
6. Illegal or Unauthorized Access to Other Computers or Networks – Accessing illegally or without authorization computers, accounts, or networks belonging to another party, or attempting to penetrate security measures of another individual’s system (often known as “hacking”). Also, any activity that might be used as a precursor to an attempted system penetration (i.e. port scan, stealth scan, or other information gathering activity).
7. Distribution of Internet Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, or Other Destructive Activities – Distributing information regarding the creation of and sending Internet viruses, worms, Trojan horses, pinging, flooding, mail bombing, or denial of service attacks. Also, activities that disrupt the use of or interfere with the ability of others to effectively use the network or any connected network, system, service, or equipment.
8. Facilitating a Violation of this AUP – Advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software, program, product, or service that is designed to violate this AUP, which includes the facilitation of the means to spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mail bombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.
9. Export Control Violations – Exporting encryption software over the Internet or otherwise, to points outside the United States.
10. Email – Sending unsolicited mail messages, including, without limitation, commercial advertising and informational announcements, is explicitly prohibited. A user shall not use another site’s mail server to relay mail without the express permission of the site.
11. Usenet Groups – The Company reserves the right not to accept postings from newsgroups where we have actual knowledge that the content of the newsgroup violates the AUP. Posting the same or similar message to one or more newsgroups (excessive cross-posting or multiple-posting, also known as “SPAM”) is explicitly prohibited.
12. Other Illegal Activities – Engaging in activities that are determined to be illegal, including advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, fraudulently charging credit cards, and pirating software.
13. Other Activities – Engaging in activities, whether lawful or unlawful, that the Company determines to be harmful to its Clients, operations, reputation, goodwill, or customer relations. Examples of system or network security violations include, without limitation, the following: Unauthorized access to or use of data, systems or networks, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of a system or network or to breach security or authentication measures without express authorization of the owner of the system or network. Unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on any network or system without express authorization of the owner of the system or network. Interference with service to any user, host or network including, without limitation, mail bombing, flooding, deliberate attempts to overload a system and broadcast attacks. Forging of any TCP-IP packet header or any part of the header information in an email or a newsgroup posting.
As we have pointed out, the responsibility for avoiding the harmful activities just described rests primarily with the Client. The Company will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its Clients to ensure that they comply with the Company policy or applicable law. If any violation of the law or this AUP is suspected, the Company reserves the right to investigate. Use of the the Company’s network constitutes consent to monitoring. When the Company becomes aware of harmful activities, however, it may take any action to stop the harmful activity, including but not limited to, removing information, shutting down a website, implementing screening software designed to block offending transmissions, denying access to the Internet, or take any other action it deems appropriate.
The Company also is aware that many of its Clients are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching the Company’s facilities from those Clients may have originated from a customer of the Client or from another third-party. The Company does not require its Clients who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by customers of its Clients. The Company has the right to directly take action against a customer of a Client. Also, the Company may take action against the Client because of activities of a customer of the Client, even though the action may affect other customers of the Client. Similarly, the Company anticipates that Clients who offer Internet services will cooperate with the Company in any corrective or preventive action that the Company deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of the Service Agreement.
The Company also is concerned with the privacy of online communications and web sites. In general, the Internet is neither more nor less secure than other means of communication, including mail, facsimile, and voice telephone service, all of which can be intercepted and otherwise compromised. As a matter of prudence, however, the Company urges its Clients to assume that all of their online communications are insecure. The Company cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over the Company’s facilities.
The Company will not intentionally monitor private electronic mail messages sent or received by its Clients unless required to do so by law, governmental authority, or when public safety is at stake. The Company may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, the Company may disclose information, including but not limited to, information concerning a Client, a transmission made using our network, or a website, in order to comply with a court order, subpoena, summons, discovery request, warrant, statute, regulation, or governmental request. The Company assumes no obligation to inform the Client that Client information has been provided and in some cases may be prohibited by law from giving such notice. Finally, the Company may disclose Client information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect the Company and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system.
The Company expects that its Clients who provide Internet services to others will comply fully with all applicable laws concerning the privacy of online communications. A Client’s failure to comply with those laws will violate the Company policy. Finally, the Company wishes to emphasize that in utilizing services the service agreement, Clients indemnify the Company for any violation of the service agreement, law, or the Company’s policy, that results in loss to the Company or the bringing of any claim against the Company by any third-party. This means that if the Company is sued because of a Client’s or customer of a Client’s activity, the Client will pay any damages awarded against the Company, plus costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
We hope this AUP is helpful in clarifying the obligations of Internet users, including the Company and its Clients, as responsible members of the Internet. Any complaints about a Client’s violation of this AUP should be sent to [email protected].
INDIRECT OR ATTEMPTED VIOLATIONS OF THE POLICY, AND ACTUAL OR ATTEMPTED VIOLATIONS BY A THIRD PARTY ON BEHALF OF A FIRST LINK TECHNOLOGY, INC. CLIENT OR A CLIENT’S END USER, SHALL BE CONSIDERED VIOLATIONS OF THE POLICY BY SUCH CLIENT OR END USER.
FirstLink’s Acceptable Use Policy is available at https://www.firstlink.com/legal/