SurfNet Acceptable Use
As a provider of Internet access, web site hosting,
and other Internet-related services, SurfNet offers its customers (also known as subscribers), and
their customers and users, the means to acquire and disseminate a wealth of public, private,
commercial, and non-commercial information.
SurfNet respects that the Internet provides a forum
for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing
interests at issue, SurfNet reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions.
In order to protect these competing interests, SurfNet has developed an Acceptable Use Policy
("AUP"), which supplements and explains certain terms of each customer's respective service
agreement and is intended as a guide to the customer's rights and obligations when utilizing
This AUP will be revised from time to time. A
customer's use of SurfNet's services after changes to the AUP are posted on SurfNet's web site,
will constitute the customer'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 subscribers obtain information through the
Internet, they must keep in mind that SurfNet cannot monitor, verify, warrant, or vouch for the
accuracy and quality of the information that subscribers may acquire.
For this reason, the subscriber 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 SurfNet cannot monitor or censor the Internet,
and will not attempt to do so, SurfNet cannot accept any responsibility for injury to its
subscribers that results from inaccurate, unsuitable, offensive, or illegal Internet
communications. When subscribers disseminate information through the Internet, they also must keep
in mind that SurfNet does not review, edit, censor, or take responsibility for any information its
subscribers 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 SurfNet's network and may reach a large number of people, including both subscribers and
nonsubscribers of SurfNet, subscribers' postings to the Internet may affect other subscribers and
may harm SurfNet's goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, subscribers
violate SurfNet policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or
subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities:
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 SurfNet, but also because it can overload SurfNet's network and
disrupt service to SurfNet subscribers. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a
complaint is received, SurfNet has the discretion to determine from all of the evidence whether the
email recipients were from an "opt-in" email list.
Intellectual Property Violations: Engaging in any
activity that infringes or misappropriates 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. SurfNet is required by law to remove or block access
to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also SurfNet's
policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright
Obscene Speech or Materials: Using SurfNet's network
to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or
obscene speech or material. SurfNet is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it
becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through SurfNet's
Defamatory or Abusive Language: Using SurfNet's
network as a means to transmit or post defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening
Forging of Headers: Forging or misrepresenting message
headers, whether in whole or in part, to mask the originator of the message.
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
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, mailbombing, 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.
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, mailbombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.
Export Control Violations: Exporting encryption
software over the Internet or otherwise, to points outside the United States.
Usenet Groups: SurfNet reserves the right not to
accept postings from newsgroups where we have actual knowledge that the content of the newsgroup
violates the AUP.
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
Other Activities: Engaging in activities, whether
lawful or unlawful, that SurfNet determines to be harmful to its subscribers, operations,
reputation, goodwill, or customer relations. As we have pointed out, the responsibility for
avoiding the harmful activities just described rests primarily with the subscriber. SurfNet will
not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its subscribers to ensure that they
comply with SurfNet policy or applicable law. When SurfNet 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 web site, implementing screening software designed to block
offending transmissions, denying access to the Internet, or take any other action it deems
appropriate. SurfNet also is aware that many of its subscribers are, themselves, providers of
Internet services, and that information reaching SurfNet's facilities from those subscribers may
have originated from a customer of the subscriber or from another third-party. SurfNet does not
require its subscribers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites
created by customers of its subscribers. SurfNet has the right to directly take action against a
customer of a subscriber. Also, SurfNet may take action against the SurfNet subscriber because of
activities of a customer of the subscriber, even though the action may effect other customers of
the subscriber. Similarly, SurfNet anticipates that subscribers who offer Internet services will
cooperate with SurfNet in any corrective or preventive action that SurfNet deems necessary. Failure
to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of SurfNet policy. SurfNet
also is concerned with the privacy of on-line 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, SurfNet urges its subscribers to assume that all of their on-line
communications are insecure. SurfNet cannot take any responsibility for the security of information
transmitted over SurfNet's facilities. SurfNet will not intentionally monitor private electronic
mail messages sent or received by its subscribers unless required to do so by law, governmental
authority, or when public safety is at stake. SurfNet may, however, monitor its service
electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, SurfNet may
disclose information, including but not limited to, information concerning a subscriber, a
transmission made using our network, or a web site, in order to comply with a court order,
subpoena, summons, discovery request, warrant, statute, regulation, or governmental request.
SurfNet assumes no obligation to inform the subscriber that subscriber information has been
provided and in some cases may be prohibited by law from giving such notice. Finally, SurfNet may
disclose subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to
protect SurfNet and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation
of the system. SurfNet expects that its subscribers who provide Internet services to others will
comply fully with all applicable laws concerning the privacy of on-line communications. A
subscriber's failure to comply with those laws will violate SurfNet policy.
Finally, SurfNet wishes to emphasize that in signing
the service agreement, subscribers indemnify SurfNet for any violation of the service agreement,
law, or SurfNet policy, that results in loss to SurfNet or the bringing of any claim against
SurfNet by any third-party. This means that if SurfNet is sued because of a subscriber's or
customer of a subscriber's activity, the subscriber will pay any damages awarded against SurfNet,
plus costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. We hope this AUP is helpful in clarifying the
obligations of Internet users, including SurfNet and its subscribers, as responsible members of the
Internet. Any complaints about a subscriber's violation of this AUP should be sent to abuse@Surfmail.net.