As a provider of Internet access, web site hosting, and other Internet-related services, ASCENT DATA offers its customers (also known as subscribers), and their customers and users, the means to acquire and dissemina te a wealth of public, private, commercial, and non -commercial information. ASCENT DATA respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue, ASCENT DATA reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, ASCENT DATA 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 ASCENT DATA’s services. This AUP will be revised from time to time. A customer’s use of ASCENT DATA’s services after changes to the AUP are posted on ASCENT DATA’s web site, www.ascentdata.com, will constitute the customer’s acceptance of any new or additional terms of the AUP that result from those changes.
ASCENT DATA will be the sole arbiter as to what constitutes a violation of the AUP. ASCENT DATA, in its sole discretion, will determine on a case-by-case basis what actions will be taken in response to a violation of the AUP. ASCENT DATA, reserves at all times all rights and remedies available to it with respect to violations of the AUP at law or in equity including, without limitation, the right to notify law enforcement authorities of relevant violations. No failure or delay in exercising or enforcing this policy shall constitute a waiver of the policy or of any other right or remedy.
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 ASCENT DATA 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 bes t 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 ASCENT DATA cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, ASCENT DATA 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 k eep in mind that ASCENT DATA 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 ASCENT DATA’s network and may reach a large number of people, including both subscribers and non -subscribers of ASCENT DATA, subscribers’ postings to the Internet may affect other subscribers and may harm ASCENT DATA’s goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, subscribers violate ASCENT DATA 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 ASCENT DATA, but also because it ca n overload ASCENT DATA’s network and disrupt service to ASCENT DATA subscribers. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a complaint is received, ASCENT DATA 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 pira cy, and patents held by individuals, corporations, or other entities. Also, engaging in activity that violates privacy, publicity, or other personal rights of others. ASCENT DATA is required by law to remove or block access to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also ASCENT DATA’s policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright laws.
Obscene Speech or Materials — Using ASCENT DATA’s network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or obscene speech or material. ASCENT DATA is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through ASCENT DATA’s network.
Defamatory or Abusive Language — Using ASCENT DATA’s network as a means to transmit or post defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening language.
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 activity).
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 — ASCENT DATA 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 software.
Other Activities — Engaging in activities, whether lawful or unlawful, that ASCENT DATA 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. ASCENT DATA will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its subscribers to ensure that they comply with ASCENT DATA policy or applicable law. When ASCENT DATA 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.
ASCENT DATA also is aware that many of its subscribers are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching ASCENT DATA’s facilities from those subscribers may have originated from a customer of the subscriber or from another third -party. ASCENT DATA does not require its subscribers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by customers of its subscribers. ASCENT DATA has the right to directly take action against a customer of a subscriber. Also, ASCENT DATA may take action against the ASCENT DATA subscriber because of activities of a customer of the subscriber, even though the action may effect other customers of the subscriber. Similarly, ASCENT DATA anticipates that subscribers who offer Internet services will cooperate with ASCENT DATA in any corrective or preventive action that ASCENT DATA deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of ASCENT DATA policy.
ASCENT DATA 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 tele phone service, all of which can be intercepted and otherwise compromised. As a matter of prudence, however, ASCENT DATA urges its subscribers to assume that all of their on-line communications are insecure. ASCENT DATA cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over ASCENT DATA’s facilities.
ASCENT DATA 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. ASCENT DATA may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, ASCENT DATA 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. ASCENT DATA 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, ASCENT DATA may disclose subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect ASCENT DATA and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system.
ASCENT DATA expects that its subscribers who provide Internet services to others will comply fully with all applicable laws concerning the privacy of on-line communicatio ns. A subscriber’s failure to comply with those laws will violate ASCENT DATA policy. Finally, ASCENT DATA wishes to emphasize that in signing the service agreement, subscribers indemnify ASCENT DATA for any violation of the service agreement, law, or ASCENT DATA policy, that results in loss to ASCENT DATA or the bringing of any claim against ASCENT DATA by any third -party. This means that if ASCENT DATA is sued because of a subscriber’s or customer of a subscriber’s activity, the subscriber will pay any damages awarded against ASCENT DATA, plus costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
We hope this AUP is helpful in clarifying the obligations of Internet users, including ASCENT DATA and its subscribers, as responsible members of the Internet.