Acceptable Use Policy

1. Introduction

This Acceptable Use Policy (the "AUP Guidelines") specifies the actions prohibited by America Online Inc. (AOL). All Users of the AOLTransit Data Network (ATDN) are expected to comply with this policy. AOL reserves the right to investigate suspected violations of the AUP Guidelines. When AOL becomes aware of possible violations, AOL may initiate an investigation which may include gathering information from Users or Peers involved and the complaining party. If AOL believes, in its sole discretion, that a violation of these Guidelines has occurred, it may take responsive action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, temporary or permanent blocking of access to ATDN and the suspension or termination of the Users service.

AOL, in its sole discretion, will determine what action will be taken in response to a violation on a case-by-case basis. Violations of these AUP Guidelines could also subject the User or Peer to criminal or civil liability.

AOL reserves the right to modify this AUP Guidelines at any time without notice.

2. Definitions

As used in this AUP Guideline, the terms shall have the respective meanings set forth below:

"ATDN" is the AOL Transit Data Network. This is the global backbone network used by AOL customers and Peers to transmit electronic mail and data.

"Users" means without limitation, customers or any entity which uses or accesses the AOL Transit Data Network.

"Peer" means without limitation, any network or autonomous system which is directly interconnected with ATDN.

3. Email policy

AOL has zero tolerance for Unsolicited Broadcast Email and Unsolicited Commercial Email ("UBE/UCE") commonly known as "Spam".

AOL defines UBE/UCE as unsolicited broadcast or commercial email that is sent to addresses that do not affirmatively and verifiably request such material from that specific sender, including but not limited to advertising, surveys, information pieces, third party spamming, website addresses, sales, and auctions. Users are expected to comply with the following:

  1. AOL's Users, ATDN Peers and any downstream customers of either are prohibited from sending and shall not allow their connection to ATDN to be used for sending UBE/UCE. Mail senders are required to maintain records that verify, on a case by case basis, that explicit affirmative permission was obtained from recipients before mailing. Lack of such records can be considered, at AOL's sole discretion, proof that permission was not obtained.
  2. AOL Users are responsible for ensuring that they, their customers, and their respective agents and contractors abide by this policy. AOL's Users and Peers will be held responsible for all traffic either sent via their connection to AOL or sent elsewhere using support services provided via their connection to AOL. "Support services" includes hosting websites, electronic mailboxes, telephony gateways, IRC servers, sale of spamming software or other similar services. Users and Peers are also responsible for ensuring that they do not advertise or promote themselves through UBE/UCE.
  3. If AOL receives a complaint, it will be forwarded to user for a response and complete resolution. If within twenty-four (24) hours there is no response indicating complete resolution, AOL may block traffic to and from the IP address involved in the UBE/UCE complaint until AOL is convinced that the problem is resolved and preventative measures have been implemented to prevent the violation from recurring. If AOL receives repeat complaints indicating that a problem has not been resolved, AOL may block traffic to and from the IP address(es) or, in its sole discretion, to the User, Peer or downstream customer of either, involved in the UBE/UCE complaint until AOL is convinced that the problem is resolved. The customer is responsible for all UBE/UCE that passes through its connection to AOL.
  4. AOL also reserves the right to block traffic to and from the IP address(es) involved in hacking, and/or port scanning.
  5. Users whose connection to AOL is used to provide services to support UBE/UCE are subject to suspension of services upon two (2) hours' notification.
  6. If you run a mailserver, you must maintain a mailbox and read mail to postmaster@(your domain).
  7. In addition, from time to time, AOL blocks third party IP addresses that AOL believes are used for the distribution of UBE/UCE or are designated as open relays. Any blocking of such IP addresses shall prevent Users and Peers from sending or receiving traffic to and from such IP addresses.

4. System and Network Security

Violations of system or network security are prohibited. AOL reserves the right to release the contact information of Users involved in violations of system security to system administrators at other sites, in order to assist them in resolving security incidents. AOL will also fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities in investigating suspected lawbreakers.

Examples of system or network security violations include, without limitation, the following:

  1. Utilizing AOL services to compromise the security or tamper with system resources or accounts on computers at AOL or at any other site. Use or distribution of tools designed for compromising security. Examples of these tools include but are not limited to password guessing programs, cracking tools or network probing tools.
  2. 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.
  3. Unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on any network or system without express authorization of the owner of the system or network;
  4. Forging of any TCP/IP packet header or any part of the header information in an email or newsgroup posting.

5. Responsibilities of Users and Peers

  1. ATDN interconnects with other networks worldwide. All Users and Peers are expected to conform to the acceptable use policies of these networks.
  2. You must promptly investigate and deal satisfactorily with any UBE/UCE complaints forwarded to you by AOL.
  3. When using a mailing list, you must confirm that the recipients on the mailing lists have requested or otherwise affirmatively accepted receipt of any materials to be sent by you.
  4. You agree to use AOL services and the ATDN network for lawful purposes, in compliance with all applicable laws. Specific activities that are prohibited include, but are not limited to:
    • Threatening harm to persons or property or otherwise harassing behavior.
    • Violating U.S. export control laws for software or technical information.
    • Facilitating, aiding, or encouraging any of the above activities.
  5. Any complaints regarding abuse should be reported to: Spam and other email violations should be reported to: or

AOL Acceptable Use Policy 5 11/7/2002

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