In order to protect the interests and assets of Green Mountain Access (GMA) and its customers, GMA has developed an Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”), which is intended as a guide to a customer’s rights and obligations when utilizing GMA’s services. This AUP will be revised from time to time. A customer’s use of Green Mountain Access’s services after changes to the AUP are posted on GMA’s web site, www.gmavt.net, 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 GMA 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 GMA cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, GMA 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 GMA 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 GMA’s network and may reach a large number of people, including both subscribers and nonsubscribers of GMA, subscribers’ postings to the Internet may affect other subscribers and may harm GMA’s goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, subscribers violate GMA policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities:
- 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. GMA is required by law to remove or block access to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also GMA’s policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright laws.
- Obscene Speech or Materials — Using GMA’s network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or obscene speech or material. GMA is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through GMA’s network.
- Defamatory or Abusive Language — Using GMA’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.
- 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 GMA 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. GMA will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its subscribers to ensure that they comply with GMA policy or applicable law. When GMA becomes aware of harmful activities, however, it may take any action to stop the harmful activity, including but not limited to shutting down a web site and/or server, or take any other action it deems appropriate.
GMA also is aware that many of its subscribers are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching GMA’s facilities from those subscribers may have originated from a customer of the subscriber or from another third-party. GMA does not require its subscribers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by customers of its subscribers. GMA has the right to directly take action against a customer of a subscriber. Also, GMA may take action against the GMA subscriber because of activities of a customer of the subscriber, even though the action may effect other customers of the subscriber. Similarly, GMA anticipates that subscribers who offer Internet services will cooperate with GMA in any corrective or preventive action that GMA deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of GMA policy.
GMA 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, GMA urges its subscribers to assume that all of their on-line communications are insecure. GMA cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over GMA’s facilities.
GMA 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. GMA may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, GMA 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. GMA 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, GMA may disclose subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect GMA and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system.
GMA 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 GMA policy. Finally, GMA wishes to emphasize that in signing the service agreement, subscribers indemnify GMA for any violation of the service agreement, law, or GMA policy, that results in loss to GMA or the bringing of any claim against GMA by any third-party. This means that if GMA is sued because of a subscriber’s or customer of a subscriber’s activity, the subscriber will pay any damages awarded against GMA, plus costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
Any complaints about a subscriber’s violation of this AUP should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.