Acceptable Use PolicyAs a provider of Internet access, web site hosting, and other Internet-related services, FBF 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. FBF respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue, FBF reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, FBF 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 FBF's services. This AUP will be revised from time to time.
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 FBF 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 FBF cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, FBF 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 FBF 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 FBF's network and may reach a large number of people, including both subscribers and nonsubscribers of FBF, subscribers' postings to the Internet may affect other subscribers and may harm FBF's goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, subscribers violate FBF policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities:
As we have pointed out, the responsibility for avoiding the harmful activities just described rests primarily with the subscriber. FBF will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its subscribers to ensure that they comply with FBF policy or applicable law. When FBF 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.
FBF also is aware that many of its subscribers are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching FBF's facilities from those subscribers may have originated from a customer of the subscriber or from another third-party. FBF does not require its subscribers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by customers of its subscribers. FBF has the right to directly take action against a customer of a subscriber. Also, FBF may take action against the FBF subscriber because of activities of a customer of the subscriber, even though the action may effect other customers of the subscriber. Similarly, FBF anticipates that subscribers who offer Internet services will cooperate with FBF in any corrective or preventive action that FBF deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of FBF policy.
FBF 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, FBF urges its subscribers to assume that all of their on-line communications are insecure. FBF cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over FBF's facilities.
FBF 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. FBF may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, FBF 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. FBF 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, FBF may disclose subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect FBF and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system.
FBF 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 FBF policy. Finally, FBF wishes to emphasize that in signing the service agreement, subscribers indemnify FBF for any violation of the service agreement, law, or FBF policy, that results in loss to FBF or the bringing of any claim against FBF by any third-party. This means that if FBF is sued because of a subscriber's or customer of a subscriber's activity, the subscriber will pay any damages awarded against FBF, plus costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.
We hope this AUP is helpful in clarifying the obligations of Internet users, including FBF and its subscribers, as responsible members of the Internet