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HCC User Agreement
by Wendy Carroll

Terms and Conditions, and Policies

As part of our overall effort to provide high-quality, reliable service to our customers; protect the privacy and security of our customers, systems, and networks; encourage responsible use of network resources; and comply with applicable laws Highland Communications has published this Acceptable Use Policy. This Policy describes the types of uses of the IP Network which are contrary to our objectives and which are, therefore, prohibited. Highland Communications may in its sole discretion determine whether a use of the IP Network is a violation of this Policy and/or hinders the achievement of our objectives. It is not Highland Communication’s intent to monitor, control, or censor communications on the IP Network, however, when we become aware of a violation of this Policy, we may take such action as we deem appropriate to address the violation, as referenced below.

This Policy applies to all customers and end users of Highland Communications IP services, and to all other users of the IP Network. This Policy supplements, but does not supersede, the contracts that customers have with Highland Communications; if such a contract restricts a use of the IP Network that is not addressed in this Policy, the contract will govern with respect to such use.

Note: Highland Communications reserves the right to make changes to this Acceptable Use Policy at its sole discretion, as determined necessary. The Customer is solely responsible for complying with the terms of any such modified Acceptable Use Policy. The current version of the Acceptable Use Policy can be found at ISP Acceptable Use Policy.

  1. The Highland Communications IP Network may not be used in connection with criminal or civil violations of state, federal, or international laws, regulations, or other government requirements. Such violations include theft or infringement of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or other types of intellectual property; fraud; forgery; theft or misappropriation of funds, credit cards, or personal information; and threats of physical harm or harassment. Examples of such uses are:

    • Storing, posting, or transmitting unlawful materials, e-mail or information;

    • Storing, posting or transmitting materials, e-mail, or information that would constitute an infringement upon the patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or other intellectual property rights of others;

    • Storing, posting, or transmitting materials constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national, or international law, including without limitation the U.S. export control laws and regulations;

    • Storing, posting, or transmitting materials that would give rise to liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act;

    • Storing, collecting, posting, or transmitting credit card, debit card, electronic funds transfer numbers, or other similar types of data for either a fraudulent or illegal purpose, or in a manner that would permit others to use such data for a fraudulent or illegal purpose; and collecting, without adequate security and a legitimate purpose (as determined by Highland Communications), any of the following: (a) information from Users under the age of sixteen (16) without consent from such Users' parents or legal guardians; (b) User's personal health information or personal financial information without informed consent from such User; or (c) other personal information without advising the User.

    • Posting, transmitting, re-transmitting, or storing material on or through any of Highland Communications products or services, if in the sole judgment of Highland Communications such posting, transmission, re-transmission, or storage is: (a) in violation of any local, state, federal, or non-United States law or regulation (including rights protected by copyright, trade secret, patent, or other intellectual property or similar laws or regulations); (b) threatening or abusive; (c) obscene; (d) indecent; or (e) defamatory. Each customer shall be responsible for determining what laws or regulations are applicable to his or her use of the products and services.

    • Installation or distribution of "pirated" or other software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by customer.

    • Deceptive marketing practices.

    • Exporting, re-exporting, or permitting downloads of any content in violation of the export or import laws of the United States or without all required approvals, licenses and exemptions.

  2. The Highland Communications IP Network may not be used in connection with attempts - whether or not successful - to violate the security of a network, service, or other system. Examples of prohibited activities include hacking, cracking into, monitoring, or using systems without authorization; scanning ports; conducting denial of service attacks; and distributing viruses or other harmful software.

Customers are responsible for maintaining the basic security of their systems to prevent their use by others in a manner that violates this Policy. Examples include improperly securing a mail server so that it may be used by others to distribute spam, or improperly securing an FTP server so that it may be used by others to illegally distribute licensed software. Customers are responsible for taking immediate corrective actions on vulnerable or exploited systems to prevent continued abuse.

  1. The Highland Communications IP Network may not be used to transmit materials of a threatening nature, including threats of death or physical harm, harassment, libel, and defamation. Examples of such uses are:

    • Storing, posting, or transmitting harassing, threatening, or abusive materials, e-mail, or information;

    • Storing, posting, or transmitting defamatory, libelous, slanderous or scandalous materials, e-mail or information;

The Highland Communications IP Network may not be used for the distribution of offensive materials, including obscene, pornographic, indecent, and hateful materials.

  1. Spam is an unacceptable use of the Highland Communications IP Network. Spam includes any of the following activities:

    • Posting a single message or messages similar in content, to more than five on-line forums or newsgroups.

    • Posting messages to on-line forums or newsgroups that violate the rules of the forums or newsgroups.

    • Collecting the responses from unsolicited e-mail.

    • Sending any unsolicited e-mail that could be expected, in Highland Communications discretion, to provoke complaints.

    • Sending e-mail with charity requests, petitions for signatures, or any chain mail related materials.

    • Sending unsolicited e-mail without identifying in the e-mail a clear and easy means to be excluded from receiving additional e-mail from the originator of the e-mail.

    • Sending e-mail that does not accurately identify the sender, the sender's return address, and the e-mail address of origin.

A violation of this Policy by someone having only indirect access to the Highland Communications IP Network through a customer or other user will be considered a violation by the customer or other user, whether or not with the knowledge or consent of the customer or other user. As an example, Down Stream Providers are responsible for the actions of customers to whom they provide services operating on the Highland Communications IP Network. Highland Communications will address and attempt to resolve complaints about the actions of customers of Down Stream Providers with the Down Stream Provider.

In addition, this policy applies to any e-mail or content transmitted by you or on your behalf which uses a Highland Communications account as a mailbox for responses or promotes content hosted or transmitted using Highland Communications facilities, or which indicates in any way that Highland Communications was involved in the transmission of such e-mail or content.

The Services may not be used for abusive purposes, as determined by Highland Communications. Abusive purposes include, without limitation, effecting or participating in any of the following activities via the Services provided by Highland Communications:

    • Posting five (5) or more messages similar in content to Usenet or other newsgroups, listservs, forums, e-mail mailing lists, or other similar groups or lists;

    • Posting to any Usenet or other newsgroups, listservs, forums, e-mailing lists, or other similar groups or lists articles which are off-topic according to the charter or other owner-published FAQs, rules, policies, or descriptions of the group or list;

    • Sending unsolicited e-mailings (including, without limitation, commercial advertising and informational announcements) to more than five (5) e-mail addresses within a forty-eight (48) hour period, if such unsolicited e-mailings could reasonably be expected to or do in fact provoke complaints;

    • Falsifying User information provided to Highland Communications or to other Users of the Services;

    • Engaging in any of the foregoing activities by using the services of another provider, but channeling such activities through an account provided by Highland Communications, re-mailer, or otherwise through the Services or using an account provided by Highland Communications as a mail drop for responses or otherwise using the services of another provider for the purpose of facilitating the foregoing activities if such use of another party's service could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the provider of Services or its supplier.

Operating a server in connection with the Services in an “open relay” configuration (a configuration whereby a mail server processes e-mail messages where neither the sender nor the recipient is a local user). Servers configured in this manner expose both Highland Communications network and the User's personal account to fraudulent and abusive use by third parties. The User hereby acknowledges and agrees that it will not operate servers with in an open relay configuration. If a User requires assistance in determining the configuration of the User's server and/or instructions to secure a server, the User may contact:abuse@highland.net.

Sending unsolicited mail messages, including the sending of "junk mail" or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material, who were not previous customers of the customer, or with whom the customer does not have an existing business relationship (e.g., e-mail "spam").

Harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages.

Unauthorized use or forging of mail header information.

Solicitations of mail or any other e-mail address other than that of the poster's account or service, with the intent to harass or collect replies.

Creating or forwarding "chain letters" or other "pyramid schemes" of any type.

Use of unsolicited e-mail originating from within the Highland Communications network or networks of other Internet Service Providers on behalf of or to advertise any service hosted by Highland Communications or connected via the Highland Communications network.

No User shall interfere with any other person's use of the Services or the Internet by effecting or participating in any of the following activities via the Services provided by Highland Communications:

    • Restricting or inhibiting any other User or any other person from using and enjoying Services and/or the Internet;

    • Posting or transmitting any information or software that contains a virus worm, cancelbot, or other harmful component;

    • Without permission from the owner of a system or network, doing any of the following: (a) accessing the system or network, (b) monitoring data or traffic, (c) probing, scanning, or testing firewalls, (d) testing the vulnerability of a system or network, or (e) breaching the security or authentication routines of a system or network;

    • Conducting or forwarding surveys, contests, pyramid schemes, charity requests, or chain letters;

    • Relaying e-mail in an anonymous fashion or forging any TCP-IP packet header; or

    • Mailbombing, flooding, overloading, attacking, or otherwise interfering with a system or network.

Actions that restrict or inhibit anyone—whether a customer of Highland Communications or otherwise—in his or her use or enjoyment of Highland Communications products and services, or that generate excessive network traffic through the use of automated or manual routines that are not related to ordinary personal or business use of Internet services.

Introduction of malicious programs into the Highland Communications network or servers or other products and services of Highland Communications (e.g., viruses, trojan horses, and worms).

Causing or attempting to cause security breaches or disruptions of Internet communications. Examples of security breaches include but are not limited to accessing data of which the customer is not an intended recipient, or logging into a server or account that the customer is not expressly authorized to access. Examples of disruptions include but are not limited to port scans, flood pings, packet spoofing, and forged routing information.

Executing any form of network monitoring that will intercept data not intended for the customer.

Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network, or account.

Interfering with or denying service to any user other than the customer's host (e.g., denial of service attack).

Using any program/script/command, or sending messages of any kind, designed to interfere with, or to disable a user's terminal session.

Failing to comply with Highland Communications procedures relating to the activities of customers on Highland Communications-owned or leased facilities.

No failure or delay in exercising or enforcing this policy shall constitute a waiver of the policy or of any other right or remedy. If any provision of this policy is deemed unenforceable due to law or change in law, such a provision shall be disregarded and the balance of the policy shall remain in effect.

Upon notification of the existence of an abusable resource (e.g., open news server, unsecured mail relay, or smurf amplifier), the customer shall immediately take all necessary steps to avoid any further abuse of such resource. Any abuse of an open resource that occurs after the customer has received such notification shall be considered a violation of this policy and enforced as such.

The resale of Highland Communications products and services is not permitted, unless expressly permitted in a written agreement with Highland Communications.

Violations of this Policy may result in a demand for immediate removal of offending material, immediate temporary or permanent filtering, blocked access, suspension or termination of service, or other action appropriate to the violation, as determined by Highland Communications in its sole discretion. When feasible, it is Highland Communications preference to give notice so that violations may be addressed voluntarily; however, Highland Communications reserves the right to act without notice when necessary, as determined by Highland Communications in its sole discretion. Highland Communications may involve, and will cooperate with, law enforcement if criminal activity is suspected. Violators may also be subject to civil or criminal liability under applicable law. Refunds or credits are not issued in connection with actions taken for violations of this Policy.

Highland Communications may immediately suspend and/or terminate the customer's service for violation of any provision of this policy upon verbal or written notice, which notice may be provided by voice-mail or e-mail. Prior to suspension or termination, Highland Communications attempts to work with our customers to cure violations of this policy and ensure that there is no re-occurrence; however, Highland Communications reserves the right to suspend or terminate based on a first offense.

Violation of this Policy may result in civil or criminal liability, and Highland Communications may, in addition to any remedy that it may have at law or in equity, terminate permission for the User to use the Services and charge User any applicable cancellation or termination fee. In addition, Highland Communications may investigate incidents that are contrary to this Policy and provide requested information to third parties who have provided notice to Highland Communications stating that they have been harmed by a User's failure to abide by this Policy or the policies listed above. Highland Communications failure to enforce this policy in every instance in which it might have application does not amount to a waiver of Highland Communications rights.

Any complaints regarding violations of this Policy by a Highland Communications customer should be directed to abuse@highland.net. Where possible, include details that would assist Highland Communications in investigating and resolving the complaint (i.e., expanded headers and a copy of the offending transmission).

Highland Communications makes no guarantee of confidentiality or privacy of any information transmitted through or stored upon Highland Communications technology, and makes no guarantee that any other entity or group of users will be included or excluded from Highland Communications network. In addition, Highland Communications may periodically monitor transmissions over its network for maintenance, service quality assurance, or any other purpose permitted by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, P.L. No. 99-508, as amended.

If you are unsure of whether any contemplated use or action is permitted, please contact Highland Communications at abuse@highland.net.


 

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