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Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

By using Service(s) provided by a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (including, but not limited to, Pacific Bell Internet Services, Ameritech Interactive Media Services, Inc., Southwestern Bell Internet Services, Inc., SNET Diversified Group, Inc., Prodigy Communications Corp., SBC E-Services, Inc., SBC Telecom, Inc., and Sterling Commerce, Inc.) ("SBC"), you agree to comply with this AUP. This AUP may be revised from time to time and your use of SBC's Service(s) after changes to the AUP are posted on the applicable SBC web site shall constitute your acceptance of any changed or additional terms of the AUP.

The Internet is a vibrant and valuable medium for the exchange of ideas and information. Users of the Internet form a virtual community and the actions of one member can impact the community as a whole. This fact 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. You are expected to use the Internet with respect, courtesy, and responsibility, giving due regard to the rights of other Internet users. SBC expects you to have a basic knowledge of how the Internet functions, the types of uses that are generally acceptable, and the types of uses that must be avoided. Common sense is the best guide as to what is considered acceptable use.

Failure to observe the guidelines set forth in this AUP may result in SBC taking actions anywhere from a warning to a suspension of privileges or termination of your Service(s). When feasible, SBC will provide you with advanced notice of an AUP violation, via e-mail or otherwise, and demand that such violation be immediately corrected. SBC reserves the right, however, to act immediately and without notice to suspend or terminate Service(s) in response to a court order or other legal requirement that certain conduct be stopped or when SBC determines, in its sole discretion, that the conduct may (1) expose SBC to sanctions, prosecution or civil action, (2) cause harm to or interfere with the integrity or normal operations of SBC's network(s) or facilities, (3) materially or repeatedly interfere with another person's use of SBC's Service(s) or the Internet (4) damage or disparage the reputation of SBC or its Service(s), or (5) otherwise present a risk of harm to SBC or SBC's customers or their employees, officers, directors, agents, etc.

SBC's decisions with respect to interpretation of the AUP and appropriate remedial actions by SBC are final. SBC may refer potential violations of laws to the proper authorities, may cooperate in the investigation of any suspected criminal or civil wrong, and will cooperate with authorities when required to do so by law, subpoena, or when the public safety is at stake. SBC assumes no obligation to inform you that your information has been provided and, in some cases, may be prohibited by law from providing such notice. SBC shall not be liable for any damages of any nature suffered by you or any other customer, user, or third party resulting in whole or in part from SBC's exercise of its rights under this AUP.

General Use Policy

In this AUP, "Service(s)" refers to any dial-up, DSL Internet access, Dedicated Internet access, web hosting, data center hosting, or similar Services that you have purchased from SBC. Your use of these Service(s) is subject to the terms and conditions of the Agreement you entered into in conjunction with the Service(s) ("Service Agreement"). This AUP is intended to provide you with a set of guidelines you must follow in your use of the Service(s). You are responsible for avoiding the prohibited activities and following the AUP set forth herein. You are also responsible for the actions of others who may be using the Service(s) under your account.

SBC does not, as an ordinary practice, proactively monitor the activities of those who use its Service(s) to ensure that its users comply with this AUP and/or the law, though it reserves the right to do so. If SBC is alerted to violations or potential violations of this AUP, however, SBC will take whatever measures it deems necessary and appropriate to stop or prevent those violations, including the actions described in this AUP.

Rather than have a myriad of different AUPs for each service, this single AUP applies to a variety of SBC Services. Therefore, it will be interpreted in the context of the intended use of the Service(s) at issue (e.g., business vs. consumer Service, Dedicated Internet Access Service vs. Dial-Up Service, etc.).

Abuse of e-Mail/Spamming

The Service(s) you have purchased from SBC may include the ability to send and receive electronic mail ("e-Mail"). Use of your e-Mail account to send unsolicited commercial messages is prohibited. Mass electronic messages or "mail-bombing" (sending mass unsolicited e-Mail or deliberately sending very large attachments to one recipient) are prohibited. Forging e-Mail headers (addresses) is also prohibited regardless of commercial content. Use of electronic mail to harass or intimidate other users is prohibited.

Spamming (sending large numbers of unsolicited commercial e-Mail messages or unsolicited bulk e-Mail to advertise, offer, sell, or buy any goods or services, for any business or individual) is prohibited. In considering a complaint(s), SBC has the discretion to determine, from all of the evidence it receives, whether the intended recipients were from an "opt-in" e-Mail list or have the ability to "opt-out" of future messages. Generally, compliance with applicable anti-spam laws will mean compliance with this AUP, however, SBC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to make that decision in the enforcement of this AUP.

You are also prohibited from sending the same or substantially similar unsolicited e-Mail message, whether commercial or not, to one hundred (100) or more recipients. In the interest of maintaining network performance, you should not send unreasonably large e-Mail attachments. Some limitations on the volume or size of e-Mail sent or received may not apply to customers with business-class service, or who host their own e-Mail servers. However, anti-spamming and other prohibitions are still applicable.

Export Control Violations

Exporting encryption software over the Internet or otherwise, to points outside the United States, is prohibited.

Facilitating a Violation of this AUP

You are prohibited from advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software, program, product, or service that is designed to violate or facilitate a violation of this AUP. This includes the facilitation of the means to spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mail bombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.

Illegal Activity/Tortious Conduct

Any activity on SBC's network(s) that is a violation of any local, state, or federal law or regulation is a violation of this AUP. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:

  • transmitting any defamatory, libelous, fraudulent, deceptive indecent, offensive, or obscene materials;
  • using the Service(s) to deliver spyware, or secretly or deceptively obtain the personal information of third parties (phishing, etc.);
  • intentionally spreading computer viruses;
  • gaining unauthorized access to private networks;
  • engaging in the transmission of pirated software;
  • conducting or participating in illegal gambling, soliciting for illegal pyramid schemes through electronic mail or USENET postings.
  • violating rules, regulations, and policies applicable to any network, server, computer database, web site, or ISP that you access through the Service(s);
  • threatening, harassing, abusing, or intimidating others; or
  • creating or attempting to utilize a domain name that is defamatory, fraudulent, indecent, offensive, deceptive, threatening, abusive, harassing, or which damages the name or reputation of SBC.

Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights

You are prohibited from publishing, submitting, copying, uploading, posting, transmitting, reproducing, theft of, infringement on, or distributing information, software, or other material that is protected by copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, any other type of intellectual property rights, trademark laws (by rights of privacy or publicity) or other proprietary right of any party unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents to do the same. This prohibition includes the use of any material or information including images or photographs that are made available through an SBC site or Service(s).

SBC's agent for receipt of notifications pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998:

General Counsel
SBC Internet Services
1010 N. St. Mary's, 14th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78215
By e-Mail:
By Phone: (210) 246-8600
By Fax: (210) 246-8699

Network Security

It is your responsibility to ensure the security of your network and the machines that connect to the Service(s). You are responsible for ensuring that your customers and users use the Service(s) in an appropriate manner. You are required to take all necessary steps to manage the use of the Service(s) obtained from SBC in such a way that network abuse is minimized. Violations of system or network security are prohibited, and may result in criminal and/or civil liability.

Examples of system or network security violations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Failing to secure your system against abuse. You are responsible for configuring and securing your services to prevent damage to the SBC network and/or the disruption of Service(s) to other customers. You will be held liable if unknown third parties utilize your services at any time for the purpose of illegally distributing licensed software. It is your responsibility to insure that your network and/or computer are configured in a secure manner, and to take corrective actions on vulnerable or exploited systems to prevent continued abuse. You may not, through action or inaction, allow others to use your network for illegal or inappropriate uses, and/or any other disruptive, provoking, or abusive behavior that is in violation of these guidelines or the agreement for the Service(s) you have purchased;
  • With respect to Dial-up accounts, using any software or device designed to defeat system time-out limits or to allow your account to stay logged on while you are not actively using the SBC Service(s) or using your account for the purpose of operating a server of any type;
  • Knowingly uploading or distributing files that contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancel bots, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another's computer or property of another;
  • Hacking - breaking the security on any computer network or accessing an account that does not belong to you. This includes, but is not limited to, 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 or authentication measures without express authorization of the owner of the system or network; or
  • Unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on any network or system without express authorization of the owner of the system or network. This would include use of sniffers or SNMP tools.

Other Activities

You are prohibited from engaging in any other activity, illegal or not, that SBC determines in its sole discretion, to be harmful to its subscribers, operations, network(s), reputation, goodwill, or customer relations.

Provider Responsibilities

SBC is aware that many of its customers are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching SBC's network(s) or facilities from those customers may have originated from a subscriber of SBC's customer or from another third-party. SBC does not require its customers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by the customer's subscribers. SBC does, however, reserve the right to directly take action against such customers' subscribers. In addition, SBC may take action against SBC's customer because of the underlying subscriber's activities, even though the action may affect other subscribers of the SBC customer. Similarly, SBC expects that customers who offer Internet services will cooperate with SBC in any reasonable corrective or preventive action that SBC deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of this AUP.

SBC expects that its customers who provide Internet services to others will comply fully with all applicable laws concerning the privacy of on-line communications. A customer's failure to comply with those laws will violate this AUP.

Prohibited Countries

By using the Service(s), you represent and warrant that you are not a resident of any country or affiliated with any of organization prohibited to do business within the United States as defined and set forth at: and

Responsibility for Content

SBC takes no responsibility for any material created or accessible on or through the SBC network(s) and Service(s). SBC shall not be obligated to monitor or exercise any editorial control over such material, but reserves the right to do so. In the event that SBC becomes aware that any such material may violate this AUP and/or expose SBC to civil or criminal liability, SBC reserves the right to block access to such material and suspend or terminate any user creating, storing or disseminating such material. SBC further reserves the right to conduct investigations into fraud, violations of the Terms of Service, this AUP, or other laws or regulations, and to cooperate with legal authorities and third parties in the investigation of alleged wrongdoing, including disclosing the identity of the user that SBC deems responsible for the wrongdoing.

Secure Password

If applicable, your password provides access to your individual account. It is your responsibility to keep your password secure. You are responsible for any and all access to or use of the Service(s) through your account. Attempting to obtain another user's account password is prohibited.

Third Party Rules; Usenet

You may have access through the SBC network(s) and Service(s) to search engines, subscription Web services, chat areas, bulletin boards, Web pages, USENET, or other services that promulgate rules, guidelines or agreements to govern their use. Failure to adhere to any such rules, guidelines, or agreements shall be a violation of this AUP. SBC reserves the right not to accept postings from newsgroups where we have actual knowledge that the content of the newsgroup violates the AUP.

Web Hosting and Data Center Hosting Surveillance

SBC performs routine surveillance of its network(s) in connection with its web hosting, data center hosting, and related services. Although SBC will not, as an ordinary practice, proactively monitor your activities for violations of this AUP, there may be instances in which SBC, through its routine surveillance finds violations of this AUP, and reserves the right to take whatever action it deems appropriate in its sole discretion.

Contact Information

Unless otherwise agreed in writing signed by SBC and its customer, any notification that SBC sends to you pursuant to this AUP may be in writing to your address of record, or via e-Mail to the e-Mail address on file with SBC. You must respond in a timely manner to complaints concerning misuse of the Service(s) obtained from SBC. Failure to responsibly manage the use of the Service(s) obtained from SBC may be cause for termination of Service(s) to you and, depending upon the terms under which you acquired your Service(s), could lead to the imposition of early termination fees.


Any party seeking to report a violation of this AUP may contact us via e-Mail at

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