Acceptable Use

Acceptable Use

In order to make a complex system like the Internet feasible each company and/or person connected is expected to show a common level of respect. The trespass against the computers of others is a growing problem on the Internet, especially in the form of unsolicited commercial e-mail. It is simply impossible for Vaxxine to review every communication sent from a Vaxxine client to a third party to make sure it doesn't cross the line. The simple quantity of data would be impossible to review and privacy is an extremely important issue to us. However, Vaxxine will do its best to respond to specific complaints made about the conduct of a Vaxxine Internet client.

Defining what is, and is not, acceptable on the Internet is also a task which is not, for the most part, appropriate for Vaxxine. Therefore, we have tried to define a common set of criteria which can result in Vaxxine suspending or revoking an Internet account with regard to this Acceptable Use Policy. In addition to/in lieu of suspending an account, Vaxxine may choose to suspend or revoke some other service, such as UNIX shell access, WWW site privilege, CGI development privilege, etc.

Vaxxine also reserves the right to take legal action as appropriate. Parents are also reminded that they may be held accountable for the actions of their children.

Vaxxine may take recovery action in any of the following conditions:

  • The activity is an obvious violation of a law of the province of Ontario, the country of Canada, or an applicable international law/treaty. This includes, but is not limited to any activity that is considered obscene, including the publishing or distribution of child pornography. These activities are not permitted and will result in immediate action. Illegal offenses will be reported to authorities and may result in criminal charges.
  • Allowing the unacceptable use to continue would cause serious emotional distress for a person.
  • Allowing the unacceptable use to continue could adversely affect Vaxxine's reputation as an Internet citizen.
  • Allowing the unacceptable use to continue could result in some form of harm, real or perceived, to Vaxxine's computers or network.
  • Allowing the unacceptable use to continue could result in some form of harm, real or perceived, to a third party's computers or network.
  • Allowing the unacceptable use to continue may limit another Vaxxine client's use of their "fair share" of the network resources.

Vaxxine is free to modify the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy as well as other policies considering use of its Internet service without prior notice.

Unacceptable Uses

In order to reduce confusion Vaxxine has compiled a list of the most notable activities that are not an acceptable use of Vaxxine's Internet service. Note that not every possible transgression has been listed here and that complaints are handled on a case by case basis.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) Scripts

Vaxxine is pleased to have our clients use Common Gateway Interface programs on the WWW server to enhance their WWW sites with the following caveats:

  • CGIs which consume heavy CPU resources, as determined on a case by case basis by Vaxxine staff, are not acceptable.
  • CGIs which produce large files or intensive disk use, as determined on a case by case basis by Vaxxine staff, are not acceptable.
  • CGIs which have known security holes, and could possibly be used as an open spam relay, or otherwise compromise our servers, as determined on a case by case basis by Vaxxine staff, are not acceptable and will be removed or shut down without notice.

Security Attacks / Copyright Violations

Also known as "cracking" (or "hacking" to some) these security attacks involve either attempting to represent oneself as someone that you are not to a computer system or attempting to gain additional abilities for which you are not personally authorized. They can also involve misrepresenting your identity as part of electronic communication.

Security attacks may also include downloading files from an Internet site which are not explicitly defined as belonging to you, available for public download, and for which you do not have permission from the site operator to download.

Copyright violations involve the theft of intellectual property owned by someone else, such as software you didn't pay for that's not freeware or covered by a shareware license. Theft of intellectual property in terms of computers generally involves the copying of software or media files without paying the appropriate license fees. That is, you have a reproduced copy (hence, copyright) of file(s) "owned" by an author, in your possession, without their permission ("license") to have such a copy. It may also mean that you have a licensed copy in your possession that you are reproducing for others, who, in turn, do not have the author's permission to use the file.

Possession, in computer terms, would normally refer to having control over the equipment upon which the file is physically stored as well as a reasonable belief that you have a knowledge of its presence. This would include such circumstances as having a copyrighted work on your home computer without the author's permission. In a shared equipment situation it would refer to the control of part of the equipment (such as the "disk directory") that the file is physically stored on. For instance, you "possess" the directories on Vaxxine's servers that are assigned to you for your home directory, local scripts, etc.

These actions are illegal and, where applicable, may be turned over to the legal authorities, under court order, for prosecution. Actions can result in imprisonment. Copyright actions may also result in fines. There may also be civil damages involved. The copyright holders have the right to pursue the person that performed the act directly.

The person performing the act is directly responsible for the violation and parents or guardians should be aware that they may be held responsible for the actions of minors.

Prohibited Activities

  • Impersonating any person or entity, or forging anyone's digital or manual signature, including forging of email headers – your true address must remain visible and accessible to recipients.
  • Accessing or attempting to access data, content, computer systems or services without express authorization of the owner.
  • Illegally using or distributing tools designed for compromising security, such as password guessing programs, cracking tools, packet sniffers or network probing tools.
  • Collecting or attempting to collect personal information about third parties without their knowledge or written consent.
  • 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.
  • Interfering with any computer networks or telecommunications services by, but not limited to Denial of Service attacks, data or ping flooding of an individual user machine, network or service, overloading a service, seizing and abuse of operator privileges and attempting to "crash" a host.
  • Transmitting any content or software that contains a virus, malware, trojan, exploit or other harmful code or feature.
  • Publishing content which violates copyright or intellectual property rights of others. The customer assumes all risk regarding their published content.
  • Engaging in fraudulent such as, but not limited to, pyramid or illegal soliciting schemes.
  • Impersonating any person or entity, or forging anyone's digital or manual signature, including forging of email headers – your true address must remain visible and accessible to recipients.
  • Attempting to circumvent or breach network or system or service security measures put in place by Vaxxine or any other service provider or service owner by utilizing but not limited to: IP packet forgery, brute force or systematic intrusion, “man in the middle” attack, cache injection, HTTP/S parameter polluting, Denial of Service attacks or any other system hacking method or vulnerability exploit.
  • Indiscriminately sending unsolicited, unwanted, or inappropriate messages in mass quantity (spam, mail bombing - multiple copies of a single message to the same recipient, or any application or environment specific messaging).


Note that spam/UCE does not include one time messages sent by Vaxxine clients to local general mailing lists, for private sales. Mailing lists explicitly (as opposed to implicitly, or implied) permit such one time mailings of a private nature. As such they are an opt-in list for such single mailings. All such postings must be "Rated G" since the list has members of all ages, cultures, and beliefs.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail, sometimes known as spam, is e-mail that is normally of a direct sales/solicitation nature sent to one or more e-mail addresses on the Internet without the recipient first requesting or authorizing the communication. It also includes posting of articles to the Usenet in newsgroups not meant for that type of use. E-mail of this type may also be known as unsolicited broadcast e-mail or unsolicited bulk e-mail.

UCE can also include unsolicited e-mail requesting trades or services that do not request money. The main point is that they are unsolicited. Note that sending e-mail to people that did not explicitly provide you with their e-mail address for this particular purpose is also an abuse. To be considered solicited the recipient of the message must have provided their e-mail address directly to you explicitly for this particular purpose. Further, signing up to one opt-in list does not infer that the recipient has signed up for any other.

Unsolicited e-mail has been shown to cause performance bottlenecks by consuming a great amount of bandwidth and is loathed by all but a few recipients. Since the recipient is paying for their Internet access (everyone on the Internet is in some form) it is unfair to attempt to pass on the cost of doing business to people not involved in the operation. It is theft, plain and simple. Claims to the contrary are only made by those stealing the resources.

Reputable Internet Service Providers recommend that clients not deal with any company or individual that acts in this fashion.

Such e-mail is also commonly used as a vehicle for questionably legal scams. The problem has reached such a critical level that the Federal Trade Commission in the United States wants questionably legal material (get rich quick schemes, financial promises, etc.) which may involve Americans sent to you by e-mail to be forwarded to them at So far, thousands of the most dishonest fraud promoters have been contacted directly by the FTC. They have also created a Newsletter to help show some of tricks used by the usual cheats that send out unsolicited commercial e-mail. Senders foolish enough to be resending existing unsolicited commercial e-mail should remind themselves that they, too, may be charged with fraud. Such charges can carry both civil and criminal penalties. Canadian fraud laws are designed with much the same intent as the American ones.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail risks harming Vaxxine's reputation as an Internet citizen as well as computers and networks operated by Vaxxine and third parties. There are several efforts underway to have unsolicited e-mail qualified under the same laws as "junk faxing" which is an excellent idea. Additionally several very successful lawsuits have been brought by various companies across the Internet against the senders for such abusive activity. Some receiving ISPs have been able to recover many thousands of dollars from the individuals that sent the e-mail in these suits.

Advertising in a less intrusive way that doesn't waste massive amounts of bandwidth, such as creating a WWW site, is the far better alternative. E-mail advertising is acceptable if the sender can prove that each individual recipient authorized the sending of such e-mail beforehand (i.e., it is solicited or "opt-in" mail). These activities normally require some business knowledge and skill, however, and may exclude many existing senders of unsolicited chimerical e-mail.

Vaxxine also does not permit "harvesting", the process of collecting e-mail addresses from Internet servers (be it WWW, Usenet, etc.) without the express permission of the particular user of the e-mail address.


Harassment is communication which continues after the recipient has requested that it stop. Unless the communication is beyond the control of the person to which the request to stop was sent it cannot be tolerated.

Most types of harassment are also illegal and the person being harassed may choose to bring the authorities in for investigation and prosecution. Penalties for harassment may include criminal sanctions such as prison time as well as civil sanctions involving monetary rewards. Harassment is never a good idea!

Harassment which is ethnic or gender based/sexual in nature is not acceptable under any condition.