As a provider of web site hosting, Ricochet Network offers its customers, and their customers and users, the means to acquire and disseminate a wealth of public, private, commercial, and non-commercial information. Ricochet Network respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue, Ricochet Network reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, Ricochet Network has developed an Acceptable Use Policy, 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 Ricochet Network's services. This policy will be revised from time to time. A customer's use of Ricochet Network's services after changes to the policy are posted on Ricochet Network's web site, www.ricochetnetwork.com, will constitute the customer's acceptance of any new or additional terms of the policy that result from those changes.
When clients disseminate information through the Internet, they also must keep in mind that Ricochet Network does not review, edit, censor, or take responsibility for any information its clients 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 Ricochet Network's network and may reach a large number of people, including both clients and non-clients of Ricochet Network, clients' postings to the Internet may affect other clients and may harm Ricochet Network's goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, clients violate Ricochet Network policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities:
- Spamming: Sending unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over the Internet. It is not only harmful because of its negative impact on consumer attitudes toward Ricochet Network, but also because it can overload Ricochet Network's network and disrupt service to Ricochet Network clients. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a complaint is received, Ricochet Network has the discretion to determine from all of the evidence whether the email recipients were from an "opt-in" email list.
- 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. Ricochet Network is required by law to remove or block access to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also Ricochet Network's policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright laws.
- Obscene Speech or Materials: Using Ricochet Network's network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or obscene speech or material. Ricochet Network is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through Ricochet Network's network.
- Offensive Materials: Disseminating or hosting material that is unlawful, libelous, slanderous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, indecent, lewd, harassing, racially or otherwise offensive, hateful, bigoted or intolerant, threatening, harmful, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, abusive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable.
- Harmful Content: Disseminating or hosting harmful content including, without limitation, viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancel bots or any other computer programming routines or harmful or damaging code, software program, email or other technology that may damage, interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, program, data or personal information.
- Defamatory or Abusive Language: Using Ricochet Network'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" or "cracking"). 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 policy: Advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software, program, product, or service that is designed to violate this policy, 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.
- Usenet Groups: Ricochet Network reserves the right not to accept postings from newsgroups where we have actual knowledge that the content of the newsgroup violates the policy.
- 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 Ricochet Network determines to be harmful to its clients, operations, reputation, goodwill, or customer relations.