Isle Acceptable Use Policy

To use Isle products and services, you must comply with the provisions of this Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP") at all times.

Please note that "we"/"us"/"our" denotes Isle, or any trading division of Isle Communications Group Ltd, and "you"/"your" denotes you the customer.

The policy can be divided into 5 main areas.

General Information

This AUP applies to every Isle product and service and your use of them. For some products and services there are particular points to which you must conform when you are using that product or service. Appendices A through F of this document give further guidance as to how this AUP is applied to specific Products and services.

It is your responsibility to ensure your compliance with all applicable provisions of this AUP. If you have any comments or queries, or there is any provision that you do not understand, please feel free to e-mail any enquiry to us at enquiries@isle.co.uk

However, Isle's relationship with other networks, and ultimately its connectivity to the rest of the Internet, depends largely upon proper behaviour by its customers. Isle cannot tolerate any behaviour by customers which negatively impacts upon its own equipment or network, or upon the use by other customers of the Internet, or which damages Isle's standing in the wider Internet community.

Therefore, it is important that when activity that might constitute abuse occurs, that Isle takes appropriate action - if it did not, and such abuse was permitted to continue, Isle would lose the confidence of the wider Internet community, which in turn would significantly impair Isle's customers freedom to use the Internet.

This AUP and its day-to-day application by Isle are a result of Isle's consideration of both the formal and informal practices of the Internet community.

The Appendices to this AUP are intended to assist customers in understanding the types of issues that can arise and what Isle will consider to be unacceptable behaviour that does not conform to community standards.

We will investigate suspected or alleged breaches of this AUP and in doing so we will endeavour to act reasonably and fairly at all times. If you are found to have breached this AUP or the Conditions of Use or Terms and Conditions that apply to your service, we reserve the right in our sole discretion to take whatever measures we deem appropriate and proportionate to the breach. These measures may include a formal warning, suspending or terminating one or more of your Isle accounts, making an additional charge for our reasonable costs of investigating and dealing with the misuse, and/or blocking access to any relevant component(s) of our service to you. If we suspend your access then this suspension may be lifted, at Isle's sole discretion, when the reason for suspension has been rectified and upon receipt of a formal written undertaking from you not to commit any future "abuse". All cases are, however, considered individually upon their merits.

Without limitation, you expressly authorise us to use your personal data and other account information in connection with any such investigation, including by disclosing it to any third party whom we consider has a legitimate interest in any such investigation or its outcome.

We have in place a procedure for handling your complaints about material stored and/or accessed via our service. If you wish to make such a complaint, please ensure that you make your complaint by e-mail to abuse@isle-it.com. If you do not use this facility we cannot guarantee that your complaint will be dealt with promptly.

The appendices refer in some cases to external web sites. Isle is not responsible for the content of these web sites. If you need any further information regarding this AUP, then please contact us on:

E-mail: enquiries@isle.co.uk

APPENDIX A: GENERAL INTERNET ACCESS

APPENDIX B: EMAIL

There are many forms of e-mail abuse. This appendix discusses the more common forms in an informal manner, but is by no means an exhaustive list

It is usual to describe "abuse" as being abuse of Internet facilities, rather than vulgar abuse sent via the Internet. To qualify as "abuse", an act must significantly interfere with the use of the network by an individual or group of individuals in some specific way, for example by consuming resources or wasting others time. The term "abuse" also includes activities that are illegal or dishonest.

Generalities aside, due to the practical problems caused by "spamming" Isle wishes to make it clear that it considers the sending of bulk unsolicited e-mail, of any kind, to be unacceptable behaviour. Isle will always act when such behaviour is brought to its notice. Education, in the form of an e-mail warning, can be the most appropriate response to a first offence, since customers can be unaware of contemporary standards. However, it is Isle's policy to terminate the accounts of any customer who continues to send bulk unsolicited e-mail.

Chain letters, "make money fast" and other ponzi pyramid-selling schemes
These articles are similar to paper versions, where you add your name at the end of a list and send the message to lots of your friends. The person at the head of the list is typically sent some small amount of money and hopes to become rich. Simple mathematics shows why they do not work in theory, and a little thought about human nature will show you why they do not work in practice either.

These schemes, even where they offer no financial or material reward are unacceptable abuse. They waste resources for Internet service providers and for the users who download them. If they do involve money they are also illegal in many countries - despite common claims to the contrary within their text.

Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE)
Unsolicited Commercial E-mail is advertising material sent and received by e-mail without the recipient either requesting such information or otherwise explicitly expressing an interest in the material advertised.

Since many Internet users use a dial-up connection and pay for their online time, it costs them money to receive e-mail. Receipt of unsolicited commercial advertising therefore costs them money and is often therefore particularly unwelcome.

It should be noted that a user has not expressed an interest by the mere act of posting a news article in any particular newsgroup, or by visiting a web site, unless of course they have made a specific request for information to be e-mailed to them.

Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE)
UBE is similar to the above UCE but is not attempting to sell anything.

Forged Headers and / or Addresses
Forging headers or messages means sending e-mail such that its origin appears to be another user or machine, or a non-existent machine.

It is also forgery to arrange for any replies to the e-mail to be sent to some other user or machine.

However, in either case, if prior permission has been granted to you by the other user or the administrators of the other machine, then there is no problem, and of course "null" reverse paths can be used as defined in the relevant e-mail standards.

Mail Bombing
Mail bombing is the sending of multiple e-mails, or one large e-mail, with the sole intent of annoying and / or seeking revenge on a fellow Internet user. It is wasteful of shared Internet resource as well as serving no value to the recipient.

Due to the time taken to download it, sending a long e-mail to sites without prior agreement can amount to denial of service, or denial of access to e-mail at the receiving site. Note that adding binary attachments to e-mail may increase its size considerably. If prior arrangement has not been made, the e-mail may be extremely unwelcome.

Denial of Service Attacks
Denial of Service is any activity designed to prevent a specific host on the Internet making full and effective use of its facilities. This includes, but is not limited to:

List owners are encouraged to confirm all subscription requests by requesting confirmation from the apparent subscriber before starting to send any list e-mail. They must ensure that unsubscribe requests are handled efficiently. Good e-mailing list software is available that will automate both these processes.

Many reports of unsolicited bulk e-mail turn out to be from people who were unaware that they had joined a mailing list. It is not acceptable to subscribe people to a list merely because they have visited your web site or used one of your products; the person must make an explicit request to be listed.

However, some reports occur because people have genuinely forgotten that they had made such a request. If you run a mailing list you are strongly advised to keep copies of administrative requests (web logs, or e-mails including headers) so that you may demonstrate that subscription requests were genuine.

Illegal Content
Various Acts of Parliament make it illegal to possess or transmit certain material on a public telecommunications network, such as the telephone system. It is not acceptable to send such material by e-mail.

Breach of Copyright or Intellectual Property
If you send copyright material or other intellectual property via e-mail you must have permission to do so from the owner of that intellectual property.

APPENDIX C: USENET (sometimes called "news")

There are many forms of Usenet abuse. This appendix discusses the more common forms in an informal manner, but is by no means an exhaustive list.

Chain Letters, "Make Money Fast" and other Ponzi Pyramid Selling Schemes
These articles are similar to paper versions, where you add your name at the end of a list and send the message to lots of your friends. The person at the head of the list is typically sent some small amount of money and hopes to become rich. Simple mathematics shows why they do not work in theory, and a little thought about human nature will show you why they do not work in practice either.

These schemes, even where they offer no financial or material reward are unacceptable abuse. They waste resources for Internet service providers and for the users who download them. If they do involve money they are also illegal in many countries despite common claims to the contrary within their text.

Isle will immediately suspend a customer's Usenet access for this type of abuse, even if a single such article is posted.

Excessive posting
Excessive posting, commonly referred to as "spamming", means the posting of lots of substantively similar news articles, usually to a large number of newsgroups.

It is irrelevant whether the articles can be considered "on-topic" within the newsgroups or not. The problem caused by spamming is that Usenet resources are needed to store the articles and the cost to readers of the newsgroups to download duplicates of the same message.

The Usenet community determines whether an article has been duplicated too often using the Breidbart Index (BI). This index measures the breadth of any multi-posting, cross-posting, or combinations of the two by calculating the sum of the square roots of the number of newsgroups each article was posted to. If that number reaches 20, then the postings are extremely likely to be cancelled by automatic systems that detect this type of abuse.

Binary Articles in Non-Binary Newsgroups
Binary articles contain information that is in a form not directly readable by humans, usually in "base64" or "UUENCODE" sections. These are usually "attachments" of images; executable files, sounds, or proprietary format documents such as Microsoft Word or Excel. Even if the attachment within the article was originally simple text or a web page (HTML), if it has been encoded before posting it is still considered to be a "binary".

Articles posted to "non-binary" newsgroups should contain only simple text that is immediately readable without special tools. The size of any encoded section is irrelevant, the fact it is encoded is what makes it unacceptable. The only exception allowed to this blanket ban is the use of cryptographic authentication signatures, such as PGP.

Binaries are only allowed in special binary newsgroups because this allows them to be specially handled by the "newsmasters" who run Usenet's servers. The size of binaries, in particular, means that many systems will not wish to use their bandwidth to receive them, or will expire articles more quickly to prevent them from using excessive space.

In order to make things straightforward for newsmasters the binary newsgroups are all grouped together into hierarchies. Almost all binary newsgroups are to be found in alt.binaries.*, alt.sex.pictures and comp.binaries.* hierarchies.

There are also a small number of local binary hierarchies such as de.alt.binaries.*, as well as a handful of newsgroups with special rules for particular types of binaries such as rec.games.bolo. This handful of groups is specially treated because they have gone through recognised processes to gain their limited exemptions. You should not assume that binaries are acceptable in other groups because "everyone posts them" or "nobody objects". In particular you should note that binaries are not acceptable in any alt.fan.*, uk.* or isle.* newsgroup.

Ensuring that binary articles only appear in binary newsgroups is not just a matter of convenience for the newsmasters but is also important for individual Usenet readers. The appearance of a binary in a text-only newsgroup is usually extremely unwelcome. Besides the size of the article, which will take extra time to download, special tools will be needed to decode and handle the contents.

Forged Headers
There are several types of unacceptable behaviour involving the forgery of article headers or article addresses.

It is abuse to post articles with headers that would mislead recipients into believing that some other system or user had created the articles.

Isle's systems will add header lines to try and foil such forgery, but articles will still be treated as abuse even if Isle actions make the attempted forgery apparent.

It is abuse to post articles with headers which would cause responses to these articles, solicited or otherwise, to be delivered to unwilling third parties, or to inappropriate or unreasonable newsgroups. In particular, it is abuse to arrange for e-mail replies to be delivered to an e-mail address that you do not have permission to use.

Illegal content
Some material is illegal to possess or is made illegal to transmit by various Acts of Parliament dealing with material sent over a public telecommunications network such as the telephone system that Isle uses to provide its services.

It is abuse to post illegal material to Usenet
If you post copyright material or other intellectual property to Usenet you must have permission to do so. In particular it can be illegal to publish 'hacks' or 'cracks' of software products.

Objectionable content
Usenet is a robust medium that is intended for use by adults. Isle's customers may post articles that offend or annoy other users. These may contain foul language or controversial viewpoints.

Isle does not consider this sort of article to be "abuse" and actionable under the Usenet AUP.

This is because the Internet community does not generally consider it appropriate for content-based decisions to be made by anyone except by an individual on their own behalf. Therefore, if you are offended by articles made by a Isle customer then you should arrange not to read them in the future, by using facilities provided within your newsreading software such as "killfiles".

However, none of the above is to be taken as any suggestion that you may publish material that is prohibited under local obscenity or indecency laws. For example, it is a criminal offence to even possess child pornography in the U.K. and other content may give rise to civil actions. Isle does not condone the presence of this type of content anywhere on the Internet.

APPENDIX D: CUSTOMER WEBPAGES

This Appendix is applicable to all web-hosting services provided by Isle. There are some further Appendices applicable to particular services below.

You are responsible in all respects for the content of your web site and must ensure that no applicable law is violated.

You must obtain any necessary legal permission for any works that your web site may include.

You will be held responsible for and accept responsibility for any defamatory, confidential, secret or other proprietary material available via your web site.

Isle reserves the right to remove any material from a web site at our sole discretion, without prior notice and without explanation.

A web site may not be used to offer, advertise or distribute any of the following types of material:

If your web site contains material that may cause general offence, a clearly readable warning page must be shown before any such offensive material is displayed.

To avoid doubt, this means that your top-level web page (usually index.htm or index.html) must not contain any adult material or other material that may generally offend. Where part of a web site forms an independent area that is not linked to by a topmost page, it will be considered as a site in its own right when considering whether appropriate warnings are present. Warnings are also required where the material is referenced directly from a web site, with no intervening pages, or where the use of frames makes the material appear to be part of a web site.

All of the web pages on a web site are considered to be publicly visible and may be downloaded by any person, whether or not they are linked from any central contents or home page. However, specific mechanisms are available as part of some services to prevent unauthorised access. Pages protected in such a manner will not be considered to be public.

Web sites may not be advertised by you, or by another person, using techniques that would be classified as "abuse" if they were carried out from a Isle account including, but not limited to, bulk e-mailing and excessive news posting. Such action will be treated under the Isle AUP as if it had been done from the Isle account.

Web sites must display a valid, up-to-date e-mail contact address for the person responsible for the site. The use of the generic address of "webmaster" is acceptable for this purpose. This address must appear on the top-level page or be easily locatable from the top-level page.