Motion for a new POST NSF AUP

Justin Newton justin at
Tue Oct 17 09:10:41 UTC 1995

The only question that I have is what does this do to your position as a 
"common carrier like" organization?  It weakens it horrendously.  I wish 
that it didn't, and when I start my ISP up, Jan 1st (as opposed to the 
one I am working for now), I will have an AUP, but just be aware, it 
/does/ weaken your position as a "common carrier like" organization.  It 
is at that point that you should start to seriously consider removing 
binaries groups and other things, and finding a way to act immediately on 
things like someone saying that one of your users violated a copyright 
law or the like.  I am not advocating one way or the other, just saying 
that you should stand to one side of the road or the other, not the middle.

I plan to stand on the side where I can have an AUP, and plan to have my 
lawyer make a fair number of decisions on things like what do I do when 
someone tells me a user has violated copyright, etc etc.  I also plan to 
purchase news services from someone else in the beginning so that I am 
not a news distributor, I am only giving people a way to view it (News 
will never be stored on my systems).  Maybe when the water gets a little 
less rocky I'll start using my own news server.  Those decisions are 
mine, not yours, you can of course make your own.  I made mine after 
hours of consultation with my lawyer, as well as talking to several other 
lawyers.  You should do the same.

On Sun, 15 Oct 1995, Tim Bass wrote:

> John Curran and I are in total agreement on John's premise that any
> Post NSF AUP is either a) unenforceable or b) subject to abuse. I suggest
> that for the moment, that we agree with John that any AUP is both:
> a)	Unenforceable;
> b)	Subject to abuse; and
> c)	Virtually impossible to authenticate.
> Giving the above, the question still remains and the original motion is still
> valid for this reason.
> If we define a Post NSF AUP, then at least everyone who uses the Internet
> will have had the opportunity to have read and understood what the current
> Internet AUP describes.
> It is possible that having a clearly defined AUP will not stop spam and
> other unacceptable uses of the net, and clearly an AUP is not enforceable
> ( and for IP security reasons should not be enforced without absolute
> authentication as John correctly points out).
> On the other hand, having a clearly defined AUP may discourage potential
> spammers and child pornographers, etc.  (not that we consider spammers
> and child pornography peddlers in the same vein..).  Also, having a 
> clearly defined Internet AUP will send a signal to the news media and
> government officials that the providers of Internet services are 
> capable of formulating policy in an area that, without self-regulation,
> has a strong potential to continue degenerating.
> Is a self-formulated Post NSF AUP, without enforcement, still a good idea?
> The answer, I suggest, is not obvious, but a debate on the subject 
> does have considerable merit, given the events of the past week or so.
> Tim
> -- 
> +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
> | Tim Bass                           | #include<campfire.h>                | 
> | Principal Network Systems Engineer |       for(beer=100;beer>1;beer++){  |
> | The Silk Road Group, Ltd.          |           take_one_down();          |
> |                                    |           pass_it_around();         |
> |           |       }                             |
> |                                    |  back_to_work(); /*never reached */ | 
> +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Justin Newton		* You have to change just to stay caught up.
Vice President/		*	
System Administrator	* 
Digital Gateway Systems	* 

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