What is an Acceptable AUP? The easy answer is that any AUP you are willing to agree to is. The better answer is more along the lines of what things you should never have to agree to and what things you should alway want to agree to.
The reason for this question is that I am considering moving from dialup - there has been no other viable choice - to a wireless ISP that recently became available in my city, but I am concerned about their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). I have since looked at a few other commercial ones the I found by Googling (Mindspring was one), as well as my current dialup ISP. The wireless ISP in question, Nexlink
, seems to have, in my view, a severely draconian AUP
as compared to the others. One of the reasons I am taking a such good, hard look at this issue is that getting this service requires both a substantial (to me) outlay of cash up front for required hardware, as well as a 1 year contract for service, not to mention that the monthly cost will be quite a bit more than dialup.
As with any agreement, it is all in how it is interpreted, but several points in the AUP really appear to be way out of line. One of the lesser bothersome items is the sentence "Pinging is expressly prohibited." Although it is in a paragraph related to maintaining an unattended connection, it appears to me that they could, if they wanted to, cancel me for sending a single ping to some remote host to see if I actually have connectivity.
Most of the trouble I see is listed under section 3, Monitoring and Ownership of Data. Now I understand that ISP's servers have system logging and records of sites and files transmitted, etc., and if you use their email server, they will have copies of your email, too. BUT, I certainly do not expect them to be reading my email for any reason, unless I ask that they do so. It would be my personal email, I am not their employee. The section says, to me, basically they can and will, just because.
Even this item does not trouble me as much as the statement - "All information and data passing through Nexlink Commmunications servers or across it's network is to be considered the property of Nexlink Communications...". Sounds like a SCO statement to me. Example: If I email my new bestseller I just wrote to my publisher, not only do they get to read it, but they now own it, too??? Or, I submit a kernel patch now they own that?
The other AUP's I read for the most part stated the opposite. i.e. Your stuff is your stuff and we don't mess with it, we don't and won't monitor or censor what you do or where you go.
So, as wildly as AUP's appear to vary, is this particular one something that could be considered a 'standard AUP' by most people, or are they really out in left field?