Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)


June 29, 2018

California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks (“GEOLINKS”) has published this AUP to state its intention to provide high-quality, reliable service to our customers, while protecting the privacy and security of our customers, systems and networks, encouraging responsible use of network resources while complying with applicable laws. This AUP, along with the Terms and Conditions, Service Level Agreement (for Internet Services), Voice over Internet Protocol Services Policy (for VoIP Services), Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), Privacy Policy, and the original Service Quote (collectively referred to as the “Agreement”) constitute the entire understanding between Customer and GEOLINKS with respect to Services provided, superseding all previous communications or agreements regarding such subject matter.

This Policy describes the use types of network use (either via IP Network or VoIP Network) (collectively referred to as the “GEOLINKS Network”) that are contrary to our objectives and therefore prohibited. To achieve our objectives, GEOLINKS may in its sole discretion determine whether a use of the GEOLINKS Network is a violation of this Policy. While it is not GEOLINKS’ intent to monitor, control, or censor communications use of the GEOLINKS Network, when GEOLINKS becomes aware of a violation of this Policy, GEOLINKS may take such action as it deems appropriate to address the violation, as referenced below. This Policy applies to all customers and end users of GEOLINKS’ Services, and to all other users of the GEOLINKS Network.

This policy supplements, but does not supersede, the Agreements that customers have with CI. If such an Agreement restricts a use of the IP Network that is not addressed in this Policy, the contract will govern with respect to such use. Note: GEOLINKS reserves the right to make changes to this Acceptable Use Policy at its sole discretion. The Customer is solely responsible for complying with the terms of any such modified Acceptable Use Policy.

CI evaluates customer usage in comparison to similarly situated services. GEOLINKS takes an average usage based on the service type and determines normal usage for each given service. If a customer’s aggregate usage is outside of normal use based on investigation GEOLINKS may take appropriate steps to remedy the issue. GEOLINKS will use commercially reasonable efforts to inform Customer and provide Customer with the opportunity to correct the improper usage. If Customer fails to correct usage activity to conform to normal use, GEOLINKS may exercise its right to transfer Customer’s service to a more appropriate plan, charge applicable rates or suspend or terminate Customer’s service with notice.

No User shall interfere with any other person’s use of Services or the Internet by effecting or participating in any of the following activities via Services provided by CI:

  • Actions that restrict or inhibit anyone—whether a customer of GEOLINKS or otherwise—in his or her use or enjoyment of GEOLINKS’ products and services or that generate excessive network traffic through the use of automated or manual routines that are not related to ordinary personal or business use of Internet services;
  • Actions that improperly restrict, inhibit, disrupt, degrade or impede GEOLINKS’ ability to deliver the Services and monitor the Services;
  • Posting or transmitting any information or software that contains a virus worm, cancel-bot or other harmful component;
  • Without permission from the owner of a system or network, doing any of the following:
  • accessing the system or network,
  • monitoring data or traffic,
  • probing, scanning, or testing firewalls,
  • testing the vulnerability of a system or network, or
  • breaching the security or authentication routines of a system or network.
  • Introduction of malicious programs into the GEOLINKS network or servers or other products and services of GEOLINKS (e.g., viruses, trojan horses and worms).
  • Causing or attempting to cause security breaches or disruptions of Internet communications. Examples of security breaches include but are not limited to accessing data of which the customer is not an intended recipient or logging into a server or account that the customer is not expressly authorized to access. Examples of disruptions include but are not limited to port scans, flood pings, packet spoofing and forged routing information.
  • Executing any form of network monitoring that will intercept data not intended for the customer.
  • Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network or account. Interfering with or denying service to any user other than the customer’s host (e.g., denial of service attack).
  • Using any program/script/command or sending messages of any kind, designed to interfere with or to disable a user’s terminal session.
  • Failing to comply with GEOLINKS’ procedures relating to the activities of customers on CI-owned or leased facilities.
  • Operating a server in connection with Services in an “open relay” configuration (a configuration whereby a mail server processes e-mail messages where neither the sender nor the recipient is a local user). Servers configured in this manner expose both GEOLINKS’ network and the User’s personal account to fraudulent and abusive use by third parties. The User hereby acknowledges and agrees that it will not operate servers with in an open relay configuration. If a User requires assistance in determining the configuration of the User’s server and/or instructions to secure a server, the User may contact: [email protected]

The GEOLINKS Network may not be used in connection with criminal or civil violations of state, federal, or international laws, regulations, or other government requirements. Such violations include theft or infringement of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets or other types of intellectual property; fraud; forgery, theft or misappropriation of funds, credit cards, or personal information and threats of physical harm or harassment. Examples of such uses are:

  • Storing, posting, or transmitting unlawful materials, e-mail or information;
  • Storing, posting or transmitting materials, e-mail, or information that would constitute an infringement upon the patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, or other intellectual property rights of others;
  • Storing, posting, or transmitting materials constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national, or international law, including without limitation the U.S. export control laws and regulations;
  • Storing, posting, or transmitting materials that would give rise to liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act;
  • Storing, collecting, posting, or transmitting credit card, debit card, electronic funds transfer numbers, or other similar types of data for either a fraudulent or illegal purpose, or in a manner that would permit others to use such data for a fraudulent or illegal purpose; and collecting, without adequate security and a legitimate purpose (as determined by CI), any of the following:
  • Information from Users under the age of eighteen (18) without consent from such Users’ parents or legal guardians;
  • User’s personal health information or personal financial information without informed consent from such User; or
  • Other personal information without advising the User.
  • Posting, transmitting, re-transmitting, or storing material on or through any of GEOLINKS’ products or services, if in the sole judgment of GEOLINKS such posting, transmission, re-transmission, or storage is in violation of any local, state, federal, or non-United States law or regulation (including rights protected by copyright, trade secret, patent, or other intellectual property or similar laws or regulations);
  • Behavior that is illegal, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent, malicious, infringing, tortious, or invasive of another’s privacy.
  • Sending unsolicited messages or advertisements, including email, voicemail, SMS, or faxes (commercial or otherwise) (“spamming”), or otherwise sending bulk and/or junk email, voice mail, SMS, or faxes.
  • Harvesting or otherwise collecting information about others, including email addresses, without their consent.
  • Negligently, recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally transmitting any material that contains viruses, time bombs, trojan horses, worms, malware, spyware, or any other programs that may be harmful or dangerous.
  • Collecting without adequate security and a legitimate purpose (as determined by GEOLINKS) any of the following: (1) information from minors (under age 18) without consent from such user’s parents or legal guardians, (2) user personal health information or personal financial information without informed consent from such user, or (3) other personal information without advising the user;
  • Creating a false Caller ID identity (“ID spoofing”) or forged email/SMS address or header, or otherwise attempting to mislead others as to the identity of the sender or the origin of any communication made using the Services.
  • Transmitting any material that may infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate the foreign or domestic intellectual property rights or other rights of third parties.
  • Violating any U.S. or foreign law regarding the transmission of technical data or software exported through the Services.
  • Utilizing the Services in excess of what, in GEOLINKS’ sole discretion, would be expected of normal business use, including without limitation allowing more than one user to use a single VoIP line or using a single VoIP line in excess of what would be expected of a single user.
  • Using the Services in any way that interferes with other customers’ and third parties’ use and enjoyment of the Services or use the Services in any manner which disrupts, prevents or restricts any other customer from using the Services.
  • Using or employing methods and/or devices that are designed or likely to take advantage of, bypass, exploit, or otherwise avoid this Use Policy.
  • Using the Applications or Services to store PHI on a non-temporary basis.

If Customer is a HIPAA-Covered Entity using the Applications or Services to transmit, receive, or store PHI, Customer further understands and agrees that:

  • Customer shall be solely liable for any transmissions sent and data stored through the Services under Customer’s Account, including the content of any transmission sent and data stored through the Services under Customer’s Account.
  • Customer will abide by all applicable GEOLINKS policies, procedures, and agreements related to the Services.
  • Customer shall not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Services, other accounts, computer systems or networks connected to the Services, through password mining or any other means.
  • Customer’s use of the Services is subject to all applicable local, state, national, and international laws and regulations (including without limitation those governing account collection, export control, consumer protection, unfair competition, anti-discrimination, securities laws, and false advertising).

Each customer shall be responsible for determining what laws or regulations are applicable to his or her use of the products and services, in addition to the following:

  • Installation or distribution of “pirated” or other software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by customer.
  • Deceptive marketing practices.
  • Exporting, re-exporting or permitting downloads of any content in violation of the export or import laws of the United States or without all required approvals, licenses and exemptions.

The GEOLINKS Network may not be used in connection with attempts – whether or not successful – to violate the security of a network, service or other system. Examples of prohibited activities include hacking, cracking into, monitoring or using systems without authorization; scanning ports; conducting denial of service attacks and distributing viruses or other harmful software.

Customers are responsible for maintaining the basic security of their systems to prevent their use by others in a manner that violates this Policy. Examples include improperly securing a mail server so that it may be used by others to distribute spam, or improperly securing an FTP server so that it may be used by others to illegally distribute licensed software. Customers are responsible for taking immediate corrective actions on vulnerable or exploited systems to prevent continued abuse.

The GEOLINKS Network may not be used to transmit materials of a threatening nature, including threats of death or physical harm, harassment, libel and defamation. Examples of such uses are:

  • Storing, posting or transmitting harassing, threatening or abusive materials, e-mail or information;
  • Storing, posting or transmitting defamatory, libelous, slanderous or scandalous materials, e-mail or information;

The GEOLINKS IP Network may not be used for the distribution of offensive materials, including obscene, pornographic, indecent and hateful materials. GEOLINKS reserves the right to refuse to post or to remove any information or materials from the Services, in whole or in part, that it, in GEOLINKS’ sole discretion, deems to be illegal, offensive, indecent, or otherwise objectionable.

Spam is an unacceptable use of the GEOLINKS IP Network. Spam includes any of the following activities:

  • Posting a single message or messages similar in content to more than five on-line forums or newsgroups.
  • Posting messages to on-line forums or newsgroups that violate the rules of the forums or newsgroups. Collecting the responses from unsolicited e-mail.
  • Sending any unsolicited e-mail that could be expected, in GEOLINKS’ discretion, to provoke complaints.
  • Sending e-mail with charity requests, petitions for signatures or any chain mail related materials.
  • Sending unsolicited e-mail without identifying in the e-mail a clear and easy means to be excluded from receiving additional e-mail from the originator of the e-mail.
  • Sending e-mail that does not accurately identify the sender, the sender’s return address, and the e-mail address of origin.
  • Blasting (e.g., sending one hundred (100) or more bulk and/or junk voicemail or faxes simultaneously).
  • Bulk call-in lines (e.g., customer support or sales call centers, “hotlines”, 900 numbers, sports-line numbers, etc.).
  • Auto-dialing or “predictive” dialing (i.e., non-manual dialing or using a software program or other means to continuously dial or place out-bound calls).

A violation of this Policy by someone having only indirect access to the GEOLINKS Network through a customer or other user will be considered a violation by the customer or other user, whether or not with the knowledge or consent of the customer or other user. As an example, Down Stream Providers are responsible for the actions of customers to whom they provide services operating on the GEOLINKS IP Network. GEOLINKS will address and attempt to resolve complaints about the actions of customers of Down Stream Providers with the Down Stream Provider.

In addition, this policy applies to any e-mail or content transmitted by Customer or on Customer’s behalf which uses a GEOLINKS account as a mailbox for responses or promotes content hosted or transmitted using GEOLINKS facilities, or which indicates in any way that GEOLINKS was involved in the transmission of such e-mail or content. Services may not be used for abusive purposes, as determined by CI. Abusive purposes include, without limitation, effecting or participating in any of the following activities via Services provided by CI:

  • Posting five (5) or more messages similar in content to Usenet or other newsgroups, listservs, forums, e-mail mailing lists or other similar groups or lists;
  • Posting to any Usenet or other newsgroups, listservs, forums, e-mailing lists or other similar groups or lists articles which are off-topic according to the charter or other owner-published FAQs, rules, policies or descriptions of the group or list;
  • Sending unsolicited e-mailings (including, without limitation, commercial advertising and informational announcements) to more than five (5) e-mail addresses within a forty-eight (48) hour period, if such unsolicited e-mailings could reasonably be expected to or do in fact provoke complaints;
  • Falsifying User information provided to GEOLINKS or to other Users of Services;
  • Engaging in any of the foregoing activities by using the services of another provider but channeling such activities through an account provided by CI, re-mailer or otherwise through Services or using an account provided by GEOLINKS as a mail drop for responses or otherwise using the services of another provider for the purpose of facilitating the foregoing activities if such use of another party’s service could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the provider of Services or its supplier.
  • Sending unsolicited mail messages, including the sending of “junk mail” or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material, who were not previous customers of the customer, or with whom the customer does not have an existing business relationship (e.g., e-mail “spam”).
  • Harassment, whether through language, frequency or size of messages.
  • Unauthorized use or forging of mail header information.
  • Solicitations of mail or any other e-mail address other than that of the poster’s account or service, with the intent to harass or collect replies.
  • Creating or forwarding “chain letters” or other “pyramid schemes” of any type.
  • Use of unsolicited e-mail originating from within the GEOLINKS network or networks of other Internet Service Providers on behalf of or to advertise any service hosted by GEOLINKS or connected via the GEOLINKS network.
  • Conducting or forwarding surveys, contests, pyramid schemes, charity requests, or chain letters;
  • Relaying e-mail in an anonymous fashion or forging any TCP-IP packet header; or
  • Mail-bombing, flooding, overloading, attacking or otherwise interfering with a system or network.

No failure or delay in exercising or enforcing this policy shall constitute a waiver of the policy or of any other right or remedy. If any provision of this policy is deemed unenforceable due to law or change in law, such a provision shall be disregarded and the balance of the policy shall remain in effect. Upon notification of the existence of an abusable resource (e.g., open news server, unsecured mail relay, or smurf amplifier), the customer shall immediately take all necessary steps to avoid any further abuse of such resource. Any abuse of an open resource that occurs after the customer has received such notification shall be considered a violation of this policy and enforced as such.

CI may immediately suspend and/or terminate the customer’s service for violation of any provision of this policy upon verbal or written notice, which notice may be provided by voice mail or e-mail. Prior to suspension or termination, GEOLINKS attempts to work with our customers to cure violations of this policy and ensure that there is no re-occurrence. GEOLINKS reserves the right to suspend or terminate based on a first offense. Refunds or credits are not issued in connection with actions taken for violations of this Policy. GEOLINKS may, in addition to any remedy that it may have at law or in equity, terminate permission for the User to use Services and charge User any applicable cancellation or termination fee. Violators may also be subject to civil or criminal liability under applicable law and GEOLINKS may involve and cooperate with law enforcement if criminal activity is suspected. In addition, GEOLINKS may investigate incidents that are contrary to this Policy and provide requested information to third parties who have provided notice to GEOLINKS stating that they have been harmed by a User’s failure to abide by this Policy or the policies listed above. GEOLINKS’ failure to enforce this policy in every instance in which it might have application does not amount to a waiver of GEOLINKS’ rights.

Any complaints regarding violations of this Policy by a GEOLINKS customer should be directed to [email protected] Where possible, include details that would assist GEOLINKS in investigating and resolving the complaint (i.e., expanded headers and a copy of the offending transmission). GEOLINKS makes no guarantee of confidentiality or privacy of any information transmitted through or stored upon GEOLINKS technology and makes no guarantee that any other entity or group of users will be included or excluded from GEOLINKS’ network. In addition, GEOLINKS may periodically monitor transmissions over its network for maintenance, service quality assurance or any other purpose permitted by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, P.L. No. 99-508, as amended.