Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online
1.7. What are acceptable use policies?
Acceptable use policies (AUPs for the acronym-inclined) are written statements
of what may and may not be done with a particular computer network. AUPs for
networks became the norm in the 70s. Most networks were created with specific
goals in mind (for instance, for linking research and educational
institutions). Their purpose was to promote communication, education, and
research. Therefore, many of those networks placed restrictions on what they
could be used for: they couldn't be used for financial gain, for instance.
These rules came to be known as AUPs.
Note: The Acceptable Use Policy for the NSFnet is one of
the strictest AUP's on the Internet. For better or for worse, the National
Science Foundation is removing itself from the duty of maintaining the NSFnet
backbone. It's possible that as commercial service providers vie for the role,
the rules will change considerably.
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