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.

Table of Contents | Previous Section | Next Section