Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

Commercial activity isn't allowed on the Internet, right? It's purely an academic and educational network, right? People who advertise and sell stuff on the Net should be flogged, right?

Yes and no. As mentioned earlier in this book, the Internet is composed of a variety of different networks. Each network has its own set of rules, called acceptable use policies. Certain networks (particularly the National Science Foundation network, the NSFnet) have strict acceptable use policies that ban most types of commercial use. On the other hand, another backbone network within the Internet world has been finding considerable interest among commercial Internet users--the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX). The acceptable use policies of CIX are much more broad, and advertising and selling are both within its purvue. So although commercial activity isn't allowed on certain parts of the Internet, it is allowed on others.

People who advertise on the Internet should only be flogged for heinous violations of Internet culture, such as sending unsolicited junk e-mail or posting commercial messages to Usenet groups that aren't supposed to be used for commercial messages.

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