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FARNet Usage Policy

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			FARNet Usage Policy

January 23, 1990 

Richard Mandelbaum
(716) 275-2916

San Diego, CA, January 9, 1990 - In a move towards the establishment of a more
coordinated national research and education network environment, the Federation
of American Research Networks (FARNet) has adopted the first in a series of
guidelines, or FARNet Position Papers (FPP). The two documents approved at the
just-concluded San Diego conference address the following: FPP Development and
Approval Process (FPP #1) and Guidelines on Acceptable Use and Connection (FPP

	FARNet is an organization currently consisting of twenty-five regional
and state networks, who provide access from local networks to the national
research and education network community (the Internet). The purpose of the
Federation is the advancement of science and education through the aiding of
communication among research and educational organizations. The Federation
endorses the coordination and interconnection of regional and backbone networks
to encourage the formation of a unified network environment, thus providing
enhanced access to scientific and educational resources, both nationally and

	During the past three years, networks serving the needs of research,
education, and science have experienced explosive growth. The growth has
occurred at the campus, local, regional, national, and international levels.
Technical and financial investments by both the public and private sectors have
been considerable. Utilization of these networks has become essential to large
segments of the American research and academic communities, and continues to
grow at a startling rate, over 500% in the last 18 months! Guidelines for the
orderly development and interconnection of these varied facilities are
essential for the integrity of the networks and continued provision of high
quality services to educators, researchers, scholars, and administrators. For
this reason, the FARNet Guidelines on Acceptable Use and Connection were
unanimously approved. 

	In summary, the Guidelines govern inter-regional traffic and recommend
that traffic between the FARnet-Member networks be restricted to research or
academic purposes, or to direct administrative support of such efforts.
(Intra-regional traffic is governed by the guidelines set by each regional.)
The position was adopted because the networks represented by the members of
FARNet are, in many instances, at least partially funded by grants from state
or federal agencies. Activities that are beyond the scope of research or
academia are not considered acceptable. For example, Richard Mandelbaum,
FARNet's Chairperson, summarizes from the Guidelines, "It is not acceptable to
send invoices between two commercial entities on different regional networks
across a national backbone." 

	Future FARNet Position Papers are to include such issues as network
design and engineering, international interaction, commercialization of
services, network management models, value-added services, and methods of more
accurately addressing the information movement needs of researchers, scholars
and educators. (For further information, contact  Richard Mandelbaum (716)


FARnet Position Paper #2:


1.0 Introduction

During the past three years national regional and local networks have
experienced exponential growth.  The technical and financial commitments
made by the private and public sectors have been varied and
considerable.  Use of these networks is now considered essential by
large segments of the American research and academic communities.  

Mechanisms for management have been ad hoc and inconsistent.  Currently
there are no published guidelines nor an associated method of
adjudication addressing the use of network resources.  Furthermore,
inconsistencies exist among regionals about what is considered
acceptable use of national networks.  Without effective management of
the use of the network, there exists potential for severe economic and
political problems.  Regional networks and the national backbones
receive a considerable amount of federal funding.  This subsidy requires
accountability, a means to demonstrate that the federal funds are being
properly applied.  Given the strategic importance that the networks have
assumed for national research and development, it is vital that the
integrity of the resource be maintained.  

2.0 Intent

The intent of this document is to suggest policies and mechanisms for
determining appropriate use of and connection to networking resources.
The networking environment model is assumed to be a three-tiered
hierarchy consisting of a set of national backbone nets (such as NSFnet
and NSN), campus and corporate networks (such as a campus-wide
university network or a corporate site LAN) and, connecting these
components, mid-level networks that offer sites in states or geographic
regions access to national nets.  It should be noted that mid-level
networks may in turn be made up of several layers of state and regional

This document specifically addresses traffic that is exchanged among
mid-level networks that are members of FARnet, whether across a national
backbone or on a publicly subsidized direct regional connection.  It
does not preclude additional requirements that a national backbone might
establish.  This document may also serve as a basis for acceptable use
policies within a mid-level network.  

3.0 Definition of Terms

Appropriate use refers to whether the use of the network is consistent
with the guidelines for each network that the traffic traverses.  This
applies both to standard applications (e.g., electronic mail, file
transfers, and remote login) and nonstandard uses (chat, experimental
protocols, etc) Acceptable connection refers to the specific authority
and terms by which a user accesses the network.  Issues that are
addressed here include restrictions on access (for security purposes),
resale of connectivity, etc.  Acceptable use and acceptable connection,
while related, are separate issues.  It is possible for acceptable
connections to be used for unacceptable use, and for acceptable use to
be performed on an unacceptable connection.  

4.0 Acceptable Use Policy

Given both the volatile nature of the technology employed and the demand
that users make of the network, determining acceptable use is a dynamic
and iterative process.  In evaluating whether a particular use of the
network is appropriate, several factors should be considered:  

   Traffic between mid-levels should be restricted to research or
   academic purposes, or to direct administrative support of such
   efforts.  Organizations whose connection to the internet is sponsored
   by a FRICC agency can use the network in support of the sponsored
   activities.  Traffic whose content is solely commercial is not
   acceptable.  Malicious use is not acceptable.  Use should be
   consistent with guiding ethical statements and accepted community
   standards.  Use of the internet in a manner that precludes or
   significantly hampers the use by others should not be allowed.

Each mid-level network should establish a regional acceptable use policy
that permits, at a minimum, the transit of any traffic that is
acceptable to an attached national backbone.  Mid-level networks may
establish additional requirements as are appropriate to the regional

FARnet recommends that each regional accept traffic from other regionals
if the use was determined to be acceptable under these guidelines by the
originating network.  

Decisions made by mid-level networks or backbone providers regarding
specific instances of acceptable and unacceptable use should be widely
circulated to encourage consistency.  FARnet can and will act as a
vehicle for the distribution and maintenance of such information.  Each
mid-level network should designate an individual to participate in the
exchange of this information.  

5.0 Acceptable connection

Mid-level networks should insure that the connections made to them are
consistent with the effective use and protection of a shared resource.
The mid-levels should know what networks are connected and what use is
being made of the network.  Mid-level networks should instruct members
on current guidelines for acceptable use.  Access to the internet should
be protected through the use of prudent security measures.  Unauthorized
connections to the internet should not be permitted.  "Third party"
connections (such as internet access being provided by research parks or
through resale by a mid-level subscriber) should be done only with the
approval of the mid-level networks.  Connections which create routing
patterns that are inconsistent with the effective and shared use of the
network should not be established.  

6.0 Adjudication

Mid-level networks should distribute this statement to member
institutions and request members to inform their communities about these

Responsibility for the determination of whether a proposed use of the
network is acceptable begins with the initiating user.  If the user is
uncertain, the associated connecting authority or mid-level should be

Mid-level networks should consult with backbone providers and FARnet as
needed to determine if an intended use of a backbone is consistent with
the policies of the provider.  The results of these deliberations should
be distributed among the mid-level networks to encourage consistent
policy.  FARnet should be active in implementing this process.  

If disagreements arise among mid-level networks concerning their direct
connections, FARnet should attempt to act as a reconciliatory agent.  

7.0 Enforcement

In instances where particular traffic is determined to be an abuse, the
mid-level network that originated the traffic will be held responsible
for both admonishing the perpetrator and preventing further abuse.  It
is assumed that the mid- level network will, in turn, place similar
responsibilities upon its members.  

Mid-level networks should make a good faith effort to enforce the
decisions that emerge from the adjudication process undertaken by