FARNet Usage Policy
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FARNet Usage Policy January 23, 1990 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION: 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 #2). 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 internationally. 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) 275-2916.) ------- FARnet Position Paper #2: FARNET GUIDELINES ON ACCEPTABLE USE AND CONNECTION 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 networks. 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 mission. 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 issues. 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 contacted. 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 FARnet.