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Abuse Policy

Purpose
We are is dedicated to maintaining the operational, legal, and ethical integrities of its network, systems, and customer base. The Abuse Policies and Procedures illustrate the way we handle abuse complaints received from legal authorities, third parties, and our clients. We maintain an Acceptable Uses Policy (AUP) on our website which outlines activities which are and are not acceptable on our network. All abuse decisions are made according to this AUP. These policies and procedures are subject to change at anytime without notice.

Scope
The Abuse Policies and Procedures outlines the entire complaint process including: filing abuse complaints, handling of complaints, notification procedures, and obtaining information pertaining to a specific incident. The Abuse Policies and Procedures do not cover the specific activities that are not acceptable on our network. For information on those activities please see our AUP.

Communicating With the Abuse Department
All communications with the Abuse department are done through email and our ticketing system for documentation purposes. The abuse department will only contact someone by phone to verify email addresses and ask for responses to those email addresses. The abuse department can be reached at . All emails will generate a ticket and an auto-reply will be sent back to the sender verifying we have received the complaint. For most complaints, this will be the only email sent to the person filing the complaint.

What to Include in Complaints
All complaints sent to the abuse department must include an IP address, a valid reply-to email address, log entries and/or the complete headers and message body for SPAM email complaints, or any evidence of AUP violation. Log entries, message headers, and evidence must include timestamps less than 48 hours old. We reserve the right to reject any abuse complaints not containing this information.

How Complaints are Handled
All abuse complaints are handled within 24 hours by our abuse team. Complaints are individually analyzed for validity and then matched up with the account responsible for that IP address in the complaint. If the complaint is invalid due to a lack of information, it could be rejected. We make a best effort to determine the cause of complaints before forwarding them to our clients. Complaints are handled in order of severity and need for immediate resolution. No complaints are ever rejected blindly.

Complaint Types
Below is a list of complaint types and the time of response we expect responses from our customers. This list is not complete. Response times vary depending on the severity and number of complaints received on the issue.

Complaint Type Required response time
Copyright Infringement – 24 Hours
SPAM/SPAMvertisement – 8 Hours
Network/Port scanning – 4 Hours
Hacking – 4 Hours
Phishing/Scams – 4 Hours
Viruses – 2 Hours
SLA Issues – 2 Hours
Open SMTP Relay/Open Proxy – 2 Hours
Child Pornography – 2 Hours
DoS/DDos – 24 Hours

AUP Violation Warnings

First Warning
AUP violation warnings are generated in response to complaints filed by third parties and from internal investigations. All AUP violation warnings are sent to the primary email contact listed for the account. Initial complaints on an issue that have been determined to be valid result in the abuse department issuing a first warning. A first warning is not an accusation of guilt, but a notification of a possible issue and a request for information regarding the issue. The time required to respond is indicated in email and evidence of the issue shall be included. In order to satisfy a first warning, our customers must provide acknowledgement of the warning, an explanation of the cause for the complaint, and what plan of action they will take to prevent further complaints. Additional requirements may be explicitly requested as well. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a first warning, they may remain active on an account for two weeks to one year.

Second Warning
A second warning is issued when we receive no response to a first warning within a designated timeframe, further complaints are filed, or the problem intensifies. If a large number of complaints are received, or the severity of the issue increases, the required response time will be reduced or a notification of downtime will be sent. In order to satisfy a second warning, all of the required information requested in the warning must be provided in the time frame specified. second warnings are never removed from an account.

Notification of Downtime
A notification of down time is issued when we receive no response to a second warning, further complaints are filed after a second warning, the problem intensifies, or we receive no response to a severe first warning. All notifications of downtime are sent after attempts have been made to contact the customer, this will include a phone call to ensure the customer has received our warning emails. In order to satisfy a downtime notification the customer must provide all information requested in previous warnings, acknowledge that further complaints similar issues may result in account termination, and agree to resolve the issue within two hours of being returned to online status. Notifications of downtime are never removed from an account.

Notification of Account or Service Termination
A notification of account or service termination is issued when a response is not received for notifications of downtime or when a complaint is filed after a severe issue that was purportedly resolved. All efforts are made to contact our customers before this extreme measure is taken; including a phone call to insure the customer has received all of our notifications. Once the notice has been sent the service is taken offline and access to the service or its data will not be granted under any circumstances. Accounts or services terminated for Abuse issues are not eligible for refunds or credit. For most issues, account termination is a last resort measure. For legal issues, such as child pornography or fraud, only one chance is given to our customers to resolve the issue. Another violation of our AUP for similar issues will result in immediate termination. These circumstances will be clearly communicated the first time and the customer will be required to agree to those terms.

Obtaining Information About Abuse Issues
We respect the rights of our client’s privacy. We do not provide information regarding specific abuse issues unless the requester is authorized by the account holder or a verified legal authority. Investigations are strictly confidential and information about specific incidents will not be shared with non-affected third parties. SLA authorities seeking information should call our office and we will release requested information after verifying the validity of the request.

Our Position
Our AUP and our Abuse Policies and Procedures are developed to ensure the operational, legal, and ethical integrity of our network. We do not tolerate nor condone activities, which would compromise the quality of service we provide our customers or the quality of service of other networks. We appreciate all help in identifying and addressing issues on our network.

Reporting Network Abuse
Any party seeking to report violations to this policy may contact us via e-mail. abuse@instance.com

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