ISP Initiative


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How The Initiative Works

This initiative has been developed for the ISP industry as a means to accomplish and control the flow of unsolicited commercial email including nuisance and criminal activities which are detrimental to the ISP's customers.

What the results will be:

ISPs who enter into this initiative will see the following results:
  1. UBE will quickly be eliminated from legitimate email customers
  2. Other honest and honorable ISPs will also wish to adopt the initiative
  3. Legitimate ISPs and email users will wish to comply by preventing any email as defined herein from originating from their IP addresses
  4. Those ISPs or email marketers with illegitimate, fraudulent or criminal agendas will no longer have access to your customers and will be forced to continue their practices on those domains who do not adopt and diligently practice this initiative.
  5. UBE will greatly diminish

Legitimate ISPs want to adopt this initiative:

  1. to guide the industry toward user accountability
  2. to eliminate costs involved in filtering and/or managing UBE
  3. to provide 'safe' haven for subscribers
  4. to establish the ISP industry as the regulatory body for email, domain ownership, and hosting rather than relying on other regulatory bodies.
  5. To more readily assist law enforcement in the apprehension of cyber criminals

Why ISPs?

The ISP incurs substantial costs managing UBE on a daily basis. ISPs have to invest in equipment to handle the extra load, in software -- some very expensive software -- to filter the UBE, as well as personnel resources to administrate it. UBE also causes loss of subscribers since each subscriber must ultimately bear the cost of spam prevention.

Since the ISP's revenue is based on selling bandwidth, they have the most to lose from stolen bandwidth, and the most to gain by eliminating the nuisance of UBE.

"If one percent of businesses in the U.S. sent you just one e-mail a year, that averages to 657 e-mails in your in-box every morning."
John Mozena, co-founder and vice-president of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (CAUCE)

The Initiative

Subscriber Accountability
No subscriber at this ISP shall be allowed to send mail, or to access an email account until fully authenticated with accurate identity information. (Thus eliminating creation of fraudulent e-mail accounts and/or domains.)
Domain Accountability
No subscriber or hosting account at this ISP shall be extended FTP access or domain hosting services if the Whois information for that domain is absent, false or incomplete, or if the Registrar in any way hinders investigation of the Violator.
Email Accountability
Any email attempting access to our servers which matches any of the UBE Definitions shall be blocked, and held in suspension. This includes:
  1. the domain of the advertised product or service, and,
  2. the IP Number from which the email originated.
Until such time as the Domain owner or IP Number owner contacts our abuse department with remedies including, but not limited to, authentic credentials and Whois information.
HOSTing Accountability
This ISP shall hold accountable, any web site or domain name hosting customer who wishes to host, publishe or administrate a legitimate list serve or any other means of communication with multiple online users. That customer shall be extended the privilege or service only after the privacy policy, software and technologies employed are approved by our IP and abuse personnel.
Relay, Router, Proxy Accountability
This ISP will BLOCK all e-mail which conforms to the definitions herein, after receiving two (2) of the same or similar UBE messages from any open relay, open router, open proxy, or other systems open to unauthorized use. The Violating system shall be BLOCKED in suspension until said Violator has provided sufficient proof that the condition of suspension has been resolved.
ISP Industry Cooperation
This ISP shall provide the BLOCK list to other ISPs who have signed and are diligently practicing this initiative. This documentation shall include domains and IP numbers held in suspension, along with the violating UBE and other evidence which may be included in the case.
Disclosure to Law Enforcement
This ISP shall report, and/or make available to Federal and/or State Law Enforcement officials any UBE which is suspected to be in violation of local, state or Federal laws.
Standards for UBE Identification
This ISP recognizes and abides by the definitions as set forth in this instrument as well as those which may be agreed upon by initiative participants in the future.
Preventing UBE
Any dial-up or hosting account of this ISP attempting to engage in using deceptive techniques as defined in this instrument, or, who attempts to engage in sending bulk email shall be suspended until such time as the violation is resolved. Furthermore that domain name shall be added to the ISPs BLOCK list and distributed to the initiative alliance.
Standards & Practices for Petition
This ISP shall pledge to provide support for, and participate in the development of standards by which those in violation may petition to have their domain names and/or IP numbers restored to open availability to this system.

First Amendment Protection and Validation

For protection of First Amendment Rights of all email users, this instrument provides the following legal "Opt-In" advertising email practices:
  1. The author or sender of the email must obtain an "Email Permissions Statement", in writing or by authenticated electronic purveyance, permission from the intended recipient prior to utilizing their email address for any purpose.
  2. "Email Permissions Statement" can be in the form of a tangible document such as post card or U.S. Postal Service reply vehicle wherein the recipient has clearly included an email address along with permission to use such email address for the purpose of communication.
  3. The email broadcaster shall make readily available the above evidence that the recipient did, in fact, grant the sender permission to send advertising.
  4. The author, sender, or email services agency may NOT sell nor transfer any "Email Permissions Statement", to any other entity.
  5. The author, sender, or email services agency must destroy any gathered Email Permissions Statements, and remove the recipients email address, from any list for which permission was granted, immediately upon the closing or termination of that "advertised" entity or product, including, but not limited to, domain, product, ownership of domain, or advertiser.
  6. The author, sender, or email services agency must clearly display a valid telephone number and physical address where complaints and removal requests will be received.
  7. The author, sender, or email services agency must remove any email addresses, including but not limited to entire domains, from any email lists currently in use within 24 hours of such request from the recipient.
  8. The author, sender, or email services agency must subscribe to, and comply with any "Opt In" or "Opt Out" lists maintained by local, state and/or federal agencies prior to mailing any email into that jurisdiction or state. It is the email sender's sole responsibility to locate and conform to such "Opt In" or "Opt Out" lists. The local, state and/or federal "Opt In" or "Opt Out" list maintenance agency has NO responsibility to notify the author, sender, or email services agency.
So long as these guidelines are met there will be no violations of First Amendment rights to email sender or recipient.


We invite your comment

Your comments, suggestions and or additions will be welcome

We urge you to contact your ISP to join this initiative by forwarding this link to them:

We shall begin a listing of those ISPs who pledge to conform and diligently practice this initiative.
      Updated: May 16, 2003

Previously: UBE Definitions  |  Introduction & UBE Truths  | 

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