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Use Policy
 

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Updated: 06/08/2009

Philosophy

At L A Bridge we don't like to be involved in policing the Internet. We support free speech, and we believe everyone should have access to the Internet.

Unfortunately, a certain small percentage of users abuse the system. The Internet won't work if people spam, hack, or engage in other abusive activities.  It also won't work if people are negligent or allow their systems to be compromised.

Saturation

What is saturation?

Saturation is usually the result of either malicious software or "peer to peer" applications running on a user's computer. The best way to explain this is by way of example:

DSL Bandwidth graph for busy office (MRTG)

The graph above shows a normal, yet very busy, office DSL circuit upload/download activity. First, on the left in green, we see a data backup of some sort happening for a few hours in the early in the morning. This is followed by a period of near silence until office workers start to show up between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. (in blue on the right). This is an acceptable bandwidth profile.

Above, we see an unacceptable bandwidth profile with upload traffic represented in green. Some computer using this circuit is pushing two megabits per second consistently throughout the day and was probably compromised by a virus or worm.

Traffic patterns as those shown in the profile above adversely effect the performance that you experience surfing the web because a large portion of your bandwidth is consumed by whatever process is saturating the wire.

What causes bandwidth saturation? 

  • Bit Torrent and other programs that are left running for days
  • Open, unsecured wireless networks that neighbors have leeched onto
  • Internet radio or streaming video left playing for hours on end
  • Run-away, zombie computers that are spamming or attacking
  • Computers infected with malicious worms and viruses

Our policy on saturation

Bandwidth saturation is harmful because our upstream bandwidth policies are designed for bursty traffic. When a small percentage of our customers are using 60% of the bandwidth nonstop it often causes us to go over quota and can cost thousands. If a customer is getting service for under $100 yet costing us over $100 each month in usage then you can probably understand why we'd have to reconsider the viability of that relationship. Of course, if you have an application that needs to saturate the line, we can arrange a fair price for that type of bandwidth usage too.

I've been notified about saturation. How can I fix it?

First, create a baseline by testing your speed at http://www.SpeedTest.net/ and write down the upstream/downstream performance numbers.  Next, look at all the lights on your hubs, switches and routers. If one light is flashing a lot faster than the others then try unplugging the corresponding cable.  Do the speed test again.  If the numbers are greatly improved then you have likely identified the troublesome computer.   Another way to troubleshoot this is to install the free "Menu Meters" on all your Mac OS X computers and BWMonitor on all your PCs.  Compare the input/output numbers for each computer and take note of which is highest. 

What if I'm having trouble diagnosing and curing this problem?

L A Bridge is your ally in situations like this. We will work with you, or your I.T. person if you have one, to nip the problem in the bud quickly. We charge $65/hr and have helped solve some infestations within an hour.  We can also provide on-site service starting at $200 per visit throughout California.

What we do: If you have professional or pro-sumer switches & routers, then we can run recurring bandwidth monitoring software that produces graphs like the ones above. After gaining an understanding of your network topology, L A Bridge can remotely monitor your system on an ongoing basis. After 30-40 minutes of monitoring we can usually suggest which machine needs to be shut down and/or unplugged from your router.  We can also use our own port monitoring to detect when the bandwidth onslaught has subsided and the problem has been fixed.

SPAM

What is spam?

Spam is any unsolicited email message sent to a large number of people. Typically this includes cases where:

  • The recipient did not request the message.
  • The recipient does not know the sender.
  • In newsgroups, a message is posted that is not appropriate to the topic of the newsgroup. Newsgroup postings that offer services or products are considered spam, unless they can be documented to be in response to a legitimate inquiry in that same newsgroup, and if they are appropriate to the topic of that newsgroup.
  • Bulk mailing lists are used to send unsolicited marketing or sales information.

Our Policy on Spam

If everyone with a product to sell or an opinion to voice sends an email to hundreds or thousands of people, the system will be swamped and become unusable.  Therefore, L A Bridge Internet does not condone the practice of spamming. If we find anyone utilizing our network, directly or indirectly, for spamming, we will charge $2.00 per spam message sent.

In addition, any individual(s), organization(s) and or company(s) that knowingly or otherwise directly or indirectly utilize our SMTP Servers to disperse mass unsolicited e-mail, will be subject to and agrees to compensate L A Bridge Internet, $10,000.00 per occurrence. Spam is considered unauthorized abuse of the system.

We will, to the fullest extent allowed by law, seek legal action on any individual(s), organization(s) and or company(s) that knowingly or otherwise directly or indirectly utilize our Network (or cause it to be used) for any practice that sends out mass unsolicited e-mail.

Hacking

What is hacking?

Hacking is the interference with or unauthorized access to any computer or computer network. Hacking may or may not reflect malicious intent.

Hacking includes: 

  • Any attempt to gain root or system administrator privileges on any L A Bridge network machine or equipment, without permission.
  • Any attempt to gain unauthorized access to files, equipment or accounts.
  • Any attempt to do anything that results in interruption of any service to L A Bridge customers.
  • Any use of chat robots.
  • Any attempted use of password cracking software.
  • Specific software attacks, including 'Smurf attacks' and 'Ping of Death'.
  • Any attempt to access or change system files, without permission.
  • Any unauthorized attempt to store User files outside their predefined areas. These include the user home directory, the user web directory, and the user mail area, and any other areas assigned by L A Bridge Internet.
  • Installation or attempted use of SUID programs of any type, without permission.
  • Any attempt to do these things through L A Bridge network, even if the attempt is aimed outside our network.

Our policy on hacking

Hacking is harmful because it costs us valuable time, and it may compromise system availability or data integrity or both. Our policy is to charge for this abuse of system resources.

Any individual(s), organization(s) and or company(s) that knowingly or otherwise directly or indirectly utilize any of our servers or equipment to hack, will be subject to and agrees to compensate L A Bridge Internet, $10,000.00 per occurrence.

In addition, we will, to the fullest extent allowed by law, seek legal action on any individual(s), organization(s) and or company(s) that knowingly or otherwise directly or indirectly utilize our Network (or cause to be used) for any practice that we consider to be "hacking.".

Fees for Time and Expenses

Hackers and spammers tie up our time and resources. Therefore we intend to charge for this time. Time spent tracking or dealing with hackers will be billed at $200/hour.

 Anyone who hacks or spams, agrees to compensate L A Bridge for:  

  • Time and expense for tracking down the hacker/spammer
  • Time and expense collecting fees from the hacker/spammer
  • Time and expense for repairs, down time, or system upgrades which are related to hacking/spamming or the prevention thereof
  • Time and expense relating to prosecution or attempted prosecution of the hacker/spammer
  • Legal expenses

These expense fees are in addition to the per item spam fees and the $10,000 per occurrence, the fee for system abuse incidents. It is our intention that spam and hacking should be very expensive.

Our Privacy Policy does not extend to hackers and spammers

L A Bridge will not shield or protect spammers or hackers.

Persons hacking or spamming unconditionally waive any right or expectation of privacy. L A Bridge reserves the right to release information about spammers to governmental bodies, police organizations, other ISPs, and other individuals and organizations as necessary to help put a stop to these activities.

Please report any hacking, spamming or other abuse to L A Bridge Internet via the "abuse" at LABridge.com address.

If You Use the System, You Agree to these Policies

Use of the L A Bridge system constitutes agreement to these policies. It is your responsibility to read them an understand them.

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