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(Set by the board of SUNET, 7 June 1995)

Developments in recent years have meant that commercial companies have strongly increased their share of traffic on the Internet. The Internet as such sets no limits on connected networks to follow a certain policy on what traffic is acceptable (with the exception of obvious abuse).

The board considers that the same rules for acceptable use should apply to all organisations which are connected to SUNET.

The board also considers that there is no reason to forbid a certain use which takes place for a purpose, for example making profit, as long as it does not damage or disturb other users.

From 1 July 1995 the rule will be that everything which is not expressly forbidden is acceptable.

This means that:

  • use which conflicts with SUNETS ethical rules is not acceptable.
  • SUNET may be used for business activity but not in a manner which is intrusive or undesirable for other organisations.
  • This will be interpreted so that
    • mass letters for marketing are not permitted information about the company and its products, e.g. web pages shall
    • fulfil reasonable requirements for truthfulness and objectivity and may not be emotionally presented
  • the identity of the sender of the information must be clear and it is especially important that the user is not given the impression that any academic institution is behind information published by a company.
  • the resale of net capacity or information space on the net to other organisations or putting net capacity or information space on the net to other organisations disposal is not permitted other than in cases which are explicitly allowed in SUNET's rules for the connection of external organisations.
These rules may need to be supplemented with others if it transpires that any particular use causes great irritation in universities whilst not conflicting directly with any of the above rules. In such instances, the board of SUNET reserves the right to change the rules.


(Set by the board of SUNET, 7 June 1995)


It is a generally accepted principle in the academic world that the networks be kept as open as possible. In order for this to happen it is unavoidable that certain ethical requirements are placed on the individual who use the networks and on their activities. These ethical requirements do not differ markedly from other requirements placed on citizens in a modern society.


SUNET condemns as unethical occasions when anyone
  1. tries to gain access to network resources without having the right to do so

  2. tries to hide his/her user identity (except in cases where this is explicitly permitted)

  3. tries to disturb or interrupt legitimate use of the networks

  4. clearly wastes available resources (staff, hardware, software)

  5. tries to damage or destroy database information

  6. intrudes into the private lives of other users

  7. tries to insult or humiliate other users

ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY OF SUNET / Hans Wallberg / / 1997-09-18