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IO - Info and Help - Policies

General Policy and Procedure Statements

Updated August 17, 2000 10:12:07 CDT


These policies incorporate the "Illuminati Online Services Agreement".

Your use of these services is subject to these restrictions and limitations:

  • "Unlimited Access" accounts include resource restrictions--they are not intended for nor may they be used as dedicated connections. "Unlimited Access" accounts may not have simultaneous connections, and may not be used by multiple individuals or computers. We use timeouts and check for extended connections. Accounts which abuse these restrictions are subject to deactivation.
  • We do not, except by contract, guarantee management or programming support
  • We do not permit Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE) in any form!
  • We do not permit off-topic Usenet posts, or Usenet "spamming".
  • We do not allow resale of any of our services.
  • We do not allow "click-through" adult-content banner ads in personal web pages
  • We do not allow any activities which are illegal under Texas or US law
  • There is no warranty of service

Copyright Infringement: Subscriber accounts are subject to termination for repeat violations of U.S. copyright laws. (This policy complies with the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act", signed into law on October 28th, 1998.)

NO SPAM! Unsolicited Bulk E-mail, (UBE, or "spam") is the bane of the Internet, and a staggering waste of human time, machine resources and Internet bandwidth. We absolutely will not allow unsolicited e-mail to be sent from or by any Illuminati Online account or through our mailservers. We will close any account which is a return address for, or is in any way associated with, UBE or Usenet misuse or abuse.

Specifically, we will not tolerate web sites or ftp sites which offer products or services advertised through "spam." However, large mailings, such as to a customer list are permitted, given two conditions:

We will suspend an account without notice for forging a return e-mail address as part of a mass mailing.

In some cases, certain large customers have disregarded our policies and our requests, putting us in the difficult situation of bringing down an entire business over spamming or soliciting issues. If such a case occurs, we will adhere to the following Third Party Complaint Process.

Third Party Complaint Process. IO routinely receives (at written complaints ("Complaints") from third parties regarding Prohibited Activities allegedly being conducted by IO Customers. IO will take the following actions to document and resolve each Complaint received by IO related to its Users.

First Complaint: Upon receipt of the initial complaint from a third party regarding Prohibited Activity by an IO Customer, IO will send an e-mail letter (the "First Letter") to the Customer that describes IO's policies relating to the Prohibited Activity and encloses a copy of the original Complaint received by IO. IO will request the the Prohibited Activity cease immediately, and will warn the Customer that both fines and suspension of service may result from continued Prohibited Activities.

Second Complaint: Upon receipt of a second complaint after the date of the First Letter related to the same or similar Prohibited Activity of Customer described in the First Letter that clearly indicates that the Prohibited Activity continued after the date of the First Letter, IO will send a second letter (the "Second Letter") with a copy of the second complaint to the Customer and request that Customer respond in writing to IO with an explanation and timeline of the actions to be taken by Customer to remedy Prohibited Activity. In the event that Customer does not respond to IO's letter and remedy the Prohibited Activity within five (5) business days, IO will bill Customer in the following month $500 to cover IO's administrative costs associated with the Prohibited Activities of Customer.

Third Complaint: Upon receipt of a third complaint after the date of the Second Letter related to the same or similar Prohibited Activity of Customer described in the Second Letter that clearly indicates that the Prohibited Activity continued after the date of the Second Letter, IO will send a third and final letter (the "Third Letter") with a copy of the third complaint to the Customer and request again that the Prohibited Activity cease immediately. In the event that the Prohibited Activity does not cease within five (5) business days, IO will terminate or suspend its connectivity service to its Customer, and will only resume providing service when it receives adequate assurances that such activity will not continue. IO will also bill the Customer $5,000 to cover IO's administrative costs associated with the Prohibited Activities.

"Suspension and Termination of Service" IO reserves the right to suspend and/or terminate a Customer's service at any time for any material failure of Customer, its representatives or its users to comply with these Rules and Regulations.

"No management or programming support" means you must be able to manage and support your data services yourself. We will not write html or cgi scripts for you. (See "how to get help" if you're not completely sure of what you're doing.) In particular, you MUST have a sound working knowledge of UNIX and Majordomo before setting up a mailing list. If you goof really badly, and we have to come to your rescue, we reserve the right to charge for it at our standard consulting rate.

"No resale" means that you may not use your individual account to run a list, host a Web page, or operate an ftp site for someone else for a fee or other compensation. If you are providing consulting or management services, you must purchase a separate account for each client.

"No warranty of service" means that outgoing personal data servers (personal web sites, personal ftp sites, and personal mailing lists) are specifically provided on an AS IS basis with no warranties of service or support. That doesn't mean we won't fix problems at our end. It means that help will be provided only as resources become available. It also means that service and support can be interrupted at any time if it's necessary to prevent interference with our primary services.

When we sell you an individual account, we don't sell anything to the other people on the Internet who might request your data. If you take on responsibilities to them, that's your choice, but that does not in any way obligate US to serve THEM. If you have a problem with your list and say that we have to drop everything and fix it for you because it is inconveniencing 4,000 subscribers (as list owners have done on occasion), we will remind you that your argument is based on a fallacy, that somehow we have a contract to serve those people. Sorry, we don't.

In reality, of course, we spend a good deal of money and staff time supporting web sites and mailing lists. It's a question of priorities. When push comes to shove, these services come last, not first.


Illuminati Online does not limit the time that you can stay connected to our dialup access servers, but in order to assure available circuits for all of our customers during peak hours, we will drop idle connections.

An "idle connection" is defined as a connection that has not transfered any data in the previous ten minutes. When a modem or Dial-On-Demand ISDN connection becomes idle, it is disconnected from our access servers.

You may not use e-mail-checking programs or keep-alive routines of any kind to circumvent this policy. We will monitor all activity, and we reserve the right to disconect a dial-up or dial-on-demand account using any such routine.


Many Internet users have serious concerns about privacy issues. Illuminati Online shares those concerns, and we would like our subscribers to understand exactly how we will act to protect your privacy, and how others may act.

Customer Database and Customer Privacy.

Illuminati Online will not, under any circumstances, sell, trade, give, or provide access to our customer database, to any third party. We may, from time to time, send our own users information about new services or serious problems, but no one else will be allowed to mass mail our users. Emphasis on "allow." We work on this problem constantly, but spammers do too. It can be very difficult to prevent.

Yes, we once made a deal with Planet Direct, and they mass-mailed our customers. We told them to quit immediately, and they ignored us, so we terminated the contract and blocked their IP address.

Any information you provide us will be held in complete confidence. Yes, we may divulge certain information if we are served with a valid warrant or subpoena by a court of competent jurisdiction, but if we have any questions we'll consult our very competent attorneys. See SJ Games vs. the Secret Service. That case involved the Illuminati BBS system, the predecessor of Illuminati Online. If a police officer or other official "asks," we'll politely say "no." Lawyers? Ha! :) And we don't back up our mail spools, and never have. The automatic backup and recovery systems in place hold all data, even deleted/removed files, for two weeks. We suggest you download your mail from our mail server and/or your home directory if this is a concern for you.

Freedom of Speech

Absolutely. Go to it. We fervently believe in and support the first amendment. Neither the federal government, the state of Texas, nor any civil authority has the right to censor your speech. (OTOH, the military does.) Yes, many private employers monitor and censor employees who are using company computer resources to send e-mail or post to newsgroups.

That may be a very good reason to have an account here. You're not our employee. You PAY for the right to use this system. We will NOT monitor web pages, e-mail or news postings. Period. You may say whatever you like, on your web site, in your news postings, and in your e-mail, as long as you don't violate any laws in doing so.

For instance: You may not harass or threaten anyone. Copyrights are still copyrights. Libel is still libel. You may not plan, conspire to commit, or commit a crime. None of these issues have anything to do with the 'net. They're all a violation of existing criminal laws.

You may not advocate any action that a reasonable man would consider an immediate threat to cause a riot or other civil disturbance or to overthrow our current government. (Current governments are very strict on this issue. :) ) I consider those results impossible to achieve via e-mail or posting to newsgroups. If you think you can bring down a government with your web page, then you're a heck of a coder . . . please drop me, (Ken Jackson) a line! I'll suggest a number of other governments I'd rather you started with. :)

In general, if it's illegal in your state or country, it's illegal over the Internet. Some states have extended their own laws to apply to citizens of other states. Scary, but true. Currently, several countries are trying to extend their own laws to cover US companies and individuals. International law has not been written to cover those situations. We'll keep you informed.


(Updated August 16, 2000)

Apparently the FBI is using a new system called "Carnivore" to intercept *all* of the traffic through certain sites. They say they have permission from a court to do so. Privacy groups are astonished and outraged, and with good reason. This is not the same as tapping an individual phone line. They're tapping an entire community, and "listening" to everyone in order to hear what one person might be saying. In order to intercept one person's e-mail, you have to read every single header of every single e-mail. To pick out the headers you have to scan every single bit of data from port 25 (sendmail).

Every single e-mail.


Do you trust the FBI to do this ethically?

I didn't think so.

There is no court supervision. I doubt the court actually understood what they were agreeing to, much less considered the abuse potential of such a system. And if they did know, it sure explains the "under the table" approval. It's difficult to trust ANYONE who hides their actions.

This is a very hot topic right now, and we'll keep this page updated.

Finger information

We do allow outside access to our password database via the UNIX 'finger' command. Originally, and particuarly for networks within organizations, the finger command was very useful for finding people, and it was common to include your real name, office number, work and even home telephone numbers.

Sadly, that's no longer particularly intelligent behavior, so we caution you to be extremely careful about any information you make available on the 'net, You have complete control over the information presented via the 'finger' command. We don't require you to provide any personal information--if you do, we don't care if it's true!

Web Sites

Web sites log a great deal of information about your visit, including your e-mail address, your browser version, your operating system, and every link you choose and every file you download. Many sites set 'cookies' to track and later report on other sites you visit! Some sites have privacy policies. Many do not, and apparently many with privacy policies don't adhere to them!

Just realize that your preferences are being tracked, and expect targeted marketing efforts to increase. Eventually most sites will "recognize" you, and the advertising banners you see will be tailored to your tastes. You can also expect many more targeted e-mails. That's the wave of the future. We promise you that we won't use cookies or any similar technology, or allow others to do so on our site. We won't divulge your personal or financial information to anyone. But every time you fill out a form, enter a contest, check out a product, read an article, post to a newsgroup, or merely express an opinion in a news poll, your preferences are being recorded somewhere.

Can or will that information be used improperly? It's an ongoing debate, mainly because the word "improper" remains undefined in this context. Privacy issues are a hot topic on the Internet. We'll keep you posted on the issues.

TEXAS USE TAX We have been advised by the State Comptroller that we must collect Texas use tax for Internet services provided within the state. According to recent rulings, those services specifically include services such as Telnet Access, Web Hosting and contract programming.

If you are a tax-exempt organization, please fax your tax-exempt certificate to 512-462-0356, attn: Accounting. Make sure that your username is on the certificate. We must have this document on file in order to exempt you from the Texas use tax.


We offer several types of "commercial-level" accounts for clients requiring more bandwidth, time on line, or expanded services. Please see the complete list of our rates at Products and Services for details.

Or, you can hire someone to manage your site for you. There are a number of Website designers and mailing list consultants who will be happy to design and manage your services for you.


"Screen" is a UNIX program which allows you to run up to ten "virtual" sessions, and to easily resume those sessions if your Internet connection is dropped or broken. It is NOT intended to be used to keep IRC sessions open while unattended. We only allow one "screen" session per subscriber account at any one time. You may not run "screen" on more than one userhost at a time.


Illuminati Online has a strict "no 'bots" policy. We provide access to IRC servers worldwide, such as those on efnet, undernet, dalnet, etc. While no one party has absolute authority over all of these 'nets, most of the server administrators do not allow multiple connections, will not tolerate 'bots, and do not allow "abusive connections". While different admins define "abusive" differently, most agree that one IRC session per user is enough! IRC server administrators will ban entire domains, such as IO.COM, to prevent a single abusive person from accessing their servers.

This means that all of our subscribers suffer if one subscriber causes one of our user hosts to be banned from any server. We will kill any 'bots we see running and send you a relatively pleasant note. The first time. The second time we will suspend your account to point out that there won't be a third chance.


We do not allow subscribers to "background", or leave unattended, interactive processes, including but not limited to IRC programs, MUD clients, mail clients and news clients. We also do not allow subscribers to run server programs of any kind without prior approval from the system administrators. We will shut down both types of processes and send you a warning message, asking you not to run these types of processes on this system. If we have to shut them down again, your account will be suspended. If you aren't sure that what you want to do is allowed, then please send an e-mail to explaining what you would like to do.


Illuminati Online provides technical support to assist our members in installing, configuring and troubleshooting the basic internet services available on or through our system. We will assist you in configuring any commercially available SLIP or PPP software for use through our system.

We will maintain and keep current all of the programs and utilities on this list and insure that they work properly on our machines.


All UNIX commands in the default path (/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/contrib/bin) are supported IF you are using VT100 or VT102 terminal emulation.

What we DON'T do:

We don't provide technical support for non-Illuminati Online members!

We do not provide telephone or e-mail training or instruction on how to use supported software, nor do we teach UNIX or Perl or CGI programming via telephone or e-mail. The UNIX programs available on this system are documented in the various man pages and the SLIP/PPP shareware software available for download has internal documentation. We strongly recommend that you buy a book on the Internet and your browser, or UNIX, or Perl, or HTML/CGI programming.


In addition to everything above, please remember that ALL programs run using our resources are provided on the condition that they don't violate our rules or interfere with system operation or other subscribers. For example, we shut down pirate software sites whenever they are brought to our attention, without appeal. We boot anyone caught trying to crack someone else's account. We will summarily kill any program that hogs capacity or interferes in any way with system stability. We shut down bootleg MUDS, badly-behaved game servers, and high-volume binary ftp sites a dozen times a year. If you have any questions concerning a particular application please e-mail

Last revised August 17, 2000