Are there any other restrictions on what I can say or do here?

Elizabeth's picture
We chose a host for this site that had what we thought was a "least restrictive" Terms of Service (TOS) and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). But, as Adam of SunburntKamal says, "on the Internet there is no sidewalk." That means that there isn't any truly and purely public space on the Internet because access to it is always mediated by some company. You should read your ISP's TOS and AUP documents to see what they prohibit and allow. Below is the most important part of Dreamhost's TOS/AUP: 
Legal uses only (see below)!

We are hosted by Dreamhost, partly because they seem like a pretty cool company -- they are employee-owned, for example -- and partly because they had very open and unrestrictive Terms of Service and Acceptable Use policies. The most pertinent part for our purposes is this:


  1. Customer may only use DreamHost Web Hosting's Server for lawful purpose. Transmission of any material in violation of any Country, Federal, State or Local regulation is prohibited. To this effect, child pornography is strictly prohibited as well as housing any copyrighted information (to which the customer does not hold the copyright) on DreamHost Web Hosting's Server.
  2. Customer agrees to not have any content on their site that advocates, sells or in any way makes available tools or methods to send unsolicited e-mail or usenet postings (spam), or to use DreamHost Web Hosting's Servers for relaying unsolicited e-mail or usenet postings, or to use unsolicited e-mail or usenet postings to advertise for their site hosted at dreamhost. Any complaint we receive about a violation of this or the preceding two points will be taken very seriously and will result in immediate account cancellation without a refund.

You can read the whole thing here, and I encourage you to do so. After you're done reading your ISP's. Elizabeth learned from her ISP, Verizon, that much of what she does at least technically violates her agreement with them:

Verizon reserves the right to deny Service to you, or immediately to terminate your Service for material breach, if your use of the Service or your use of an alias or the aliases of additional users on your account, whether explicitly or implicitly, and in the sole discretion of Verizon: (a) is obscene, indecent, pornographic, sadistic, cruel or racist in nature, or of a sexually explicit or graphic nature; (b) espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism; (c) might be legally actionable for any reason, (d) is objectionable for any reason, or (e) in any manner violates the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy.

So if you see that she's offline for a while, it might be because they caught up with her "sexually explicit" material or because she wrote something that might be "objectionable any reason."