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Unsolicited Commercial Email (Spam)

Unsolicited Commercial Email (Spam) Policy

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Unsolicited Commercial Email (Spam)

Unsolicited Commercial Email (Spam) for Customers:

We have decided to strengthen the wording of our policy on Commercial Email. This revision takes effect immediately, on September 10, 1998.



In the interests of making an informed, reasonable decision on the matter of "unsolicited commercial email" FORETHOUGHT.net has deferred a decision until it had a chance to think about the issue from all sides - both from the perspective of you the merchant, and that of email users.


It is a fact that unsolicited communications can be annoying, but it's also a fact that they can be a very important part of creating business relationships. If companies had no return from "junk paper mail", they would soon stop doing it. Similarly, the vast markets reachable by the Internet can generate great returns for many merchants engaging in Internet commerce.


However, it is also a fact that many people consider Unsolicited Commercial communications of any kind to be an annoyance, and more. In the case of paper mail, these people simply grumble and throw it away, but if they had a way to block it from ever arriving, many people would do so. There's no way to block paper mail from being delivered.


However, there is a way to block email from being delivered, and the extreme that some people are going to is blocking all networks associated with you from communicating with their network in any way.


In addition to simply blocking email from domains such as CyberPromotions, some ISPs are going to the extreme of blocking all traffic from all networks associated with companies sending UCE. The effect of this is that many people will cease to be able to access your web site (and the web sites of our other customers!). The problem for you is that this is all perfectly legal. The Internet is a collection of privately-owned data networks which agree to interconnect, and in doing so follow certain rules. If you violate some other network's terms of use, they have the right to prevent you from communicating with them at all.


FORETHOUGHT.net is in the business of providing quality World Wide Web services. If UCE causes other networks to "black-hole" our computers (i.e., block traffic to and from them), then we become unable to provide quality service to our customers. AGIS, a large Internet provider that gives service to Cyber Promotions and other high-profile 'spammers', is now blocked from 3-5% of the net, with this number growing.

With that in consideration, we announce that we must put into place some regulations on the sending of UCE, by organizations that have a web site or Internet access with FORETHOUGHT.net.


These regulations are as follows:

  1. If an "Opt-In" system exists for your line of business and target market, you may use it. Such mailings can be sent through FORETHOUGHT.net systems, if the Opt-In system allows that. (Typically they send the mailings themselves). We can help you find an appropriate Opt-In system. (Opt-In systems are those where the user specifically requests to be placed on a mailing list). You must notify FORETHOUGHT.net of your bulk mail via an Opt-In mailing provider.
  2. You may generate your own Opt-In list through forms on your web site, as long as you disclose that users will receive emailings from you.
  3. You may not advertise a web site on FORETHOUGHT.net's network by sending UCE through some other ISP.
  4. Use of unsolicited "Opt-Out" systems are strictly prohibited. You may not use a mailing list you have purchased or created yourself, where the list was developed by scanning UseNet, Email Archives, or Web Pages for email addresses, regardless of whether the scan was "targeted".
  5. You must use valid email headers at all times.
  6. You must not use another network as a relay for your mailing without the express written consent of the network's owner. You must provide proof of this consent to FORETHOUGHT.net before the mailing begins.
  7. In your email, you must give the web address of the Opt-In system you used, and tell the user receiving your mail that he can stop any further mailings from you (and others) by visiting that Opt-In site.
  8. If anyone contacts you and asks to be removed from your list, you will do so, and in addition send him an email instructing him on the use of Opt-In systems.

Violation of these rules will result in suspension or termination of your service, and may even be a violation of the law.


By following these rules, both you and FORETHOUGHT.net can be assured of the success of your direct emailing - and also rest easy knowing that we are not abusing anyone's mailbox or network, nor damaging yourself or your ISP.


Unsolicited commercial solicitation via bulk email, is illegal in many jurisdictions in the United States and across the world, and carries civil and in some cases criminal penalties.


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