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IEEE E-MAIL ACCEPTABLE USE PRACTICES

The IEEE Acceptable Use Practices have been created to:
  • Encourage the responsible use of resources (network, personal). Discourage practices that degrade the usability of network resources. Maintain the image and reputation of the IEEE as a responsible e-mail service provider.
  • Protect the security, reliability, and privacy of IEEE's systems and network, and the systems and network of others, consistent with the policies of the IEEE.
  • Safeguard the privacy and security of individual users, consistent with the policies of the IEEE

WHILE THE IEEE WISHES TO PROMOTE THE PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUAL MAIL USERS CONSISTENT WITH ITS E-MAIL POLICIES, THE IEEE CANNOT GUARANTEE THE SECURITY OR PRIVACY OF THE IEEES SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS OR THE NETWORKS AND SYSTEMS OF OTHERS. THE IEEE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MONITOR E-MAIL USE TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH ITS POLICIES. USERS SHOULD CONSIDER WHETHER IT IS APPROPRIATE TO USE E-MAIL FOR CONFIDENTIAL MESSAGES.

E-MAIL IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT. THE IEEE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE E-MAIL ALIAS OR E-MAIL LIST SERVICE, WITH OR WITHOUT WARNING, FOR ANY REASON INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, VIOLATIONS OF THIS POLICY. AN IEEE E-MAIL ALIAS DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE RECIPIENT OR USER TO REPRESENT THE IEEE OR TO ACT ON BEHALF OF THE IEEE. THE IEEE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY THIS POLICY AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON DEEMED APPROPRIATE BY THE EXECUTIVE STAFF.

A USER MUST BEAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS OR HER USE OF E-MAIL. THE IEEE CAN ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ACTIONS OF THE ALIAS RECIPIENT OR USER OR FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES RESULTING FROM USE OF E-MAIL, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MISADDRESSED, LOST OR UNDELIVERED E-MAIL MESSAGES. THE IEEE WILL COOPERATE WITH AUTHORITIES CONDUCTING A LEGAL INVESTIGATION, OR OTHER OFFICIAL INQUIRY, INTO ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES OR UNLAWFUL ACTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF AN IEEE E-MAIL ALIAS OR E-MAIL SERVICE.

Users of IEEE e-mail aliases or mailing lists should be courteous to others when sending e-mail and should not abuse the service provided by the IEEE. Following is a non-exclusive summary of conduct that would be considered acceptable as well as unacceptable use of the IEEE e-mail alias and email list service:

Acceptable Use

Direct E-mail Communication to Members & Customers IEEE staff or volunteers who use e-mail for direct communications must have agreement from the member/customer that they will accept information via e-mail. The staff or volunteer must provide (or take advantage of an existing) mechanism for receiving this permission from the member or customer.

Direct e-mail communications covered may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Informational announcements of new programs (e.g., GOLD activities, local seminars or events; Society, Section, Chapter, Region activities, Financial Advantage programs)
  • Announcements regarding changes to programs, services (e.g., subscription info, terms and conditions)
  • Fund-raising announcements (e.g., Life Member Fund, IEEE Foundation, History Center)
  • New product promotions (e.g., books, standards, merchandise, subscriptions)
  • Low cost/no cost inventory reduction promotions (e.g., net warehouse sale)
  • Conference-related announcements (e.g., registration, call for papers, special activities, tour programs)
  • Newsletters (an e-mail subscriber list is governed by the rules of IEEE e-mail list, as noted in policy procedures)
  • Surveys (e.g., IEEE member survey, library survey, Society membership needs assessment)
This document should not be construed as a roadblock to the use of e-mail for person-to-person, the above or other communications.

Collecting Permission for Direct E-mail Communication

The member or customer should self-select as a target for direct e-mail communications. This can happen in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:

  • Postcard announcement with response mechanism or other mailings to target member/customer group, asking for permission to communicate via e-mail.
  • Toll-free number, message center or Website registration for members or customers where they may "sign up" to receive various types of communications electronically.
  • "Welcome" or "appointment" letters or messages may incorporate this information.
  • On-site conference registry for information related to that conference, etc.
  • Via publications such as IEEE Spectrum, The Institute, etc.
  • Via membership renewal, invoice or statement processes.

In certain cases, the nature of a volunteer or staff position, or participation in a specific group, may come with the caveat that (all or some) communications occur via e-mail. Once this is made clear to the individuals - either at the time of joining or as the policy of that specific group, activity or office changes - the electronic communication is appropriate and would fit these criteria.

Some Examples of Proper Usage

  • Member requests that renewal information be provided electronically. IEEE provides that information via e-mail, at the e-mail alias or address on file.
  • Section members request that information on local activities be provided via e-mail. These aliases are provided to the Section via SAMIeee program. Section announcements are provided electronically to the requesting Section member.
  • Attendees at an IEEE conference are asked if they would like to receive future notices regarding similar conferences via e-mail. E-mail addresses or aliases are collected, and this communication is disseminated via electronic mail list.
  • A print newsletter editor decides to "go electronic". Print subscribers (or recipients) are asked if they would prefer to receive the print or the electronic version, and their aliases or addresses are collected. The newsletter is sent via e-mail. Those receiving the electronic version do not need to be asked with each issue if e-mail is their preferred method.
  • Members/customers asked - via online bookstore, response postcard mailing, conference signup or other means - if they would like to be kept informed of new titles in their field. Only print notices may be sent, unless the member/customer is specifically asked if they would like to receive such announcements electronically.

Unacceptable Use

  • Illegal Material
    Do not send e-mail that contains any information that is illegal (e.g., copyright violations, trade secrets, and obscene material), harassing or threatening. Additionally, be aware that the transit of material into, or through, other countries may be required to comply with the law in that country. In some cases, this may include the transmission of encrypted messages
  • Chain Letters, Pyramid Selling, and Multi-Level Marketing Schemes
    These are similar to the paper and mail-based letters that make these claims. Typical abuse of this sort includes the "Make Money Quick" scams. These not only waste resources, they are illegal in certain countries and may render the poster liable to prosecution.
  • Unsolicited External Commercial E-mail
    Unsolicited external commercial e-mail, commonly referred to as spam, is advertising material sent without the recipient either requesting or denying receipt of such information or otherwise expressing an interest in the material advertised. Since many Internet users use a dial-up connection and pay for their online time, receipt of unsolicited external commercial advertising costs them money and is particularly unwelcome.
  • Electioneering
    Using @ieee.org mailing list aliases for the purpose of promoting an election campaign is forbidden.
  • Confidential Material
    It is inappropriate to send confidential information via e-mail since e-mail is not private and it can be read by anyone with the proper tools.
  • Unrequested Binary Messages
    The majority of e-mail users are not able to select messages based on size and therefore such e-mails result in a significant waste of resources.
  • Forged Headers and/or Addresses
    It is a grave abuse of the e-mail system if a message is sent that implies the sender can be contacted at an e-mail, postal, or fax address that is not under the direct control of the sender.
  • Electronic Mail Bombing
    Electronic mail bombing is sending multiple e-mail messages, or one or more large e-mail messages, with the sole intent of annoying and/or seeking revenge on a fellow Internet user.
  • Resale or Commercial Use of Service
    Your right to use the Service is personal to you. You may not allow any third person to use the Service. You may not resell or make any commercial use of the Service.

Due to the time taken to download it, sending long e-mail messages to sites without prior agreement can amount to denial of service, or it can create an inability to access e-mail at the receiving site. Note that if binary attachments are added to the e-mail, this may increase the size of the message considerably. If a prior arrangement has not been made, the mail will be extremely unwelcome.

Denial of Service Attacks

Denial of service is any activity that prevents a host on the Internet from making full and effective use of their facilities.
This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Mail bombing an address in such a way to make Internet access impossible, difficult, or costly.
  • Opening an unnecessarily large number of mail connections to the same mail host or making a connection to a SMTP relay (sometimes known as a smarthost) without authorization or permission.
  • Sending e-mail designed to damage the target system when executed or opened; for example, sending malicious programs or viruses attached to an e-mail.
  • Sending e-mail that is designed to cause confusion, consternation, fear, uncertainty, or doubt, such as fake virus warnings.

Mailing List Subscriptions

Never subscribe anyone other than yourself to a mailing list.
You must be aware of how to remove yourself from a mailing list in the event that you alter your e-mail address or discontinue your e-mail service.

If you have any further questions about the IEEE E-mail Acceptable Use Practices, please contact email-aup@ieee.org