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  1. #1
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    Large amount of pornography

    After going through our accounts and briefly viewing the websites we host to make sure there isn't and "bad" content, I have noticed the there is a lot of pornography on our servers. Are there any rules or regulations I should note in our policies? Any suggestions would help. Thanks
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  2. #2
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    i would just add in your AUP/TOS

    "We do not Allow Adult/Pornographic Content, Your Account will be warned then suspended" thats what i did under my hosting plans.

    regards
    Kane

  3. #3
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    Well, we have been going through every pornographic site that is hosted on our servers, and they all are "normal" nothing out of the ordinary I guess. They are paying customers. I didn't know if there were any legal issues I as the hosting provider needs to look into or look out for.
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  4. #4
    Well child pornography is a huge no no. I also believe you need them to post warnings on age limits and restrictions in certain countries.

  5. #5
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    Ok, I knew that child pornography is a BIG no no , I just want to cover myself and my company just in case. So then that pretty much it, We need to make sure they post age limits and restrictions on their sites, and as long as that is stated in my policies then we should be fine...correct?
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  6. #6
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    id agree with that, send out emails to your clients reminding them off these issues.

    goodluck

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hartzellbrent View Post
    After going through our accounts and briefly viewing the websites we host to make sure there isn't and "bad" content, I have noticed the there is a lot of pornography on our servers. Are there any rules or regulations I should note in our policies? Any suggestions would help. Thanks
    So you're randomly snooping through your clients accounts. Good to know, I'm sure your future clients will love to see this thread before they order.

  8. #8
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    There are a lot of people on WHT that are weary of hosting pornographic websites, but honestly we've never had any trouble. The people who run websites that have illegal content usually host it in a country in which they know it will not be easy for them to get shut down.

    The majority of webmasters who run adult websites are great to work with. On the whole, they are pretty technically savvy and they tend to use more bandwidth (which means you can make more money off of them). I would add a line to your TOS/AUP that says you allow LEGAL adult content hosted in your servers if you wish to continue hosting it.
    I post on WHT strictly for sig views

  9. #9
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    Rossh, We are not "randomly snooping" through customers accounts. We do not log into their control panels. We have a list of all domains and we individually look at each website that is on our servers.
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  10. #10
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    I don't think he ment that in a bad way? I'm sure most hosts give their sites an occasional overview to make sure everything is going okay.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH View Post
    So you're randomly snooping through your clients accounts. Good to know, I'm sure your future clients will love to see this thread before they order.
    As I stated already. We do not "snoop" through our customers accounts. We do not log into them. We view every account that we host. (the website)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartzellbrent View Post
    As I stated already. We do not "snoop" through our customers accounts. We do not log into them. We view every account that we host. (the website)
    I think 'accounts' was taken out of context, and was interpreted as 'home folders'.

    Viewing websites stored on your system is perfectly acceptable, through publicly available means. WHM even links them conveniently from the List Accounts page.

    You will probably want to check with your upstream provider that legal adult content is acceptable on their network.

  13. #13
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    You might want to review / add to your TOS that if your customers do provide adult content, that content is in no way affiliated with your company and your company does not provide the content. This would potentially help you in case a (web hosting) competitor contacts your Internet Payment Service Provider or merchant account provider claiming you are providing this content.

    This way, it is known and you state you have no affiliation with the content. Otherwise, it could be stated you are providing this content and this would make you in violation of your (credit card) processing agreement. Normally, when you sign up for a merchant account (or IPSP), your NAICS would be 7372 with that company.

    Providing adult content is a different NAICS of course and this would make you in violation of your contract.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH View Post
    So you're randomly snooping through your clients accounts. Good to know, I'm sure your future clients will love to see this thread before they order.
    What a silly statement. The sites are public. He has a right to know that his clients are sticking to the TOS, doesn't he? You know landlords inspect their properties, right?

    I'm sure clients looking to scam or host illegal content will love to see this thread, since they know you'll never check up on what they are doing...your service will be huge in certain circles.

    To the OP... you already have adult content on there now. If you don't mind it, then just keep on top of the legal side of things. If you ever want to phase it out, you can modify the TOS, but you would still have existing adult sites in the mix. Perhaps you can compensate the webmasters for migrating to more adult friendly services, or work something out with them to let them know that in a certain period of time, your company will be phasing out adult sites.

    Let them know that you will no longer be renewing any expiring long term hosting contracts for adult sites, and that by a certain date, no more adult content will be accepted for hosting.

    That way they have time to shop around while still maintaining their sites, whether they're month to month or long term clients.

  15. #15
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    Thank you. I don't want to get rid of them, I want to make sure I am clear of any legal issues. Other than the fact that they use a lot of bandwidth, they are great customers.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH View Post
    So you're randomly snooping through your clients accounts. Good to know, I'm sure your future clients will love to see this thread before they order.
    lol, ease up. I'd rather see someone proactive with this type of thing then posting about losing their servers, etc.

    /whine

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mekhu View Post
    lol, ease up. I'd rather see someone proactive with this type of thing then posting about losing their servers, etc.

    /whine
    Exactly what I was thinking
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  18. #18
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    As long as it's legal and meets your TOS it should be fine. As long as they pay for the bandwidth and you have enough to supply, whats the big deal?
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  19. #19
    I would not recommend hosting adult materials on your shared hosting. The problems with those types of websites are not just the legality of the content, but rather hacking, attacks, spam and a lot more to follow. By putting adult materials on your shared servers, you are constantly endangering all the other of users on the same servers. So the best option would be to kindly ask the client to upgrade to a dedicated server plan, if not, you may have to cancel his service. Just my 2cents.

  20. #20
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    The laws vary, and I'm no lawyer...but I've heard that in the U.S. as long as the site has records for the age of the "models" (what the model, I don't know) then they're pretty much in the clear. The sites aren't currently responsible for policing who can visit the site...i.e. they don't have to verify that you are 18 to view it...as COPA has been shot down repeatedly in the courts.

    So, you'd be wise to verify, but I think you're pretty safe.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarElement View Post
    I would not recommend hosting adult materials on your shared hosting. The problems with those types of websites are not just the legality of the content, but rather hacking, attacks, spam and a lot more to follow. By putting adult materials on your shared servers, you are constantly endangering all the other of users on the same servers. So the best option would be to kindly ask the client to upgrade to a dedicated server plan, if not, you may have to cancel his service. Just my 2cents.
    That's the worse thing he could do, and would show how irresponsible of a host you are, to cancel a paying customer, who hasn't broken any policies or laws, because you THINK they may be targets.

    If you didn't know they were hosting adult content, and have had no problems out of them, why worry? If they're using a lot of bandwidth, isn't that a good thing? I know it's bad if you oversell...
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH View Post
    So you're randomly snooping through your clients accounts. Good to know, I'm sure your future clients will love to see this thread before they order.
    There is nothing wrong with browsing the sites of your clients.

  23. #23
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    To the one(s) who were complaining about randomly snooping through customer accounts...do you realize how common this is? Also, do you realize how GOOD of a practice this is? Many host's make it a habit to randomly check site's.

    What if someone came and bought hosting from you only to post child pornography on YOUR server?
    What if someone came and bought hosting from you only to go and post ILLEGAL music mp3's and movies on your website?

    The list goes on and on and this is exactly why it is good practice to do random checks on your site's. It's not like you are snooping through their webmail or making changes to their site. You are just protecting yourself, as well as your other clients.

  24. #24
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    I'd love to see a statement from your legal team stating that they agree what you're doing is a "GOOD" or ethical practice.

    I'd have to disagree with your assessment that you're significantly protecting yourself or your other clients.

    You're more likely to open yourself to more liability by "snooping".

    Checking to see if the services your provide are working correctly is great... but you seem to be supporting much more intrusive privacy invasion.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH View Post
    So you're randomly snooping through your clients accounts. Good to know, I'm sure your future clients will love to see this thread before they order.
    Ross, there's nothing illegal, unethical or immoral about a host checking what content is being hosted on their server. Most hosts would/should be vigilant as to what their servers are being used for, us included.
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  26. #26
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  27. #27
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    A host has a right to view any and all contents of a customer's site/account in order to ensure legal compliance and server security. My customers can read this thread if they would like, i'm really not worried.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by eviltechie View Post
    The laws vary, and I'm no lawyer...but I've heard that in the U.S. as long as the site has records for the age of the "models" (what the model, I don't know) then they're pretty much in the clear. The sites aren't currently responsible for policing who can visit the site...i.e. they don't have to verify that you are 18 to view it...as COPA has been shot down repeatedly in the courts.
    You are talking about U.S.C. 2257 which states that all websites that have adult content must have copies of state issued identification for the model which shows they were 18 or older at the time of the shoot.

    This is not the hosts responsibility. It is the website owners responsibility.

    The websites must also have a warning page stating that the website contains adult material and you must agree that you are 18 or older before you can enter the website.
    I post on WHT strictly for sig views

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRCCo Jeff View Post
    A host has a right to view any and all contents of a customer's site/account in order to ensure legal compliance and server security. My customers can read this thread if they would like, i'm really not worried.
    I agree totally.
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  30. #30
    When I was in hosting, some accounts were pornography. Alot of them were subscription based, so we REQUIRED them to provide us with a login/pw that we checked once a month to insure it is in fact 18+ yr old.


    We did however run into a guy who was doing child pornography. We suspended his account and charged him a $100 fee for not reporting that it was a pornography site. (we charged a $100 deposit fee for any high risk website). We emailed him and said his content was unacceptable and he was strongly urged to remove that section.

    He then said he was going to sue us for not providing a service he paid for.

    We then called local authorities and he was arrested.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GUI-Admin View Post
    We did however run into a guy who was doing child pornography. We suspended his account and charged him a $100 fee for not reporting that it was a pornography site.
    Say what now?
    You took money not to report a child pornographer?
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  32. #32
    We have never snooped through peoples files, however we did perform daily virus scans, and were sometimes obligated to go through theire files and quarentine the file.

    However, we DID view theire websites to make sure nothing is "bad". Which could be considered public information.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    Say what now?
    You took money not to report a child pornographer?
    Would that be legal ?
    I'm sure that type of action would not be dreamt of by Any Parent
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  34. #34
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    Back to the Original Question of the thread starter,
    what If the server provider doesn't allows adult content ????
    Without having a confirmation from your end provider you might be putting everybody else on that shared server at RISK.

    Most good hosting companies do keep a eye on whats going inside their network/servers.

    If a hosting provider is viewing a website using a public access URL, i don't think its Illegal, maybe some lawyer can chime in and prove how come a host is not allowed to access any website which is LIVE on internet, publically accessible from search engines, banners or whatever but shouldn't be viewed cause you are the hosting provider !!!!.

    As for my network, i simply don't allow ADULT content, So if there's a report for such activity, customer is Immediately Cancelled and removed as stated in the TOS, no matter how good he's paying, what is not acceptable as per one's TOS, should NOT BE ACCEPTED.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GUI-Admin View Post
    We have never snooped through peoples files, however we did perform daily virus scans, and were sometimes obligated to go through theire files and quarentine the file.

    However, we DID view theire websites to make sure nothing is "bad". Which could be considered public information.
    No no no, dude, wait.. You missed the question.

    You had a client/customer hosting child pornography pay you a $100 fee so you DIDN'T report them to the police/authorities? What the hell...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh A View Post
    No no no, dude, wait.. You missed the question.

    You had a client/customer hosting child pornography pay you a $100 fee so you DIDN'T report them to the police/authorities? What the hell...
    Where else but on the internet is the price of keeping quiet about Child Pornography, only $100.
    Children are Priceless, WTF was GUI-Admin thinking ?
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by GUI-Admin View Post
    We did however run into a guy who was doing child pornography. We suspended his account and charged him a $100 fee for not reporting that it was a pornography site. (we charged a $100 deposit fee for any high risk website). We emailed him and said his content was unacceptable and he was strongly urged to remove that section.
    I think what he meant was he charged them $100 for lying about not having child pornography. That was the way I took it anyways.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by larwilliams View Post
    I think what he meant was he charged them $100 for lying about not having child pornography. That was the way I took it anyways.
    So you think when he said
    We suspended his account and charged him a $100 fee for not reporting that it was a pornography site. (we charged a $100 deposit fee for any high risk website). We emailed him and said his content was unacceptable and he was strongly urged to remove that section.
    He meant to say:
    We did however run into a guy who was doing child pornography. We suspended his account and then charged him a $100 fee for not reporting to us, that it was a pornography site. (we charged a $100 deposit fee for any high risk website).

    Am I mind reading correctly ? or is this version just wishful thinking ?

    We emailed him and said his content was unacceptable and he was strongly urged to remove that section.
    Why would your be so polite to this scumbag ?
    Just terminate his account & report him to the authorities, then if you want, you can tell him, although I'd wait until he's in jail before I told him, don't give him any warning he's about to be 'busted'.
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  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    So you think when he said
    He meant to say:
    We did however run into a guy who was doing child pornography. We suspended his account and then charged him a $100 fee for not reporting to us, that it was a pornography site. (we charged a $100 deposit fee for any high risk website).

    Am I mind reading correctly ? or is this version just wishful thinking ?

    We emailed him and said his content was unacceptable and he was strongly urged to remove that section.
    Why would your be so polite to this scumbag ?
    Just terminate his account & report him to the authorities, then if you want, you can tell him, although I'd wait until he's in jail before I told him, don't give him any warning he's about to be 'busted'.


    We charged $100 to all high risk websites. That $100 was basically a full refundable deposit (if the hostee were to go elsewhere). It was simply to be a "down payment" to any server damage that may happen. (Hackers). IF he broke the law, the $100 is then non refunded.

    We suspended the site, told him to disable the section (he had other legit sections). He refused. Without a prior warning to him, we than contacted the authorities, and gave the police login information to view the content without bringing the site online to the public.

  40. #40
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    Ah, then I misunderstood what you posted, and owe you an apology.

    However...if we learn of child porn on our systems, it will be removed immediately, the site suspended and the authorities contacted. No tolerance whatsoever for that.
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