Internet Privacy in Nepal and Internet Service Providers (ISP)
"The right to privacy... is the most comprehensive of
and the right most valued by civilized man"
- Justice Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court, 1928
In fact, according to International law, it is not illegal for anyone to view
or disclose an electronic communication if the communication is "readily
accessible" to the public".
Our Privacy guarantee to you : Your privacy is guarantee. We do not hold any information about you. Visiting this site, reading any articles/news from this site, leaving comments of forum or chat are completely independent from us. We hold no information from it; we use no any script to track your IP. You are completely safe surfing this site.
Visiting any web site is not illegal (www.eff.org ,www.cdt.org , www.privacyrights.org, www.epic.org) and if Mercantile do not announce that Mercantile is not collecting any data, then you should change your ISP. MOS must announce that they don't violate any users privacy,
Some international Privacy issues are listed below, keep refreshing your browser for update.
Mercantile terms and conditions
...Where is your Trust-e Certificate ?????>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://www.mos.com.np/ppp.htm (Copied on 29 June 2001, 3.26 NST)
Terms And Conditions For Cybertrail Access Account
- Usage is calculated on actual connection time during peak hours, off- peak hours and wee hours for the month at Rs. 1.50, Rs. 1.25 and Rs.1.00 per minute respectively. Rebate up to the monthly free usage rupees shown in the above table, will be given to offset the actual month’s usage charge.
- Minimum charge will be calculated at 1 minute and all additional time will be rounded to the additional minute.
- There will be no additional charge for volume traffic. The same rates will apply on all days of the week.
- Initial installation of the communication software and support will be done free of the cost up to two months. This is applicable to only one machine.
- There will be a consultation fee after the initial installation for all other technical (hardware/software) support. Support is available free of cost at Mercantile Communications premises and Rs. 250/hr at the client’s site after two months. Support by e-mail is free of cost.
- A security deposit of Rs. 2000.00 will have to be made at the time of registration. This amount will be refunded when the subscriber terminates the subscription and all dues have been settled.
- Payment is due 7days after the bill is sent. Account is in default if payment is not received within 15 days after the date of the bill. The user who has not paid his/her bills for over 30 days after the sending of the bill may have his/her account disabled.
- Service may be disrupted to conduct maintenance. An effort will be made to forewarn the users of any disruption of the service whenever possible.
- The user shall protect the secrecy of the users identification and/ or password assigned to him/her at all times and shall ensure that same is not revealed or disclosed in any, manner to any person. The user shall be fully responsible for and shall bear all charges, losses or damages arising from any use of his user identification and/ or password however the same may arise.
- The subscription period if expired is automatically renewed if the user use his/her account after the expiry of subscription.
- The user shall at all time use only his/her own user-id and password for accessing the Service.
- The service may only be used for lawful purposes. Transmission /reception of any material in violation of any Nepalese law is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, copyright material, material legally judged to be threatening or obscene or material protected by trade secret. The service may not be used for any unlawful purpose such as, but limited to, vice, gambling or other criminal purposes whatsoever nor for sending/receiving from any person any message which is offensive on moral, religious, communal or political grounds, or is abusive or of any indecent, obscene or menacing character, or for persistently sending message without reasonable case or for causing any threat, harassment, annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to any person.
- The user may not attempt to gain access to any computer system connected to Internet without authorization by the owner of the computer system; and use the service to access information or resources which are private to individuals and organizations unless permission to do so has been granted by the owners of holders of the rights to such resources and information.
- The user shall, when accessing any other network through the Service, comply with the rules appropriate for such other network.
- Use of any other information obtained via the service is at your own risk. The service is not responsible for the accuracy or the quality of information obtained through the service.
- The rate scheme is exclusive of all taxes.
- Use of the service constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Mercantile Communication reserves the right to discontinue any account that does not abide to this agreement.
America Online, Inc. is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of consumers of its interactive products and services. Throughout cyberspace, we want to contribute to providing a safe and secure environment for consumers, and in particular, ensure that kids' information is protected.
Information About All AOL Anywhere Visitors
Information About You
Special Attention to Kids
TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit initiative whose mission is to build users' trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the principles of disclosure and informed consent. Because this site wants to demonstrate its commitment to your privacy, it has agreed to disclose its information practices and have its privacy practices reviewed and audited for compliance by TRUSTe. When you visit a Web site displaying the TRUSTe mark, you can expect to be notified of:
|Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
1717 Kettner Ave. Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92101
Voice: (619) 298-3396
Fax: (619) 298-5681
If you have access to a computer and a modem, you are licensed to drive on the information superhighway. And you are one of a growing number of online participants. According to a Nielsen survey (August 1998), 70 million adults, or one-third of Americans over age 16, use the Internet. This is an increase of 18 million from the previous year.
The information superhighway can bring many benefits to our daily lives. Unfortunately, it may create many new threats to our personal privacy as well. Unless you know the privacy "rules of the road," your online activity may lead to significant privacy problems.
If you are new to online communications, turn directly to page 7 of this fact sheet for a list of online privacy terms. Otherwise, read on.
What are "online communications?"
"Online communications" are communications over telephone or cable networks using computers. Examples of online communications include connecting to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP), connecting to a commercial online service such as America Online, Compuserve, or Prodigy, or dialing into a computer bulletin board service (BBS). Increasingly, the differences between ISPs, the commercial services, and BBSs are blurring. The larger commercial services and many BBSs now provide Internet access.
The Internet raises some unique privacy concerns. Information sent over this vast network may pass through dozens of different computer systems on the way to its destination. Each of these systems may be managed by a different system operator ("sysop"), and each system may be capable of capturing and storing online communications. Furthermore, the online activities of Internet users can potentially be monitored, both by their own service provider and by the sysops of any sites on the Internet which they visit.
ISPs, commercial services, and BBSs are managed by sysops who may have different attitudes toward online privacy. Additionally, there are a tremendous variety of activities provided by all types of online services, each of which may raise specific privacy concerns.
What level of privacy can I expect in my online activity?
Often the level of privacy you can expect from an online activity will be clear from the nature of that activity. Sometimes, however, an activity that appears to be private may not be. There are virtually no online activities or services that guarantee an absolute right of privacy.
Many online activities are open to public inspection. Engaging in these types of activities does not normally create an expectation of privacy. In fact, according to federal law, it is not illegal for anyone to view or disclose an electronic communication if the communication is "readily accessible" to the public(Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC § 2511(2)(g)(I)).
For example, a message you post to a public newsgroup or forum is available for anyone to view, copy, and store. In addition, your name, electronic mail (e-mail) address, and information about your service provider are usually available for inspection as part of the message itself. Most public postings made on the Internet are archived in searchable databases(see "For More Information," page 8). Thus, on the Internet, your public messages can be accessed by anyone at anytime -- even years after the message was originally written.
Other public activities may allow your message to be sent to multiple recipients. Online newsletters, for example, are usually sent to a mailing list of subscribers. If you wish to privately reply to a message posted in an online newsletter, be sure you address it specifically to that person's address, not to the newsletter address. Otherwise, you might find that your message has been sent to everyone on the newsletter mailing list.
You should not expect that your service account information will be kept private. Most services provide online "member directories" which publicly list all subscribers to the service. Some of these directories may list additional personal information. Even individuals with direct Internet accounts may be identified with commands such as "finger," which let anyone with Internet access find out who else is online. Most service providers will allow users to have their information removed from these directories upon request. Be aware that some service providers may sell their membership lists to direct marketers.
Often the presence of security or access safeguards on certain forums or services can lead users to believe that communications made within these services are private. For example, some bulletin board services maintain forums that are restricted to users who have a password. While communications made in these forums may initially be read only by the members with access, there is nothing preventing those members from recording the communications and later transmitting them elsewhere.
One example of this kind of activity is the real-time "chat" conference, in which participants type live messages directly to the computer screens of other participants. Often these activities are described as private by the service provider. However, chatline users may capture, store, and transmit these communications to others outside the chat service. Additionally, these activities are subject to the same monitoring exceptions which apply to "private" e-mail (see next section).
Virtually all online services offer some sort of "private" activity which allows subscribers to send personal e-mail messages to others. The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) makes it unlawful for anyone to read or disclose the contents of an electronic communication(18 USC § 2511). This law applies to e-mail messages.
However, there are three important exceptions to the ECPA.
Once a sysop has intercepted e-mail for any of these lawful reasons, the sysop generally may not disclose the contents to anyone other than the addressee. Certain exceptions to this disclosure prohibition exist. These exceptions include when any party to the message consents to disclosure, when disclosure is ordered by a court, or when the message appears to involve the commission of a crime (in which case disclosure is limited to the appropriate law enforcement officials).
A sysop does not violate the ECPA if the message is accidentally sent to the wrong person. (However, the sysop may be responsible for damages caused by negligence in operating the service.)
Law enforcement officials may access or disclose electronic communications only after receiving a court-ordered search warrant. Only certain officials may apply for this order, and a detailed procedure is set forth in the ECPA for granting the order(18 USC §§ 2516-2518). These provisions are relaxed for messages that have been stored in a system for over 180 days (18 USC § 2703).
Remember. Your e-mail message may be handled by several different online services during delivery. The sysop of each of these systems may view e-mail under the above exceptions to the ECPA. Additionally, the message may be intercepted if either the sender or recipient consents. So, even if you do not consent yourself, the person you sent the e-mail to may have consented to the disclosure of the message.
Can online services track and record my activity?
In a word, yes. Many types of online activities do not involve sending e-mail messages between parties. Internet users may retrieve information or documents from sites on the World Wide Web (WWW), or from "ftp" sites. Or users may simply "browse" these services without any other interaction. Many users expect that such activities are anonymous. They are not. It is possible to record many online activities, including which newsgroups or files a subscriber has accessed and which web sites a subscriber has visited. This information can be collected both by a subscriber's own service provider and by the sysops of remote sites which a subscriber visits.
When you are "surfing the web," many web sites deposit data about your visit, called "cookies," on your hard drive When you return to that site, the cookies data will reveal that you’ve been there before. The web site might offer you products or ads tailored to your interests, based on the contents of the cookies data.(See page 8 for more information about "cookies" filters.)
Records of subscriber "browsing patterns," also known as "transaction-generated information," are a potentially valuable source of revenue for online services. This information is useful to direct marketers as a basis for developing highly targeted lists of online users with similar likes and behaviors. It may also create the potential for "junk e-mail" and other marketing uses. Additionally, this information may be embarrassing for users who have accessed sensitive or controversial materials online.
The practice of collecting browsing patterns is increasing. Online users should be aware that this practice poses a significant threat to online privacy. Additionally, online users should educate themselves about what information is transmitted to remote computers by the software that they use to browse remote sites. Most World Wide Web browsers invisibly provide web site operators with information about a user's service provider, and with information about the location of other web sites a user has visited. Some web browsers are programmed to transmit a user's e-mail address to each web site a user visits. The major browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
The Federal Trade Commission is urging commercial web site operators to spell out their information collection practices in privacy policies posted on web sites. Many web sites now post information about their information-collection practices. You can look for a privacy "seal of approval," such as TRUSTe (www.truste.org), on the first page of the web site. TRUSTe participants agree to post their privacy policies and submit to audits of their privacy practices in order to display the logo.
Other seals of approval are offered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), www.bbbonline.org, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, WebTrust, www.aicpa.org/webtrust/index.htm. The BBB service has been adopted by a coalition of companies called the Online Privacy Alliance (www.privacyalliance.com)
In order for law enforcement officials to gain access to subscriber transactional records, they must obtain a court order demonstrating that the records are relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation(Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, 18 USC § 2703(d)). This provision prevents "fishing expeditions" by government officials, hoping to find evidence of crimes by accident.
Can an online service access information stored in my computer without my knowledge?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Many of the commercial online services will automatically download graphics and program upgrades to the user's home computer. News reports have documented the fact that certain online services have admitted to both accidental and intentional "prying" into the memory of home computers signing on to the service. In some cases, personal files have been copied and collected by the online services.
What can I do to protect my privacy in cyberspace?*
When you are sitting alone at your computer, "surfing the Net", sending electronic mail messages and participating in online forums, it's easy to be lulled into thinking that your activities are private. Be aware that at any step along the way, your online messages could be intercepted, and your activities monitored, in the vast untamed world of cyberspace.
1. Your account is only as secure as its password. Create passwords with nonsensical combinations of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, for example tY8%uX. Change your password frequently. Never write it down or give it to someone else. Don't let others watch you log in. Never leave your computer logged in unattended. Another way to create a password is to use the first or last letters in a favorite line of poetry. Intermingle these letters with numbers and punctuation mark. "Mary had a little lamb" becomes m*ha2ll or y!dae9b.
3. Shop around. Investigate new services before using them. Post a question about a new service in a dependable forum or newsgroup. Bad reputations get around quickly in cyberspace, so if others have had negative experiences with a service, you should get the message.
4. Assume that your online communications are NOT private unless you use powerful encryption. Do not send sensitive personal information (phone number, password, address, credit card number, vacation dates) by chat lines, forum postings, e-mail or in your online biography.
5. Be cautious of "start-up" software that makes an initial connection to the service for you. Often these programs require you to provide credit card numbers, checking account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other personal information, and then upload this information automatically to the service. Also, these programs may be able to access records in your computer without your knowledge. Contact the service for alternative subscription methods.
6. Note that public postings made on the Internet are often archived and saved for posterity. For example, it is possible to search and discover the postings an individual has made to Usenet newsgroups.(See information about the search tools DejaNews, Excite and Alta Vista on page 8.) This information can be used to create profiles of individuals for a variety of purposes, such as employment background checks and direct marketing.
7. Be aware that online activities leave electronic footprints for others to see, both at your own service provider and at any remote sites you visit. Your own service provider can determine what commands you have executed and track which sites you visit. Web site operators can often track the activities you engage in on their site, particularly at sites which ask you to "register" or otherwise provide personal information. Some web browsing software transmits less information to remote sites than other software. You can avoid leaving tracks when you send e-mail messages by using anonymous remailers.(See pages 7 and 8 for information about remailers.)
8. If your online service allows you to compile a list of favorite newsgroups, or lets you arrange newsgroups by priority, be aware that your sysop can monitor that list. Do not place controversial or sensitive newsgroups in this list if you want to avoid being connected to particular issues.
9. The "delete" command does not make your messages disappear. They can still be retrieved from back-up systems.
10. Be aware that others' online identities are not always what they seem. Many network users adopt one or more online disguises.
11. Your online biography, if you create one, may be searched system-wide or remotely "fingered" by anyone. If for any reason you need to safeguard your identity, don't create an online "bio." Ask the system operator of your service to remove you from its online directory.
12. If you publish information on a personal web page, note that direct marketers and others may collect your address, phone number, e-mail address and other information that you provide.
13. Be aware of the possible social dangers of being online: harassment, stalking, being "flamed" (emotional verbal attacks), or "spamming" (being sent frequent unsolicited messages). Women can be particularly vulnerable if their e-mail addresses are recognizable as women's names. Consider using gender-neutral online IDs.
14. If your children are online users, teach them about appropriate online privacy behavior. Caution them against revealing information about themselves or your family.(See page 8.)
15. Take advantage of privacy protection tools. There are several technologies which help online users protect their privacy. Discussed here are encryption, anonymous remailers and memory protection software.
An encrypted e-mail message cannot be read by the online service sysop, or anyone else who has obtained the message legally or illegally. Therefore, any message containing private or sensitive information should be encrypted prior to communicating it online. Various strong encryption programs, such as PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) are available online.(See page 8 for details.)
Because encryption prevents unauthorized access, law enforcement agencies have expressed concerns over the use of this technology, and Congress has considered legislation to create a "back door" to allow law enforcement officials to decipher encrypted messages. Users should be aware that the legal status of this technology is still unsettled. Moreover, exporting certain types of encryption code or descriptive information to other countries is limited by federal law.(International Traffic in Arms Regulations, 22 CFR § 121.1 et seq.). However, its use within the United States is not currently restricted.
Anonymous remailers. Because it is relatively easy to determine the name and e-mail address of anyone who posts messages or sends e-mail, the practice of using anonymous remailing programs has become more common. These programs receive e-mail, strip off all identifying information, then forward the mail to the appropriate address. There are several anonymous servers available on the Internet.(See page 8 for more information.)
Memory protection software. Software security programs are now available which help prevent unauthorized access to files on the home computer. For example, one program encrypts every directory with a different password so that to access any directory you must log in first. Then, if an online service provider tries to read any private files, it would be denied access. These programs may include an "audit trail" that records all activity on the computer's drives.
Glossary of Online TermsBBS - Stands for Bulletin Board System. A local computer that can be called directly with a modem. Usually they are privately operated, and offer various services depending on the owner and the users. Often a BBS is not connected to a network of other computers, but increasingly BBSs are offering Internet access.
Browser - Software that enables you to navigate the Internet and visit web sites. The major browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Commercial Online Service - A service in which users pay a certain fee to dial into what is essentially a very large BBS. These services provide a wide range of conferences, forums, software files, news and information, as well as e-mail service. Examples include Prodigy, Compuserve, America Online, the Microsoft Network, and others. Many of these services offer access to the Internet.
Cookies - A feature of many web browsers defined as client-side persistent information. Cookies allow web sites to store information about your visit to that site on your hard drive. Then when you return, cookies will read your hard drive to find out if you have been there before. The web site might offer you products or ads tailored to your interests, based on the contents of the cookies data.
Cyberspace - The "place" where online activities occur. Commentators have noted that many of the activities that take place online are analogous to activities that occur in physical space. These online activities are said to take place in cyberspace.
FTP - Stands for File Transfer Protocol. A system of file storage on the Internet that allows users to upload or download entire files.
Internet - An immense global network of computers. The Internet is not owned by any one entity, but rather owners of individual computer systems agree to participate in it. Users with an account with one of these computers generally may connect with any other computer on the network.
ISP - Stands for Internet Service Provider. A service that provides subscribers with direct access to the Internet. Some of the larger ISPs include Netcom, Pipeline, and Earthlink. Many small, local ISPs exist.
Junk e-mail - Unsolicited commercial electronic mail, also know as "spam."
Modem - Acronym for modulator/demodulator. Equipment which converts the digital signals of your computer (the 1s and 0s) into analog signals which can be transmitted over the telephone network, and vice-versa.
Newsgroups - Newsgroups are lists of messages from users grouped by specific topics. Usenet is a network of thousands of these electronic conferences which may be accessed on the Internet. Most commercial services and BBSs have similar public forums.
Online - Connected to a computer network.
Search engine - A function that enables you to search for information and web sites, often using keywords.
URL - Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. URLs are unique addresses assigned to every location on the Internet. URLs for web pages begin with the letters "http://" usually followed by "www" and the remainder of the address. The URL of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is http://www.privacyrights.org. It is becoming more common to omit the "http://."
Web site - A location on the World Wide Web which can be visited by Internet users employing software called a browser. Every web page is identified by a unique address, called a URL.
WWW - Stands for World Wide Web. This powerful tool for accessing the Internet combines graphics, "point and click" navigation commands, and a method of linking many different sites to allow users to quickly and easily search for information on the Internet.
For More InformationSeveral public interest groups advocate on behalf of online users. They also have extensive information about privacy issues available via their online archives.
1634 I St. N.W. #1100, Washington, DC 20006.
P.O Box 717, Palo Alto, CA 94302
1550 Bryant Street #725, San Francisco, CA 94103
666 Pennsylvania Ave. SE #301, Washington, DC 20003
1717 Kettner Ave. #105, San Diego, CA 92101
Several online newsletters discuss cyberspace privacy issues:
To see a demonstration of the kind of information that can
be compiled about you when you surf the web, visit the site of the
Center for Democracy and Technology, www.cdt.org.
It also lists the privacy policies of the major online service
providers: AOL, Compuserve, Msnet and Prodigy.
To learn more about anonymous Web browsing, visit the Web site www.anonymizer.com.
For information about anonymous remailers, the following online resource is helpful: "Anonymous Remailers FAQ," compiled by Andre Bacard, www.andrebacard.com/remail.html.
To see examples of powerful search engines available to find public postings made on the Internet, visit these Web sites: Alta Vista at www.altavista.com, DejaNews at www.dejanews.com, and Excite at www.excite.com.
If your children are online users, request the free brochure, "Child Safety on the Information Highway," from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Voice: 800-843-5678. Web: www.safekids.com. Learn more about "parental control" software by visiting the web site "Resources for Internet Parents," www.netparents.org. See also PRC Fact Sheet no. 21, "Children in Cyberspace: A Privacy Resource Guide."
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Fact Sheet 18: Privacy In Cyberspace
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