Abuse @ NearlyFreeSpeech.NET


General Information

Due to our libertarian Terms & Conditions of Service we allow many things that other hosting companies do not. Consequently, we receive a large number of abuse complaints. Unfortunately, most of them are spurious or non-actionable. This page will help you determine whether to submit an abuse complaint, how to do so, what supporting material you will need to include, and what to expect afterward.

Despite the relatively few restrictions in our Terms & Conditions of Service, there is one particularly important point for abuse issues. When our members upload content to our service, they are asserting two things:

  • That the content is legal in the United States.
  • That they have the legal right to make the content available.

As part of the contractual relationship formed with our members before they upload content, they are legally obligated to adhere to these two restrictions. It is typical for us to receive complaints alleging that our members have violated this contract with a certain degree of skepticism. However, members do occasionally violate our Terms & Conditions, and we react appropriately to such betrayals of our trust.

We will not usually be able to respond in any specific way to an abuse complaint. Our Privacy Policy prevents us from discussing our interactions with our members, including adverse actions we may take in response to abuse complaints.

Please do not assume that we support or endorse all the content posted by our members. We believe that freedom of speech is the inalienable right of all people. Consequently, we do not censor our members on the basis of content, no matter how offensive or repugnant we may personally find that content to be. Our company would have to have a different name if we only allowed members to publish uncontroversial content that we happen to agree with.

Specific Types of Abuse Issues

A NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member site has reproduced my copyrighted content without authorization.

Please see our page of DMCA notification guidelines.

A NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member site is defaming me or otherwise injuring me civilly, or is infringing my non-copyright intellectual property rights.

Please forward a certified copy of your legal finding from a court of competent jurisdiction to our correspondence address. If you have not yet obtained such a finding, a preliminary injunction or court order is typically also sufficient.

If you are not able to obtain the above, you will need to work directly with the site operator to resolve your differences. We will have to fall back on our members' contractual assertion that the content they upload is legitimate and therefore we will not be able to get involved.

A NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member site has content that is illegal in the United States.

If you are aware of criminal activity, your first step should always be to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. Only the police can enforce the law.

If you are a US law enforcement official working on a criminal investigation and you need our assistance, please contact abuse@NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. For fastest response, along with your identity, please provide your office switchboard number.

So that we can comply with our Privacy Policy, we will need a viable subpoena, warrant, or court order, depending on the specific circumstances, before we can provide any information. You are welcome to contact us in advance to discuss the information you will need, which can help minimize delay and tailor the scope of the information sought. However, we will need the final subpoena, warrant, or order to be properly served before we can turn over any information about our members.

If you are not a law enforcement official, keep in mind that neither are we. We are not in any way trained or qualified to investigate or fight crime. Therefore, it is not appropriate to send accusations of illegal activity directly to us, and such accusations will generally have to be discarded. You must contact the appropriate law enforcement office. Then, they can contact us if appropriate.

A NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member site has content that is illegal in my country (not the United States).

As above, your first action if you are aware of criminal activity should be to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.

If you are a law enforcement official from a country other than the United States, please contact us at abuse@NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. If the crime you are investigating would also be illegal in the United States, we reserve the right to voluntarily cooperate. In such cases, you will need to obtain the equivalent of a subpoena for your jurisdiction, and we may choose to voluntarily comply, but all situations are handled on a case-by-case basis.

A NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member site contains offensive content.

At NearlyFreeSpeech.NET we firmly believe that censorship is a dangerous and misguided approach to the problems of society. We believe that the price we pay for the huge number of fantastic sites we host are a few sites that we feel are significantly less fantastic.

We believe that the price you pay for living in what we hope is a free society is that when you encounter something offensive, you must resist the urge to censor it and instead research, investigate, and speak out passionately in opposition to it. That is the essence of free speech.

Please do not send us abuse complaints of this nature. We will discard them.

You should also check out our MFFAM policy, as it is directly related to the hosting of offensive content.

I received spam that originated from a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET server.

While we passionately support free speech, spamming is not a form of speech. Speech becomes spam because of the way it is distributed: not the what, but the how. Spamming is an action, and is not an action we support or allow.

In most cases, spam that originates from a server we control is the result of an exploitable script uploaded by one of our members. In such cases, we react as quickly as possible to disable the affected script and notify them, but complaints can help us differentiate spam from regular mailing list traffic, so please forward the spammed message in its entirety (including full headers) to us at abuse@NearlyFreeSpeech.NET.

A NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member site is hosting a phishing page.

This is very rare, but it does happen, usually because a member uploads an insecure script to their site which is subsequently hijacked.

Please contact abuse@NearlyFreeSpeech.NET with the exact URL of the phishing page and the URL of the site being impersonated. We will investigate promptly and take appropriate action.

We will not provide specific information or copies of phishing content in response to email requests. If your organization is being impersonated, we will need you to provide a way to verify that you are authorized to receive such information on behalf of your organization. If the phishing occurs on a compromised site belonging to one of our members, We will also need to obtain the permission of the affected member to give you copies of any information gathered from their site, but this has never been an issue.