Browse Prior Art Database

Ethics and the Internet (RFC1087) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001896D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 3K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: AUTHOR [+1]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1087: DOI


This memo is a statement of policy by the Internet Activities Board (IAB) concerning the proper use of the resources of the Internet.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 58% of the total text.

Network Working Group Internet Activities Board Request for Comments: 1087 January 1989

Ethics and the Internet

Status of this Memo

This memo is a statement of policy by the Internet Activities Board (IAB) concerning the proper use of the resources of the Internet. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


At great human and economic cost, resources drawn from the U.S. Government, industry and the academic community have been assembled into a collection of interconnected networks called the Internet. Begun as a vehicle for experimental network research in the mid- 1970’s, the Internet has become an important national infrastructure supporting an increasingly widespread, multi-disciplinary community of researchers ranging, inter alia, from computer scientists and electrical engineers to mathematicians, physicists, medical researchers, chemists, astronomers and space scientists.

As is true of other common infrastructures (e.g., roads, water reservoirs and delivery systems, and the power generation and distribution network), there is widespread dependence on the Internet by its users for the support of day-to-day research activities.

The reliable operation of the Internet and the responsible use of its resources is of common interest and concern for its users, operators and sponsors. Recent events involving the hosts on the Internet and in similar network infrastructures underscore the need to reiterate the professional responsibility every Internet user bears to colleagues and to the sponsors of the system. Many of the Internet resources are provided by the U.S. Government. Abuse of the system thus becomes a Federal matter above and beyond simple professional ethics.

IAB Statement of Policy

The Internet is a national facility whose utility is largely a consequence of its wide availability and accessibility. Irresponsible use of this critical resource poses an enormous threat to its continued availability to the technical community.

The U.S. Government sponsors of this system have a fiduciary responsibility to the public to allocate government resources wisely

Internet Activities Board [Page 1]

RFC 1087 Ethics and the Internet January 1989

and effectively. Justification for the support of this system suffers when highly disruptiv...