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New Terms and Conditions as RIPE Atlas Becomes Production Service

Vesna Manojlovic — 15 Sep 2014
RIPE Atlas is transitioning from a pilot project to a production service. As such, we want to clarify the terms and conditions that describe the use of the service and spell out both the user's and the RIPE NCC's obligations. Here we present a draft of these terms and ask for feedback, as we want to ensure we keep the community involved in every step of the process.

Update

Update: as of 2 March 2015, new RIPE Atlas Terms and Conditions come into effect.

Introduction

We're aiming to move RIPE Atlas to a full production service in January 2015. While moving towards the production service, we have drafted RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions.

You can find the draft RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions here. 

We encourage community feedback on the MAT Working Group Mailing List , and when the MAT Working Group Chairs have determined that consensus has been reached, a final version of this document will be published. 

Background

RIPE Atlas currently operates under the  "Pilot Service Rules"  used during the pilot project, as well as the description of RIPE Atlas operational practices currently on the website (documented, for the most part, in the Frequently Asked Questions section). At the same time, the most relevant aspects of the which measurement is public versus non-public are available in this RIPE Labs article: Proposing Making RIPE Atlas Data More Public.

We want to collect the most important aspects, such as rights and obligations, in one document, and make it as clear and succinct as possible. The draft RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions reflect the current operational practices, while additionally covering liabilities of both the RIPE NCC and RIPE Atlas hosts.

Our goals in transitioning to the RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions are to:
  • Clarify the mutual responsibilities and expectations between probe and anchor hosts, RIPE Atlas users and the RIPE NCC
  • Align this documentation with other legal documents of the RIPE NCC
  • Reflect the RIPE NCC's operational practices
  • Have the documents ready in time for the start of the production service
  • Keep the life cycle of the documents open for community input

Implementation Timeline

Our proposed implementation timeline is:  

  • Once the MAT Working Group Chairs have determined that consensus has been reached, the RIPE NCC will incorporate the feedback received and publish the final version of the document
  • During December 2014, existing probe hosts will be notified by email about the upcoming transition to the terms and conditions and their applicability to any future use
  • Existing users and probe hosts will be presented with a pop-up window when they log in to the RIPE Atlas website, to inform them of the upcoming transition and their applicability to any future use
  • From 1 January 2015, RIPE Atlas will become a production service; new probe hosts will be asked to agree to new terms when applying for a probe and all existing probe hosts will be subject to the new terms

Feedback and Next Steps 

If you already host a RIPE Atlas probe, or think you might be interested in hosting one in the future, we invite you to take a look at the current draft version of RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions and share any feedback you have.

We will take your input into consideration and implement any necessary changes before moving  to the production service. 

The main discussion about these documents should happen on the  MAT Working Group Mailing List

For direct comments, please contact .

Comparison of Old and Proposed Text

In the table below is a comparison between the current Pilot Service Rules and the proposed  draft RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions. Where the text is too long to include in the table, you can click on the links to see the full text.

Pilot Rules

Draft  Production

Terms & Conditions  v3

We will deliver the probes to you in working order and make it possible to register yourself as a host for the probe.

 

Article 5.1 Subject to these Terms and Conditions, the Probe Host shall receive and install a Probe on a network. The Probe Host must have obtained clear prior permission for the connection and use of the Probe in this network if the network is not the Probe Host’s home network.

We will provide a personal web page to you. You can use this page to register the probe, see the operational status of the probe and communicate with us and others in the RIPE Atlas community. Later on in the pilot you will be able to request your own measurements and obtain the results of measurements.

Article 3.2 Subject to these Terms and Conditions, Users may create their own Measurements via the RIPE Atlas Portal or the RIPE Atlas API. The RIPE NCC may create its own Measurements, for the purposes as mentioned in Article 3.1, towards targets of value for some critical Internet infrastructure. Measurements may be performed by any Probe and may include any Probe.

Article 5.3 Subject to these Terms and Conditions, the Probe Host may use the Probe and any other Probes in order to perform Measurements and obtain Results via the RIPE Atlas Portal.

We promise that the probes will not eavesdrop on any traffic on your network. In fact we prefer you to install them in a way that they cannot see any of your traffic (for instance you can put it behind a switch port). Article 5.8 The RIPE NCC will not use the Probes as a tool for monitoring the traffic of the Probe Host’s network. The Probe Host should install the Probes in such a manner so that interference/monitoring of the traffic is eliminated (for instance, behind a switch port). 

We will try our best not to exceed your restrictions about the network bandwidth the probe can use (once this feature is implemented).

Article 7.3 If the Probe Host chooses to restrict the network bandwidth that his/her Probe can use for Measurements, the RIPE NCC will make any reasonable effort so that these restrictions are not exceeded.

We will keep a record of all measurements taken by the probe and make it available to you.

Article 5.4 The Probe Host agrees that other Users may perform their own Measurements using his/her Probe. The RIPE NCC will keep a record of all Measurements created involving that Probe. This record will be available to the Probe Host at any time.

We promise to be very careful when manufacturing the probe and its software. However we do not accept any liability for the correct operation of the probe or for any damage that may be caused by the probe. Article 9



We reserve the right to remotely disconnect a probe from the measurement network if we have reason to believe that it's malfunctioning, misbehaving or have been altered in its function, or the registration data provided is false.

Article 8.5

Article 7.1 The RIPE NCC is entitled to restrict any use of the RIPE Atlas Service. The RIPE NCC may perform security checks and audits to determine unauthorised use of the RIPE Atlas Service.

The Credit System (documentation)

 

Article 3.3 Users are entitled to perform Measurements provided they have sufficient Credits and provided the Measurements are reasonable in terms of resource usage.

"The RIPE NCC shall update the software on the Probe automatically." 

Article 5.7. The RIPE NCC shall update the software on the Probe automatically.


You promise to connect the probe to the Internet through a network on which you have permission to do so. If it is not your home network and you are in doubt, we suggest you obtain explicit permission.

Article 5.1 Subject to these Terms and Conditions, the Probe Host shall receive and install a Probe on a network. The Probe Host must have obtained clear prior permission for the connection and use of the Probe in this network if the network is not the Probe Host’s home network.

You promise to leave the probe on as long as possible, in principle 24/7. You may disconnect the probe at any time and for any reason. If you disconnect the probe for more than a week, we ask that you notify us.

Article 5.5. The Probe Host shall make a best effort to keep the Probe connected to the Internet at all times. If the Probe Host wants to disconnect the Probe indefinitely they must notify the RIPE NCC and the RIPE NCC will try to make arrangements to find a new host for the Probe.

If you disconnect the probe for more than 6 weeks we ask you to pass the probe and its registration on to another host. If you cannot find another host, please send it back to us.


Article 8.2 Users are entitled to discontinue their use of the RIPE Atlas Service at any time, for any reason, without any obligations of notifying the RIPE NCC. If the User also hosts a RIPE Atlas Probe, Article 5.5 of this document will apply.

Article 5.5. The Probe Host shall make a best effort to keep the Probe connected to the Internet at all times. If the Probe Host wants to disconnect the Probe indefinitely they must notify the RIPE NCC and the RIPE NCC will try to make arrangements to find a new host for the Probe.

You promise not to interfere with the (measurement) traffic sent and received by the probe so that the measurements can be as accurate as possible.

Article 5.6. The Probe Host shall not interfere with the Measurements performed via their Probe, shall not try to disassemble the Probe and shall not tamper with it or harm it in any other way. The Probe Host is not allowed to use Probes for activities irrelevant to the purposes of the RIPE Atlas Service and in particular for any activities that may damage other persons or networks in any way.


You promise to register yourself and the probe with correct and valid data.

Article 5.2. The Probe Host shall register the Probe with correct and valid data in the RIPE Atlas Portal. The Probe Host shall ensure the data submitted via the RIPE Atlas Portal is valid at all times.


You promise not to disassemble or reverse engineer the probe, and that you'll not tamper with it or harm it in any other way.

Article 5.6. The Probe Host shall not interfere with the Measurements performed via their Probe, shall not try to disassemble the Probe and shall not tamper with it or harm it in any other way. The Probe Host is not allowed to use Probes for activities irrelevant to the purposes of the RIPE Atlas Service and in particular for any activities that may damage other persons or networks in any way.


Publication practice of RIPE Atlas data (article on RIPE Labs)

Article 4

Update: January 2015

During October and November 2014, based on the community feedback, several changes were made to the Draft Terms and Conditions. They are summarised below:

  • Article 3.2: word "critical" replaced with "important"
  • New article 3.4: Users are required to register and maintain a valid email address and contact details in the RIPE Atlas Portal
  • Article 4.4: grammar about "email addresses of hosts" fixed
  • Article 6.1: link to MoU added
  • Articles 7.1 & 7.2: security checks specified as "reasonable"  
  • Article 10.1: clarified that this refers to other documents, by inserting "Without prejudice to Article 2.3 ..."
  • Extended clarification of point 8.5.a
  • Minor modifications to grammar and references

In January 2015, after the approval by the RIPE NCC Executive Board and a reached consensus on the MAT-WG mailing list, Version 3.2 of the Draft Terms and Conditions was published as final, and an updated the Implementation Plan was published:

https://atlas.ripe.net/legal/terms-conditions/

This is the adjusted implementation plan:

  • End of January 2015, all existing probe hosts will be notified by email about the upcoming transition to the new terms and conditions.
  • During February 2015, existing users and probe hosts will be presented with a banner when they log in to the RIPE Atlas web site, to inform them of the upcoming transition.
  • As of 2 March 2015, the new RIPE Atlas Service Terms and Conditions will come into effect; new probe hosts will be asked to agree to the new terms and conditions when applying for a probe; all existing probe hosts will be subject to the new terms and conditions.

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