Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct and the related documents were formally adopted by ISPA during its Annual General Meeting on 2002-09-12. Significant revisions were made by the Code of Conduct working group on 2007-01-31, 2007-12-04, 2008-02-21 and again on 2008-07-13 in order for the Code of Conduct to comply with the guidelines for the recognition of an Industry Representative Body in terms of the ECT Act. This revised Code of Conduct was formally adopted by ISPA on 2008-08-22.

A. Freedom of expression

  1. ISPA members must respect the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

B. Privacy and confidentiality

  1. ISPA members must respect the constitutional right of Internet users to personal privacy and privacy of communications.
  2. ISPA members must respect the confidentiality of customers’ personal information and electronic communications, and must not gather, retain, sell or distribute such information to any other party without the written consent of the customer, except where required to do so by law.

C. Consumer protection and provision of information to customers

  1. ISPA members must provide the following information on their web sites: their registered name, email address, telephone and fax numbers and physical address.
  2. ISPA members must inform their customers that members of ISPA must uphold and abide by this Code of Conduct. Members’ web sites must include a reference to ISPA membership, a prominent copy of ISPA’s logo and a link to the section of the ISPA web site that contains the Code of Conduct, complaints and disciplinary procedure and the take-down procedure.
  3. ISPA members must have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for their Internet access services. This policy must be made available to customers prior to the commencement of any such service agreement and at any time thereafter, on request.
  4. In their dealings with consumers, other businesses, each other and ISPA, ISPA members must act fairly, reasonably, professionally and in good faith. In particular, pricing information for services must be clearly and accurately conveyed to customers and potential customers.
  5. ISPA members may only offer service levels which are reasonably within their technical and practical abilities.
  6. ISPA members must comply with all compulsory advertising standards and regulations.

D. Standard terms and conditions

  1. ISPA members must provide access to their standard terms and conditions on their web sites. These terms and conditions must be available to any potential customer prior to the commencement of any contract.
  2. Standard terms and conditions must contain:
    • All information and terms relevant to the relationship with the recipient of the service;
    • a requirement that the customer will not knowingly create, store or disseminate any illegal content;
    • a commitment to lawful conduct in the use of the services, including copyright and intellectual property rights; and
    • an undertaking not to send or promote the sending of spam.
  3. Standard terms and conditions must give an ISPA member the right to remove any content hosted by that member which it considers illegal or for which it has received a take-down notice.
  4. Standard terms and conditions must give the ISPA member the right to suspend or terminate the service of any customer that does not comply with the terms and conditions, Acceptable Use Policy or any other contractual obligations.

E. Unsolicited communications (“spam”)

  1. ISPA members must not send or promote the sending of unsolicited bulk email and must take reasonable measures to ensure that their networks are not used by others for this purpose. ISPA members must also comply with the provisions of section 45(1) of the ECT Act, and must not send or promote the sending of unsolicited commercial communications that do not comply with the provisions of section 45(1) of the ECT Act.
  2. ISPA members must provide a facility for dealing with complaints regarding unsolicited bulk email and unsolicited commercial communications that do not comply with the provisions of section 45(1) of the ECT Act originating from their networks and must react expeditiously to complaints received.

F. Cyber crime

  1. ISPA members must take all reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised access to, interception of, or interference with any data on that members network and under its control.

G. Protection of minors

  1. ISPA members must take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not offer paid content subscription services to minors without written permission from a parent or guardian.
  2. ISPA members must provide Internet access customers with information about procedures and software applications which can be used to assist in the control and monitoring of minors’ access to Internet content. This requirement does not apply to corporate customers where no minors have Internet access.

H. Lawful conduct

  1. ISPA members must conduct themselves lawfully at all times and must co-operate with law enforcement authorities where there is a legal obligation to do so.
  2. ISPA members must respect intellectual property rights and not knowingly infringe such rights.
  3. ISPA members must uphold and abide by this Code of Conduct and adhere to the associated complaints and disciplinary procedures.

I. Unlawful content and activity

  1. There is no general obligation on any ISPA member to monitor services provided to customers, but a member is obliged to take appropriate action where it becomes aware of any unlawful content or conduct.
  2. ISPA members must not knowingly host or provide links to unlawful content, except when required to do so by law.
  3. If an ISPA member becomes aware of conduct or content which has been determined to be illegal, it must suspend or terminate the relevant customer’s service and report the conduct or content to the relevant law enforcement authority. The ISPA member must report such cases and any action taken to ISPA within a reasonable period of time.
  4. ISPA members must establish a notification and take-down procedure for unlawful content and activity in accordance with ISPA’s take-down notification procedure, and respond expeditiously to such notifications.
  5. ISPA members must submit a report to ISPA on the steps taken in response to a take-down notice within a reasonable period of time after such a notice is lodged.
  6. ISPA members must keep a record of all take-down notices received and any materials taken down for a period of at least three years unless possession of such materials is illegal.

J. Internet standards

  1. ISPA members must operate with due regard for established Internet best practices, as set out in the various request for comment (RFC) documents and as mandated from time to time by established and respected Internet governance structures.

K. Compliance with the Code of Conduct

  1. ISPA members must receive and investigate complaints made in accordance with this Code of Conduct, unless such complaints are frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or in bad faith.
  2. ISPA members must make all reasonable efforts to resolve complaints in accordance with the complaints procedure.
  3. ISPA members must co-operate with ISPA in accordance with the complaints and disciplinary procedures and comply with any decisions taken by ISPA with respect to the Code of Conduct and complaint and disciplinary procedure.
  4. ISPA members must submit an annual statement to ISPA confirming their compliance with the Code of Conduct.
  5. ISPA must audit the compliance of ISPA’s members with the Code of Conduct annually and must perform regular spot checks in this regard.
  6. ISPA may investigate the conduct and compliance with the Code of Conduct by members on its own initiative and may, if appropriate, institute disciplinary proceedings as set out in the Code of Conduct complaint and disciplinary procedure.

L. Alterations

  1. ISPA reserves the right to make alterations to this Code of Conduct from time to time. Such amendments are binding on all ISPA members. The current Code of Conduct will be maintained on the ISPA’s web site.

Contact Details

Tel: 010 500 1200 or 087 550 1200
Fax: +27 (0) 87 606 4066
Email: queries [at] ispa.org.za