As data aggregators, we have legal and ethical obligations to ensure that our products are used for good, not evil.
Echosec Systems products have a lot of power. They aggregate vast amounts of data from across the Internet, from the friendly faces of social media to the recesses of the dark web.
This data can be used for many legitimate purposes, from brand management to threat intelligence. To that end, our contracts and terms of service explicitly forbid the use of our products for unlawful or unethical purposes. These restrictions protect Echosec Systems from legal threats. They also protect you, the client, against accusations of misuse or other legal concerns.
Echosec Systems applies “common sense” restrictions to our clients. For example, we have almost an entire page saying, to our legal team’s satisfaction, that you can’t use our products to break the law. Below, we’ll cover the most discussed sections of our license agreement in plain English to clarify what you’re signing off on.
If you still have concerns after reading this document, please contact us and we’ll bring our compliance team into the discussion. They’re here to help you work through the contract. Any concerns you have will be used to improve this document for future customers!
All Echosec Systems contracts include Client Responsibilities. Our customers rarely come close to violating these responsibilities, but we must include them to protect ourselves against flagrant misuse of our products. You can see the full text in your contract or in the Echosec Systems Terms of Service.
The following is a short summary of Client Responsibilities:
- You, the client, are responsible for actions taken on your account. It’s your responsibility to not share or leak your access credentials to people you don’t authorize. You also must ensure authorized users abide by these restrictions. You are responsible for the actions of your employees.
- Only use Echosec Systems products for your approved use case. This is submitted during the contract process and included in the contract for clarity.
- Don’t use Echosec Systems products for evil. This includes targeted discrimination, harassment, and violations of basic human rights. This shouldn’t be a concern for users who have passed our initial vetting process.
- Don’t use Echosec Systems products to break the law. There are data available through our products that could be used illegally. For example, searching for drug dealers on the dark web is prohibited unless you’re acting on behalf of law enforcement.
- To ensure our customers are complying with these restrictions, Echosec Systems will monitor searches. If you’re stepping close to the line, we’ll take reasonable actions, such as contacting you and blocking searches. In extreme cases, like grossly unacceptable actions or repeated misuse, we reserve the right to terminate the agreement and revoke your access to Echosec Systems products.
Blacklisted Keywords and Acceptable Search Terms
Some keywords are blacklisted by certain providers to comply with their acceptable use policies. We encourage our users to consider if a keyword may be perceived as offensive or appear to target a certain group of individuals before searching with it.
Echosec Systems maintains an automated blacklist of terms that certain providers, such as Twitter, do not permit under any use case. This blacklist is not exhaustive, as some keywords or topics may be restricted based on the search context and your organization's use case. New keywords are added to the blacklist once detected. Due to this fluidity, we do not provide a blacklist to users. This also prevents users from finding “work-around” keywords.
Because we cannot release the blacklist itself, Echosec Systems has a reasonable and measured response to compliance issues. If you run a search that contains a blacklisted keyword, a message will inform you and allow you to either remove the keyword or disable any providers that do not permit that term. If you run a search that is later found to be non-compliant, the Echosec Systems compliance team will disable providers as necessary and notify you about our actions.
Serious actions are only taken when users perform egregiously unacceptable or illegal searches or fail to comply with repeated requests. Simply running searches for blacklisted keywords will not result in immediate serious action.