Terms of Use

LAST MODIFIED: July11, 2011
Please Read Carefully Before Using This Website:

The Virtual Biosecurity Center (“the VBC”) created this site to help further educate the public and biosecurity stakeholders, and to increase collaboration between various biosecurity stakeholder organizations. These terms of use (these “Terms of Use”) govern your access to and use of www.virtualbiosecuritycenter.org, including the Global Forum on Biorisks (the “Site”). If you do not accept these Terms of Use or you do not meet or comply with their provisions, you may not use the Site.

If you use the Site in any manner whatsoever, your use will be deemed to be acceptance of the Terms of Use, Section A. If you register with the Site, or upload any User Submitted Content (as defined in Section 16 below) your registration or upload will be deemed to be acceptance of Section B of these Terms of Use.

A. TERMS APPLICABLE TO ALL USERS

1. Changes
The VBC may, at any time, for any reason and without notice, make changes to these Terms of Use. Any modifications will take effect when posted to the Site. Therefore, each time you access the Site, you should note the date the Terms of Use were last modified. If you do not or cannot agree to the amended terms, your only option is to cease all use and access of the Site.

2. Local Compliance
If the Site Content (as defined below), including its products and services, is contrary to local laws or regulations, you are not authorized to access or use the Site. The VBC makes no representation that the content on the Site is appropriate or that its products or services are available outside of the United States. Those who choose to access this Site from other locations do so at their own risk and are responsible for compliance with applicable local laws.

“Site Content” means all text, images, graphics, photographs, video clips, designs, icons, sounds, information, data, software, opinions, advice, comments, business information, ideas, concepts, inventions, and other materials that are displayed, used, or otherwise incorporated into the Site.

3. License to Use
The VBC grants you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to view and use the Site Content for your personal, informational, non-commercial use.

You may not:

(i)remove any trademarks, copyright notices, patent notices, or any other notice contained in any Site Content;
(ii)frame or utilize framing techniques to enclose any Site Content without the VBC’s prior written consent;
(iii)disassemble, decompile or reverse engineer any of the Site Content;
(iv)attempt to hack any portion of the Site, or to defeat or overcome any encryption technology or security measures implemented by the VBC;
(v)systematically retrieve, archive, compile, or store the Site Content;
(vi)impersonate any person or entity, or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
(vii)interfere with or disrupt the operation of the Site or the servers or networks connected to, or operated in connection with, the Site; or
(viii)violate any applicable local, state, national or international law.

4. Accuracy of User Submitted Content

You agree that the accuracy of content uploaded by users is the sole responsibility of the user uploading such content and, as such, the VBC does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or quality of such content.

5. Intellectual Property

All Site Content is owned by the VBC and various third parties. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any of the Site Content without the written permission of the VBC or such other party that may own the Site Content. All trademarks on the Site, including the VBC logo, are owned exclusively by the VBC, unless otherwise noted. No license or grant of any rights, express or implied, are granted in or to the VBC trademarks.

6. Links
For your convenience, the VBC may provide links to various other websites that may be of interest to you. However, the VBC does not control or endorse such websites and is not responsible for their content, nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any information, data, opinions, advice, or statements contained within such websites.

7. Terms of Sale
Orders for products offered on the site are subject to acceptance by the VBC. The VBC may revise or discontinue products at any time. The VBC reserves the right, without prior notification and in its sole discretion, to limit the order quantity on any product and/or refuse service to anyone. Payment must be received by The VBC prior to acceptance of an order and must be made by credit card or other payment method, in accordance with the terms of the credit card or payment method agreement. You will pay interest on all past-due sums at the highest rate allowed by law. You are responsible for all applicable taxes that may be levied on the sale of products, including without limitation, duties, customs, sales, and withholding taxes. You are responsible for all shipping and handling charges.

8. No Warranties
YOUR USE OF THE SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THE SITE IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. THE VBC EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. ANY MATERIAL OR INFORMATION DOWNLOADED, TRANSLATED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE SITE IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR USE OF OR RELIANCE ON ANY SUCH MATERIAL.

WITH RESPECT TO ALL PRODUCTS, THE VBC DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE VBC SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF THE VBC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE, ARISING OUT OF ANY PRODUCT PURCHASED ON THE SITE. THE VBC’S AGGREGATE CUMULATIVE LIABILITY, WHETHER ARISING OUT OF CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE, UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT EXCEED THAT AMOUNT ACTUALLY PAID BY YOU TO THE VBC FOR THE PRODUCT.

9. Governing Law, Forum

These Terms of Use shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the District of Columbia, without reference to its choice of law rules. Any lawsuit concerning these Terms of Use or the Site shall be brought only in the courts located in the District of Columbia, and you expressly consent to the personal jurisdiction and venue of such courts, and waive all objections thereto.

10. Limitation of Liability

YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THE VBC WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF THE VBC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE SITE. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

11. Indemnity

You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold the VBC, its past, present, and future officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, LICENSEES, MARKETING PARTNERS, and suppliers, TOGETHER WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE officers, directors, employees, AND agents, harmless from and against any claims, actions or demands, liabilities and settlements including without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, resulting from, or alleged to result from, your violation of these Terms of Use. Without limiting the foregoing, you agree to indemnify, DEFEND, and hold the VBC harmless from any costs or expenses that the VBC may sustain, as a result of the privacy, data transfer, and data protection laws of the United States or any other country, with respect to any Site Content.

12. Assignability; Severability

The VBC may assign these Terms of Use and its rights and obligations hereunder to an affiliated company or, in the event of a merger or acquisition of the VBC or the sale of substantially all of the VBC’s assets related to the Site, to the surviving or successor entity. You may not assign these Terms of Use or the rights and obligations hereunder without the prior written consent of the VBC. If any provision of these Terms of Use shall be determined to be void or unenforceable in whole or in part, the remaining provisions of these Terms of Use shall not be affected thereby and shall remain in force and effect.

13. Termination
Without limiting the foregoing, the VBC may terminate your account in the event of: (i) any dispute or termination of the VBC’s relationship with you; (ii) any dispute concerning ownership or control of your account; or (iii) use of your account in a manner that the VBC, in its sole discretion, considers improper or unacceptable. Sections 5, 7-11, and 14-15 shall survive termination of these Terms of Use.

14. How to Contact Us

If you would like to request additional information regarding these Terms of Use, or have questions regarding the same, please Contact Us.


B. TERMS APPLICABLE TO REGISTERED USERS and submitters of USER SUBMITTED CONTENT

15. Accounts and Security
The VBC does not warrant that the functions contained in the services provided by the Site will be uninterrupted or error-free, that defects will be corrected or that the services or the server that makes it available will be free of viruses or other harmful components.

As part of the account registration process, each user will select a password (“Password”) and Login Name (“Login Name”). You shall provide the VBC with accurate, complete, and updated account information. Failure to do so shall constitute a breach of these Terms of Use, which may result in immediate termination of your account. You may not:

(i)select or use a Login Name of another person with the intent to impersonate that person;
(ii)use a name subject to the rights of any other person without authorization;
(iii)use a Login Name that the VBC, in its sole discretion, deems inappropriate or offensive; or
(iv)allow any other party to use your account information to access the Site.

You should take measures to maintain and preserve the confidentiality of the Password associated with your account. You shall notify the VBC of any known or suspected unauthorized use(s) of your account, or any known or suspected breach of security, including loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure of your Password. The VBC shall not be liable for any losses that may result from any unauthorized use of your account or failure to maintain appropriate confidentiality measures. You shall be solely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your Password.

Any fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise illegal activity may be grounds for permanent termination of your account, at the VBC’s sole discretion, and you may be reported to appropriate law-enforcement agencies.

16. User Submitted Content

“User Submitted Content” means all text, images, graphics, photographs, video clips, designs, icons, sounds, information, data, software, opinions, advice, comments, business information, ideas, concepts, inventions, and other materials that may be uploaded by you to the Site. You represent that use of the User Submitted Content you supply does not violate these Terms of Use and will not cause injury to any person or entity; and that you will indemnify the VBC and or its affiliates for all claims resulting from User Submitted Content you supply. You further agree not to submit or transmit any User Submitted Content through the Site that:

(i)that contains obscenities, is slanderous, derogatory, threatening, solicitous, unrelated to biorisks, and/or is deemed by the VBC to be particularly valuable in the development, manufacture, weaponization, stockpiling or distribution of biological weapons;
(ii)constitutes (or encourages conduct that would constitute) a criminal offense, gives rise to civil liability or otherwise violates any local, state, national or international law, regulation or standard of conduct;
(iii)contains a virus, worm, Trojan horse, backdoor, disabling code, malicious script, or any other harmful component;
(iv)incorporates copyrighted, trademarked, patented, or other proprietary materials of any third party without that party’s permission;
(v)contains information that you do not have a right to make available under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); or
(vi)constitutes unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, spam, chain letters, pyramid schemes, or any other form of solicitation.

If you make any submission of any User Submitted Content to the Site or if you submit any User Submitted Content directly to the VBC by email or by other means, with the exception of User Submitted Content submitted to the GFBR, you hereby expressly grant the VBC a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, store, maintain and distribute such content in any media or medium, or any form, format, or forum now known or hereafter developed. If you make any submission of any User Submitted Content to the GFBR, you hereby expressly grant the VBC a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, store, maintain and distribute such content on the GFBR for development and archival purposes in any media or medium, or any form, format, or forum now known or hereafter developed. If you wish to keep any information proprietary, you must not submit such information to the Site or to the VBC.

17. Global Forum on Biorisks Rules

Participation in the Global Forum on Biorisks constitutes agreement with the following guidelines on acceptable behavior:

(i)Non-attribution. The Global Forum on Biorisks (the “GFBR”) is a membership-only, private environment. You will treat all material as “off-the-record” and will not quote or attribute to its author in any discussions outside the Site without the consent of its originator. Within the GFBR, you will treat all contributions from individual participants as the contribution of that participant individually, and unless otherwise specified, will not be attributed or imputed to any organization or institution with which that participant may be affiliated. Note that organizations and institutions can also participate in the GFBR, provided that they are identified as such.

(ii)Non-anonymity. GFBR participants may post User Submitted Content using their own names, and they may create profiles describing themselves so that other participants know who they are communicating with. The VBC welcomes suggestions on how to be open to all participants, regardless of institutional affiliation, with the desire to know who each contributor is.

(iii)Mutual respect. You should treat other Site users with respect and consideration. You may not always agree with them – there would be little need to engage otherwise – but you will respect each other’s ability to contribute.

(iv)Appropriate use of information. You will only upload User Submitted Content that you have created or have the rights to post. You will refer to material that others have posted of the Site by linking to it, not duplicating it. In addition, you will not collect information about other members of the GFBR for distribution of any kind outside the GFBR, including use of e-mails for unauthorized solicitation or “spamming”.

(v)Legal compliance. You warrant that you are complying with all applicable export and import laws and regulations. You warrant that you are not a party identified on any government export exclusion list, including but not limited to the U.S. Denied Persons, Entity, and Specially Designated Nationals Lists. You warrant that you will not transfer software, technology, and other technical data via the Site to any parties on such lists. You warrant that you are not using the Site to further any military, nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon-related objective.

(vi)Non-commercial. You will not post User Submitted Content consisting of promotional material or that furthers a commercial purpose, such as selling products and services, to the Site without the permission of the VBC.

Self-policing. Any Site user who believes others to be acting in a way that is inconsistent with these guidelines, including offensive behavior or inappropriate use of copyrighted information, is encouraged to flag content and contact GFBR moderators.


PRIVACY POLICY

LAST MODIFIED: February 22, 2011
Please Read Carefully Before Using This Website:

The Virtual Biosecurity Center (“the VBC”) provides you with this Privacy Policy (this “Policy”) to inform you of the collection and use policies and practices that apply to information collected on our website at www.virtualbiosecuritycenter.org, including the Global Forum on Biorisks (the “Site”). The Site, like our organization, is intended to foster discussion and collaboration among the biosecurity community. The Site provides access to other users, links to relevant resources, and more. If you do not accept this Policy or you do not meet or comply with these provisions, you may not use the Site.

A. INFORMATION COLLECTION
1. Information Submitted by You

For browsing certain portions of the Site, we do not require your personal information. There are other portions of the Site, such as the Global Forum on Biorisks, where you will be given the option to provide or confirm your personal information via an online registration process. The information that you provide may include your name, email address, phone number, job title, skills, education level, employer, affiliation, and other contact details. We may also collect information about you from other sources, such as public records or bodies, or private organizations in order to verify your identity. After entering your information, you may also select to receive optional services from us, such as receiving future promotional or informational communications from us. We may also request personal information to provide you the opportunity to participate in voluntary surveys on the Site. If you purchase a product via the Site, your payment information (e.g. credit card information) will be gathered. Depending on your requests for services from the VBC, additional information may also be collected. It is at your discretion and determination whether to provide personal information to us.
2. Confidentiality
You are solely responsible to maintain the appropriate confidentially practices and compliance with law when using the Site services, such as collaborating on documents or participating in web conferences. You shall comply with all contractual and statutory obligations regarding the use of the other parties’ information when using the Site to communicate. You should use your judgment to decide which parties should be granted access to your profile and the items you upload to the Site.
3. Automatic Gathering of Non-personal Information
We may collect certain information from you automatically when you visit our Site, which may include the name of the domain and host from which you access the Internet; the Internet protocol (IP) address of your computer; the type of browser and software operating system you use; the date and time you access the Site; and the Internet address of the website from which you linked to the Site.
4. Cookies
The Site also uses “cookies.” Cookies are small pieces of information that the Site places on your computer’s hard drive. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can edit your web browser settings to block them in the future.

B. Use of the Information
1. Your Control Over Your Profile

You can change who has access to your profile information by changing your profile settings. By default, certain identifying information you post to your profile is available to anyone visiting the Site. However, you can control what types of profile information you share with other users at your discretion. We will not provide your personal information to third parties without your consent and we are not responsible for any use of your personal information by parties once shared by you.

2. Your Control Over Submissions
Personal information is collected so that, when you use the Site, you may upload files and communicate with other parties, including through the Global Forum on Biorisks. If you so choose, other users of the Site may see messages and documents you submit to the Site, depending of the access level you decide to grant. Specifically, you may set certain items to be visible only by you and the VBC. You may also set certain items to be visible only by invited parties. You may also set certain items to be visible to all registered uses of the Global Forum on Biorisks. We will not provide your messages and documents to unauthorized third parties without your consent and we are not responsible for any use of your messages and documents by other parties once shared by you.
3. Periodic Contacts
We may occasionally use your name and email address to send you notifications regarding the Site or biosecurity in general that the VBC believes you may find valuable. If you wish to unsubscribe from promotional emails, you may do so by editing the notification settings in your personal profile or by following the unsubscribe instructions included in each email.

4. Other Permitted Uses of Your Information
We may disclose your personal information to our payment provider. When you sign up to receive emails, we will share your email address with our email service provider. If you would like to opt-out of disclosure, please send an email to [email protected]
We may disclose part or all of your personal information when we believe, in good faith, that the law requires or compels such disclosure, or when we have a reason to believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights or property, the rights of another, or to prevent harm. Further, we may disclose personal information provided by you as part of any merger, sale, or other acquisition of some or all of our organization or its assets.
We may disclose aggregated data and statistics in order to describe the Site to prospective partners, advertisers, and other third parties, and for other lawful purposes. This allows us to gather and publish statistics about users and to enhance our services.

5. Your Choices
We do not require you to provide personal information in order to visit the Site. However, if you choose not to provide personal information, your ability to use all of the Site’s services will be limited and you may not receive the information that you request. By choosing to provide personal information, you agree to the terms of this Policy.
Access and control over most personal information submitted by you to the Site is available through a management link. You may modify or delete your profile information by logging into your profile. Removed information may persist in backup copies, but will not be readily available to the VBC, mediators, or others. If you post messages to the Global Forum on Biorisks or directed toward another user, however, you cannot remove such communications.

6. Access to Your Personal Data

Upon request, which you can indicate by sending an email to [email protected], the VBC will provide you with a readable copy of the personal data kept about you without any charge. The VBC may first require proof of your identity. You may challenge the data that the VBC holds about you and, where appropriate, have the data erased, rectified, amended, or completed. The VBC may refuse to provide a copy of your personal data, but will give reasons for the refusal. The VBC allows you to challenge the decision to refuse to provide you with a copy of your personal data.

C. UNDERAGE CUSTOMERS
The Site is not designated nor intended to collect information from children under the age of 18. In addition, we do not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 18. If you are younger than age 18, you may use our Site only with the permission and involvement of your parents or guardian.

D. LINKS TO THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES
When you click on links on our Site that take you to third-party websites, you will be subject to the third parties’ privacy policies. We cannot and do not accept responsibility for the contents or actions of any third-party websites. We encourage you to read the posted privacy statement of every site you visit, whether you are linking from our Sites or browsing on your own.

E. CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY
We reserve the right to modify or amend this Policy at any time by posting the revised privacy policy on the Site. Therefore, each time you access the Site, you should note the date this Policy was last modified. If you do not or cannot agree to the amended Policy, your only option is to cease all use and access of the Site.

F. HOW TO CONTACT US
If you would like to request additional information regarding this Policy, or have questions regarding the same, please Contact Us.