Two recent e-mails made me take a new look at the Nanog AUP, and
I'd like to propose several changes to help clarify the policy.
Several recent discussions have descended into the weeds. I'll take
my share of the blame for my participation. That said, one on-list
event, and several off list events have raised some lingering
questions about the Nanog AUP and how it is enforced. I believe
that there are a couple of changes to the AUP that would help prevent
these threads from happening, and those are the issues I want to
raise. If you're not familiar, the AUP is at
I suspect many of you have no idea how the Nanog AUP is enforced,
so I will go into that first. Moments ago we saw a glimpse on the
list. The first attachment to my message (it's not in the archive
yet to give you a URL) entitled "srh-jrace" is a copy of an e-mail
I believe Susan accidently copied to email@example.com. If you look
at the CC list you'll see the intended target was firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help show that assumption is probably correct, I attach three
more messages, first, second, and third. These are three cases,
in chronological order, where I have been given similar warnings for
For full context, these three messages were part of the following
first - http://www.cctec.com/maillists/nanog/historical/0109/threads.html#01538
second - http://www.cctec.com/maillists/nanog/historical/0110/threads.html#00577
(Note, there are at least three other thread roots right under
it as some follow ups didn't get attributed correctly.)
third - http://www.merit.edu/mail.archives/nanog/threads.html#14454
To be clear, I'm not trying to "appeal my conviction" on any of
these, the first thread clearly drifted way off topic, the second
I clearly mention the law and politics. The third gives me a bit
more trouble, as the reason I posted was to see if anyone could
operationally use this new (admittedly legal) tool, but heck, it
was about law so I'm ok with being wrong on that one. I show you
these as I am unhappy about the method by which these were handled.
So, what are my proposals? Simple:
1) Change item 6 on http://www.nanog.org/aup.html to read "prohibited"
rather than "discouraged". Discouraged suggests to me general
discussion about those topics is bad, but if it has operational
significance or general interest on the list it may still be
appropriate. However, it appears that there is no clear way to
define what would or would not be appropriate, and that the
enforcement is more in line with prohibited. Changing that one
word should make it much more clear, and remove all doubt.
Most likely item #3 should also be prohibited and not discouraged
2) The current AUP states:
] Individuals who violate these guidelines will be contacted personally
] and asked to adhere to the guidelines. If an individual persists
] in violating the guidelines, the convener of NANOG, Merit Network,
] Inc., will take action to filter the offender's messages to the
I have several problems with this:
* There is no way for the nanog membership to review that the policy
is being applied evenly and fairly.
* Where there are ambiguities in the appropriateness of a topic
there is no way to know that the moderators are using the same
criteria the general membership would use.
* It does nothing to educate other mailing list participants as
to what is or is not appropriate. This method provides a gentle
and constant reminder of the AUP that always provides new and
* It does nothing to stop the thread. Several people have received
these after others for the same thread -- I think we all have an
implicit assumption that if it's allowed to continue by the
moderators it must be ok to reply.
To that end, I propose the following new method of handling things,
which I believe is more in-line with what other mailing lists do:
When inappropriate messages are sent to the list the convener
will reply both to the list and to the poster pointing out that
the topic is in violation of the AUP and should cease. Chronic
offenders will be notified personally that their messages may be
filtered or that they may be removed from the list as deemed
appropriate by the conveners.
srh-jrace (2.94 KB)
first (3.21 KB)
second (3.05 KB)
third (2.14 KB)