[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Discussing the DMUP

Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>         Why is using a newreader  on Debian machines strictly
>  forbidden?  (Incidentally, on IRC, Jason and AJ insist that the
>  paragraph above explicitly allows access to usenet servers, and they
>  say the intent was not to forbid access. Not being a teleapth, I took
>  the policy document at its word, and if indeed the intent was not to
>  prohibit, this error needs be corrected. If the intent is to restrict
>  access. why?)

For whatever reason, access to usenet has almost always been granted at
the ISP level[1]. Unlike servers for the web, mail, irc, quake or nearly
anything else, publically accessable news servers are rare and typically due
to a misconfiguration[2]. Thus, you are limited to using news servers
provided by your ISP. News server access is typically limited by only letting
people in a given IP block or in a given domain access the news server.

If you want to read news and your ISP has a rotten news server or no news
server, your alternative is to get a login on a computer that has access to
some other news server (or arrange for someone to feed you news, which
is often outside the purvue of the common usenet user). This is often a quite
honest and aboveboard thing to do, but it can shade into a grey area.

The debian project's machines are in one such grey area. We are donated
machines and bandwidth, but as a side effect this also may give us access to
the news servers accessable from the donated machines. So, when the DMUP
speaks about "access to such a news server", it is referring to said access.
The DMUP is trying to clarify that grey area, and let people know that
donators have not given us permission to use those servers, and we should
not do so. It is not restricting general use of news from debian machines,
although it might as well, since there are basically no publically accessable
machines one could use!

I guess this must not be clear to people who don't administer news
servers but it seemed very intuitivly obvious to me when I first read
the DMUP (and I was glad to have that point clarified, as I was at the
time looking for a good news feed).

see shy jo

[1] I have no idea why, and I think usenet would be a better place if
    this were not so. Except it would probably generate even more spam
    and even more abuse of binary newsgroups.
[2] And will be found by scanning robots and abused in a matter of days.

Reply to: