Archive-name: uk/newsadmins-faq
Last-modified: Fri Feb 28 12:20:54 GMT 2014

UK Newsadmins' FAQ

Introduction

This FAQ is prepared by Charles Lindsey <chl@clerew.man.ac.uk> for the purpose of disseminating the current status concerning management of the uk.* hierarchy to newsadmins throughout the UK and elsewhere.

I don't know whether these particular questions are in fact "Frequently Asked", but I certainly believe that they should be.

Comments and suggestions for future editions to chl@clerew.man.ac.uk please.

This FAQ is archived at
<http://www.usenet.org.uk/newsadmins.html> and at
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/newsadmins-faq>

Table of Contents

  1. Recent Changes
  2. Who manages the uk.* hierarchy?
  3. Who is control?
  4. What is usenet.org.uk?
  5. Who are the UK Volunteer Votetakers?
  6. What about the wales.*, scot.*, ni.* and england.* hierarchies?
  7. So which groups should I take on my site?
  8. How do I send articles to a moderated group?
  9. Who are the moderators of the uk.* groups?
  10. What other sources of information are there?
  11. Where can I find an up-to-date list of newsgroups?
  12. PGP signature of control messages
  13. What other questions are there?

1. Recent Changes

Mon Jan 4 10:25:10 GMT 2010
Committee changes
Fri Feb 26 15:54:59 GMT 2010
Wording re news administrators
Sat Apr 3 21:14:03 BST 2010
Link to moderated.html
Wed Apr 14 09:44:57 BST 2010
New control
Mon Jun 14 11:12:16 BST 2010
Abolition of mentors
Fri Oct 22 15:36:06 BST 2010
Committee changes
Thu Jun 2 10:06:27 BST 2011
Typo fixed
Thu Jun 2 10:06:27 BST 2011
Committee changes
Fri Dec 2 14:40:27 GMT 2011
Typo fixed
Tue Jan 1 11:26:42 GMT 2013
Committee changes
Thu Jan 2 10:49:38 GMT 2014
Committee changes
Fri Feb 28 12:20:54 GMT 2014
Committee changes

2. Who manages the uk.* hierarchy?

Four documents set out the procedures for creating and/or removing/renaming newsgroups within the uk.* hierarchy.

GUIDELINES FOR GROUP CREATION WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY

<http://www.usenet.org.uk/guidelines.html>
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/guidelines>

VOTING PROCEDURES WITHIN THE UK HIERARCHY

<http://www.usenet.org.uk/voting.html>
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/voting>

THE UK USENET COMMITTEE

<http://www.usenet.org.uk/committee.html>
<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/uk/committee>
Three of these documents were accepted on 7 Aug 95 following a vote conducted in uk.net.news, with the results, respectively, of
(93 yes : 13 no)
(91 yes : 13 no)
(76 yes : 23 no)
Essentially, they provide for a Committee to be elected each October, with a person known as Control, answerable to the Committee, to oversee the process of group creation.

A Mentors document was added on 13 Jul 2000 (17 yes : 8 no) and abolished on 14 June 2010 following a Fast-Track.

After the most recent elections, in October 2013, the Committee comprises

Open members
Until Dec 2014

Geoff Berrow
Mark Goodge
Fiona Gostling
(aka 'Kat')

Until Dec 2015

Ian Clifton
Clive D. W. Feather
Matthew Vernon

Until Dec 2016

Molly Mockford
Charles Lindsey
Owen Rees

Appointed members

From BTnet - Martin Stewart

Ex-Officio member

Tony Evans (as Control)
The committee as a whole may be reached by email to committee@usenet.org.uk.

3. Who is Control?

The Committee have appointed Tony Evans as Control, and Charles Lindsey as Deputy Control.

For official purposes Control may be reached at control@usenet.org.uk. It is required that all RFDs and CFVs should be posted to uk.net.news.announce in accordance with the Guidelines document, and it is advised that all those responsible for the administration of news servers in the UK should subscribe to that group.

Many large news administrators have indicated that they will in future honour all and only newgroup and rmgroup control messages for the uk.* hierarchy issued by control@usenet.org.uk, and they urge all other news administrators to adopt that same policy.

4. What is usenet.org.uk?

A domain name. Silly question! Next?

But to be serious, it is a domain name set up to facilitate communication with the Committee, in such a manner that the relevant officers can be reached even if their identities change. Currently, the following services are available.

control@usenet.org.uk
to reach Control
committee@usenet.org.uk
to reach the whole Committee
ukvoting@usenet.org.uk
to reach the group of independent UK Volunteer Votetakers
http://www.usenet.org.uk
the UK Usenet Website

5. Who are the UK Volunteer Votetakers?

A group of people, independent of the Committee, who are empowered by the VOTING PROCEDURES to conduct votes. The coordinator of this group is Jon Ribbens, reachable via ukvoting@ukvoting.org.uk. They also have their own website at <http://www.ukvoting.org.uk>.

6. What about the wales.*, scot.*, ni.* and england.* hierarchies?

For wales.*, the contact address is Emyr Wyn Morris control@wales-usenet.org. There used to be an elected committee, but it now appears to be defunct. The website is at <http://www.wales-usenet.org/>.

For scot.*, the contact address is Simon Brooke control@scot.news-admin.org. There used to be an elected committee, but it now appears to be defunct. The website is at <http://www.scot.news-admin.org>.

For ni.*, the contact addresses are Paul Gregg pgregg@ni.org and John Kennedy john.kennedy@tibus.com, and the website is at <http://www.ni.org>.

For england.*, the contact address is Darren Wyn Rees admin-mail@england.news-admin.org, the control address is admin@england.news-admin.org and the website is at <http://www.england.news-admin.org>.

7. So which groups should I take on my site?

Well that is your prerogative to decide. If you want to take a standard uk.* "full feed", then you should accept the periodic 'newgroup', 'rmgroup' and 'checkgroups' control messages issued by control@usenet.org.uk, and (for the uk.* groups) no others. You may of course decide to take less than this if your disc space and/or range of interests are limited.

It is possible to automate the acceptance of these control messages issued by control@usenet.org.uk, and it is always safe to do so if you first verify the PGP signatures with which they are authenticated (if you are unable to do that, it is recommended that at least 'rmgroup's and 'checkgroups' be inspected manually before acceptance - there are not so many of those, anyway).

If you run CNews, then the following 'controlperm' file will achieve the necessary effects. Note that this example also shows the correct way to handle control messages for the "Big-8" and also what is believed to be correct for several other hierarchies. Note that this example assumes that you have installed the latest patch for CNews to implement the verification of PGP signatures.

# Four/five fields per line,
# first a newsgroup pattern,
# second an author name (or "any"),
# third a set of operations ("n" newgroup, "r" rmgroup, "c" checkgroups),
# fourth a set of flags ("p" do it iff poster's identity is pgpverified,
#    "y" do it, "n" don't, "q" don't report at all, "v" include
#    entire control message in report) (default "yv"),
# fifth (optionally) the entity allowed to pgpsign it.

# group-admin@isc.org run the main Usenet hierarchies
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities group-admin@isc.org n p news.announce.newgroups
# but their name can be forged, so don't let them rmgroup unless you use 'p'...
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities group-admin@isc.org r p news.announce.newgroups
# likewise checkgroups
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities group-admin@isc.org c p news.announce.newgroups
# and nobody else gets any attention in these hierarchies
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities	any	nrc	nv

uk	control@usenet.org.uk		nrc	p uk.net.news.announce
wales	control@wales-usenet.org 	nrc	p wales-usenet
england	admin@england.news-admin.org	nrc	p england-usenet
europa	group-admin@usenet.eu.org	nrc	p group-admin@usenet.eu.org
de	moderator@dana.de		nrc	p de.admin.news.announce
nl	nl-admin@nic.surfnet.nl		nrc	p nl.newsgroups
nz	root@usenet.net.nz		nrc	p nz-hir-control
bionet	dmack@*.bio.net			n	y
bionet	dmack@*.bio.net			rc	nv
bionet	kristoff@*.bio.net		n	y
bionet	kristoff@*.bio.net		rc	nv
bionet	shibumi@*.bio.net		nrc	nv
linux	hpa@yggdrasil.com		nrc	nv
bit	jim@*american.edu		nrc	p bit.admin
biz	edhew@xenitec.on.ca		n	y
biz	edhew@xenitec.on.ca		rc	nv
clari	clarinet@clarinet.com		nrc	p ClariNet.Group

# it's really tempting to change this one to nq...
alt	any				nr	nv
alt	any				c	nq

# to.all groups are manually manipulated only
to	any				nrc	nq

# final default:  refuse noisily
all	any				nrc	nv
If you run INN, the corresponding file is 'control.ctl' and the facilities available are slightly different. Here is the nearest equivalent to the 'controlperm' file above.
##  $Revision: 1.4 $
##  control.ctl - access control for control messages
##  Format:
##	:::
##  The last match found is used.
##		Control message or "all" if it applies
##			to all control messages.
##			Pattern that must match the From line.
##		Pattern that must match the newsgroup being
##			newgroup'd or rmgroup'd (ignored for other messages).
##		What to do:
##			    doit	Perform action (usually sends mail too)
##			    doifarg	Do if command has an arg (see sendsys)
##			    doit=xxx	Do action; log to xxx (see below)
##			    drop	Ignore message
##			    log		One line to error log
##			    log=xxx	Log to xxx (see below)
##			    mail	Send mail to admin
##			    verify-ddd	doit if pgpverified by ddd
##			    verify-ddd=xxx
##			xxx=mail to mail; xxx= (empty) to toss; xxx=/full/path
##			to log to /full/path; xxx=foo to log to ${LOG}/foo.log
##	last entry matched is used 
##	DEFAULT
all:*:*:mail

##	CHECKGROUPS MESSAGES
checkgroups:*:*:mail
checkgroups:group-admin@isc.org:comp.*|misc.*|news.*|rec.*|sci.*|soc.*|talk.*|humanities.*:verify-news.announce.newgroups=mail
checkgroups:control@usenet.org.uk:uk.*:verify-uk.net.news.announce=mail
checkgroups:control@wales-usenet.org:wales.*:verify-wales-usenet=mail
checkgroups:admin@england.news-admin.org:england.*:verify-england-usenet=mail
checkgroups:group-admin@usenet.eu.org:europa.*:verify-group-admin@usenet.eu.org=mail

##	IHAVE/SENDME MESSAGES
ihave:*:*:drop
sendme:*:*:drop

##	NEWGROUP MESSAGES
##  Any newsgroups
newgroup:*:*:mail
newgroup:group-admin@isc.org:comp.*|misc.*|news.*|rec.*|sci.*|soc.*|talk.*|humanities.*:verify-news.announce.newgroups=newgroup
newgroup:control@usenet.org.uk:uk.*:verify-uk.net.news.announce=newgroup
newgroup:control@wales-usenet.org:wales.*:verify-wales-usenet=newgroup
newgroup:admin@england.news-admin.org:england.*:verify-england-usenet
newgroup:group-admin@usenet.eu.org:europa.*:verify-group-admin@usenet.eu.org=newgroup
newgroup:moderator@dana.de:de.*:verify-de.admin.news.announce=newgroup
newgroup:nl-admin@nic.surfnet.nl:nl.*:verify-nl.newsgroups=newgroup
newgroup:root@usenet.net.nz:nz.*:verify-nz-hir-control=newgroup
newgroup:dmack@*.bio.net:bionet.*:doit=newgroup
newgroup:kristoff@*.bio.net:bionet.*:doit=newgroup
newgroup:shibumi@*.bio.net:bionet.*:mail
newgroup:hpa@yggdrasil.com:linux.*:doit=newgroup
newgroup:jim@*american.edu:bit.*:verify-bit.admin=newgroup
newgroup:edhew@xenitec.on.ca:biz.*:doit=newgroup
newgroup:clarinet@clarinet.com:clari.*:verify-ClariNet.Group=newgroup

##	RMGROUP MESSAGES
##  Any newsgroups
rmgroup:*:*:mail
rmgroup:group-admin@isc.org:comp.*|misc.*|news.*|rec.*|sci.*|soc.*|talk.*|humanities.*:verify-news.announce.newgroups=mail
rmgroup:control@usenet.org.uk:uk.*:verify-uk.net.news.announce=mail
rmgroup:control@wales-usenet.org:wales.*:verify-wales-usenet=mail
rmgroup:admin@england.news-admin.org:england.*:verify-england-usenet=mail
rmgroup:group-admin@usenet.eu.org:europa.*:verify-group-admin@usenet.eu.org=mail
rmgroup:moderator@dana.de:de.*:verify-de.admin.news.announce=mail
rmgroup:nl-admin@nic.surfnet.nlnews@a3.xs4all.nl:nl.*:verify-nl.newsgroups=mail
rmgroup:root@usenet.net.nz:nz.*:verify-nz-hir-control=mail
rmgroup:dmack@*.bio.net:bionet.*:doit=mail
rmgroup:kristoff@*.bio.net:bionet.*:doit=mail
rmgroup:shibumi@*.bio.net:bionet.*:doit=mail
rmgroup:hpa@yggdrasil.com:linux.*:doit=mail
rmgroup:jim@*american.edu:bit.*:verify-bit.admin=mail
rmgroup:edhew@xenitec.on.ca:biz.*:doit=mail
rmgroup:clarinet@clarinet.com:clari.*:verify-ClariNet.Group=mail

8. How do I send articles to a moderated group?

Normally, you mail it to a server which keeps an up-to-date list of moderators, normally to moderators.isc.org which is an MX record pointing to several sites which maintain a complete list of moderators worldwide. However, you will save one hop if you use usenet.org.uk for groups in uk.*, and this is recommended.

In CNews, one of the following entries in your 'mailpaths' file should suffice.

bionet		%s@net.bio.net
gnu		%s@tut.cis.ohio-state.edu
linux		submit-%s@ratatosk.yggdrasil.com
it		%s@news.nis.garr.it
nl		%s@nl.net
nz		%s@usenet.net.nz
uk		%s@usenet.org.uk
england.*	%s@england.news-admin.org
all		%s@moderators.isc.org
The entries for gnu.* and nz.* were taken from the "nz.* Usenet Hierarchy FAQ". Entries for other top-level hierarchies would be welcomed.

The arrangements in INN are, as usual, similar but different. I believe the following should work.

bionet.*:%s@net.bio.net
gnu.*:%s@tut.cis.ohio-state.edu
linux.*:submit-%s@ratatosk.yggdrasil.com
it.*:%s@news.nis.garr.it
nl.*:%s@nl.net
nz.*:%s@usenet.net.nz
uk.*:%s@usenet.org.uk
england.*:%s@england.news-admin.org
*:%s@moderators.isc.org

9. Who are the moderators of the uk.* groups?

You do not really need this information, unless you want to construct your 'mailpaths' file d-i-y style. But the current list may be inspected at http://www.usenet.org.uk/moderated.html. Note how they all go through "@usenet.org.uk". This has been done so that any change requested by the moderator can be implemented speedily, without the necessity of negotiating the details with isc.org.

Separate "-request" addresses are also provided. These are guaranteed to point to a human moderator rather than a robot. Such addresses should be used to contact the moderator directly, as opposed to submitting an article.

10. What other sources of information are there?

You might like to look at the following regular postings to news.admin.misc.

How to become a Usenet site

<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/usenet/site-setup>

Usenet Software: History and Sources

<ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/usenet/software/part1>
The following Web site is maintained on behalf of the Committee. It contains the official management documents for uk.* as referred to above, the complete set of charters for uk.* groups, and pointers to much other useful information.
<http://www.usenet.org.uk>

11. Where can I find an up-to-date list of newsgroups?

A checkgroups message giving the exact current state of the uk.* hierarchy will be issued by control@usenet.org.uk periodically. In between, for an up-to-date list see
<http://www.usenet.org.uk/checkgroups> (in 'checkgroups' format);
<http://www.usenet.org.uk/newsgroups.html> (for human readers).

12. PGP signature of control messages

The headers of control messages issued by control@usenet.org.uk are authenticated with a PGP signature. See
<ftp://ftp.isc.org/pub/pgpcontrol/README[.html]>
for technical details, patches for CNews and INN, and a list of public keys used by various control message issuers worldwide. For control messages issued by control@usenet.org.uk the public key is:

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: PGPfreeware 5.0i for non-commercial use
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=iInx
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

13. What other questions are there?

Well, you should tell me that.