| _ |
| / \ |
| International /|oo \ |
| FidoNet Association (_| /_) |
| _`@/_ \ _ |
| | | \ \\ |
| P. O. Box 41143 | (*) | \ )) |
| Saint Louis, MO 63141 ______ |__U__| / \// |
| United States of America / FIDO \ _//|| _\ / |
| (________) (_/(_|(____/ |
| (tm) |
F I D O N E T
Policy and Procedures Guide
* * * P R O P O S A L * * *
_______ ____Section Page
1 Overview ...................................................... 1
1.1 The Levels of FidoNet ..................................... 1
1.2 Coordinators .............................................. 2
2 Sysop Procedures .............................................. 4
2.1 How to get a node number .................................. 5
2.2 If you are going down ..................................... 5
2.3 How to form a network ..................................... 6
3 Coordinator Procedures ........................................ 7
3.1 Administrative tasks ...................................... 7
3.1.1 Maintaining the node list ........................... 7
3.1.2 Assigning node numbers .............................. 8
3.1.3 Problem resolution .................................. 8
3.1.4 Formulating local policy ........................... 9
3.2 Node list distribution .................................... 9
3.3 Newsletter distribution ................................... 9
3.4 Network mail distribution ................................. 9
3.5 Anything else ............................................. 9
3.6 Specific coordinator procedures ........................... 10
3.6.1 International Coordinator procedures ................ 10
3.6.2 Zone Coordinator procedures ......................... 10
3.6.3 Regional Coordinator procedures ..................... 11
3.6.4 Network Coordinator procedures ...................... 12
3.6.5 Hub Coordinator procedures .......................... 13
4 Resolution of Disputes ........................................ 14
4.1 Case Histories ............................................ 14
4.1.1 The Case of the Crooked Node ........................ 14
4.1.2 The Case of the Hacker Mailer ....................... 15
4.1.3 The Case of the Network Mutiny ...................... 15
4.1.4 The Case of the Bothered Barker ..................... 15
4.1.5 The Case of the Busy Beaver ......................... 16
4.1.6 The Case of the Sysop Twit .......................... 16
4.1.7 The Case of the EchoMail Junkey key key ............. 16
4.1.8 The Case of the Bouncing Board ...................... 16
Chapter 1 Chapter 1
FidoNet is an amateur electronic mail system. As such, all of its
participants and operators are non-paid volunteers. From its early
beginnings as a few friends swapping messages back and forth, it has
now grown to (August 1987) over 2000 different systems on four
FidoNet is large enough that it would quickly fall apart of its own
weight unless some sort of structure and control were imposed on it.
Multinet operation provides the structure. Decentralized management
provides the control. This document is an attempt to describe the
procedures which have been developed to manage the network.
1.1 The Levels of FidoNet1.1 The Levels of FidoNet
FidoNet nodes are grouped on several levels. These are as follows:
o FidoNeto FidoNet; This indicates the entire public amateur mail network, as
administered by the International FidoNet Association, and as
defined by the weekly node list.
o Zones ____o Zones; A zone is a large geographic area containing many regions,
and covering one or more countries and/or continents.
o Regions ______o Regions; A region is a well defined geographic area containing
nodes which may or may not be combined into networks. A typical
___________ region will contain many nodes in networks, and a few independent
_____ nodes, which are not a part of any network.
o Networks _______o Networks; A network is a collection of nodes, usually in a
relatively small geographic area. Networks coordinate their mail
activity to decrease cost and increase mail throughput.
o Hubs ___o Hubs; A hub is a subdivision of a network that assists in network
management by routing mail to, and by coordinating for, a
collection of nodes in that network. In general only the larger
networks will have hubs.
o Nodes ____o Nodes; A node is a single FidoNet address, and is the smallest
recognized unit of FidoNet.
o Points _____o Points; A point is a node on a private network which is accessible
through a node on FidoNet.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 1
1.2 Coordinators1.2 Coordinators
___________Each subdivision at each level is managed by a coordinator. A
coordinator is a person who coordinates the technical aspects of
network mail. This entails both administrative and technical tasks,
which will be described later. The following levels of coordinators
are currently recognized:
o The International Coordinatoro The International Coordinator; The International Coordinator
compiles all of the node lists from all of the regions and creates
the master node list, which is then distributed over FidoNet.
o The Zone Coordinatoro The Zone Coordinator; A Zone Coordinator maintains the list of
administrative nodes in his zone and accepts node lists from the
Regional Coordinators in his zone. He compiles these lists to
create a zone node list, which he then sends to the International
Coordinator for inclusion in the master node list. A Zone
____ ________ Coordinator is also responsible for overseeing any zone gateways
in his zone.
o The Regional Coordinatoro The Regional Coordinator; A Regional Coordinator maintains the
list of independent nodes in his region and accepts node lists
from the Network Coordinators in his region. He compiles these
lists to create a regional node list for his region, which he then
sends to his Zone Coordinator. A Regional Coordinator does not
perform routing services for any nodes in his region.
o The Network Coordinatoro The Network Coordinator; A Network Coordinator maintains the list
of any nodes in his network that are not served by a hub and
accepts node lists from the Hub Coordinators in his network. He
compiles these lists to create a network node list for his
network, which he then sends to his Regional Coordinator. A
Network Coordinator is also responsible for forwarding any mail
addressed to nodes in his network.
o The Hub Coordinatoro The Hub Coordinator; A Hub Coordinator maintains the list of nodes
in his hub and sends it to his Network Coordinator. A Hub
Coordinator is also responsible for forwarding any mail addressed
to nodes in his hub.
o The Point Coordinatoro The Point Coordinator; Any node in FidoNet can act as a gateway to
___ __ a point network. The Sysop (or system operator) of that node then
acts as the coordinator for his point network.
o The Sysopo The Sysop; A Sysop formulates his own policy for running his board
and dealing with his users, so that will not be discussed in this
document. However, a Sysop must also mesh with the rest of the
____ FidoNet system if he is to send and receive mail, and that will be
These levels act to distribute the administration and control of
FidoNet to the lowest possible level, while still allowing for
coordinated action over the entire mail system. Administration is
made possible by operating in a strict top-down manner. That is, a
__coordinator at any given level is responsible to the coordinator
___immediately above him, and responsible for everyone below him.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 2
For example, a Regional Coordinator is solely responsible to his Zone
Coordinator for anything that may or may not happen in his region.
From the point of view of the Zone Coordinator, the Regional
Coordinator is totally and completely responsible for the smooth
operation of his region. Likewise, from the point of view of the
Regional Coordinator, the Network Coordinators are totally and
completely responsible for the smooth operation of their networks.
If a coordinator at any level above sysop is unable for any reason to
properly perform his duties, he can be replaced by his coordinator at
the next level up. For example, if a Regional Coordinator is failing
to perform his duties, then his Zone Coordinator can appoint a new
Regional Coordinator to replace him.
The primary responsibility of any coordinator is technical management
of network operations. Management decisions should be made strictly
on technical grounds.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 3
Chapter 2 Chapter 2
SYSOP PROCEDURES SYSOP PROCEDURES
A sysop of an individual node can pretty much do as he pleases, as
long as he observes the mail events, is not excessively annoying to
other nodes on FidoNet, and does not promote the distribution of
pirated copyrighted software.
National Mail Hour is the heart of FidoNet, as this is when network
mail is passed between systems. Any system which wishes to be a part
____of FidoNet must be able to receive mail at this time. A system which
is a member of a network may also be required to observe additional
mail events, as defined by his Network Coordinator.
Failure to observe the proper mail events is sufficient grounds for
any node to be dropped from FidoNet without notice (since notice is
generally given by FidoNet mail).
Network mail systems generally operate unattended and place calls at
odd hours of the night. If a system tries to call an incorrect or out
of date number, it could cause some poor citizen's phone to ring in
the wee hours of the morning, much to the annoyance of innocent
bystanders and civil authorities. For this reason, a sysop who sends
mail is obligated to obtain and use the most recent edition of the
node list as is practical.
A system which has been dropped from the network is said to be
______________excommunicated (i.e. unable to communicate). A node which has been
excommunicated may or may not be listed for a time in the "dog house",
which is included in the comments at the end of the node list. If you
find that you have been excommunicated without warning, then that
means that your coordinator was unable to contact you. You should
rectify the problem and report back.
The exact timing of National Mail Hour is set for each zone by the
Zone Coordinator. In zone 2 National Mail Hour is
observed from 0230 to 0330 GMT every day, weekends included.
___FidoNet does not observe daylight savings time. In areas which
observe daylight savings time the FidoNet mail schedules must be
adjusted in the same direction as the clock change. Alternatively,
you can simply leave your system on standard time.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 4
2.1 How to get a node number2.1 How to get a node number
You must first obtain a current node list so that you can send mail.
You do not need a node number to send mail, but you must have one in
order for others to send mail to you.
The first step in obtaining a current node list is to locate a FidoNet
bulletin board. No help there; you're on your own. Most bulletin
board lists include at least a few FidoNet systems, and usually
identify them as such, so this shouldn't be too hard.
If the sysop of any FidoNet system does not have a node list available
for downloading, then he can probably tell you where to get one.
Once you have a node list, you must determine which coordinator to
apply to. The coordinator of any network or region is always node
zero of that network or region. A Hub Coordinator will always be
indicated in the node list by a "HUB" prefix.
You should apply to the lowest-level coordinator that covers your
area. For example, if you are located within the hub of a network,
then you would apply to the Hub Coordinator. If there is no network
that covers your area, then you would apply to the Regional
Coordinator for your region.
____Your application for a node number must be sent to the coordinator by
____FidoNet mail, and must include at least the following:
1) Your name.
2) The name of your system.
3) The city and state where your system is located.
4) The phone number to be used when calling your system.
5) Your hours of operation.
6) The maximum baud rate you can support.
Your coordinator may want additional information. If so, he will
contact you. Please allow at least two to three weeks for a node
number request to be processed.
2.2 If you are going down2.2 If you are going down
If your node will be down for an extended period (more than a day or
__ ____ __ ________two), then you should inform your coordinator as soon as possible. If
you do not do this, then other systems will still try to reach you
__ ___ _____while you are down, much to the annoyance of everyone. Do not under
___ _____________any circumstances put an answering machine or similar device on your
phone line while you are down. If you do, then calling systems will
get the machine repeatedly, racking up large phone bills, which is
____ Resolution of Disputesvery annoying. See the section on Resolution of Disputes for details
on what happens to annoying people.
If you will be leaving your system unattended for an extended period
of time (such as while you are on vacation), you should notify your
coordinator. Systems do have a tendency to "crash" now and then, so
you will probably want your coordinator to know that it is a temporary
condition if it happens while you are away.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 5
2.3 How to form a network2.3 How to form a network
If there are several nodes in your area, but no network, then you may
wish to form your own. You may also be requested to form a network by
your Regional Coordinator.
Your first step is to contact the other sysops in your area. You must
decide which nodes will comprise the network, and which of those nodes
is going to be the Network Coordinator. Your next step is to inform
your Regional Coordinator. You must send him a FidoNet message with
the following information:
1) The region number(s), or network number(s) if a network is
splitting up, that are affected by the formation of your network.
The Regional Coordinator will inform the coordinators of any
affected networks that a new network is in formation.
2) The name that you wish to call your network. Please try to select
a name that relates to your grouping. For example, SoCalNet for
nodes in the Southern California Area and MassNet for
Massachusettes Area. Remember if you call yourself DOGNET it
doesn't help others know what area of the country (or even what
country) your group is in.
3) A copy of the proposed network's nodelist. The nodelist file
should be named Frrr-nnn.NET where rrr is the proposed host's
current region or network number and nnn is his current node
number. For example, if the proposed host is currently listed as
node 5 in region 13, then you would name the file F013-005.NET.
This file should be sent attached to the message of Application for
a Network Number.
SAMPLE FORMAT OF A Frrr-nnn.NET FILE
Host,xxx,St_Louis_Area, St_Louis_MO,Ken_Kaplan, 1-314-432-4129,2400
Pvt ,076,Ben's_Bakery, Godfrey_IL, Ben_Baker, -Unpublished-, 1200
,482,Dirty_Ole_Man, Wood_Riv_IL,Ervin_Cole, 1-618-254-2763,1200
,010,MDC_RCC, St_Louis_MO,Terry_Mueller, 1-314-232-6881,2400
,022,PCLUG, St_Louis_MO,Ken_Kaplan, 1-314-576-2743,2400
,051,DECUS_Central, St_Louis_MO,Ken_Kaplan, 1-314-432-4129,2400
,339,Midnight_Cnct, St_Louis_MO,Ray_Weil, 1-314-961-1585,1200
Pvt ,492,Neu's_Node, Omaha_NB, Paul_Neu, -Unpublished-, 2400
Pvt ,500,Alex'_Fido, St_Louis_MO,Alex_Hartley, -Unpublished-, 1200
,501,ZIGGY's_Castle,Fenton_MO, Mike_Cravens, 1-314-225-9684,1200
___Granting of a network number is not automatic. Your Regional
Coordinator will review your application and inform you of his
______Do not send a network number request to the Zone Coordinator.
____All network number requests must be processed by the Regional
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 6
Chapter 3 Chapter 3
COORDINATOR PROCEDURES COORDINATOR PROCEDURES
This chapter describes the procedures followed by all coordinators at
all levels. Later we will go into more detail on those procedures
which are specific to any given type of coordinator.
All coordinators have four primary duties. In order of decreasing
importance, they are:
1) Administrative tasks.
2) Node list distribution.
3) Newsletter distribution.
4) Network mail distribution.
At first glance it would seem that network mail distribution should be
the highest priority, since after all that's why we're running a
network in the first place. But the first three priorities are needed
to ensure smooth operation of the network, and hence must have a
3.1 Administrative tasks3.1 Administrative tasks
First and foremost, every coordinator is also the sysop of his own
node. It must be possible for others to reach you by network mail.
So in addition to the other tasks of a coordinator, you must also
observe all of the requirements for being a node.
3.1.1 Maintaining the node list3.1.1 Maintaining the node list
A coordinator at any level must maintain his portion of the node list.
Almost any coordinator will have some nodes in his node list which are
not a part of any subgroup. For example, a Zone Coordinator must
maintain a list of administrative nodes for his zone, and a Regional
Coordinator must maintain a list of independent nodes in his region.
A Hub Coordinator (or the Network Coordinator in a network without
hubs) must maintain the list of all nodes in his area.
A coordinator is responsible for seeing to it that his portion of the
node list is kept reasonably accurate. You should attempt to
implement name changes, phone number changes, and so forth in this
node list as soon as possible. You should also check from time to
time to ensure that all of the listed nodes are in fact capable of
accepting network mail. How best to accomplish this is left to your
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 7
3.1.2 Assigning node numbers3.1.2 Assigning node numbers
You may assign node numbers to new nodes in your list, but keep in
mind the following:
1) It is your responsibility to ensure that the node number you assign
is unique within that region or network.
2) You should try to avoid assigning node numbers when an existing
subdivision of your area already covers the location of the new
node. For example, a Regional Coordinator should try to avoid
assigning independent nodes in a city that has its own network.
You may also change the numbers of existing nodes in your area, though
you should check with the respective nodes before doing so.
You should not under any circumstances assign a node number to any
system until you have received a formal request from that system by
FidoNet mail. This will ensure that the system is at least minimally
operational. The strict maintenance of this policy has been one of
the great strengths of FidoNet.
It is also recommended, though not required, that you call a board
which is applying for a node number before assigning it a node number.
You should use network mail to inform a new node of his node number,
as this helps to insure that he is capable of receiving network mail.
3.1.3 Problem resolution3.1.3 Problem resolution
From time to time you may be called on to resolve a problem in your
area. This could be a technical problem relating to the four primary
duties of a coordinator, or it could be related to annoying behaviour
on the part of someone in your area.
If the problem is caused by a node or a coordinator immediately under
you, then it is your responsibility to resolve the problem in whatever
manner you deem fit. If the problem is in a subdivision of your area,
then you should first refer it to the appropriate coordinator. If
that coordinator does not resolve the problem satisfactorily, then you
can appoint a replacement.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 8
3.1.4 Formulating local policy3.1.4 Formulating local policy
It is your responsibility to formulate any local policies which are
required for the smooth operation of your assigned area. Any policies
you establish must not conflict with any policies established by a
coordinator above you or with this policy document.
3.2 Node list distribution3.2 Node list distribution
The node list is posted weekly on Saturday, along with a "difference
file" giving the changes for the week. It is your responsibility to
obtain the difference file from your coordinator every week and to
distribute it to the coordinators below you. The method of
distribution is left to your discretion. It is also desirable that
you make it available for downloading by the general user, but this is
3.3 Newsletter distribution3.3 Newsletter distribution
________The newsletter, called FidoNews, is published weekly on Monday and is
distributed as an archive named FNEWSvnn.ARC, where "v" is the volume
number and "nn" is the issue number. It is your responsibility to
obtain this archive from your coordinator every week and to distribute
it to the coordinators below you. The method of distribution is left
to your discretion. It is also desirable that you make it available
for downloading by the general user in both archived an unarchived
form, but this is not required.
3.4 Network mail distribution3.4 Network mail distribution
It is your responsibility to ensure that network mail in your area is
operating in an acceptable manner. Exactly what this involves will
depend on what level you are at, and will be discussed in more detail
3.5 Anything else3.5 Anything else
You should encourage sysops and users in your region to contribute to
FidoNews. If you receive any submissions, you should forward them to
the FidoNews publisher. Think of yourself as being a regional bureau
chief on the FidoNews editorial staff.
FidoNews and the node list are the glue that holds us together.
Without them, we cease to be a community, and become just another
random collection of bulletin boards.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 9
3.6 Specific coordinator procedures3.6 Specific coordinator procedures
The above outlines the procedures which are followed by all
coordinators. We will now discuss additional procedures followed by
specific types of coordinators.
3.6.1 International Coordinator procedures3.6.1 International Coordinator procedures
The International Coordinator is appointed by the Board of Directors
of the International FidoNet Association, Inc. The Board of Directors
can appoint a replacement for the International Coordinator at any
The International Coordinator is responsible for format of the node-
list and the update files.
The International Coordinator is responsible for allocating zones,
assigning zone numbers, and for appointing the Zone Coordinator for
3.6.2 Zone Coordinator procedures3.6.2 Zone Coordinator procedures
A Zone Coordinator is responsible for dividing his zone into regions,
assigning region numbers, and for appointing the Regional Coordinator
for each region. A Zone Coordinator also assigns a pool of numbers to
each Regional Coordinator for use in assigning network numbers.
A Zone Coordinator is responsible for locating nodes willing to act as
____ _____zone gates for passing mail between his zone and the other zones, if
at all possible. A Zone Coordinator should not appoint any node as a
zone gate unless the sysop of that node is willing and able to provide
reasonably reliable interzone mail. Zone gates are highly desirable,
____but if provided they must be reasonably reliable.
A Zone Coordinator maintains the list of administrative nodes within
his zone. The administrative nodes will always have a region number
the same as the zone number. For example, the administrative nodes
for Zone 3 will always be in Region 3.
A Zone Coordinator may use administrative node addresses for whatever
he likes, except that any node number which is the same as another
zone number is reserved for the zone gate to that zone. For example,
in Zone 3 the network address "3/2" is reserved for use by the zone
gate that passes mail from Zone 3 to Zone 2.
___A Zone Coordinator may not assign a region number that is the same as
any other zone number. This is because administrative regions are, by
definition, present in all zones.
A zone coordinator is responsible for the weekly zone and world nodelist
to be published in his zone on Saturdays.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 10
3.6.3 Regional Coordinator procedures3.6.3 Regional Coordinator procedures
A Regional Coordinator is responsible for approving new networks,
assigning network numbers, and for appointing a Network Coordinator
for each network.
Each Regional Coordinator will be assigned a pool of numbers to use
when assigning network numbers. A Regional Coordinator should never
assign a network number outside of this pool, and should never assign
the same number to more than one network. If a Regional Coordinator
assigns all of the numbers in his pool, he should apply to his Zone
Coordinator for additional numbers.
A Regional Coordinator should try to avoid the needless proliferation
of networks. Networks should not be allocated on any basis other than
technical and practical considerations relating to network mail
operations. For example, persons wishing to establish networks on the
basis of special interests or for company mail should be encouraged to
investigate the alternatives, such as echomail conferences and point
A Regional Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the list of
independent nodes within his region. This will consist primarily of
those nodes which are not within the coverage area of any network.
___There are, however, certain cases where a node should not be a member
of a network, such as a commercial system with a large volume of
traffic which would clog the network. The resolution of such special
cases is left to your own discretion.
If several independent nodes in a region are in a "clump", then the
Regional Coordinator should encourage or require them to form a
forming a networknetwork. Refer to the sysop procedure on forming a network for
___Note that this does not mean that a Regional Coordinator should
encourage the formation of trivial networks. Obviously, one node does
not make a network. The exact number of nodes required for an
effective network must be judged according to the circumstances of the
situation, and is left to the discretion of the Regional Coordinator.
It is the responsibility of a Regional Coordinator to ensure that the
networks within his region are operating in an acceptible manner.
___This does not mean that he is required to operate those networks; that
is the responsibility of the Network Coordinators. It means that he
is responsible for seeing to it that the Network Coordinators within
his region are acting responsibly.
A Regional Coordinator is obligated to maintain direct and reasonably
frequent contact with the networks in his region. The exact method of
accomplishing this is left to the discretion of the Regional
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 11
3.6.4 Network Coordinator procedures3.6.4 Network Coordinator procedures
A Network Coordinator is responsible for assigning node numbers to any
nodes within his network which are not managed by a Hub Coordinator.
A Network Coordinator is also responsible for allocating any hubs
within his network and for appointing a Hub Coordinator for each hub.
If a Network Coordinator assigns any Hub Coordinators, then he also
assigns a pool of numbers to each Hub Coordinator for use in assigning
It is the responsibility of a Network Coordinator to receive all
inbound mail for nodes in his network and to forward it to its
recipients. How to accomplish this is left to the discretion of the
Network Coordinator. However, there are a few exceptions:
1) Once in awhile a node will try to make a "bombing run" (sending one
message to a great many nodes). Bombing runs are considered to be
annoying, and may be dealt with accordingly.
2) Occasionally a user will appear who receives a great deal of
traffic. If a single node is receiving enough mail to interfere
with mail delivery to the other nodes in his network, then his
Network Coordinator can refer him to his Regional Coordinator for
reassignment as an independent node.
3) The most common source of routing overload is echomail. Echomail
is a nice invention, and offers great benefits, but it cannot be
allowed to degrade the ability of FidoNet to handle normal message
traffic. If a node in a network is routing large volumes of
echomail, the sysop can be asked to either limit the amount of
echomail, or even to stop routing his echomail completely. The
design of echomail is such that it is a simple matter to do either
A Network Coordinator is responsible for assigning any additional mail
events which may be required for operation of his network. Any node
in a network may be excommunicated for failing to observe these
additional mail events.
________ _______A Network Coordinator may appoint a node as the outbound gateway for
his network if he so desires and if one can be found. In no case
should a node be appointed as an outbound gateway unless the sysop of
that node is willing and able to provide reasonably reliable service.
___Note that a Network Coordinator is not required to appoint an outbound
gateway. If a Network Coordinator chooses to appoint an outbound
gateway, then it is left to the Network Coordinator to establish any
rules, policies, and procedures relating to its use.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 12
3.6.5 Hub Coordinator procedures3.6.5 Hub Coordinator procedures
A Hub Coordinator is responsible for assigning node numbers to nodes
in his area. Each Hub Coordinator will be assigned a pool of numbers
to use when assigning node numbers. A Hub Coordinator should never
assign a node number outside of this pool, and should never assign the
same number to more than one node. If a Hub Coordinator assigns all
of the numbers in his pool, he should apply to his Network Coordinator
for additional numbers.
It is the responsibility of a Hub Coordinator to receive all inbound
mail for nodes in his hub and to forward it to its recipients. How to
accomplish this is left to the discretion of the Hub Coordinator.
However, the same exceptions apply here as for a Network Coordinator.
A Hub Coordinator may have additional duties, as assigned by his
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 13
Chapter 4 Chapter 4
RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
The world not being perfect, sometimes troubles crop up. Any
organization larger than a cub scout pack needs some sort of grievance
procedure, and FidoNet is no exception.
The FidoNet judicial philosophy can be summed up in two rules:
Thou shalt not excessively annoy others. 1) Thou shalt not excessively annoy others.
Thou shalt not be too easily annoyed. 2) Thou shalt not be too easily annoyed.
In other words, there are no hard and fast rules of conduct, but
____reasonably polite behavior is expected. Also, in any dispute both
sides are examined, and action could be taken against either or both
parties. ("Judge not, lest ye be judged!")
In any case of annoying behavior the person to complain to is the
coordinator of the person who is annoying you. For example, if you
have a problem with a point or a user you would complain to his sysop,
or if you have a problem with a Regional Coordinator you would
complain to his Zone Coordinator, and so on.
If the coordinator you complain to fails to resolve the problem, then
___you can complain to his coordinator. For example, if you had a
problem with a Hub Coordinator, you would first complain to his
Network Coordinator. Then if the Network Coordinator does not resolve
the problem, you would complain to his Regional Coordinator.
Do not ever skip over a coordinator when filing a complaint. That in
itself is annoying.
4.1 Case Histories4.1 Case Histories
A few actual case histories of past disputes may be instructive to
show general procedures and methods. Names have been left out to
protect the guilty.
4.1.1 The Case of the Crooked Node4.1.1 The Case of the Crooked Node
A sysop of a local node was using network mail to engage in unethical
business practices. His Network Coordinator became very annoyed at
this, and dropped the local from his node list.
The local appealed to his Regional Coordinator for assignment as an
independent node. The Regional Coordinator, on checking with the
Network Coordinator, decided that the Network Coordinator was within
his rights to be annoyed. Independent status was denied.
FidoNet Policy and Procedures *** PROPOSAL *** Page 14
4.1.2 The Case of the Hacker Mailer4.1.2 The Case of the Hacker Mailer
A sysop of a local node made use of file attaches for extra users to
mail himself the USER.BBS file from several local boards. The sysops
of these boards felt annoyed at this, and appealed to their Network
Coordinator, who agreed and dropped the offending node from the node
The Regional Coordinator was not consulted.
The International Coordinator did not intervene.
4.1.3 The Case of the Network Mutiny4.1.3 The Case of the Network Mutiny
Several local nodes became annoyed with their Network Coordinator for
failing to provide services. They complained to him, but nothing was
They appealed to their Regional Coordinator, who decided that they
were justified in their annoyance and accepted their application for a
new network number.
4.1.4 The Case of the Bothered Barker4.1.4 The Case of the Bothered Barker
A local node became annoyed with his Network Coordinator for failing
to provide services. Repeated complaints to his Network Coordinator
did not satisfy him, so he appealed to the International Coordinator.
The International Coordinator, on seeing that the Regional Coordinator
had not been consulted, dismissed the complaint out of hand.
The local node submitted his complaint to his Regional Coordinator,
who investigated the case and discovered that there was some justice
to the complaint. He advised and assisted the Network Coordinator in
configuring his system to provide an improved level of service to the
The Regional Coordinator also decided that the local node was being
too easily annoyed, in that he was expecting services not normally
required of a Network Coordinator. The local node was informed as to
the true duties of a Network Coordinator, and was advised to lower his
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4.1.5 The Case of the Busy Beaver4.1.5 The Case of the Busy Beaver
A local node which was operated by a retail establishment was engaged
in making "bombing runs" to mail advertisements over FidoNet. His
Network Coordinator felt annoyed and handling the outgoing traffic for
a commercial operation, and asked the local node to leave the network.
The local node applied to the Regional Coordinator, and was granted
status as an independent node in his region.
4.1.6 The Case of the Sysop Twit4.1.6 The Case of the Sysop Twit
A patron of various local nodes had been roundly recognized by all
sysops as a twit. The user obtained his own system, became a sysop,
and applied for a node number. The Network Coordinator denied the
request. No appeals were made.
4.1.7 The Case of the EchoMail Junkey key key4.1.7 The Case of the EchoMail Junkey key key
A local node became enamored with EchoMail and joined several
conferences, routing his outbound mail through his network. He then
started an EchoMail conference of his own and began relaying EchoMail
between several systems, again routing it all through his network.
His Network Coordinator observed that network performance was becoming
seriously impaired. The offending node was told to hold it down. A
compromise was reached whereby much of the EchoMail traffic was no
longer routed through the network, and routed EchoMail was limited to
twenty messages per night. No appeals were made.
4.1.8 The Case of the Bouncing Board4.1.8 The Case of the Bouncing Board
A local user decided to establish a node to promote a worthy charity.
The machine being used was also used for various other activities
during the day, and the sysop was often called away. His coworkers
would often forget to bring the board up at the end of the day while
he was away, so the node was often down for extended periods. The
Network Coordinator, on finding the node unable to receive mail, would
mark it as down. The sysop would return, restart the board, and ask
to be reinstated as a node.
The Network Coordinator eventually decided that the sysop was not able
to maintain a reliable system, and removed him from the node list
completely. Future requests for a node number from the same sysop
were turned down. No appeals were made.
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