Fidonet Policy Document

FidoNet Policy Document Version 4.07 June 9, 1989

This policy document has been accepted by vote of the FidoNet coordinator structure, and is the current FidoNet policy document until superceded.

(There are no differences between this version and 4.06 except the statement above.)

1 Overview

This document establishes the policy for sysops who are members of the FidoNet organization of electronic bulletin board systems. FidoNet is defined by a NodeList issued weekly by the International Coordinator.

Separate policy documents may be issued at the zone, region, or net level to provide additional detail on local procedures. Ordinarily, these lower-level policies may not contradict this policy. However, with the approval of the International Coordinator, local policy can be used to implement differences required due to local conditions. These local policies may not place additional restrictions on members of FidoNet beyond those included in this document, other than enforcement of local mail periods.

1.0 Language

The official language of FidoNet is English. All documents must exist in English. Translation into other languages is encouraged.

1.1 Introduction

FidoNet is an amateur electronic mail system. As such, all of its partici- pants and operators are unpaid volunteers. From its early beginning as a few friends swapping messages back and forth (1984), it now (1989) includes over 5,000 systems on six continents.

FidoNet is not a common carrier or a value-added service network and is a public network only in as much as the independent, constituent nodes may individually provide public access to the network on their system.

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 describes the procedures which have been developed to manage the network.

1.2 Organization

FidoNet systems are grouped on several levels, and administration is decen- tralized to correspond with these groupings. This overview provides a summary of the structure; specific duties of the coordinator positions are given later in the document.

1.2.1 Individual Systems and System Operators

The smallest subdivision of FidoNet is the individual system, corresponding to a single entry in the nodelist. The system operator (sysop) formulates a policy for running the board and dealing with users. The sysop must mesh with the rest of the FidoNet system to send and receive mail, and the local policy must be consistent with other levels of FidoNet. Users

The sysop is responsible for the actions of any user when they affect the rest of FidoNet. (If a user is annoying, the sysop is annoying.) Any traffic entering FidoNet via a given node, if not from the sysop, is consid- ered to be from a user and is the responsibility of the sysop. (See section 2.1.3.) Points

A point is a FidoNet-compatible system that is not in the nodelist, but communicates with FidoNet through a node referred to as a bossnode. A point is generally regarded in the same manner as a user, for example, the bossnode is responsible for mail from the point. (See section 2.1.3.) Points are addressed by using the bossnode's nodelist address; for example, a point system with a bossnode of 114/15 might be known as 114/15.12. Mail destined for the point is sent to the bossnode, which then routes it to the point.

In supporting points, the bossnode makes use of a private net number which should not be generally visible outside of the bossnode-point relationship. Unfortunately, should the point call another system directly (to do a file request, for example), the private network number will appear as the caller's address. In this way, points are different from users, since they operate FidoNet-compatible mailers which are capable of contacting systems other than the bossnode.

1.2.3 Networks and Network Coordinators

A network is a collection of nodes in a local geographic area, usually defined by an area of convenient telephone calling. Networks coordinate their mail activity to decrease cost.

The Network Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the list of nodes for the network, and for forwarding netmail sent to members of the network from other FidoNet nodes. The Network Coordinator may make arrangements to handle outgoing netmail, but is not required to do so.

The Network Coordinator is appointed by the Regional Coordinator. Network Routing Hubs

Network Routing Hubs exist only in some networks. They may be appointed by the Network Coordinator, in order to assist in the management of a large net- work. The exact duties and procedures are a matter for the Network Coordina- tor and the hubs to arrange, and will not be discussed here, except that a network coordinator cannot delegate responsibility to mediate disputes.

1.2.4 Regions and Regional Coordinators

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.

The Regional Coordinator maintains the list of independent nodes in the region and accepts nodelists from the Network Coordinators in the region. These are compiled to create a regional nodelist, which is then sent to the Zone Coordinator. A Regional Coordinator does not perform message-forwarding services for any nodes in the region.

Regional Coordinators are appointed by the Zone Coordinator.

1.2.5 Zones and Zone Coordinators

A zone is a large geographic area containing many regions, covering one or more countries and/or continents.

The Zone Coordinator compiles the nodelists from all of the regions in the zone, and creates the master nodelist and difference file, which is then distributed over FidoNet in the zone. A Zone Coordinator does not perform message-forwarding services for any nodes in the zone.

Zone Coordinators are selected by the Regional Coordinators in that zone.

1.2.6 Zone Coordinator Council

In certain cases, the Zone Coordinators work as a council to provide advice to the International Coordinator. The arrangement is similar to that between a president and advisors. In particular, this council considers inter-zonal issues. This includes, but is not limited to: working out the details of nodelist production, mediating inter-zonal disputes, and such issues not addressed at a lower level of FidoNet.

1.2.7 International Coordinator

The International Coordinator is the "first among equals" Zone Coordinator, and coordinates the joint production of the master nodelist by the Zone Coordinators.

The International Coordinator acts as the chair of the Zone Coordinator Council and as the overseer of elections -- arranging the announcement of referenda, the collection and counting of the ballots, and announcing the results for those issues that affect FidoNet as a whole.

The International Coordinator is selected by the Zone Coordinators.

1.2.8 Top-down Organization. Checks and Balances.

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 top-down manner. That is, a person at any given level is responsible to the level above, and responsible for the level below.

For example, a Regional Coordinator is responsible to the Zone Coordinator for anything that happens in the region. From the point of view of the Zone Coordinator, the Regional Coordinator is completely responsible for the smooth operation of the region. Likewise, from the point of view of the Regional Coordinator, the Network Coordinator is completely responsible for the smooth operation of the network.

If a person at any level above sysop is unable to properly perform their duties, the person at the next level may replace them. For example, if a Regional Coordinator fails to perform, the Zone Coordinator can replace him.

To provide for checks and balances at the highest level of FidoNet, there are two exceptions to this top-down organization. Zone Coordinators and the International Coordinator are selected by a majority vote of the coordinators at the level below. Similarly, decisions made by the International Coordina- tor can be reversed by the Zone Coordinator Council, and decisions made by a Zone Coordinator can be reversed by the Regional Coordinators. See sections 6 and 7 for details. Decisions made by other coordinators are not subject to reversal by a vote of the lower level, but instead are subject to the appeal process described in section 9.5.

1.3 Definitions

1.3.1 FidoNews

FidoNews is a weekly newsletter distributed in electronic form throughout the network. It is an important medium by which FidoNet sysops communicate with each other. FidoNews provides a sense of being a community of people with common interests. Accordingly, sysops and users are encouraged to contribute to FidoNews. Contributions are submitted to node 1:1/1; a file describing the format to be used is available from 1:1/1 and many other systems.

1.3.2 Geography

Each level of FidoNet is geographically contained by the level immediately above it. A given geographic location is covered by one zone and one region within that zone, and is either in one network or not in a network. There are never two zones, two regions, or two networks which cover the same geographic area.

If a node is in the area of a network, it should be listed in that network, not as an independent in the region. (The primary exception to this is a node receiving inordinate amounts of host-routed mail; see section 4.2). Network boundaries are based on calling areas as defined by the local telephone company. Even in the case of areas where node density is so great that more than one network is needed to serve one local calling area, a geo- graphic guideline is used to decide which nodes belong to what network. Network membership is based on geographic or other purely technical ratio- nale. It is not based on personal or social factors.

There are cases in which the local calling areas lead to situations where logic dictates that a node physically in one FidoNet Region should be assigned to another. In those cases, with the agreement of the Regional Coordinators and Zone Coordinator involved, exemptions may be granted. Such exemptions are described in section 5.6.

1.3.3 Zone Mail Hour

Zone Mail Hour (ZMH) is a defined time during which all nodes in a zone are required to be able to accept netmail. Each Fidonet zone defines a ZMH and publishes the time of its ZMH to all other Fidonet zones. See sections 2.1.8 and 10.2.

Zone Mail Hour has previously been referred to as National Mail Hour and Network Mail hour. The term Zone Mail Hour is more accurate.

1.3.4 Nodelist

The nodelist is a file updated weekly which contains the addresses of all recognized FidoNet nodes. This file is currently made available by the Zone Coordinator not later than Zone Mail Hour each Saturday, and is available electronically for download or file request at no charge. To be included in the nodelist, a system must meet the requirements defined by this document. No other requirements may be imposed.

Partial nodelists (single-zone, for example) may be made available at different levels in FidoNet. The full list as published by the International Coordinator is regarded as the official FidoNet nodelist, and is used in circumstances such as determination of eligibility for voting. All parts that make up the full nodelist are available on each Zone Coordinator's and each Regional Coordinator's system.

1.3.5 Excessively Annoying Behavior

There are references throughout this policy to "excessively annoying behav- ior", especially in section 9 (Resolution of Disputes). It is difficult to define this term, as it is based upon the judgement of the coordinator structure. Generally speaking, annoying behavior irritates, bothers, or causes harm to some other person. It is not necessary to break a law to be annoying.

There is a distinction between excessively annoying behavior and (simply) annoying behavior. For example, there is a learning curve that each new sysop must climb, both in the technical issues of how to set up the software and the social issues of how to interact with FidoNet. It is a rare sysop who, at some point in this journey, does not manage to annoy others. Only when such behavior persists, after being pointed out to the sysop, does it becomes excessively annoying. This does not imply that it is not possible to be excessively annoying without repetition (for example, deliberate falsifi- cation of mail would likely be excessively annoying on the very first try), but simply illustrates that a certain amount of tolerance is extended.

Refer to section 9 and the case studies (section 10.3) for more information.

1.3.6 Commercial Use

FidoNet is an amateur network. Participants spend their own time and money to make it work for the good of all the users. It is not appropriate for a commercial enterprise to take advantage of these volunteer efforts to further their own business interests. On the other hand, FidoNet provides a convenient and effective means for companies and users to exchange informa- tion, to the mutual benefit of all.

Network Coordinators could be forced to subsidize commercial operations by forwarding host-routed netmail, and could even find themselves involved in a lawsuit if any guarantee was suggested for mail delivery. It is therefore FidoNet policy that commercial mail is not to be routed. "Commercial mail" includes mail which furthers specific business interests without being of benefit to the net as a whole. Examples include company-internal mail, inter-corporate mail, specific product inquiries (price quotes, for in- stance), orders and their follow-ups, and all other subjects specifically related to business.

2 Sysop Procedures

2.1 General

2.1.1 The Basics

As the sysop of an individual node, you can generally do as you please, as long as you observe mail events, are not excessively annoying to other nodes in FidoNet, and do not promote or participate in the distribution of pirated copyrighted software or other illegal behavior via FidoNet.

2.1.2 Familiarity with Policy

In order to understand the meaning of "excessively annoying", it is incumbent upon all sysops to occasionally re-read FidoNet policy. New sysops must familiarize themselves with policy before requesting a node number.

2.1.3 Responsible for All Traffic Entering FidoNet Via the Node

The sysop listed in the nodelist entry is responsible for all traffic entering FidoNet via that system. This includes (but is not limited to) traffic entered by users, points, and any other networks for which the system might act as a gateway. If a sysop allows "outside" messages to enter FidoNet via the system, the gateway system must be clearly identified by FidoNet node number as the point of origin of that message, and it must act as a gateway in the reverse direction. Should such traffic result in a violation of Policy, the sysop must rectify the situation.

2.1.4 Encryption and Review of Mail

FidoNet is an amateur system. Our technology is such that the privacy of messages cannot be guaranteed. As a sysop, you have the right to review traffic flowing through your system, if for no other reason than to ensure that the system is not being used for illegal or commercial purposes. Encryption obviously makes this review impossible. Therefore, encrypted and/or commercial traffic that is routed without the express permission of all the links in the delivery system constitutes annoying behavior. See section 1.3.6 for a definition of commercial traffic.

2.1.5 No Alteration of Routed Mail

You may not modify, other than as required for routing or other technical purposes, any message, netmail or echomail, passing through the system from one FidoNet node to another. If you are offended by the content of a message, the procedure described in section 2.1.7 must be used.

2.1.6 Private Netmail

The word "private" should be used with great care, especially with users of a BBS. Some countries have laws which deal with "private mail", and it should be made clear that the word "private" does not imply that no person other than the recipient can read messages. Sysops who cannot provide this distinction should consider not offering users the option of "private mail".

If a user sends a "private message", the user has no control over the number of intermediate systems through which that message is routed. A sysop who sends a message to another sysop can control this aspect by sending the message direct to the recipient's system, thus guaranteeing that only the recipient or another individual to whom that sysop has given authorization can read the message. Thus, a sysop may have different expectations than a casual user. No Disclosure of in-transit mail

Disclosing or in any way using information contained in private netmail traffic not addressed to you or written by you is considered annoying behavior, unless the traffic has been released by the author or the recipient as a part of a formal policy complaint. This does not apply to echomail which is by definition a broadcast medium, and where private mail is often used to keep a sysop-only area restricted. Private mail addressed to you

The issue of private mail which is addressed to you is more difficult than the in-transit question treated in the previous section. A common legal opinion holds that when you receive a message it becomes your property and you have a legal right to do with it what you wish. Your legal right does not excuse you from annoying others.

In general, sensitive material should not be sent using FidoNet. This ideal is often compromised, as FidoNet is our primary mode of communication. In general, if the sender of a message specifically requests in the text of the message that the contents be kept confidential, release of the message into a public forum may be considered annoying.

There are exceptions. If someone is saying one thing in public and saying the opposite in private mail, the recipient of the private mail should not be subjected to harassment simply because the sender requests that the message not be released. Judgement and common sense should be used in this area as in all other aspects of FidoNet behavior.

2.1.7 Not Routing Mail

You are not required to route traffic if you have not agreed to do so. You are not obligated to route traffic for all if you route it for any, unless you hold a Network Coordinator or Hub Coordinator position. Routing traffic through a node not obligated to perform routing without the permission of that node may be annoying behavior. This includes unsolicited echomail.

If you do not forward a message when you previously agreed to perform such routing, the message must be returned to the sysop of the node at which it entered FidoNet with an explanation of why it was not forwarded. (It is not necessary to return messages which are addressed to a node which is not in the current nodelist.) Intentionally stopping an in-transit message without following this procedure constitutes annoying behavior. In the case of a failure to forward traffic due to a technical problem, it does not become annoying unless it persists after being pointed out to the sysop.

2.1.8 Exclusivity of Zone Mail Hour

Zone 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 during this time using the protocol defined in the current FidoNet Technical Standards Committee publication (FTS-0001 at this writing). It is permissible to have greater capability (for example, to support additional protocols or extended mail hours), but the minimum requirement is FTS-0001 capability during this one hour of the day.

This time is exclusively reserved for netmail. Many phone systems charge on a per-call basis, regardless of whether a connect, no connect, or busy signal is encountered. For this reason, any activity other than normal network mail processing that ties up a system during ZMH is considered annoying behavior. Echomail should not be transferred during ZMH. User (BBS) access to a system is prohibited during ZMH.

A system which is a member of a local network may also be required to observe additional mail events, as defined by the Network Coordinator. Access restrictions during local network periods are left to the discretion of the Network Coordinator.

2.1.9 Private Nodes

The rare exception to ZMH compliance is private nodes. Persons requesting private nodes should be supported as points if possible. A private listing is justified when the system must interface with many others, such as an echomail distributor. In these cases, the exact manner and timing of mail delivery is arranged between the private node and other systems. Such an agreement between a private system and a hub is not binding on any replace- ment for that hub. A private node must be a part of a network (they cannot be independents in the region.)

Private listings impact each member of FidoNet, since they take up space in everyone's nodelist. Private listings which are for the convenience of one sysop (at the expense of every other sysop in FidoNet) are a luxury which is no longer possible. Non-essential redundant listings (more than one listing for the same telephone number, except as mandated by FTSC standards) also fall into this category. Sysops requesting private or redundant listings must justify them with a statement explaining how they benefit the local net or FidoNet as a whole. The Network Coordinator or Regional Coordinator may review this statement at any time and listings which are not justified will be removed.

2.1.10 Observing Mail Events

Failure to observe the proper mail events is grounds for any node to be dropped from FidoNet without notice (since notice is generally given by netmail).

2.1.11 Use of Current Nodelist

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 authori- ties. For this reason, a sysop who sends mail is obligated to obtain and use the most recent edition of the nodelist as is practical.

2.1.12 Excommunication

A system which has been dropped from the network is said to be excommunicated (i.e. denied communication). If you find that you have been excommunicated without warning, your coordinator was unable to contact you. You should rectify the problem and contact your coordinator.

Systems may also be dropped from the nodelist for cause. See section 9, and sections 4.3 and 5.2.

It is considered annoying behavior to assist a system which was excommuni- cated in circumventing that removal from the nodelist. For example, if you decide to provide an echomail feed to your friend who has been excommuni- cated, it is likely that your listing will also be removed.

2.1.13 Timing of Zone Mail Hour

The exact timing of Zone Mail Hour for each zone is set by the Zone Coordina- tor. See section 10.2.

2.1.14 Non-observance of Daylight Savings Time

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.

2.2 How to obtain a node number

You must first obtain a current nodelist 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 nodelist is to locate a FidoNet bulletin board. Most bulletin board lists include at least a few FidoNet systems, and usually identify them as such. Use a local source to obtain documents because many networks have detailed information available which explains the coverage area of the network and any special requirements or procedures.

Once you have a nodelist, you must determine which network or region covers your area. Regions are numbered 1-99; network numbers are greater than 99. Networks are more restricted in area than regions, but are preferred since they improve the flow of mail and provide more services to their members. If you cannot find a network which covers your area, then pick the region which does.

Once you have located the network or region in your area, send a message containing a request for a node number to node zero of that network or region. The request must be sent by netmail, as this indicates that your system has FidoNet capability.

You must set up your software so that the from-address in your message does not cause problems for the coordinator who receives it. If you pick the address of an existing system, this will cause obvious problems. If your software is capable of using address -1/-1, this is the traditional address used by potential sysops. Otherwise use net/9999 (e.g. if you are applying to net 123, set your system up as 123/9999). Many nets have specific instructions available to potential sysops and these procedures may indicate a preference for the from-address.

The message you send must include at least the following information:

1) Your name.
2) Your voice telephone number
3) The name of your system.
4) The city and state where your system is located.
5) The phone number to be used when calling your system.
6) Your hours of operation, netmail and BBS.
7) The maximum baud rate you can support.
8) The type of mailer software and modem you are using.

Your coordinator may contact you for additional information. All information submitted will be kept confidential and will not be supplied to anyone except the person who assumes the coordinator position at the resignation of the current coordinator.

You must indicate that you have read, and agree to abide by, this document and all the current policies of FidoNet.

Please allow at least two weeks for a node number request to be processed. If you send your request to a Regional Coordinator, it may forwarded to the appropriate Network Coordinator.

2.3 If You are Going Down

If your node will be down for an extended period (more than a day or two), inform your coordinator as soon as possible. It is not your coordinator's responsibility to chase you down for a status report, and if your system stops accepting mail it will be removed from the nodelist.

Never put an answering machine or any other device which answers the phone on your phone line while you are down. If you do, calling systems will get the machine repeatedly, racking up large phone bills, which is very annoying. In short, the only thing which should ever answer the telephone during periods when the nodelist indicates that your node will accept mail is FidoNet- compatible software which accepts mail.

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 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.

2.4 How to Form a Network

If there are several nodes in your area, but no network, a new network can be formed. This has advantages to both you and to the rest of FidoNet. You receive better availability of nodelist difference files and FidoNews, and everyone else can take advantage of host-routing netmail to the new network.

The 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 you would like to be the Network Coordinator. Then consult your Regional Coordinator. You must send 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 Zone Coordinator and the coordinators of any affected networks that a new network is in formation.

2) A copy of the proposed network's nodelist segment. This file should be attached to the message of application for a network number, and should use the nodelist format described in the current version of the appropriate FTSC publication. Please elect a name that relates to your grouping, for example SoCalNet for nodes in the Southern California Area and MassNet West for the Western Massachusetts Area. Remember if you call yourself DOGNET it doesn't identify your area.

Granting a network number is not automatic. Even if the request is granted, the network might not be structured exactly as you request. Your Regional Coordinator will review your application and inform you of the decision.

Do not send a network number request to the Zone Coordinator. All network number requests must be processed by the Regional Coordinator.

3 General Procedures for All Coordinators

3.1 Make Available Difference Files and FidoNews

Any Coordinator is responsible for obtaining and making available, on a weekly basis, nodelist difference files and FidoNews.

3.2 Processing Nodelist Changes and Passing Them Upstream

Each coordinator is responsible for obtaining nodelist information from the level below, processing it, and passing the results to the level above. The timing of this process is determined by the requirements imposed by the level above.

3.3 Ensure the Latest Policy is Available

A Coordinator is responsible to make the current version of this document available to the level below, and to encourage familiarity with it.

In addition, a coordinator is required to forward any local policies received to the level above, and to review such policies. Although not required, common courtesy dictates that when formulating a local policy, the participa- tion of the level above should be solicited.

3.4 Minimize the Number of Hats Worn

Coordinators are encouraged to limit the number of FidoNet functions they perform. A coordinator who holds two different positions compromises the appeal process. For example, if the Network Coordinator is also the Regional Coordinator, sysops in that network are denied one level of appeal.

Coordinators are discouraged from acting as echomail and software-distri- bution hubs. If they do so, they should handle echomail (or other volume distribution) on a system other than the administrative system. A coordina- tor's system should be readily available to the levels immediately above and below.

Another reason to discourage multiple hats is the difficulty of replacing services if someone leaves the network. For example, if a coordinator is the echomail hub and the software-distribution hub, those services will be difficult to restore when that person resigns.

3.5 Be a Member of the Area Administered

A coordinator must be a member of the area administered. That is, a Network Coordinator must be a member of that network by virtue of geography. A Regional Coordinator must be either a member of a network in the region, or an independent in the region.

3.6 Encourage New Sysops to Enter FidoNet

A coordinator is encouraged to operate a public bulletin board system which is freely available for the purpose of distributing Policy, FidoNews, and Nodelists to potential new sysops. Dissemination of this information to persons who are potential FidoNet sysops is important to the growth of FidoNet, and coordinators should encourage development of new systems.

3.7 Tradition and Precedent

A coordinator is not bound by the practices of predecessor or peers beyond the scope of this document.

In addition, a new coordinator has the right to review any decision made by predecessors for compliance with Policy, and take whatever actions may be necessary to rectify any situations not in compliance.

3.8 Technical Management

The primary responsibility of any coordinator is technical management of network operations. Decisions must be made on technical grounds.

4 Network Coordinator Procedures

4.1 Responsibilities

A Network Coordinator has the following responsibilities:

1) To receive incoming mail for nodes in the network, and arrange delivery to its recipients.

2) To assign node numbers to nodes in the network.

3) To maintain the nodelist for the network, and to send a copy of it to the Regional Coordinator whenever it changes.

4) To make available to nodes in the network new nodelist difference files, new issues of FidoNews, and new revisions of Network Policy Documents as they are received, and to periodically check to insure that nodes use up to date nodelists.

4.2 Routing Inbound Mail

It is your responsibility as Network Coordinator to coordinate the receipt and forwarding of host-routed inbound netmail for nodes in your network. The best way to accomplish this is left to your discretion.

If a node in your network is receiving large volumes of mail you can request that the sysop contact the systems which are sending this mail and request that they not host-route it. If the problem persists, you can request your Regional Coordinator to assign the node a number as an independent and drop the system from your network.

Occasionally a node will make a "bombing run" (sending one message to a great many nodes). If a node in another network is making bombing runs on your nodes and routing them through your inbound host, then you can complain to the network coordinator of the offending node. (If the node is an indepen- dent, complain to the regional coordinator.) Bombing runs are considered to be annoying.

Another source of routing overload is echomail. Echomail cannot be allowed to degrade the ability of FidoNet to handle normal message traffic. If a node in your network is routing large volumes of echomail, you can ask the sysop to either limit the amount of echomail or to stop routing echomail.

You are not required to forward encrypted, commercial, or illegal mail. However, you must follow the procedures described in section 2.1.7 if you do not forward the mail.

4.3 Assigning Node Numbers

It is your responsibility to assign node numbers to new nodes in your net- work. You may also change the numbers of existing nodes in your network, though you should check with your member nodes before doing so. You may assign any numbers you wish, so long as each node has a unique number within your network.

You must not 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 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 may not assign a node number to a node in an area covered by an existing network. Further, if you have nodes in an area covered by a network in formation, those nodes must be transferred to the new network.

You should use network mail to inform a new sysop of the node number, as this helps to insure that the system is capable of receiving network mail.

If a node in your network is acting in a sufficiently annoying manner, then you can take whatever action you deem fit, according to the circumstances of the case.

4.4 Maintaining the Nodelist

You should implement name changes, phone number changes, and so forth in your segment of the nodelist as soon as possible after the information is received from the affected node. You should also on occasion send a message to every node in your network to ensure that they are operational. If a node turns out to be "off the air" with no prior warning, you can either mark the node down or remove it from the nodelist. (Nodes are to be marked DOWN for a maximum of two weeks, after which the line should be removed from the node- list.)

At your discretion, you may distribute a portion of this workload to routing hubs. In this case, you should receive the nodelists from the Hub Coordina- tors within your network. You will need to maintain a set of nodelists for each hub within your network, since you cannot count on getting an update from each Hub Coordinator every week. You should assemble a master nodelist for your network every week and send it to your Regional Coordinator by the day and time designated. It is suggested that you do this as late as is practical, so as to accommodate any late changes, balanced with the risk of missing the connection with your Regional Coordinator and thus losing a week.

4.5 Making Available Policies, Nodelists and FidoNews

As a Network Coordinator you should obtain a new issue of FidoNews and a new nodelist difference file every week from your Regional Coordinator. The nodelist difference file is currently made available each Saturday, and FidoNews is published each Monday. You must make these files available to all nodes in the network, and you are encouraged to make them available to the general public for download.

You should also obtain the most recent versions of the Policy documents that bind the members of your network, and make those available to the nodes in your network. Policies are released at sporadic intervals, so you should also inform the nodes in your network when such events occur, and ensure the nodes are generally familiar with the changes.

Policy, FidoNews, and the nodelist are the glue that holds us together. Without them, we would cease to be a community, and become just another random collection of bulletin boards.

5 Regional Coordinator Procedures

5.1 Responsibilities

A Regional Coordinator has the following responsibilities:

1) To assign node numbers to independent nodes in the region.

2) To encourage independent nodes in the region to join existing net- works, or to form new networks.

3) To assign network numbers to networks in the region and define their boundaries.

4) To compile a nodelist of all of the networks and independents in the region, and to send a copy of it to the Zone Coordinator whenever it changes.

5) To ensure the smooth operation of networks within the region.

6) To make new nodelist difference files, Policies, and issues of FidoNews available to the Network Coordinators in the region as soon as is practical.

5.2 Assigning Node Numbers

It is your responsibility to assign node numbers to independent nodes in your region. You may also change the numbers of existing nodes in your region, though you should check with the respective nodes before doing so. You may assign any numbers you wish, so long as each node has a unique number within your region.

You should not 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 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 sysop of the node number, as this helps to insure that the system is capable of receiving network mail.

If a node in your region is acting in a sufficiently annoying manner, then you can take whatever action you deem fit, according to the circumstances of the case.

If you receive a node number request from outside your region, you must forward it to the most local coordinator for the requestor as you can deter- mine. If you receive a node number request from a new node that is in an area covered by an existing network, then you must forward the request to the Coordinator of that network instead of assigning a number yourself.

If a network forms in an area for which you have independent nodes, those nodes will be transferred to the local network as soon as is practical.

5.3 Encouraging the Formation and Growth of Networks

One of your main duties as a Regional Coordinator is to promote the growth of networks in your region.

You should avoid having independent nodes in your region which are within the coverage area of a network. There are, however, certain cases where a node should not be a member of a network, such as a system with a large amount of inbound netmail; see section 4.2.

If several independent nodes in your region are in a local area you should encourage them to form a network, and if necessary you may require them to form a network. Refer to section 2.4. Note that this is not intended to 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 your discretion.

5.4 Assigning Network Numbers

It is your responsibility to assign network numbers to new networks forming within your region. You are assigned a pool of network numbers to use for this purpose by your Zone Coordinator. As a part of this function, it is the responsibility of the Regional Coordinator to define the boundaries of the networks in the region.

5.5 Maintaining the Nodelist

As a Regional Coordinator, you have a dual role in maintaining the nodelist for your region.

First, you must maintain the list of independent nodes in your region. You should attempt to implement name changes, phone number changes, and so forth in this nodelist as soon as possible. You should also on occasion send a message to every independent node in your region to ensure that they are operational. If a node turns out to be "off the air" with no prior warning, you can either mark the node down or remove it from the nodelist. (Nodes are to marked DOWN for a maximum of two weeks, after which the line should be removed from the nodelist.)

Second, you must receive the nodelists from the Network Coordinators within your region. You will need to maintain a set of nodelists for each network within your region, since you cannot count on getting an update from each Network Coordinator every week. You should assemble a master nodelist for your region every week and send it to your Zone Coordinator by the day and time designated. It is suggested that you do this as late as practical, so as to accommodate late changes, balanced with the risk of missing the connec- tion with your Zone Coordinator and thus losing a week.

5.6 Geographic Exemptions

There are cases where local calling geography does not follow FidoNet re- gions. In exceptional cases, exemptions to normal geographic guidelines are agreed upon by the Regional Coordinators and Zone Coordinator involved. Such an exemption is not a right, and is not permanent. When a network is formed in the proper region that would provide local calling access to the exempted node, it is no longer exempt. An exemption may be reviewed and revoked at any time by any of the coordinators involved.

5.7 Overseeing Network Operations

You are responsible for appointing network coordinators for the nets in your region. If the outgoing Network Coordinator suggests a successor, you are not obligated to accept that individual, although you normally will. Simi- larly, you are not obligated to accept the individual selected by the members of the network in an election, although you normally will.

It is your responsibility as Regional Coordinator to ensure that the networks within your region are operating in an acceptable manner. This does not mean that you are required to operate those networks; that is the responsibility of the Network Coordinators. It means that you are responsible for assuring that the Network Coordinators within your region are acting responsibly.

If you find that a Network Coordinator within your region is not properly performing the duties outlined in Section 4, you should take whatever action you deem necessary to correct the situation.

If a network grows so large that it cannot reasonably accommodate traffic flow during the Zone Mail Hour, the Regional Coordinator can direct the creation of one or more new networks from that network. These new networks, although they may be within a single local-calling area, must still conform to a geographical basis for determining membership.

It is your obligation as Regional Coordinator to maintain direct and reason- ably frequent contact with the networks in your region. The exact method of accomplishing this is left to your discretion.

5.8 Making Available Nodelists, Policies, and FidoNews

As a Regional Coordinator, it is your responsibility to obtain the latest nodelist difference file, network policies, and the latest issues of FidoNews as they are published, and to make them available to the Network Coordinators within your region. The nodelist is posted weekly on Saturday by the Zone Coordinator, and FidoNews is published weekly on Monday by node 1/1. Contact them for more details on how to obtain the latest copies each week.

It is your responsibility to make these available to all Network Coordina- tors in your region as soon as is practical after you receive them. The method of distribution is left to your discretion. You are not required to distribute them to any independent nodes in your region, though you may if you wish. You are encouraged to make all these documents available for downloading by the general public.

6 Zone Coordinator Procedures

6.1 General

A Zone Coordinator for FidoNet has the primary task of maintaining the nodelist for the Zone, sharing it with the other Zone Coordinators, and ensuring the distribution of the master nodelist (or difference file) to the Regions in the Zone. The Zone Coordinator is also responsible for coordinat- ing the distribution of Network Policy documents and FidoNews to the Regional Coordinators in the zone.

The Zone Coordinator is responsible for the maintenance of the nodelist for the administrative region. The Administrative Region has the same number as the zone, and consists of nodes assigned for administrative purposes not related to the sending and receiving of normal network mail.

A Zone Coordinator is charged with the task of ensuring the smooth operation of the Zone, which is done by appointing and supervising the Regional Coordi- nators.

If a Zone Coordinator determines that a Regional Coordinator is not properly performing the duties outlined in section 5, a replacement should be found.

The Zone Coordinator defines the geographic boundaries of the regions within the zone and sets the time for the Zone Mail Hour.

The Zone Coordinator is responsible for reviewing and approving any geograph- ic exemptions as described in section 5.6.

The Zone Coordinator is responsible for insuring the smooth operation of gates between that zone and all other zones for the transfer of interzonal mail.

The Zone Coordinators are responsible for the selection of the International Coordinator from among their ranks.

6.2 Selection

The Zone Coordinator is selected by an absolute majority vote of the Regional Coordinators within the zone.

7 International Coordinator Procedures

7.1 General

The International Coordinator is the "first among equals" Zone Coordinator.

The International Coordinator has the primary task of coordinating the creation of the master nodelist by managing the distribution between the Zones of the Zone nodelists. The International Coordinator is responsible for definition of new zones and for negotiation of agreements for communica- tion with other networks. ("Other network" in this context means other networks with which FidoNet communicates as peer-to-peer, not "network" in the sense of the FidoNet organizational level.)

The International Coordinator is also responsible for coordinating the distribution of Network Policies and FidoNews to the Zone Coordinators.

The International Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Zone Coordinator Council. The International Coordinator acts as the spokesman for the Zone Coordinator Council.

In cases not specifically covered by this document, the International Coordi- nator may issue specific interpretations or extensions to this policy. The Zone Coordinator Council may reverse such rulings by a majority vote.

7.2 Selection

The International Coordinator is selected (or removed) by an absolute majori- ty vote of the Zone Coordinators.

8 Referenda

The procedures described in this section are used to ratify a new version of FidoNet policy, which is the mechanism by which policy is changed. This procedure is also used to impeach a Zone Coordinator.

8.1 Initiation

A referendum on policy modification is invoked when a majority of the FidoNet Regional Coordinators inform the International Coordinator that they wish to consider a proposed new version of Policy.

8.2 Announcement and Results Notification

Proposed changes to Policy are distributed using the same structure which is used to distribute nodelist difference files and FidoNews. Results and announcements related to the referendum are distributed by the coordinator structure as a part of the weekly nodelist difference file. The Interna- tional Coordinator provides copies to the editor of FidoNews for inclusion there, although the official announcement and voting dates are tied to nodelist distributions.

If it is adopted, the International Coordinator sets the effective date for a new policy through announcement in the weekly nodelist difference file. The effective date will be not more than one month after the close of balloting.

8.3 Eligibility to Vote

Each member of the FidoNet coordinator structure at and above Network Coordi- nator is entitled to one vote. (Hub coordinators do not vote.) In the case of the position changing hands during the balloting process, either the incumbent or the new coordinator may vote, but not both. If a person holds more than one coordinator position, they still receive only one vote.

Network coordinators are expected to assess the opinions of the members of their network, and to vote accordingly. A formal election is not necessary, but the network coordinator must inform the net of the issues and solicit input. The network coordinator functions as the representative of the rank and file members of FidoNet.

8.4 Voting Mechanism

The actual voting mechanism, including whether the ballot is secret and how the ballots are to be collected, verified, and counted, is left to the discretion of the International Coordinator. Ideally, ballot collection should be by some secure message system, conducted over FidoNet itself.

In order to provide a discussion period, the announcement of any ballot must be made at least two weeks before the date of voting commencement. The balloting period must be at least two weeks.

8.5 Voting on a whole Policy Document

Given that Policy is intertwined and self referencing, a relatively simple change may require several alterations of the document. In order to simplify the process, balloting is done on choices between whole documents, rather than individual amendments. In the simplest case, this means voting yea or nay to a new document. If a number of alternatives are to be considered, they must be presented as whole documents, from which one is chosen.

8.6 Decision of vote

A Policy amendment is considered in force if, at the end of the balloting period, it has received a majority of the votes cast. For example, if there were 350 eligible voters, 100 of which cast a vote, then at least 51 affirma- tive votes would be required to declare the amendment in force.

In the case of multiple policy changes which are considered on the same ballot, a version must receive more than 50% of the votes cast to be consid- ered ratified. "Abstain" is a valid vote in this case, effectively being a vote for not changing the current policy as it simply increases the number of votes required to ratify the proposed change.

8.7 Impeachment of a Zone Coordinator

8.7.1 Initiation

In extreme cases, a Zone Coordinator may be impeached by referendum. Im- peachment of a Zone Coordinator does not require a Policy violation. An impeachment proceeding is invoked when a majority of the Regional Coordina- tors in a zone request the International Coordinator to institute it.

8.7.2 Procedure as in Policy Referendum

The provisions of sections 8.2 and 8.3 apply to impeachment referenda.

The definition of "majority" in section 8.6 applies. Only coordinators in the affected zone vote (even if the zone coordinator is also the Internation- al Coordinator).

8.7.3 Voting Mechanism

The balloting procedures are set, the votes are collected, and the results are announced by a Regional Coordinator chosen by the Zone Coordinator who is being impeached. The removal of the Zone Coordinator is effective two weeks after the end of balloting if the impeachment carries.

8.7.4 Limited to once per year

The removal of a Zone Coordinator is primarily intended to be a mechanism by which the net as a whole expresses displeasure with the way Policy is being interpreted. At one time or another, everyone is unhappy with the way policy is interpreted. In order to keep the Zone Coordinators interpreting policy as opposed to defending themselves, at least one full calendar year must elapse between impeachment referenda (regardless of how many people hold the position of Zone Coordinator during that year.)

Should a Zone Coordinator resign during an impeachment process, the process is considered null and void, and does not consume the "once per year quota".

9 Resolution of Disputes

9.1 General

The FidoNet judicial philosophy can be summed up in two rules:

1) Thou shalt not excessively annoy others.

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!")

The coordinator structure has the responsibility for defining "excessively annoying". Like a common definition of pornography ("I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."), a hard and fast definition of acceptable FidoNet behavior is not possible. The guidelines in this policy are deliberately vague to provide the freedom that the coordinator structure requires to respond to the needs of a growing and changing community.

The first step in any dispute between sysops is for the sysops to attempt to communicate directly, at least by netmail, preferably by voice. Any com- plaint made that has skipped this most basic communication step will be rejected.

Filing a formal complaint is not an action which should be taken lightly. Investigation and response to complaints requires time which coordinators would prefer to spend doing more constructive activities. Persons who persist in filing trivial policy complaints may find themselves on the wrong side of an excessively-annoying complaint. Complaints must be accompanied with verifiable evidence, generally copies of messages; a simple word-of- mouth complaint will be dismissed out of hand.

Failure to follow the procedures herein described (in particular, by skipping a coordinator, or involving a coordinator not in the appeal chain) is in and of itself annoying behavior.

9.2 Problems with Another Sysop

If you are having problems with another sysop, you should first try to work it out via netmail or voice conversation with the other sysop.

If this fails to resolve the problem, you should complain to your Network Coordinator and the other sysop's Network Coordinator. If one or both of you is not in a network, then complain to the appropriate Regional Coordinator. Should this fail to provide satisfaction, you have the right to follow the appeal process described in section 9.5.

9.3 Problems with your Network Coordinator

If you are having problems with your Network Coordinator and feel that you are not being treated properly, you are entitled to a review of your situa- tion. As with all disputes, the first step is to communicate directly to attempt to resolve the problem.

The next step is to contact your Regional Coordinator. If your case has merit, there are several possible courses of action, including a change of Network Coordinators or even the disbanding of your network. If you have been excommunicated by your Network Coordinator, that judgement may be reversed, at which point you will be reinstated into your net.

If you fail to obtain relief from your Regional Coordinator, you have the right to follow the appeal process described in section 9.5.

9.4 Problems with Other Coordinators

Complaints concerning annoying behavior on the part of any coordinator are treated as in section 9.2 and should be filed with the next level of coordi- nator. For example, if you feel that your Regional Coordinator is guilty of annoying behavior (as opposed to a failure to perform duties as a coordina- tor) you should file your complaint with the Zone Coordinator.

Complaints concerning the performance of a coordinator in carrying out the duties mandated by policy are accepted only from the level immediately below. For example, complaints concerning the performance of Regional Coordinators would be accepted from Network Coordinators and independents in that region. Such complaints should be addressed to the Zone Coordinator after an appro- priate attempt to work them out by direct communications.

9.5 Appeal Process

A decision made by a coordinator may be appealed to the next level. Appeals must be made within two weeks of the decision which is being appealed. All appeals must follow the chain of command; if levels are skipped the appeal will be dismissed out of hand.

An appeal will not result in a full investigation, but will be based upon the documentation supplied by the parties at the lower level. For example, an appeal of a Network Coordinator's decision will be decided by the Regional Coordinator based upon information provided by the coordinator and the sysop involved; the Regional Coordinator is not expected to make an independent attempt to gather information.

The appeal structure is as follows:

Network Coordinator decisions may be appealed to the appropriate Region- al Coordinator.

Regional Coordinator decisions may be appealed to the appropriate Zone Coordinator. At this point, the Zone Coordinator will make a decision and communicate it to the Regional Coordinators in that zone. This decision may be reversed by a majority vote of the Regional Coordina- tors.

Zone Coordinator decisions may be appealed to the International Coordi- nator. The International Coordinator will make a decision and communi- cate it to the Zone Coordinator Council, which may reverse it by majori- ty vote.

If your problem is with a Zone Coordinator per se, that is, a Zone Coordina- tor has committed a Policy violation against you, your complaint should be filed with the International Coordinator, who will make a decision and submit it to the Zone Coordinator Council for possible reversal, as described above.

9.6 Statute of Limitations

A complaint may not be filed more than 60 days after the date of discovery of the source of the infraction, either by admission or technical evidence. Complaints may not be filed more than 120 days after the incident unless they involve explicitly illegal behavior.

9.7 Right to a Speedy Decision

A coordinator is required to render a final decision and notify the parties involved within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint or appeal.

9.8 Return to Original Network

Once a policy dispute is resolved, any nodes reinstated on appeal are re- turned to the local network or region to which they geographically or techni- cally belong.

9.9 Echomail

Echomail is an important and powerful force in FidoNet. For the purposes of Policy Disputes, echomail is simply a different flavor of netmail, and is therefore covered by Policy. By its nature, echomail places unique technical and social demands on the net over and above those covered by this version of Policy. In recognition of this, an echomail policy which extends (and does not contradict) general Policy, maintained by the Echomail Coordinators, and ratified by a process similar to that of this document, is recognized by the FidoNet Coordinators as a valid structure for dispute resolution on matters pertaining to echomail. At some future date the echomail policy document may be merged with this one.

9.10 Case Histories

Most of FidoNet Policy is interpretive in nature. No one can see what is to come in our rapidly changing environment. Policy itself is only a part of what is used as the ground rules for mediating disputes -- as or more impor- tant are the precedents.

In order to accommodate this process, case histories may be added to or removed from this document by the International Coordinator, with such a revision subject to reversal by the Zone Coordinator Council. Should Policy be amended in such a way to invalidate a precedent, Policy supersedes said precedent. (A carefully prepared amendment would address this by removing the precedent reference as a part of the amendment.)

Although a case may be removed, the text of a case history may not be modi- fied by any mechanism. Case history is written close to the time of the decision, by those involved with it. Amending the text of a case history is the same as revising history, something quite inappropriate in an organiza- tion dedicated to moving information.

10 Appendices

10.1 General

The Appendices of this document are exceptions to the normal ratification process. Section 10.2 can be changed by the appropriate Zone Coordinator, and section 10.3 may be modified by the International Coordinator (see Section 9.10).

10.2 Timing of Zone Mail Hour

Zone Mail Hour is observed each day, including weekends and holidays. The time is based upon Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), also known as Greenwich Mean time (GMT). In areas which observe Daylight Savings Time during part of the year, the local time of zone mail hour will change because FidoNet does not observe Daylight Savings Time. The exact timing of Zone Mail Hour is set for each zone by the Zone Coordinator.

In FidoNet Zone 1, Zone Mail Hour is observed from 0900 to 1000 UTC. In each of the time zones, this is:

Eastern Standard Time 4 AM to 5 AM
Central Standard Time 3 AM to 4 AM
Mountain Standard Time 2 AM to 3 AM
Pacific Standard Time 1 AM to 2 AM
Hawaii Standard Time 11 PM to Midnight

In FidoNet Zone 2, Zone Mail Hour is observed from 0230 to 0330 UTC.

In Fidonet Zone 3, Zone Mail Hour is observed from 1800 to 1900 UTC. In each of the time Zones involved this is:

GMT +12 Zone 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM
(New Zealand)

GMT +10 Zone 4:00 AM to 5:00 AM
(East Australia) (Papua New Guinea) (Micronesia)

GMT +9.5 Zone 3:30 AM to 4:30 AM
(Central Australia)

GMT +9 Zone 3:00 AM to 4:00 AM
(Japan) (Korea) (Eastern Indonesia)

GMT +8 Zone 2:00 AM to 3:00 AM
(Hong Kong) (Taiwan) (Central Indonesia) (Philippines) (Western Australia)

GMT +7 Zone 1:00 AM to 2:00 AM
(Malaysia) (Singapore) (Thailand) (Western Indonesia)

10.3 Case Histories

Case histories of past disputes are instructive to show general procedures and methods. Any decision may be included in this document by a majority vote of either the Zone Coordinator Council or the Regional Coordinators.

Policy4 significantly changes the functions of the Zone and International Coordinators. In the following cases which were decided using Policy3, substitute "Zone Coordinator" for all occurrences of "International Coordina- tor(*)".

10.3.1 The Case of the Crooked Node

A sysop of a local node was using network mail to engage in unethical busi- ness practices. The Network Coordinator became very annoyed at this, and dropped the local from the nodelist.

The local appealed to the Regional Coordinator for assignment as an indepen- dent node. The Regional Coordinator, after checking with the Network Coordi- nator, decided that the Network Coordinator was right to be annoyed. Inde- pendent status was denied.

The International Coordinator(*) did not intervene.

10.3.2 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 nodelist.

The Regional Coordinator was not consulted.

The International Coordinator(*) did not intervene.

10.3.3 The Case of the Bothered Barker

A local node became annoyed with the Network Coordinator for failing to provide services. Repeated complaints to the Network Coordinator did not satisfy him, so he appealed to the International Coordinator(*).

The International Coordinator(*) dismissed the complaint because the Regional Coordinator had not been consulted.

The local node submitted the 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 local nodes.

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 expectations.

10.3.4 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. The 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 the region.

10.3.5 The Mark of the Devil

A local sysop whose board was used in conjunction with voodoo rites, hacking, phreaking, and obscene material applied to a Network Coordinator for a node number. The Network Coordinator deemed that this board was exceptionally annoying, and denied the request.

The Regional Coordinator was not consulted.

The International Coordinator(*), on seeing that the Regional Coordinator had not been consulted, dismissed the case out of hand. No further appeals were made.

10.3.6 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.

10.3.7 The Case of the Echomail Junkie

A local node became enamored with echomail and joined several conferences, routing 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 the network.

His Network Coordinator observed that network performance was becoming seriously impaired. The offending node was told to hold it down. A compro- mise 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.

10.3.8 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, finding the node unable to receive mail, would mark it down. The sysop would return, restart the board, and ask to be reinstated.

The Network Coordinator eventually decided that the sysop was not able to maintain a reliable system, and removed him from the nodelist completely. Subsequent requests for a node number from the same sysop were turned down. No appeals were made.

10.5 Credits, acknowledgments, etc.

Fido and FidoNet are registered trademarks of Fido Software, Inc.