[ih] Usenet query

Grant Taylor gtaylor at tnetconsulting.net
Mon Jul 13 12:37:29 PDT 2020

On 7/13/20 9:05 AM, Mark Goodge via Internet-history wrote:
> Was anyone here involved in the early days of Usenet, or the drafting of 
> the various RFCs about it?

I'm relatively new to Usenet in the last 15 years.  So, take what I say 
with the requisite dosing of spices.

> The question being debated is whether or not this is a valid use of 
> the Organization header. On the one hand, there are those who assert 
> that, by a strict reading of the RFCs, this header should only ever be 
> added by the end user (or the owner of the end user's machine), and 
> the Usenet provider shouldn't add it if the user omits it.  …  On 
> the other hand, there are those who assert that the Organization can, 
> legitimately, be the organisation which provides a person with Usenet 
> access, in which case they are abiding by the RFCs.

This sounds like transit / intermediate Usenet (UUCP / NNTP) servers 
/SHOULD/ /NOT/ alter the Organization header.

What becomes more nebulous to me is if an external 3rd party Usenet 
Service Provider count as a /transit/ Usenet server or not?

If we apply the analogy of the Email Service Provider, they are 
responsible for the system(s) that originate, or inject, the email as 
well as host the mail box for the end user.  As such, the ESP /is/ the 
terminal point.  It just happens to be that said terminal point is an 
external 3rd party instead of an internal system.  Does the logic change 
just because it's an external 3rd party?

As I see it, there are multiple broad categories that consuming 
companies can use for ESP & USP:

  - Internal
  - External at the company level.  This is your typical XaaS 
configuration like having Google / Microsoft host your company email.
  - External at the individual level.  Another XaaS, but more akin to 
individual users having a Gmail / Yahoo address.

In my (not so) humble opinion, the first two are decidedly the 
contracting organization's domain.  The fact that the organization has 
outsourced something doesn't mean that they are in any less control of 
it at a legal or business -> organizational level.

The third seems like the external 3rd party has complete control at a 
business -> organizational level to do what they want with their servers.

Seeing as how Eternal-September and Aioe provide Usenet as a Service to 
the third category, I think they are both well within their rights to 
set the Organization: header.

That being said, I peer with both E.S. and Aioe and I expect them to 
*NOT* alter the Organizational header that my internal news server sets.

I don't know if this helps or hurts.  But it's my 2¢ worth.

Grant. . . .
unix || die

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