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A New Usenet...
The automatic cancellation/censorship was the straw that broke this camel's
back. I have had it with what I perceive as limitations in Usenet based
upon artifacts of a design that did not understand just how fast and large
it would become. The time has come to rebuild that system.
No one else is going to do it if we don't, and no one will take into
consideration the distinct nature of privacy and expression in this medium
as much as the sort of people who are on this list. The time has come for
a revolution. I will take up the sword of my C compiler and the shield of
perl scripts alone if necessary, but I hope to find the cadre of network
visionaries and inspired hackers that are willing to help shape the next
generation of the Usenet.
Usenet is suffering from growing pains. If you want to help shape it then
send me mail (I will set up an actual mailing list in the next day or two,
once I do so I will let people know.) Even if you are not particularly
interested in working on this project, I am looking for a nice snappy name
(marketing, marketing, marketing.... :) and would love to hear suggestions.
Enough of the grand speeches though, here are a few things that I think
that need to be a part of the next usenet:
Multi-level news hierarchies:
-Some are read-write, like the current usenet. In these groups,
identity has no real meaning (it is so trivial to fake postings now
that I could not believe the indignation peopel seemed to feel
about anonymous postings) and it functions much like the current
usenet with only a few modifications (no cancel messages and a few
other hacks to get people up to speed with the realities of modern
-Read-only groups, similar to existing moderated groups, but
moderation is authenticated using cryptographic techniques.
-Read-mostly groups, in these groups thre exist moderators and a
small group of people who are given the ability to post messages.
Those who are given posting ability is determined by others in the
group or some other agreed upon method. This is mostly for
technical and scientific groups where the purpose is to maintain a
very high signal-noise ratio. The function of the moderators is to
provide minimal guidance regarding topics and to provide an
editorial gateway through which people who are not members of the
group could post questions or comments.
MIME and crypto authetication built into messages.
-only the poster or moderator (if there is one) could cancel a
-people are identified only by thier key and not by any particular
email address. the news server itself can serve as a gateway to
get messages to people who post an article (and can include the
basics of the anonymous remailers to preserve poster anonymity if
Any other idea out there? Let me know. The only limitation I can see at
the moment on the scope of ideas is that it needs to be backward compatible
with the existing system; this makes it much easier to implement and have a
wide ranging audience from day one.