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Rethinking the utility of netnews "cancel" control messages

The day of unauthenticated netnews control messages of any kind is
basically over. We gotta:

1. turn off all automated system-wide control of netnews, or

2. properly authenticate all such messages (newgroup, rmgroup, cancel, etc.).

I think we also ought to think carefully about continuing to have a
"cancel" control message (and the Supercedes: header) any more,
authenticated or not - as useful as this mechanism occasionally is to
remove unsightly spams (and other Officially Troublesome Material), isn't
this kind of casual revisionism something that is, historically, to be

If you had a netnews system which simply marked a message as cancelled in
some way, would you set your netnews reader to seek out cancelled messages?
Or ignore them?

If you were a librarian or historian operating The Official USENET Archive
of Everything, would you accept and process cancel control messages?

        "Backbone cabal? What's that?"

        Erik Fair <[email protected]>