How to find a charter

From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
Revision as of 14:23, 28 July 2021 by Tristan Miller (talk | contribs) (misc. revisions)

This is a brief guide on how to find a newsgroups charter using control files found at isc.org.

Control files

The Internet Systems Consortium maintains a historical collection of control files for all newsgroups and non-newsgroups. For example, it contains control files for news.groups news.groups on Google Groups, which is a real newsgroup, but also for news.groups.handicap, which isn't a real newsgroup.

A control file is a special Usenet article that creates, deletes, or otherwise modifies a newsgroup. A newgroup control file for a Big-8 newsgroup will almost always contain a charter for that group.

The control file collection can be found at https://ftp.isc.org/usenet/control/.

The files are compressed with gzip. In Windows, you can use an application like 7-Zip to decompress them; on GNU/Linux or Mac, you can decompress them from the command line as follows:

gzip -d rec.radio.amateur.moderated.gz

The decompressed file (in this case rec.radio.amateur.moderated) can then be opened with a text editor.

In every file, you will see one or more control messages. Towards the beginning of the file, you will see an article containing the charter if the newsgroup is legitimate. If it is not, you will probably see a message saying that this is not a legitimate newsgroup.

Examples

rec.radio.amateur.moderated (legitimate newsgroup)

From usenet Thu Feb 22 21:00:11 2007
Path: shelby.stanford.edu!newsfeed.stanford.edu!bounce-back
From: group-admin@isc.org
Newsgroups: rec.radio.amateur.moderated
Subject: cmsg newgroup rec.radio.amateur.moderated moderated
Control: newgroup rec.radio.amateur.moderated moderated
Approved: group-admin@isc.org
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 13:00:02 -0800
Message-ID: <cmsg-20070222210002$7f18@isc.org>
X-PGP-Sig: 2.6.3a Subject,Control,Message-ID,Date,From,Sender
	iQCVAwUBRd4EUsJdOtO4janBAQEmkwP/Tk/QPqmqeDYQJ1ydDE/a9oc4Nd/znqfQ
	5FsjK/GkgZrObXbHLB6rk4EuDKqk1D7lgsnBzo9qyNmrLEKrNjXNlZjq7nUym8tw
	rYGnrE6qe0IR+ei38QbTPxCVmUG3x5nmIpop9uDW6hNoV67fZSkbj4V5KVX5ZOT7
	y5pVHiCSl+I=
	=pP3t
Xref: shelby.stanford.edu control.newgroup:227464

The Last Call for Comments on 12 Feb 2007 initiated a five-day period for
final comments.  Following this comment period, the Big-8 Management Board
has decided by consensus to create the newsgroup rec.radio.amateur.moderated.

For your newsgroups file:
rec.radio.amateur.moderated	Amateur radio practices, rules, etc. (Moderated)

rec.radio.amateur.moderated is for the discussion of amateur ("ham")
radio, also known as the Amateur Radio Service, as defined in Federal
Communications Commission Regulations and U.S. Law (47 CFR Part 97), and
in similar laws and regulations in other countries, based on
international treaty.  It is not limited to the rules of any one country
or time period.  Possible topics include past, present, and future
operating practices; events; contests; past, present, and
potential-future rules; power limitations; authorized frequencies;
allowed modes and band plans (or other gentlemen's agreements) that
govern how we are to operate; what constitutes the acceptable operation
of amateur stations.

The newsgroup is intended to be international in scope, not just for
amateurs in the United States.  It is, however, intended as an
English-language forum, by custom and practice.  As with General
Aviation and other internationally-scoped endeavors, the Amateur Radio
Service has a strong custom of the use of English and the Latin
alphabet.  Discussion of amateur radio in languages other than English
also occurs in many country- and region-specific hierarchies, many of
which have specific amateur radio newsgroups, including:

de.* (Germany)
dk.* (Denmark)
es.* (Spain)
fr.* (France)
nl.* (Netherlands)
pl.* (Poland)
pt.* (Portugal)
relcom.* (Russia)

This newsgroup is only intended to supplement, not supersede, any other
amateur radio newsgroups.

General communications law or government policy of various government
agencies is also on-topic, as long as the discussion relates to amateur
radio.  Examples would be emergency communications, local antenna
restrictions, and property deed restrictions applying to operation of
amateur radio stations.

Discussion of other types of radio, such as Citizens Band, Broadcast,
other Personal Radio Services, Commercial or Private Land Mobile, and
Marine or Aviation services are off-topic, except when *directly*
related to amateur radio.  Similarly, discussion of methods violating
applicable communications law and regulations concerning radio equipment
or operations are off-topic.

The following are prohibited:

  * Personal advertisements (submitters of such articles will be
    referred to rec.radio.swap, instead).
  * Commercial advertisements and money-making schemes.
  * Chain letters.
  * Posts in HTML.
  * EMP spam.
  * Binaries, apart from PGP signatures, X-Face headers, and other
    ancillary article meta-data.
  * Forgery of valid e-mail addresses.
  * Excessive morphing/nym-shifting.
  * Copyright violations.  Pointers to news articles, blogs, etc. on
    this topic are welcome but are required to comply with fair use
    standards.
  * Personal attacks and flames, as defined by the moderation team.
  * Advertising items and/or services for sale (also will be referred to
    rec.radio.swap).
  * Links to "objectionable" web content, including pornographic sites,
    sites encouraging illegal activities, or sites deemed unacceptable
    by the moderation team.  The moderation team will cursorily check
    the contents of specific links to confirm on-topic content, but
    acceptance for posting does not imply endorsement or approval of
    the entire present or future contents of that web site.
  * Discussion of moderation decisions.  See below for information on
    appealing moderator action.


LINKS:

Amateur Radio Newsgroups in Total Meltdown (QRZ)
  http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=ff745d20e58c50c63315835c3cefd8d9;act=ST;f=7;t=119282

Amateur Radio Newsgroups: Total Meltdown (eHam)
  http://www.eham.net/articles/13581

Secure, Team-Based Usenet Moderation Program (STUMP)
  http://www.algebra.com/~ichudov/stump/

news.groups.handicap (illegitimate newsgroup)

From group-admin@isc.org Sun Nov 22 16:24:15 1998
Path: news.isc.org!bounce-back
From: group-admin@isc.org (David C Lawrence)
Newsgroups: news.groups.handicap
Subject: cmsg rmgroup news.groups.handicap
Control: rmgroup news.groups.handicap
Approved: newgroups-request@isc.org
Message-ID: <911724623.8855@isc.org>
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 08:50:23 -0000
Lines: 5
X-Info: ftp://ftp.isc.org/pub/pgpcontrol/README.html
	ftp://ftp.isc.org/pub/pgpcontrol/README
X-PGP-Sig: 2.6.2 Subject,Control,Message-ID,Date,From,Sender
	iQCVAwUBNlfQUMJdOtO4janBAQEwCAP9GO5O4ybLCKAdQZrMT9MDZ8EsN0+7A19H
	kCoB56yaHxWUmWOauDjqefUXtvI1YW03koJaZ9Tk936bQmxn1r/Jf8oww+l3t9U2
	2y+qJZCFKiv0LauDDoH1eZd+lAjS1ComOnSfQK25zwPsUa9Z6egehp2UqYryCE+j
	LOQmuHmNf80=
	=YlYg
Xref: news.isc.org control.rmgroup:78088

news.groups.handicap is widely considered a bogus newsgroup given that it
has not been approved by accepted USENET group creation procedures.  Please
remove the group from your active file.

misc.handicap should be used instead.

Summary

Using this guide you should be able to find, decompress, and read control files from isc.org and then identify a legitimate charter from that file.