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Chebucto Policy Committee Report - AGM - 2001
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Chebucto Policy Committee Report - AGM - 2001

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Chebucto Community Net
Policy Committee
Annual Report 2001

The role of the Policy Committee is two-fold:

  • to address policy development and implementation issues; and

  • to address complaints or abuses about and by CCN members.

Since the introduction of new By-Laws for the Chebucto Community Net Society at the last AGM, the Policy Committee has been busy fielding the usual wide variety of user complaints and other issues.

The distribution of copyright material has been an issue as has a bewildering array of spam email techniques, including false Reply-to headers pointing back to innocent third parties like Chebucto and our users.

The most recent in a long parade of email viruses and worms also uses innocent third parties' email addresses in their false message headers. Unfortunately this sort of abuse, both intentional by the virus designer and spammer, and inadvertently by the parade of difficult to track down infected users (some unaware their computer is spewing out infected emails every time they go online) is on the rise.

The Chebucto User Agreement and Neighbourhood Account Agreements were revised so as to permit Chebucto to screen for viruses and spam, and at this time three major viruses are being screened from incoming mail. There is no screening of outgoing mail going on now, but the right sort of virus could make this necessary in short order with a mail crisis of some kind.

Spam, unsolicited commercial email, has been hitting Chebucto so hard this year that it became necessary to stop accepting email on expired accounts to deal with the overloaded mail queues. Our current strategy has been to block spam-sending servers, but this is a losing battle as spammers are ever-ingenious in finding new ways to send their unwanted ads. We may end up having to subscribe to a spam email service, at some financial cost to be determined later.

The truly unfortunate point of this sort of constant internet trench warfare is that it takes up invaluable volunteer resources that might be better applied elsewhere for more positive use.


Andrew D. Wright
Chair, Policy Committee
Chebucto Community Net





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