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Stephen Williams writes:
 
>While I am working on an extension to INN/Tin/Netnews protocol to
>make news 'safer' for minors, there are still many problems to be
>solved.  Technically and Legally.
 
I'd be interested in hearing what extensions you are thinking about,
and what effect these have on scalability. Have you looked at NNTP
v2.0?
 
 
A few thoughts:
 
1. Two of the more secure conferencing systems, namely FrEdMail, and
RIME, have good control over the software. In the case of FrEdMail,
you don't get the package unless you're a school. For RIME, every
node comes with a key; you can't impersonate another node without
that node's key, so the authentication problem is solved.
 
 
Seems to me that software control and authentication let you make
sure that you don't have any bogus sites out there.
 
Unfortunately, with FidoNet or TCP/IP impersonation is easy, as is
mail and news forging. This in and of itself is difficult-to-refute
argument for moderation in all "open to the world" conferences
accessed by minors.  Of course, this is only relevant if you use
"standard" conferencing software.  However, it might be a good
argument for a "non-standard" NNTP version operating on a different
port for educational conferencing.
 
 
2. The next issue is the users. If you can't restrict use to schools,
then it seems to me that you have to moderate. You can do this
manually or automatically, as mailing lists do -- if you're not a
registered user, you don't get to post to the group. You get to be an
eligible user by being from an eligible site. This of course assumes
that there is a central node keeping track of these things and acting
as enforcer. This may not be realistic for a large network.
 
 
The question here is whether it is possible for a secure conferencing
system to also be scalable.