1994-02-16 - The Difficulty of Source Level Blocking

Header Data

From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 4202d15ed0f5a597b016ca512db827663287d5eb48037c94096703c459935d9e
Message ID: <9402160111.AA23661@ah.com>
Reply To: <9402152211.AA08059@tsx-11.MIT.EDU>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-16 01:18:52 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 15 Feb 94 17:18:52 PST

Raw message

From: hughes@ah.com (Eric Hughes)
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 94 17:18:52 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: The Difficulty of Source Level Blocking
In-Reply-To: <9402152211.AA08059@tsx-11.MIT.EDU>
Message-ID: <9402160111.AA23661@ah.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

I wish to note at the outset that Ted and I seem to agree on the basic

1. Use the ability to moderate newsgroups
  a. to restrict posting
  b. to get tendered articles to the moderators
2. Use multiple moderators and some weighting algorithm

>And when we try to sell the
>moderation software to individual groups, it should be sold as solving
>the salience problem

I don't think it's necessary to sell it to existing groups.  Create an
alt group, set up the code, and see if people use it.  How about
alt.talk.crypto?  Surely any measure of moderation would be an
improvement over talk.politics.crypto.  If the alt group is
successful, the software can be moved over to talk.politics.crypto.

To summarize the specifics of Ted's proposal:
  1. mail to a central site is accessed by internet client
  2. moderators vote +/-/0/not now
  3. threshold weighting + and -
  4. selection of moderators left open
  5. security of approved header left open

I had thought of using email to distribute articles to the moderator,
but one might just as easily use NNTP.  The modified newsreader could
be pointed at the restricted-to-moderators NNTP site.  NNTP might not
even need extension, if the existing authentication procedures can be
hacked to work.  Votes/ratings can be in the form of articles posted
to a .votes or .ratings group.

The rating method and the particular algorithm for weighting will
take some experimentation.  I proposed the "one yes vote" system
because it is enormously simply to implement and because that's the
way the current system works: each person votes yes to approve their
own post.  Since not everyone will be a moderator, this method already
gets rid of most newbie questions.

If a disruptive moderator gets on board, their name would be attached
to the post.  If it gets bad enough, the bad moderator can be removed.
This removal can happen by popular demand or by the person or
organization which owns the central site for the moderator address.
Unlike usenet, which has no specific point of control, the central
site would have final say.

Later protocols could be developed to get rid of the hazards of single
central sites.  This central site is only for each newsgroup, though,
not the whole system.

I wouldn't worry about forged Approved: headers right now.  That bit
of usenet will take major public key surgery to fix.  I don't think it
will happen until the RSA patents expire.