Guidelines for the newsgroups of the ka* hierarchy

Translated with


  1. Introduction
  2. Rules for posting in ka.*
    2.1 Commercial advertising
    2.2 Invalid reply addresses
    2.3 Crossposting and multiple posting
    2.4 Repeated posting
    2.5 Binaries and HTML
    2.6 Charters
  3. Setting up and removing groups
    3.1 Proposal for setting up a group
    3.2 Proposal for removing a group
    3.3 Voting
    3.4 Result
    3.5 Objection
    3.6 Repetition
  4. Administrative decisions
  5. Procedure for rule violations
  6. Miscellaneous
    6.1 Reflectors

    A. Terms
    B. The groups of the ka.* hierarchy
    C. Availability of this text
    D. PGP key

1. introduction

The ka.* newsgroups are a local Usenet hierarchy for the Karlsruhe area. For ka.* there are additional rules to the usual Usenet rules.




In case of serious violations of these rules, articles may be deleted by others under certain conditions ("Fremdcancel").

In addition to explanations of the above points, further rules of procedure are described below, including in particular the rules for setting up new groups and the sanction mechanisms in the case of
violations of the guidelines.


2. rules for posting in ka*

2.1 Commercial advertising

Commercial advertising is prohibited in ka.* unless it is expressly permitted by the charter of the group concerned. An exception is the announcement of cultural events (cinema, concerts, festivals, sports events, ...).

2.2 Invalid reply addresses

Postings in ka* must be replyable without manual editing of the address, i.e. they must contain a reply-enabled From line or at least a reply-enabled Reply-to line.

Recently, the use of non-replyable sender addresses has increased, because some people believe that this is a way to protect themselves from unwanted advertising by e-mail (UCE/UBE).

This violates the technical basis on which UseNet is built (RFC 977, RFC 1036) - tolerating it would sooner or later render UseNet useless. One must also take into account
that address forgery only shifts one's own problem onto other people. Because if mail should not be deliverable, usually the responsible postmaster is informed. Unreasonable address forgers may even lose their account, depending on the access provider.

After all, this address forgery is a gross discourtesy to other net participants: If they would like to give help to a posted question by e-mail, they will receive this help as undeliverable.
help as undeliverable. As a result, many no longer answer questions from address forgers.

The best way to defend against UCE is to complain to the sender or their provider.

2.3 Crosspostings and multiple postings

Crosspostings in groups from ka.* and outside of ka.* are in principle undesirable, unless they contain a Followup-To header in which no ka.* groups are listed.

The reason for this rule can be found in the following points:


    • Commercial advertising is prohibited in ka.*; an exception are the announcements of events (cinema, concerts, festivals, sporting events, ...).



    • Articles must be answerable by Reply without post-processing of the address, address falsification is not allowed.



    • Identical postings in more than three different groups (whether as multiple single posting or as crossposting) are undesirable.



    • Crossposts between groups in the ka.* hierarchy and groups outside this hierarchy are undesirable (exceptions: see 2.3)



    • Multiple posting of an article with identical content to the same group less than 14 days apart is undesirable.



    • Binary files (graphics, music, executables, etc.) are undesirable.



    • When posting, only text should be used, not alternative display formats that mix different formats ("multipart articles").




    Crosspostings should generally be avoided if possible. Cross-posting to more than three groups within ka.* as well as posting an article multiple times to different newsgroups is a violation of the rules. The purpose of cross-posting into multiple groups is so that the reader decides what he or she wants to read, not the writer deciding who gets the posting in front of them.

    If an article is crossposted into multiple groups, a Followup-To: must be set:

    From: Erika Mustermann <muster∂>
    Subject: UStA Uni-Winterfest
    Newsgroups: ka.kultur,ka.uni.termine
    Followup-To: ka.kultur

    If an expected reply is not of general interest (e.g. in ka.markt.*), the Followup-To: should be set to poster. This will automatically convert all replies to the posting into
    emails to the author.

    From: Erika Mustermann <muster∂>
    Subject: V: Toaster
    Newsgroups: ka.markt.misc,uni-hd.misc
    Followup-To: poster

    2.4 Repeated posting

    Multiple posting of an article with identical content to the same group less than 14 days apart is undesirable. In case of a longer time interval, a supersedes header should be used if possible.
    Supersedes header should be used if possible.

    2.5 Binaries, HTML, etc.

    Binary files (graphics, music, executable programs, etc.) are undesirable in the discussion groups of this network.

    There are special newsgroups for binary files. In general it is better to avoid binary files in the news and instead refer to download possibilities via FTP or WWW.

    Furthermore, only normal text should be used in the ka.* hierarchy, since this is the common format in which all net participants can read articles without problems.

    So-called "multipart" articles, in which some programs mix the article content in different, alternative presentation formats (normal text, HTML, LaTeX, Word, etc.), are therefore

    2.6 Charters

    If the charter of a group contains further rules, these are also binding.


    3. creation and removal of groups

    The following rules apply to ka.*, but not to all sub-hierarchies of ka.*, since for ka.uni.* the procedure must be coordinated with the appropriate offices of the university.

    3.1 Proposal for the creation of a group

    In order to create a new newsgroup in the ka.* hierarchy, a Request for Discussion (RfD) in ka.admin is required, which takes at least 14 days. If during the course of the RfD it becomes apparent that there is a need for
    need for discussion, this time can be extended.

    The RfD should include the name of the new newsgroup, its status (unmoderated/moderated), a brief description, and a rationale for its creation. A charter is helpful and
    briefly explains what the group will be about.

    An RfD must be explicitly identified as such.

    If it becomes apparent during the RfD that there is predominantly consensus, it may be requested that a vote (call for votes) be waived. If within one week no one objects to such a
    such a request, this group can be established directly (cf. 3.4).

    3.2 Proposal for the removal of a group

    To remove a newsgroup from the ka.* hierarchy, an RfD in ka.admin is required. This must also be crossposted to the group to be removed, with discussion only in ka.admin
    (Followup-To: set). Otherwise the rules of 3.1 apply

    3.3 Voting

    After the discussion is finished, a public vote follows. The call for this takes place in a CfV (Call for Vote) in ka.admin. This contains the subject of the vote, the voting modalities (period, duration, type of voting / "ballot", announcement of results).

    The Reply-To of the CfV is to be set to the Vote-Taker. Vote-Taker is the initiator of the RfD. A Vote-A dresse∂ can be set up for him for this purpose. The duration of the voting period is two to four weeks. The CfV must be repeated at least once during the voting period. Everybody who can send a valid vote to the vote-taker is entitled to vote.
    (Reply-To: set!).

    Only votes that have been received as an e-mail and are unique by the end of the voting time will be counted. In addition, the mail must contain a valid sender and be provided with a real name (first and last name). Votes are not transferable. If several votes of the same person arrive at the vote-taker, the last sent vote is valid. With "Abstention" an already cast vote can be revoked afterwards.

    After expiration of the voting period, the Vote-Taker will compile a list of the voters and their votes. This list must clearly show who (mail address + real name) voted for what (yes, no, abstention). This list is then published by the vote-taker in ka.admin.

    3.4 Result

    The CfV is considered accepted if at least half of the vote-takers have voted YES. In this case the initiator of the RfD creates the new group or removes the old one.

    3.5 Objection

    If there are doubts about the proper conduct of the CfV, an objection can be filed within one week after the announcement of the result.

    3.6 Repetition

    A RfD/CfV about the re-establishment or removal of a removed / established group is possible at the earliest 6 months after the end of the first CfV.


    4. administrative decisions

    Binding administrative decisions such as renaming an existing group, changing the content of a charter or these rules for ka.* will follow the same procedure as setting up/removing groups. The RfD is done in ka.admin and may need to be crossposted to affected groups.


    5. procedure for rule violations

    If someone does not follow these rules, he should be informed about his misbehavior in a friendly way by mail. In case of serious rule violations, articles in ka.* may be crossposted. This concerns:


      • If a topic is of more than regional interest and you just want to draw the attention of the readers of ka.* to it, you can set the followup accordingly;


      • if, on the other hand, a topic is of no interest to readers of a supra-regional group, cross-posting does not make sense anyway.




      A foreign cancel has to be announced in ka.admin with reason and citation of all canceled messages. For EMP it is sufficient to specify all message IDs and to quote one incarnation.

      The author of the canceled message must be notified (as far as possible with reasonable effort). In case of repeated violations by the same author, his administrator should also be informed.
      should be informed.

      The cancelmessage must comply with the "<cancel.", "cyberspam!" and "X-Canceled-By" conventions. The reason for the foreign cancel must be specified in the body of the message. The cancel message is
      posted in the same groups as the article to be deleted, so that followups are prevented if possible.

      Further measures against particularly unreasonable net participants will be discussed in ka.admin if necessary.


      6. miscellaneous

      6.1 Reflectors

      The newsgroup ka.test is used to test news software or the connections to other news servers. Therefore on some news servers so called reflectors are set up, which in the moment a posting is
      the moment they receive a posting, they send an e-mail to the author. If such a reflector mail is not desired, the posting should carry the words "ignore" and/or "no reply" in the subject.

      From: Erika Mustermann <muster∂>
      Subject: Erika's test - ignore - no reply
      Newsgroups: ka.test



      A. Terms

      UBE = unsolicited bulk email, unsolicited mass email


      UCE = unsolicited commercial email, unsolicited bulk email

      Horizontal spam:
      ECP = excessive crossposting (Velveeta), an instance of a posting addressed to a whole lot of newsgroups.
      EMP = excessive multiple posting, a set of instances of the same content in different newsgroups.

      Vertical spam:
      Repeated posting of the same post to the same newsgroup.

      Creeping spam:
      Spam with larger time intervals between instances for the purpose of


      Further information on the subject of net abuse/foreign cancels can be found, for example, in

      B. The groups of the ka.* hierarchy

      The ka.* hierarchy currently consists of the following groups:


      The current list can be found at

      The groups marked with (M) are moderated. The moderator
      can be reached at %s∂ (%s = newsgroup name, with all '.' replaced by '-').

      The checkgroups for ka.* is posted on the 15th of each month from usenet∂ to ka.admin.

      C. Availability of this text

      This text is posted regularly to ka.uni.rz.misc and ka.uni.rz.stud, and is available at


      D. PGP Key

      All control messages from usenet∂ are PGP signed;
      Key ID = 0x280ED2DD
      Key fingerprint = DE 19 BB 25 76 19 81 17 F0 67 D2 23 E8 C8 7C 90

        • MMF postings (Make Money Fast, chain letters)


        • Posting in more than 4 ka.* groups (Spam, EMP)


        • Crossposting in more than 4 ka.* groups (Velveeta, ECP)


        • Crossposting to at least one ka.* group and at least one group outside ka.* without appropriate Followup-To: header


        • Multiple identical postings, which is obviously due to faulty software (spew). In this case, the article with the lowest message ID is to be left untouched. The same applies to dupes.


        • Current Spam thresholds and guidelines