Responsible Use of the Network (run)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of that in effect at the time of the 38th IETF Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. It may now be out-of-date.


Sally Hambridge <>
Gary Malkin <>

User Services Area Director(s): 

Joyce Reynolds <>

Mailing Lists: 

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In Body: subscribe ietf-run <your-email-address>

Description of Working Group: 

Reflecting the needs of the Internet community, the IETF sees a need to create an etiquette ("netiquette" in network parlance) guide for Internet users. The working group will develop an FYI RFC on responsible use of the Internet and its tools. 

Update: The working group will investigate extensions of FYI 28, RFC 1855, and produce an updated FYI RFC.

Goals and Milestones:


Create bibliography of available literature.


Internet-Draft of netiquette guide.


Submit netiquette guide to be published as FYI RFC.

Dec 96 

Review/Discuss updates/extensions to FYI 28, RFC 1855 Appoint Document editor.

Mar 97 

Submit Internet-Draft of updated document.

Aug 97 

Submit new document to IESG for publication as an FYI RFC.


· DON'T SPEW A Set of Guidelines for Mass Unsolicited Mailings and Postings

Request For Comments:





Netiquette Guidelines

Current Meeting Report

Minutes of the Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) Working Group 

Reported by: Gary Malkin, Bay NetworksI. Status UpdateThis was the second meeting of the revived RUN Working Group. The group met in a short (one-hour) time slot. We accomplished all of the goals set forth in the Agenda for the meeting; specifically, we reviewed the current Internet Draft and began to outline the next document (on advertising).

II. Agenda 

10 mins - Introductions/Administrative 

30 mins - Discuss current Internet Draft 

15 mins - Begin discussion of Advertising doc 

5 mins - AOB - wrap-up 

The primary topic discussed during the meeting was the review of the "Don't Spew" Internet Draft. There were several suggested changes, primarily the title. There was an argument whether or not we should use "Spam" or "Spew." It was pointed out that "spew" had another, well known meaning, and that "spam" had a similarly well known meaning. The concern is over copyright and defamation over "Spam" the Hormel product. Joyce Reynolds will discuss this issue with Scott Bradner. Another suggested name was MUMPs (Mass Unsolicited Mail Postings). The issue of misuse of resources (a crime for US government resources, for example) was also raised, but there was no consensus on what to say about it. 

In Section 2: 

· Need to address issue of commercial model versus ethical model. 

· Address difference between commercial speech and protected political speech? Internet access is a privilege, not a right. 

· Since costs change, talk about volume instead. 

· Is it OK for companies to require you to give your email address before allowing you to download software (putting people on mailing lists whether or not they want it) 

In Section 3: 

· Don't become the enemy. 

· Reply versus Group Reply.The "From" field may not be the real originator. 

· Just ignore the message - only tell your own postmaster (let them deal with it). CC:ing postmaster may generate too much traffic; however, postmaster needs to know so that spammers can be blocked. Check your site’s policy. 

· Use abuse address, if one exists. 

In Section 4: 

· Improper use of equipment. 

· Include news. 

· Provide kill files so that users don't need to know how to create them. 

· Black holes. 

In Section 5: 

· Stronger language 

· Use service agreements (contracts) as the tool to disconnect bad users/sites. Point to some sample Terms and Conditions agreements. 

· Need Security Considerations because of denial of service issues. 

The group also started discussion about a companion document regarding proper methods of advertising on the Internet. Logically, these two documents belong together, but the time pressure to get out the first document is too great. One alternative to creating a new document is to re-release the Spew/Spam document with the advertising material. We hope to have an Internet Draft ready by the Munich meeting.

III. Advertising FYI 

How to use passive methods successfully 

· Have a web site. 

· Purchase advertising space on web sites. 

· Allow people to join a mailing list (but don't arbitrarily populate it). 

· Pointers in reasonable length .sigs 

· Full disclosure of mailing list usage. 

· Include addresses, phone numbers, reply-to addresses. 

· No state management across domains. 

· No mail header munging; legitimate unsubscribes. 

· Learn which groups allow ads, resumes, etc. 

· Learn the legal stuff related to what you want to do and where you want to do it. 

· A good ad gives something back to the user. 

· Two docs should point to each other. 


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