The NoCeM FAQ. V0.93

This document is a draft copy, as this project is being developed. Feel free to send suggestions to .

I intend this to be a net-developed project. The client code that I have written is intended to demonstrate the standard-- eventually I hope people will rewrite and change it as needed.

Part I -- About the NoCeM concept itself.

Q: What is NoCeM?

A: NoCeM (pronounced No See 'Em) may well be:

I'm providing a standard to centralize on, but the final implementation will be up to the net at large to define.
Q: How does this work?

A: There are many people out there with opinions on what should be posted to Usenet. Some have very widespread support, such as spam cancellers. Others, such as those who would like to silence a point of view, are not supported. There are many situations that fall between those two.

Under the NoCeM model, any person on the net who sees something they think shouldn't have been posted can issue a NoCeM notice. However, just as with any other type of Usenet message, the weight the notice carries will be no greater than the poster's net.reputation. If people agree with the issuer's criteria AND also feel that this person is a good judge of that standard then they will accept his/her notices. Of course the opposite holds true.

When a NoCeM notice is accepted by a user it will perform a pre-specified action. Most likely it will mark that message as read in the user's newsrc. However, it could also be configured to: remove that message from the news spool, mark that message TO be read (if you always want to read what some person suggests), or display a random message from the list (to check up on an issuer). While I would prefer to have this operate on a per-user basis, if it's your machine, it's your decision.

Q: Isn't it possible that my admin/upstream feed can use this to censor what I see?

A: Unfortunately, yes. As has always been true, upstream feeds and your sysadmin always can control what you see. While I would discourage admins from applying NoCeM notices on their spools, it's their machine and it's their right to choose what traffic they carry. If you feel your admin/feed is exerting too much control over what you are seeing, then you probably should be seeking a new source of information.

Q: What keeps someone from forging a NoCeM notice?

A: The NoCeM standard specifies that all notices must be public key signed in order to be accepted. You use a special keyring to control who you give access to.

Q: What are the different ways NoCeM can be used?

A: As I see it, there are 3 major uses for this right now.

  1. Spam/EMP's can be marked for "hiding". Such notices should carry "Action: hide" headers, have "@@NCM" in the subject, and be crossposted to alt.nocem.misc.
  2. Spews can be dealt with the same way-- "Action: hide", "@@NCM" in the subject, and it should go to alt.nocem.misc and the newsgroup (at a minimum). This should also carry a "Newsgroup:" ncm header.
  3. A person can make him/herself a "pseudo moderator" of a group, by issuing notices just for one group. If you wish to do this:
    1. You shou