Task Proposal:  Creation of a working group on responsible use of the network

Version Information:

Version:  1.0
Submitted:  2001-05-25

Will be removed when replaced, recalled or obsoleted by author.


Ted Gavin tedgavin@newsguy.com

Author is a participant member of ISTF, ISSG, ISOC, & IETF


To properly further the Internet Society's vision that the "Internet is for Everyone", mass adoption of the Internet must occur across both political and cultural boundaries. While this may have already begun from a purely mainstream perspective, more focus is required to assist those nations, organizations and world citizens in understanding how best to structure their adoption and existence of the Internet, so as not to restrict the usability to all persons of all societal sectors. This Working Group will be comprised of volunteer individuals focused on providing informational and advisory resources to existing and emerging users of the Internet, geared specifically toward the creation of a mutually supportive Internet co-existence that spans national, cultural and societal boundaries.


The Author proposes the creation and charter of a permanent working group, to be hereafter referred to as the "Responsible Use of the Network" Working Group, or ISTF-RUN. This group will occupy the space between policy makers and the users or Service Providers. The fundamental goal of this Working Group will be to provide educational, informational and advisory resources that provide a framework for adopting and harnessing the beneficial qualities of the Internet while minimizing and managing the effects of the detrimental qualities of the Internet.

To meet these goals, the Responsible Use of the Network Working Group will concern itself with ongoing management of the following objectives:

1. The Research, Discovery, Collaboration on or Development of Best Practices that enhance and protect the use of E-Mail and Newsgroups as informational transport media - focusing specifically on Responsible Use guidelines as they apply to the growing problem of UCE/UBE. The goal of this objective is an ongoing advocacy of Responsible Use of E-Mail and Newsgroups that does not threaten to exclude new users (individual, organizational, societal) because of irresponsible use.

2. The Research, Discovery, Collaboration on or Development of Best Practices that provide educational resources for Internet Service Providers of an International Scope, on promoting and maintaining Responsible Use guidelines and managing their online presence.

Because many ISPs are governmental functions, this objective will require an advisory capacity, and should be served through publication of documents on topics such as, but not limited to:

3. Furtherance of the goals of the Internet Society and ISTF through active participation in the global Internet Community, to include:

4. Other matters of a Responsible Use nature that affect individual users on a global scale, which pose risk to the adoption of the Internet as a resource due to resistance on the part of Service Providers and/or governmental functions to accept such potentially negative aspects of the 'Net (for example, Internet investment scams, etc...)

5. Liaise with other bodies as warranted by what mutual goals may exist, to further the reach and exposure of ISOC, ISTF and ISTF-RUN, as approved by the appropriate bodies.

6. Collaborate with other ISTF Working Groups, IETF Working Groups and/or other groups where possible to reduce redundancy and encourage focus in dealing with Responsible and Ethical Use issues.


1. Infrastructure

I propose the creation of an ISTF-RUN-DISCUSSION list, on which all substantive work can be reasonably expected to occur. The list should be moderated and open for subscription by anyone wishing to join.

Pending creation of the officially sanctioned list, a current list has been created and can be found on a common public list server. This list will exist in its current place until one of the following events occur:

The current ISTF-RUN discussion list can be accessed at: istf_run_discussion@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe, participants should send e-mail to: istf_run_discussion-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

To contact the List Owner (the author of this document) via the list, please send e-mail to: istf_run_discussion-owner@yahoogroups.com

2. Membership

Membership on any ISTF-RUN mailing list will be open to any interested party, regardless of ISTF or ISOC membership. The Author expects this group to both solicit and encourage international participation from all sectors, including non-ISTF and non-technical persons. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that the membership of the list will include other lists, as approved by the ISTF-RUN membership and with the consent of the joint List Administrator(s).

3. Management

The Responsible Use of the Network will be managed by a single Working Group Chairperson, appointed or elected through those means currently approved and endorsed by ISTF and ISSG.


Please contact the author at tedgavin@newsguy.com with comments, questions or errata