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"TPC Policy ?"

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Who sets policy?

The tpc.int subdomain is structured as a cooperative of the remote printer servers around the world. Policy for the subdomain is made in the time-honored tradition of hoping that things will run well enough on their own. In cases where additional guidance is necessary, a Board of Arbitration and Conciliation considers situations brought to it by the members and issues written opinions. Initially policy was set by the two people who started the experiment, Carl Malamud of the Internet Multicasting Service, a non-profit organization, and Marshall Rose of Dover Beach Consulting, Inc. (Rose spends half of his time on openly available projects, of which this is one.) Now however, the task has fallen on the shoulders of Darren Nickerson, a PhD student in Oxford, England.

What is this policy?

Ultimately, it's all about maintaining basic principles for the subdomain such as: functionality, fairness, cost recovery, performance, efficiency, security, and legality.

What do Malamud and Rose get out of this?

An indictment by a federal grand jury. Just kidding. Ha, ha. They're doing research on how to integrate special-purpose devices like G3 facsimile printers into the fabric of a general-purpose infrastructure like the global Internet compute rnetwork. Neither Malamud nor Rose will profit from the project, though they sincerely hope that operators in the tpc.int subdomain are able to recoup their costs, save consumers money, and maybe even make a healthy profit.

What does Nickerson hope to get out of this?

Well, gee. . . he's not sure. His interest was piqued by the possibility of subverting large telco corporations, and after setting up his own cell in Oxford, he decided to take a larger role in the development of the tpc.int subdomain for the good of the many. Let's see what the kid can do.

Is there any guarantee that my fax will get delivered?

No. For now, there's one simple rule:

It is perfectly acceptable to deny access on the basis of originator identity, but it is not acceptable to deny access on the basis of recipient identity

The reason for this is simple: if a site finds that some originator is acting in an abusive manner, then the site can deny access. But, when a site registers a cell, it agrees to provide access to every telephone number in that cell. Of course, it can always register a smaller cell.

What about privacy?

There are strict rules as to the kind of auditing information which a remote printer server may keep. Basically, this information is necessary for debugging purposes, e.g., if you send a message and don't get a completion or failure acknowledgement later on, the site providing access may need to check into it. Also, there are strict rules guaranteeing that the contents of a fax are secure and will not be monitored by the remote printer server operators.

Who can I contact for administrative questions?

That would be Mr. Arlington Hewes ( tpcadmin@info.tpc.int). Mr. Hewes is a busy man, so before sending a note to this mailbox, please consider whether the general discussion list (tpc-rp@info.tpc.int) mentioned earlier might not be a more appropriate forum.


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