USENET NEWSGROUPS - ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
While connected to the Internet via BT you must comply with the law.
You must not post material that you did not create, unless you have the
permission of the owner of the relevant rights to that material.
You must not make statements that are defamatory to or misrepresent others.
Defamatory postings may include but are not limited to postings which
harm the personal or business reputation of another or exposes him to
hatred, contempt or ridicule, or lowers him in the estimation of his community,
or deters other people from associating or dealing with him.
You must not post the same message repeatedly in one or more newsgroups.
You must not post chain letters or pyramid schemes messages or any other
You must not blatantly disregard the intended subject matter in a newsgroup
by making off topic postings with apparent malicious intent or in large
You must not maliciously try to incite other newsgroup users to deviate
from the stated topic of the group. Attempts to anger others and to draw
them into off topic debates are known as “trolling”.
You must not send data via the Internet which has forged addresses nor
should you attempt to
impersonate any other individual or organisation.
You must not breach the charter of the newsgroup that you are in.
You should not post binary attachments such as images or files into newsgroup
not designed for that purpose.
You should not post commercial advertisements to newsgroups. Most groups
do not welcome contributions from business or commercial websites; even
private promotional postings may be frowned upon.
SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR COMPUTER
The Usenet Newsgroups service provided by BT is an easy method of communicating
with large numbers of individuals. It is also a facility which can offer
endless sources of information. Just about every topic one can think of
is covered in one newsgroup or other and participating successfully in
the various newsgroups is mostly a matter of common sense and extending
courtesy to other participants. Unfortunately, it is also a source of
abuse over the Internet. Posting into newsgroups may reach your desired
audience, but it is not limited to that audience. Although the majority
of newsgroup subscribers are helpful and courteous, some hide behind their
anonymity and take great pleasure in replying to the often-innocent postings
of a "newbie" (someone who is new to the Internet), with abusive
or offensive language.
As with the rest of the Internet, newsgroups are subject to netiquette
these are the conventions of Internet etiquette particularly associated
with the use Newsgroups and their users. There are many resources on the
Internet that list these rules, which can be found by searching for the
term “netiquette” with a search engine.
Newsgroups are un-moderated and BT provides feeds to a number of them.
However many of them are subject to their own charters, and these charters
are posted into the Newsgroups on a regular basis. (Click
here for a sample charter). Newsgroups are outside of BT's
control and BT has no say in the type of material that can and cannot
be posted to them.
BT aims to filter out access via the BT feed to Newsgroups that BT perceives
by their titles to have illegal content. However, BT does not monitor
the content contained in any of the Newsgroups and is not responsible
for the content of any Newsgroup. In the interest of the safety of children,
if you identify a Newsgroup with illegal content, you can notify us in
order that we can consider adding it to our list of barred groups.
Newsgroups are often used for the sharing of files, typically images,
software, videos and documents. It is important that you are aware that
Newsgroups can be used to post or download unauthorised or even illegal
material. BT, like any service provider is obliged to disclose information
in relation to our customers using the service when a lawful instruction,
such as a court order is served upon us.
We recommend that you take some simple steps to minimise the likelihood
of receiving abuse through participation in a newsgroup:
Do not give out your email address unless you are absolutely sure you
can trust the recipient. You should treat your email address as you would
treat your telephone number.
When posting into newsgroup configure your newsreader so that it doesn't
show your email address or disguises it i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the posting you would say "to reply to Joe, remove the nospam".
The respondents would then need to remove the nospam section of the email
address. This makes it more difficult for automated newsgroup trawlers
to strip email addresses from the postings for the purposes of sending
Avoid posting into Newsgroup if you are not entirely sure about the nature
of their subject matter. If you are going to post into these groups, be
aware that there is very little BT, as your Internet Service Provider
(ISP), can do to protect you if you become a victim of abusive emails
resulting from your posting or a "flame
war". If you do post into a Newsgroup that you are not
entirely sure about, it is a sensible precaution to keep your email address
Be mindful of what you post. What may seem amusing to you may very well
be offensive to another participant in a Newsgroup.
Try not to cross-post .i.e. posting the same article to a number of groups.
If you do become a victim of Newsgroup abuse we recommend that you:
- Block further communications from a particular sender. Within your
newsreader software you will have the option to block the receipt of
further messages from any particular sender; this is known in newsgroups
as a “kill file”.
- Send an email to the "abuse department" of the sender’s
ISP (i.e. abuse@ the ISP) attaching the abusive communication and all
of it’s’ header (the full addressing) information.
- It is unlikely that an ISP will simply give out the name and details
of an alleged offender. However, an ISP may need to divulge such information
to appropriate authorities, such as the police or the courts, if formally
requested to do so. We cannot address incidents of spam or other abuse
unless it was posted through a BT Internet connection.