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Archive-name: uk/newsadmins-faq
Posting-frequency: every 4 weeks
Last-modified: Thu Nov 13 11:45:08 GMT 2014

UK Newsadmins' FAQ


Subject: Introduction

This FAQ is prepared by Charles Lindsey <> for the
purpose of disseminating the current status concerning management of the uk.*
hierarchy to newsadmins throughout the UK and elsewhere.

I don't know whether these particular questions are in fact "Frequently
Asked", but I certainly believe that they should be.

Comments and suggestions for future editions to please.

This FAQ is archived at
< (Who's computer is this?) > and at
< (Who's computer is this?) >


Subject: Table of Contents

1. Recent Changes
2. Who manages the uk.* hierarchy?
3. Who is control?
4. What is
5. Who are the UK Volunteer Votetakers?
6. What about the wales.*, scot.*, ni.* and england.* hierarchies?
7. So which groups should I take on my site?
8. How do I send articles to a moderated group?
9 . Who are the moderators of the uk.* groups?
10. What other sources of information are there?
11. Where can I find an up-to-date list of newsgroups?
12. PGP signature of control messages
13. What other questions are there?


Subject: 1. Recent Changes

Mon Jan 4 10:25:10 GMT 2010Committee changes
Fri Feb 26 15:54:59 GMT 2010Wording re news administrators
Sat Apr 3 21:14:03 BST 2010Link to moderated.html
Wed Apr 14 09:44:57 BST 2010New control
Mon Jun 14 11:12:16 BST 2010Abolition of mentors
Fri Oct 22 15:36:06 BST 2010Committee changes
Thu Jun 2 10:06:27 BST 2011Typo fixed
Thu Jun 2 10:06:27 BST 2011Committee changes
Fri Dec 2 14:40:27 GMT 2011Typo fixed
Tue Jan 1 11:26:42 GMT 2013Committee changes
Thu Jan 2 10:49:38 GMT 2014Committee changes
Fri Feb 28 12:20:54 GMT 2014Committee changes
Thu Nov 13 11:45:08 GMT 2014Committee changes


Subject: 2. Who manages the uk.* hierarchy?

Four documents set out the procedures for creating and/or removing/renaming
newsgroups within the uk.* hierarchy.

< (Who's computer is this?) >
< (Who's computer is this?) >
< (Who's computer is this?) >
< (Who's computer is this?) >
< (Who's computer is this?) >
< (Who's computer is this?) >

Three of these documents were accepted on 7 Aug 95 following a vote conducted in, with the results, respectively, of
(93 yes : 13 no)
(91 yes : 13 no)
(76 yes : 23 no)
Essentially, they provide for a Committee to be elected each October, with a
person known as Control, answerable to the Committee, to oversee the process
of group creation.

A Mentors document was added on 13 Jul 2000 (17 yes : 8 no) and abolished
on 14 June 2010 following a Fast-Track.

After the most recent elections, in October 2013, the Committee comprises

Open members
Until Dec 2015
Ian Clifton
Matthew Vernon
Until Dec 2016
Molly Mockford
Charles Lindsey
Owen Rees
Until Dec 2017
Geoff Berrow
Mark Goodge
Fiona Gostling (aka 'Kat')
Clive George

Appointed members
From BTnet -Martin Stewart

Ex-Officio member
Tony Evans (as Control)

The committee as a whole may be reached by email to


Subject: 3. Who is Control?

The Committee have appointed Tony Evans as Control, and Charles Lindsey
as Deputy Control.

For official purposes Control may be reached at It is
required that all RFDs and CFVs should be posted to in
accordance with the Guidelines document, and it is advised that all those
responsible for the administration of news servers in the UK should subscribe
to that group.

Many large news administrators have indicated that they will in
future honour all and only newgroup and rmgroup control messages for the
uk.* hierarchy issued by, and they urge all other
news administrators to adopt that same policy.


Subject: 4. What is

A domain name. Silly question! Next?

But to be serious, it is a domain name set up to facilitate communication
with the Committee, in such a manner that the relevant officers can be
reached even if their identities change. Currently, the following services
are available. reach Control reach the whole Committee reach the group of independent
UK Volunteer Votetakers (Who's computer is this?) the UK Usenet Website


Subject: 5. Who are the UK Volunteer Votetakers?

A group of people, independent of the Committee, who are empowered by the
VOTING PROCEDURES to conduct votes. The coordinator of this group is Jon
Ribbens, reachable via They also have their own
website at < (Who's computer is this?) >.


Subject: 6. What about the wales.*, scot.*, ni.* and england.* hierarchies?

For wales.*, the contact address is Emyr Wyn Morris
There used to be an elected committee, but it now appears to be defunct.
The website is at < (Who's computer is this?) >.

For scot.*, the contact address is Simon Brooke
There used to be an elected committee, but it now appears to be defunct.
The website is at < (Who's computer is this?) >.

For ni.*, the contact addresses are Paul Gregg and John
Kennedy, and the website is at
< (Who's computer is this?) >.

For england.*, the contact address is Darren Wyn Rees, the control address is and the website is at
< (Who's computer is this?) >.


Subject: 7. So which groups should I take on my site?

Well that is your prerogative to decide. If you want to take a standard uk.*
"full feed", then you should accept the periodic 'newgroup', 'rmgroup' and
'checkgroups' control messages issued by, and (for the
uk.* groups) no others. You may of course decide to take less than this if
your disc space and/or range of interests are limited.

It is possible to automate the acceptance of these control messages issued by, and it is always safe to do so if you first verify the
PGP signatures with which they are authenticated (if you are unable to do
that, it is recommended that at least 'rmgroup's and 'checkgroups' be
inspected manually before acceptance - there are not so many of those,

If you run CNews, then the following 'controlperm' file will achieve the
necessary effects. Note that this example also shows the correct way to
handle control messages for the "Big-8" and also what is believed to be
correct for several other hierarchies. Note that this example assumes that
you have installed the latest patch for CNews to implement the
verification of PGP signatures.


# Four/five fields per line,
# first a newsgroup pattern,
# second an author name (or "any"),
# third a set of operations ("n" newgroup, "r" rmgroup, "c" checkgroups),
# fourth a set of flags ("p" do it iff poster's identity is pgpverified,
# "y" do it, "n" don't, "q" don't report at all, "v" include
# entire control message in report) (default "yv"),
# fifth (optionally) the entity allowed to pgpsign it.

# run the main Usenet hierarchies
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities n p news.announce.newgroups
# but their name can be forged, so don't let them rmgroup unless you use 'p'...
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities r p news.announce.newgroups
# likewise checkgroups
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanities c p news.announce.newgroups
# and nobody else gets any attention in these hierarchies
comp,sci,misc,rec,soc,talk,news,humanitiesanynrcnv nrcp wales-usenet england-usenet
nlnl-admin@nic.surfnet.nlnrcp nl.newsgroups nz-hir-control
bitjim@*american.edunrcp bit.admin
clariclarinet@clarinet.comnrcp ClariNet.Group

# it's really tempting to change this one to nq...

# to.all groups are manually manipulated only

# final default: refuse noisily


If you run INN, the corresponding file is 'control.ctl' and the facilities
available are slightly different. Here is the nearest equivalent to the
'controlperm' file above.


## $Revision: 1.4 $
## control.ctl - access control for control messages
## Format:
## The last match found is used.
##<message>Control message or "all" if it applies
##to all control messages.
##<from>Pattern that must match the From line.
##<newsgroups>Pattern that must match the newsgroup being
##newgroup'd or rmgroup'd (ignored for other messages).
##<action>What to do:
## doitPerform action (usually sends mail too)
## doifargDo if command has an arg (see sendsys)
## doit=xxxDo action; log to xxx (see below)
## dropIgnore message
## logOne line to error log
## log=xxxLog to xxx (see below)
## mailSend mail to admin
## verify-ddddoit if pgpverified by ddd
## verify-ddd=xxx
##xxx=mail to mail; xxx= (empty) to toss; xxx=/full/path
##to log to /full/path; xxx=foo to log to ${LOG}/foo.log
##last entry matched is used



## Any newsgroups

## Any newsgroups



Subject: 8. How do I send articles to a moderated group?

Normally, you mail it to a server which keeps an up-to-date list of
moderators, normally to which is an MX record pointing to
several sites which maintain a complete list of moderators worldwide.
However, you will save one hop if you use for groups in uk.*,
and this is recommended.

In CNews, one of the following entries in your 'mailpaths' file should


The entries for gnu.* and nz.* were taken from the "nz.* Usenet Hierarchy
FAQ". Entries for other top-level hierarchies would be welcomed.

The arrangements in INN are, as usual, similar but different. I believe the
following should work.



Subject: 9. Who are the moderators of the uk.* groups?

You do not really need this information, unless you want to construct your
'mailpaths' file d-i-y style. But the current list may be inspected at (Who's computer is this?) Note how they all go through
"". This has been done so that any change requested by the
moderator can be implemented speedily, without the necessity of negotiating
the details with

Separate "-request" addresses are also provided. These are guaranteed to point
to a human moderator rather than a robot. Such addresses should be used to
contact the moderator directly, as opposed to submitting an article.


Subject: 10. What other sources of information are there?
You might like to look at the following regular postings to news.admin.misc.
How to become a Usenet site
< (Who's computer is this?) >
Usenet Software: History and Sources
< (Who's computer is this?) >

The following Web site is maintained on behalf of the Committee. It contains
the official management documents for uk.* as referred to above, the complete
set of charters for uk.* groups, and pointers to much other useful

< (Who's computer is this?) >


Subject: 11. Where can I find an up-to-date list of newsgroups?

A checkgroups message giving the exact current state of the uk.* hierarchy
will be issued by periodically. In between,
for an up-to-date list see

< (Who's computer is this?) > (in 'checkgroups' format);
< (Who's computer is this?) > (for human readers).


Subject: 12. PGP signature of control messages

The headers of control messages issued by are
authenticated with a PGP signature. See

<[.html (Who's computer is this?) ]>

for technical details, patches for CNews and INN, and a list of public keys
used by various control message issuers worldwide. For control messages
issued by the public key is:

Version: PGPfreeware 5.0i for non-commercial use



Subject: 13. What other questions are there?

Well, you should tell me that.


Where you can get the newsgroup news.answers