Netiquette Guidelines
RFC 1855

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 1995; No errata)
Also known as FYI 28
Last updated 2013-03-02
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IESG IESG state RFC 1855 (Informational)
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Network Working Group                                       S. Hambridge
Request For Comments: 1855                                   Intel Corp.
FYI: 28                                                     October 1995
Category: Informational

                         Netiquette Guidelines

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This document provides a minimum set of guidelines for Network
   Etiquette (Netiquette) which organizations may take and adapt for
   their own use.  As such, it is deliberately written in a bulleted
   format to make adaptation easier and to make any particular item easy
   (or easier) to find.  It also functions as a minimum set of
   guidelines for individuals, both users and administrators.  This memo
   is the product of the Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) Working
   Group of the IETF.

Table of Contents

   1.0 Introduction                                                 1
   2.0 One-to-One Communication                                     2
   3.0 One-to-Many Communication                                    7
   4.0 Information Services                                        14
   5.0 Selected Bibliography                                       18
   6.0 Security Considerations                                     21
   7.0 Author's Address                                            21

1.0  Introduction

   In the past, the population of people using the Internet had "grown
   up" with the Internet, were technically minded, and understood the
   nature of the transport and the protocols.  Today, the community of
   Internet users includes people who are new to the environment.  These
   "Newbies" are unfamiliar with the culture and don't need to know
   about transport and protocols. In order to bring these new users into
   the Internet culture quickly, this Guide offers a minimum set of
   behaviors which organizations and individuals may take and adapt for
   their own use.  Individuals should be aware that no matter who
   supplies their Internet access, be it an Internet Service Provider
   through a private account, or a student account at a University, or

Hambridge                    Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 1855                 Netiquette Guidelines              October 1995

   an account through a corporation, that those organizations have
   regulations about ownership of mail and files, about what is proper
   to post or send, and how to present yourself.  Be sure to check with
   the local authority for specific guidelines.

   We've organized this material into three sections: One-to-one
   communication, which includes mail and talk; One-to-many
   communications, which includes mailing lists and NetNews; and
   Information Services, which includes ftp, WWW, Wais, Gopher, MUDs and
   MOOs.   Finally, we have a Selected Bibliography, which may be used
   for reference.

2.0  One-to-One Communication (electronic mail, talk)

   We define one-to-one communications as those in which a person is
   communicating with another person as if face-to-face: a dialog.  In
   general, rules of common courtesy for interaction with people should
   be in force for any situation and on the Internet it's doubly
   important where, for example, body language and tone of voice must be
   inferred. For more information on Netiquette for communicating via
   electronic mail and talk, check references [1,23,25,27] in the
   Selected Bibliography.

2.1 User Guidelines

2.1.1 For mail:

    - Unless you have your own Internet access through an Internet
      provider, be sure to check with your employer about ownership
      of electronic mail. Laws about the ownership of electronic mail
      vary from place to place.

    - Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software),
      you should assume that mail on the Internet is not secure.  Never
      put in a mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.

    - Respect the copyright on material that you reproduce.  Almost
      every country has copyright laws.

    - If you are forwarding or re-posting a message you've received, do
      not change the wording.  If the message was a personal message to
      you and you are re-posting to a group, you should ask permission
      first.  You may shorten the message and quote only relevant parts,
      but be sure you give proper attribution.

    - Never send chain letters via electronic mail.  Chain letters
      are forbidden on the Internet.  Your network privileges
      will be revoked.  Notify your local system administrator
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