Atrum IRC Network Charter

A. MISSION STATEMENT

Atrum.org strives to provide a free, stable and secure environment for Internet Relay Chat (IRC) where users can interact without any unsolicited interference from other users or operators.

Our goals include:

  • A stable server network, running the latest IRC and internet technologies in order to minimize downtime whilst continuing to offer a feature-rich interface.
  • Accessibility, through mechanisms such web applets and assistance with IRC clients.
  • Entertainment in the form of network-operated games and entertainment channels.
  • A network free from abuse, interruption and operator intimidation.

B. ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT

This document has been created as a repository of the rules of the network. Established within are the rights of the users as well as the policies to be followed by both users and operators.

The procedures whereby network policy and staff is decided can be found in the Atrum Operators' Association Constitution

C. NETWORK RULES

All users and operators of Atrum.org are expected to comply with the following rules. Failure to do so will result in removal of the offending person from the network or other corrective action deemed suitable by a network operator.

1. Rules

  1. Violation of any applicable laws, such as sharing copyrighted material without permission, child pornography etc. will not be tolerated!
  2. Any DDoS/Network based attacks directed at the IRC network are strictly prohibited.
  3. No flooding or spamming/advertising directed at channels, users or services.
  4. A maximum limit of 4 connections per IP/host is allowed. Should you require more than 4 connections please ask in #help. Abusing this limit to clone is prohibited.
  5. Channels on our network may have their own rules in addition to our network rules. Please make sure that you are aware of these rules as well. We will not get involved with channel issues, those who run the channel have final say there.
  6. Bots are allowed provided they have usermode +B set.
  7. Impersonation of a Network Service is strictly prohibited.

2. Appeals

If a user feel that an operator has enacted a judgement or corrective action which they feel violates this policy, an appeal may be lodged with the Staff Committee who will review the issue. Should the Staff Committee find that the judgement was in error, any restrictive/corrective actions may be removed or reduced.

If the judgement is deemed to be particularly erroneous, the Staff Committee may also refer the matter to the Executive Committee for review. The Executive Committee may overrule the Staff Committee's ruling on an appeal if deemed necessary.

3. Virtual Hosts Policy

Atrum IRC Network provides a free virtual hostname (vHost) service for users whose nicknames have been registered for at least 3 months. When using this service, the vHost is displayed in place of the user's actual masked host or IP when connected to the network and identified to the network nickname registration service.

Users are able to set this vHost for all nicknames linked to their primary name. Only linked nicknames that have been registered for at least 3 months as well are eligible for distinct vHosts.

vHosts may be requested through HostServ. All requests are processed by the Staff Committee and are approved at their discretion. vHosts that contain profanity or are deemed otherwise to be offensive may be rejected.

All domains are assumed to be valid for use in vHosts. If a domain name registrant wishes that their domain name not be allowed, they should contact the Network Operations Committee.

D. NETWORK GOVERNANCE

Atrum.org is governed by IRC Operators who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the network. They maintain the network and its routing, and, if necessary, act in response to any threats to the network or violations of the network rules.

Specific network duties and tasks are delegated to various committees whose members may be elected according to the processes outlined below. Operators are encouraged to participate in any such entities for which they are eligible.

1. Conduct

All members of network staff are expected to conduct themselves in a civil, professional manner when acting on behalf of the network. Network staff are also expected and required to act in accordance with the network rules mentioned in this charter in addition to the following:

  1. Staff members are expected to assist users while active. This may often simply require a referral to the network help channel or to the NOC.
  2. Staff members may not interfere in channel matters and may not use "operoverride" except as necessary in extreme circumstances.
  3. Staff members must not use their position or powers to show off or intimidate, threaten, or harass users.
  4. AKILLs must only be used to keep botnets and spambots out of the network. They should never be used against users.
  5. All AKILLs placed must include the reason and contact details in the message.
  6. Staff members are only permitted to use staff commands, usermodes, and services access for the enforcement of the network charter, to aid network users, or as required for maintenance of the network's servers.

2. Complaints/Misconduct

Should a user or staff member observe a member of network staff acting in a manner contradictory to the network rules or the network's best interests, a complaint should be filed with the Executive Committee. If the Executive Committee determines that a complaint is justified, it will be referred to the Network Operations Committee for deliberation. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Executive Committee may also take temporary action against the staff member if they feel it is necessary to prevent harm to the network. Such temporary action will be rescinded once a decision is reached by the Network Operations Committee.

In the event that a staff member is observed to be acting in a manner detrimental to the network and their actions warrant immediate action, any member of staff with equal or higher standing may take any corrective actions deemed necessary, including revocation of access and removal from the network. Staff members of lesser standing should approach those of higher standing if they feel it necessary.

The member of staff taking action should be able to completely remove the offending staff member and their access. Failure to completely remove all access may result in worse action being taken by the offender against the network.

All actions of this type must be immediately reported to the Executive Committee who will discuss the action and its suitability. Should the Executive Committee determine that the action was unwarranted, they may take disciplinary action against the instigating staff member.

3. Network Operators

New IRC operators may be brought onto the network in two manners: appointment from the existing user base or as part of a new server.

Before appointing a user as a new operator, the need for a new operator must be identified by the Network Operations Committee or Executive Committee. Once this need is shown, each member of network staff may nominate one member of the existing non-operator network staff as a candidate. Discussion and voting will then be conducted by the Network Operations Committee with a simple majority required for appointment of the new operator.

When applying to link a server, the prospective server administrator will be granted an o:line provided his/her server passes the test link period and he/she accepts a position on the Network Operations Committee and the responsibilities that go with it. Should the prospective server administrator request an additional operator, the requested operator will be discussed and voted upon by the Network Operations Committee. Acceptance of the link application and linking of the server does not automatically allow for additional operators.

4. Services Administrators

Members of the Network Operations Committee may at any time nominate a member of the Staff Committee to be granted services access. Discussion and voting will then be conducted by the Network Operations Committee with a simple majority required for appointment of the new services administrator.

5. Network Servers

Network servers shall be maintained by their administrators in accordance with policies established by the Network Operations Committee.

Link Applications

Prospective server administrators interested in linking their server must file a link application. Upon receipt of a link application, the Network Operations Committee will discuss the application for one week. After discussion, voting will be held for forty-eight hours. A simple majority vote of the Network Operations Committee is necessary to approve the application for a test link.

Test Link

The test link phase lasts four weeks unless terminated by the Network Operations Committee. During this time, the new server will be linked to the network. For the first two weeks, the server will not be added to the primary host records for client access. For the second two weeks, the server will be set up for client access. The performance of the new server will be monitored, especially pertaining to network connectivity and handling of user load.

During the last week of the test link phase, the Network Operations Committee will discuss the link. At the end of the phase, voting will be held for forty-eight hours. The Network Operations Committee may vote to promote the test linked server to a full member server, remove the server, or extend the test link period by two weeks, after which they will vote again. A simple majority is required to approve any option.

Before the end of the test link phase, a member of the Network Operations Committee may move to terminate the test link phase prematurely if the server does not appear to be performing up to expectations. Discussion will be held for a period of 48 hours, after which voting will be held for forty-eight hours. A simple majority is required to terminate the test link.

The Network Operations Committee may vote to promote a test link server for client access before the first two weeks have passed if they identify a need for such.

E. STAFF STRUCTURE

The Atrum IRC Network is operated by the Atrum Operators' Association and is structured by committee:

  • Executive Committee
  • Network Operations Committee
  • Staff Committee
  • User Liaison Committee

Members of these committees are decided and voted upon in terms of the Atrum Operators' Association Constitution.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be composed of three operators. Their responsibility is to oversee the network and ensure that the values and vision held at the founding of the network continue to be followed. Executive Committee members are expected to conduct themselves in a rational, reasonable manner and posess diplomacy and communication skills. Technical aptitude or skill is not a requirement to participate in the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee will retain access to and ensure proper operation of the services of the network, including:

  • Network services, including nickname and channel registration
  • DNS and domain name registration
  • The Atrum.org website, forum, support ticket system, mailboxes and mailing lists

No one member of the Executive Committee may have sole access to the above functions. Access will be distributed amongst the Executive Committee and other members of staff as necessary.

Members of the Executive Committee will be entitled to vote on all matters brought before the Network Operations Committee. Members of the Executive Committee shall hold services root access and have the Network Administrator flag in their o:lines. They will also be entitled to hold backup o:lines on the network's primary hubs.

Network Operations Committee

The Network Operations Committee shall be responsible for the administration of the servers, determining server policy, appointing new operators and approving link applications in accordance with policies established in this document.

The Network Operations Committee will be overseen by a chairperson who is responsible for moderating discussions and maintaining communication with the other councils and committees.

Staff Committee

The Staff Committee is responsible for the enforcement of network policy and provides valuable user support.

Members of the Staff Committee shall have a Global Operator o:line and shall be eligible to vote on the appointment/confidence of the Executive Committee.

User Liason Committee

The User Liason Committee provides loyal and proactive users with the opportunity to be involved in the running of the network in a relaxed unofficial capacity.

Members of the User Liason Committee shall not be operators, but may participate in staff and debate. The User Liason Committee will serve as platform for users to liase with the network operators as well as aiding the Network Operations Committee to appoint new operators.

Members of the User Liason Committe shall be granted access to certain staff channels and may be assigned an Atrum.org vHost if it is requested.

F. ABOUT ATRUM IRC NETWORK

The Atrum IRC Network, including the atrum.org domain, website and all associated intellectual property is owned and operated by Atrum Operators' Association. Any dispute arising between Atrum Operators' Association and a third party arising from the use of or reliance on the Atrum IRC Network will be subject to the jurisdiction of the law and the courts of the Republic of South Africa.

We fully comply with the Promotion of Access to Information Act and are prepared to assist you with any request you make in terms of this Act. Please contact the Executive Committee to request a copy of the stipulated manuals.

Please note that you access all of our services at your own risk and should exercise your own discretion in choosing to do so.

G. CHANGES TO THIS DOCUMENT

This document is to be maintained by the Executive Committee. Changes to the document may be proposed by any member of the Staff Committee and subsequently will be discussed by the Staff Committee followed by a vote. Any changes to this document require a majority to be approved.