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Proposed IESG Statement regarding mailing list archiving

This stems from a discussion on the IESG list, started by Pete, in June/July 2013. What's below is the version from the conclusion of the discussion.


IESG Statement regarding mailing list archiving

IETF mailing lists are currently archived on our servers in FTP files containing a spool of messages for each list as well as in !MHonarc archives for web display. Additionally, some mailing lists are maintained at non-IETF run servers. The IETF is acting to consolidate all IETF mailing list archives on IETF servers. It is important that there is a consistent policy regarding archiving of messages particularly with regard to spam and other problematic messages. Therefore, the following policies will be applied to all archives held on IETF servers:

  • Messages that have been sent to the subscribers of a mailing list will always be archived. If messages in any of our archives are later discovered to have been spam or otherwise inappropriate, they can be moved out of the normal mailing list archive to a separate archive at the direction of the list moderator or the IESG. That is, no messages that have been sent to the members of a mailing list may be permanently discarded.
  • Where two forms of our current archives are inconsistent, we will try to combine them and preserve as much as possible. Any messages that were previously removed from one archive but preserved in another (e.g., spam that was permanently deleted from the !MHonarc archive but remains in the FTP mail spool files) may be moved to a separate archive, as above.
  • Where the IETF has no archive of its own for a particular mailing list, we will try to obtain the archive from the entity that originally maintained the mailing list. If such cannot be found, but another copy of a mailing list archive is available and appears to be reasonably reliable, we will obtain the archive but mark it in such a way that indicates that it is not an "official" IETF archive.