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THOUGHTS ON CO-SYSOPS FOR WWIV BOARDS AND SECURITY LEVELS IN GENERAL…

WHAT IS A CO-SYSOP?

      A Co-Sysop is a responsible individual who bears some of the

responsibilities of running a board. He or she performs such sysop duties as the Sysop assigns and may be asked to perform all functions of the board in the Sysop's absence.

WHAT IS A SUBSOP?

      A Subsop is an individual who performs maintenance functions on one

or more message base subs or transfer sections. He generally has no other functions to perform on the board and should have no access to functions he does not need to maintain his assigned sub.

HOW SHOULD A SYSOP BE CHOSEN?

      A Co-Sysop should be well acquainted with the software so that he

may help set up the board, help maintain the board and operate the board should the Sysop not be available. Since he will have access to the mail and user information and since his actions will reflect upon the board, the Co-Sysop(s) preferably are known to and respected by the local BBS community. There should only be as many Co-Sysops as are necessary to perform the necessary functions and provide coverage for when the Sysop may be absent. Sysops, Co-Sysops and those involved with setting up other boards with the same software are good candidates for Co-Sysops. If no such people are available then a Co-Sysop can be chosen from among the most active supporters of a board who has already shown willingness and loyalty to the board.

SECURITY LEVELS

      Generally most users should have the same security level to start

with. Time increases and ul/dl ratio exemptions can be given to those users who have contributed to the board through active posting and/or uploading. Access to sensitive functions like user information and the E-mail should be strictly limited to only those who can be trusted by the users and who need access to those functions. If anonymous posting is allowed at all on a board, the ability to read anonymous posts must be severely limited to just the Sysop and whatever Co-Sysop will stand in for him in his absence.

WHO IS NOT SUITABLE AS A CO-SYSOP? AND PRIVACY ISSUES

      Not suitable as a Co-Sysop is anyone who does not meet the

qualifications as a Co-Sysop even if they are good friends of the Sysop. A board that grants the ability to read anonymous posts and access to user information and mail to those who do not need that access will quickly become a private club. All users deserve to know who the Co-Sysops are and should know that from the opening screens so that user may chose not to register if that user is not comfortable with particular individuals having access to his/her user information. Whenever possible, new Co-Sysops should be announced before they are given access to permit users who object to request deletion from the system before their personal information and mail become accessible to the new Co-Sysop. Users should also know whom has sufficient access to read anonymous posts. Sysops and Co-Sysops should review the system logs regularly, and any Co-Sysop shown to have entered E-mail or the User Editor without some board purpose should immediately have his or her security level permanently cut to that of an ordinary user.

Kent Stromsmoe

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