I was pondering today just exactly WHY the Leeds School of Computing newsgroups are public.
Every time support remove a post for having inappropriate content the reason that is almost always cited is that the groups are accessible from the outside without a SoC username and password. My question is that if this presents a problem, why is it so? I mean, the groups are SoC related and if they are not they are most certainly predominantly aimed at SoC students.
Why should our freedom to post be governed not only by the fair use policy (which I accept and respect) but also by the potential offense caused to outsiders who have nothing to do with the school just because internal groups are world readable with no authentication. Just seems daft to me that if a post doesn’t contravene the fair use policy it cannot exist because it might be read by an outsider. If a post or discussion abides by the school’s policies the answer is to block the outsiders, not us from posting. That is all.
As an aside, if someone from the school wishes to give me a good reason that I am staring blindly at as to why news is public without authentication then feel free to post in comments.