Organization: American Sailing Association
Summary: This article is a guide to the newsgroup alt.sailing.asa.
Last-modified: March 25, 1999
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This article is a guide to the newsgroup alt.sailing.asa. An HTML version of this document can be found at: www.american-sailing.com/alt.sailing.asa./FAQ.html 1.0 Newsgroup origin alt.sailing.asa was begun by the American Sailing Association in 1990 as a forum for the exchange of ideas by people who share an interest in the sport and lifestyle of sailing. At the time, the only other, similar newsgroup was rec.boats. alt.sailing.asa had a more specific focus. 1.1 Moderator alt.sailing.asa is and unmoderated newsgroup. Anyone claiming to be the moderator has done so in error. Any communication with the American Sailing Association should be directed to email@example.com. 2.0 Nuisance Note As a public forum, alt.sailing.asa is accessible to anyone with Internet access. Unfortunately, the same people who spray paint their names in public places and yell obscenities out the windows of moving cars find their way to our newsgroup. Despite their claims to the contrary, alt.sailing.asa was not created to enable a bunch of half-wits to amuse each other with inane harassment of people who are genuinely interested in sailing. Anyone who feels they have been victimized or harassed by people who post to alt.sailing.asa, should take the following action. 2.1 Trace the offender's posts. Many of the cowardly individuals who attack users of alt.sailing.asa post from blind boxes such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. They do so to avoid detection and termination by their Internet Service Providers (more on this later). You will need to see the original header (information at the top of a posting) to determine the source of an offending message. If your newsreader masks this information you will need to get it from someone who can read it. Assume the name that appears on the "FROM:" line is fictitious. You may want to post a follow-up message asking someone to find the source for you if you can't see the header lines below. The most important lines in the header are: Message-ID: NNTP-Posting-Host: NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 21:21:58 EST Message-ID: won't mean anything to you but it will help the ISP identify the offender if they decide to take action. NNTP-Posting-Host: is important. You will find either some unintelligible code or four sets of numbers set apart by periods. Look for a familiar domain configuration such as "xxxxx.com" or "xxxx.net". If you find one, copy it and proceed directly to section 2.3 below. If you find numbers such as 188.8.131.52 (a.k.a. an IP address) you will need to follow instructions in section 2.2. 2.2 Performing a Whois search. Copy the four sets of numbers exactly. Use your web browser to go to http://www.arin.net/cgi-bin/arinwhois.pl (http://rs.internic.net/cgi-bin/whois might work as a backup. Place the number you copied in the window that appears there and click "Submit" or hit return. Information similar to that below will appear. BN Internet Services, Inc. (NETBLK-NETBLK-BBNISC) NETBLK-BBNISC 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11 Edgenet (NETBLK-EDGE-166) EDGE-166 18.104.22.168 - 22.214.171.124 The important part is the (NETBLK-EDGE-166). It's a code that will lead you to the domain name associated with the IP address. Put that back into the window (without the parentheses) and submit it. In this example you would get: Edgenet (NETBLK-EDGE-166) 19 Railroad Ave Westerly, RI 02891 US Netname: EDGE-166 Netblock: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 Coordinator: Thompson, Jeffrey (JT524-ARIN) jeff@EDGENET.NET 401-8487130 2.3 Determining the ISP's abuse policy. Most ISPs want to avoid acquiring a poor reputation. Some have been ostracized by other ISPs and had access to their postings and messages denied by those ISPs. They soon become less valuable to their customers, and if you think that doesn't matter to someone running a small business (or even a big business), think again. Put "www." in front of "edgenet.net" and you have an address to plug into your browser. In this case it's "www.edgenet.net". When you do, you get an attractive main page with a button at the bottom that says, "Acceptible Use Policy". Click it and you see: "While it is not the policy of eFortress to act as The Net Police, eFortress considers the following (but not limited to) an abuse of service: * Attempting to circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account on accessibility systems or the Internet at large ("hacking and/or cracking") * Attempting, in any way, to interfere with or deny service to any user or any host on the Internet * Forging email or USENET posting header information * Sending large numbers of unsolicited mail messages (i.e. "Junk Mail and/or Spamming"); this includes adding or attempting to add addresses to any mailing list without explicit positive consent of the addressee * Forwarding or posting "chain letters" (multiple forwarding) of any type * Posting inappropriate messages to USENET newsgroups e.g., posting large numbers of unsolicited posts indiscriminately ("spamming"), or * posting encoded binary files to USENET newsgroups not specifically named for that purpose * Attempting to cancel, supersede, or otherwise interfere with email or * USENET posts other than one's own * Engaging in harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages * To report suspected abuse from an eFortress account, we provide an email address. * When reporting email or Usenet abuse, include a FULL copy of the message, including headers. This information is required in order for any action to be taken." "When reporting other types of abuse, include details such as log files documenting the incident. eFortress must have documented proof of an incident. Send your report in email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Since a number of reports might pertain to a single abuse incident, it is not always possible for eFortress to respond to each and every report." Another provider that offers a home to one of alt.sailing.asa's most infantile and impotent abusers has a similar policy posted on its main web page. "Harassment will not be tolerated in any fashion. Harassment is defined as any willful, malicious action against another subscriber, network representative or Internet user. TerraNovaNet reserves the right to determine whether a specific action or group of actions is harassment. Offenders will be warned once, after which the offender's account will be terminated and a public statement describing the activities will be made to other providers. Please report any abuse of the Internet by TerraNovaNet subscribers that you observe to email@example.com." 2.4 Reporting Abuse Do exactly as eFortress states in their abuse policy. Submit the full harassing message to the ISP along with a copy of the relevant section of their abuse policy to remind them of their commitment. Don't threaten, simply ask that they enforce their own policy. You may also want to keep an eye out for other offensive postings by the same individual. If other visitors to alt.sailing.asa have been singled out for harassment, you should point them to this FAQ or copy these instructions and forward them via email. 3.0 American Sailing Association (ASA) 3.1 ASA History and Purpose The American Sailing Association (ASA) is an association of sailing schools, charter companies, professional sailing instructors and sailors. There are over 170 affiliated sailing schools located throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. These accredited schools offer ASA certification to individuals who meet the requirements for a given level. The ASA was established with the goal of increasing sailing safety by establishing standards for sailing education. In nearly every other nation where sailing is popular, there is some sort of organization overseeing educational standards. Until the ASA implemented its certification program in 1983, there was no such unity in the U.S. The program has been extremely successful. The ASA educational system has a strong heritage. Rather than starting at ground zero, the founders of the ASA studied the programs available in other countries. Eventually, the Canadian Yachting Association's (CYA) "Learn to Cruise" program was selected and licensed by the ASA for use in the U.S. The system continues to be improved and expanded through the valuable input of the ASA school network. The ASA works closely with other nations through the International Sailing Association (ISA) in an effort to co-ordinate international standards. The certification program has been immensely successful in the U.S. There is no other program like it. By meeting established criteria, a sailing school may offer ASA certification to students. The most rigorous of the requirements concerns the school's instructional staff. Instructors must be certified at Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQCs) conducted by Instructor Evaluators. The intensive, three day clinic measures the instructor candidate's knowledge of sailing and seamanship, practical sailing ability and teaching ability. The ASA Instructor Training Program is extremely demanding because of the importance the ASA places on the professional instructor. Over 3000 instructors have been qualified as ASA Certified Instructors. Only these instructors are empowered to teach to the ASA system and certify their students. All of this quality control is designed to ensure that a student can be confident that he or she will receive quality instruction at any ASA school. The benefits of certification are immediately obvious. The ASA system has eight primary levels of student certification. (see attached) The newcomer begins at the ASA Basic Sailing Standard. Once he or she has passed the first course (requiring both a written exam and a practical on-the-water exam) the student receives their first level of certification. The certified student receives a seal for the personal Log Book as proof of competence. All standards have a written exam that tests the student at the appropriate level. All standards, except the two navigation levels, require a practical on-the-water checkout too. The ashore and afloat requirements for each standard are outlined in the ASA Log Book. All Basic Keelboat sailors since 1997 received certification for taking a National Safe Boating Course as well as sailing certification. ASA is the only national program with on-the-water NASBLA approved sailing education. The ASA system promotes continuing education. There is always more for a sailor to learn and the upper level standards provide a goal and a measure of the sailor's ability. ASA certification is recognized at over 170 sailing clubs and charter companies in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Many offer rental/charter discounts to sailors who are certified above the Basic Coastal Cruising level. The sailor's official ASA Log Book provides proof of ability that can make charter check-outs easier and less time-consuming. The Bareboat Charter Standard is specifically designed for this purpose. For the experienced sailor, the ASA offers the opportunity to "challenge" the system. The individual must simply pass the written and the sailing requirements of the desired standard with an instructor aboard. This enables the experienced sailor to become certified without having to take a full course at school. The American Sailing Association has come a long way towards achieving its goals. By establishing national standards for sailing education we have ensured that more people will be brought into the sport safely with the proper training and respect for their responsibilities as boaters. ASA certification provides a meaningful measure of a sailor's ability and a structure for the sailing industry. Ultimately, it will be through this sort of self-policing that sailing will keep the specter of mandatory government licensing out of our sport. 3.2 ASA Contact Information American Sailing Association 13922 Marquesas Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292 Phone (310) 822-7171 Fax (310) 822-4741 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.american-sailing.com