The present Charter is not intended to be binding or imprescriptible, but to set out some strong positions of principle which seem obvious to define, in the eyes of the founders of the FDN Federation, what an associative Internet Service Provider is. It should be seen as a statement of certain obvious facts, which do not need to be expressed in a statutory manner, but which must nevertheless be seen in the daily practice of all ISP members.
I - Internal functioning
The following rules define the framework within which a Provider must operate in order to be a member of the NDF Federation, they are intended to ensure a democratic mode of operation and to ensure that Providers are operated on behalf of their subscribers and members.1. All members of the provider must have the right to vote in the General Assembly or in the corresponding body.2. The provider's leaders must be elected.3. The elected principal leader, or the elected college of leaders, must have their term of office voted on at least every three years, ideally every year.4. All subscribers to Internet access provided by the provider must be members of the provider and must have the corresponding rights, including the right to vote, within reasonable time and procedure.
These four points ensure that subscribers can participate in the structure's activities. It is therefore necessary for the structure to operate in a democratic manner. In this way, subscribers are given the possibility to keep control of their access and are encouraged to take part in the construction of their end of the Internet.
5. The provider must have in its aims, either statutory or observed in practice, the defence and/or promotion of the Internet (within the meaning of Title II of this Charter).6. The provider must carry on an activity, not marginal, as an Internet Service Provider.
If the structure has another core activity, the concerns of the ISP and its subscribers will always be treated as minor. In this kind of situation there is always the risk that if the ISP's activity is problematic or requires more time, the solutions will be expeditious.
Example: A school that would give access to its students, or for example for corporate housing on campus, while respecting all the other criteria could not be part of FFDN because it is not its primary vocation. On the other hand, a student association that would essentially take care of this access, yes.
7. Individuals must be able to become a member of the provider.8. Statutory leaders are volunteers.
If the directors are remunerated for their management activity, the structure is considered lucrative, and not disinterested management (Jurisprudence of the tax authorities, the so-called "Jospin" circular of 1998 on the taxation of associations).
Updated in 2006:
9. Profits made by the provider are systematically kept in cash or invested, but never redistributed.10. The provider refrains from using commercial methods, such as buying advertising space.
The definition of disinterested management.
II - Definition of the Internet
The following provides a definition of what the members of the Federation consider to be the Internet, providing a common understanding of the goals of the Federation.1. The Internet is a public network, the result of the interconnection according to open protocols of networks operated by different actors. A simple digital service network is not the Internet.
We make a difference between Internet access and access to a service on the Internet. For example, a television sold with NetFlix access is not Internet access, it is simply Netflix access. The Kindle reader equipped with a SIM card with its own connection independent of your network only has access to the Amazon service, so it is a digital service network, but not an Internet access.
2. The Internet is the public network routed by the IP protocol, according to norms and standards, addressed by addresses publicly assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the 5 Regional Internet Registry and the Local Internet Registry. Access to a network achieved by the provision of a non-publicly assigned address is not access to the Internet, but to a digital network of services.
If you are not provided with a public IP address that can be accessed directly from the Internet, this is not an Internet access but an access to consult services on the Internet.
Example: The addresses distributed for telephones by the 3G/4G networks of telephone operators are not public IP addresses. This is not considered as Internet access by the FFDN.
3. The Internet grows each time an access is active, bringing one or more potential servers online, and shrinks when that access is switched off. A digital network, even if routed through publicly assigned addresses, which technically prevents this essential feature, is not the Internet.
Example: A VPN service that does not allow hosting a service on the machine with access is not Internet access.
Another example: A Box that does not allow port forwarding to a machine in its network.
With these three points we can guarantee a network where intelligence (or data) is at the periphery of the network unlike the telephone network where intelligence is in the network (any new service is added by modifying the network itself), or the broadcasting network where intelligence is at the center (the transmitters decide what is broadcasted).
III - Obligations of providers
Provider members shall comply with the following obligations to their members and to each other.1. The provision of at least one public routable IP address to each of their subscribers.2. The subscriber must have the possibility that this IP address may be fixed, unless there are major technical constraints, in particular those relating to the interconnection mode. This possibility must not be linked to an additional cost, or at worst, the subscriber must be offered the option of being re-invoiced for actual costs incurred.
If the structure of the operator means that the provision of a fixed IP costs money, it is not a concern that IPs are not fixed for subscribers who do not express a need for them. But those who want a fixed IP must have it, and it is not a luxury or a product designed to make margin.
3. The provider undertakes to provide a domain or sub-domain to subscribers who request it, at no extra cost or, at worst, a chargeback of actual observed costs. These domains must be declared and managed on a hierarchy of publicly accessible DNS servers.
In his subscription, the user must be able to benefit from a domain where he·she can do what he·she wants with it.
Example: If the subscriber has login.fdn.fr and wants to add a sub-domain (machin.login.fdn.fr) and have it point to an address that is not located in the operator's network, he·she must be able to do so.
There are DNS hierarchies other than the "main" one (the one everyone knows), and this clause does not prohibit using them. You can do .onion, or .42, if you want to.
4. The provider shall refrain from interfering in any way with the data carried for the subscribers without the consent of the subscriber concerned. In particular, the provider shall not modify the contents of the messages exchanged, except for those modifications that are strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the Internet (no modifications apart from the protocol headers necessary for routing).
The provider hereby undertakes not to filter or modify any content. If I decide to put a mail server on port 80, I can and it will be accessible from the Internet on port 80. The network operator is not responsible for what is transmitted through his network, only the author of the content. If the operator alters the data, then he is responsible for the content.
This is a reprise, stricter, of the obligations of articles L 32-3 and L 32-3-3 of the French Post and Electronic Communications Code.
5. The provider shall refrain from judging the relevance or importance of a data flow on behalf of its members and subscribers. The provider shall therefore not prioritize traffic between subscribers without their explicit consent and full control.
The Provider may not slow down or speed up connections to a service in partnership with the latter without the agreement of its users.
Example: Orange in partnership with Deezer. If we take the Deezer option, the service works better.
Example: Orange in partnership with Deezer. If we take the Deezer option, the service works better.
On the other hand: if subscribers agree to prioritize VoIP phone calls on the network, and if they have control over this prioritization, it's fine.
6. The provider shall refrain from filtering the Internet accesses of its subscribers, unless it is strictly required by law. These legal obligations, and the technical means implemented to meet them, are clearly indicated to all members, and therefore all subscribers, of the provider.
If we have to filter on a court decision, we have to tell our subscribers, and we have to tell them how we do it. If we have to install black boxes, we have to tell our subscribers, and we have to tell them how it works. Our subscribers need to know when we intervened and how, on the data they entrust us to carry.
For example, black boxes, which are defined in the Intelligence Act, are not clearly defined. It is not clear whether they receive all the traffic, or only the connection data. If such a box was installed at a member of the federation, the subscribers should be informed exactly what is sent as traffic to this box.
7. If the provider provides online services other than strict access to the Internet, the provider shall not provide services with an altered version of the network without the explicit agreement of each subscriber concerned and without making available, at no additional cost other than the re-invoicing of actual observed costs, the same unaltered service (examples of altered services: the placement of advertising content on pages published by members, or the placement of advertising content in the DNS made available to members).
In the old days, ISPs sometimes provided "free" access, which was financed by injecting advertising into the web pages visited. None of that at home :)
8. The provider must be declared as an operator to the competent regulatory authority, e.g. the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes for France.
This serves to give legitimacy of public utility to the operator. When you go to the mayor of the village to submit a project, certifying that you are well recognized as an operator can help. Moreover, when in a public debate it is mentioned that the operators have been consulted, this allows us to say "We don't! And the text does not suit us" for example.
To put it another way: it is a point that gives power to the operators of the federation, which manufactures the capacity to act.
9. The provider undertakes, as far as it can, to assist those of its members who wish to use the Internet access provided by the association to host their own data and services to do so. If, due to a lack of volunteer resources, it cannot meet the demands of its subscribers, it undertakes to inform them of the possibility of contacting other members of the FDN Federation.
The Provider has a duty to pass on knowledge and/or competence to their users. We have a duty to empower, in the sense of ability to act, our members. Technically as well as administratively.
Example: a wiki that is regularly updated as things get done is a good start.
10. The provider undertakes a duty of solidarity, including technical assistance, with other members of the Federation, as well as towards their members.
The provider has a duty to create social links between members so that knowledge can be exchanged. Everyone has useful personal knowledge. By keeping abreast of what is being done in other federated ISPs, he can also direct his members to people outside his structure. The operators are in solidarity with each other, but also with all the members of all the operators.
Example: If an operator wants to create itself but lacks skills or means, people from other structures can come and help either to show how to do it or to carry out the project.