Charter

Charter of CHATONS

CHATONS

CHATONS are independant, transparent, open, neutral and ethical internet service providers. They unite in the CHATONS collective. Each member of the collective designed below by the name "chaton" commits itself to respect the present charter.

Everything which is not explicitly forbidden by the present charter or by law, is authorized.

Associated technical criteria:

  • the chaton can have various juridical status: natural or legal person (an individual, a company, an association, a cooperative society, etc.).

Ethical and social criteria:

  • the chaton commits to respectful and kind behaviour towards other members of the collective;
  • the chaton commits to respectful and kind behaviour with regard to its users.

Hoster

A hoster is defined here as an entity hosting data provided or generated by third parties. The hoster is a provider of services, through which aforementioned data are stored or transit through.
The term "users" mentioned here-below refers to natural or legal persons who can create or modify data stored within the infrastructure of a chaton.

Associated technical criteria:

  • the chaton must have control on the associated software and data (root access);
  • the chaton commits to publicly and unambiguously show a level of control of the hardware which hosts the services and the associated data. Incidentally, the name of the hardware hosting provider must be notified clearly to the users.

Ethical and social criteria:

  • The chaton commits to not to use services of third party providers when their practices or terms of service are not compatible with the principles and conditions of the present charter. This applies to all services touching the users directly or indirectly.

Alternative

By offering FLOSS-based online services, a chaton is an alternative to the model of companies who provide closed and centralized services, resulting in a monopoly and perverse usage of personal data.

Such alternatives illustrate the diversity of available FLOSS-based solutions which can be offered for personal or group usage.

Associated technical criteria:

  • the chaton commits to publish documentation about the infrastructure and the services provided;
  • the chaton commits to not implement any means to track the users' activity. An exception is to be made for anonymous statistics or administrative purposes.

Ethical and social criteria:

  • the chaton commits to favour the fundamental freedoms of the users in all of its actions, particularly with regard to their private life;
  • the chaton will under no circumstances subscribe/implement the services of advertising media. Sponsoring or patronizing, by displaying the name or the identity of partner organizations (name, logo, etc.) is allowed, as long as no personal information is communicated to those partners;
  • the chaton must never monetise the data or metadata of the users.

Transparency

The chaton undertakes that no unfair usage will ever be done with the users' data, identities or rights, in particular by publishing concise, easy to read and straightforward terms of service.

Users will benefit from available services with a full knowledge of their features, advantages and limits of usage.

The data produced by the means of services is not owned by the chaton. No legal right can be added to the data, and censorship cannot be exercised, as long as the contents complies to the terms of service.

Associated technical criteria:

  • the chaton commits to be transparent about its technical infrastructure (distribution and software in use). For security reasons, some information (like the version number of a software for example) may not be published;
  • the chaton commits to do its best (obligation of means) regarding the security of the infrastructure;
  • the chaton commits to implement the backup policy considered most appropriated;
  • the chaton commits to publish anonymous usage statistics;
  • the chaton commits to publish a log of the technical failures of services.

Ethical and social criteria:

  • the chaton commits to never assume ownership on contents, data or meta-data produced by the hosted or the users;
  • the chaton commits to clearly publish the service offer, and the associated tariff;
  • the chaton commits to publish Terms of Service (ToS) which are prominent, clear, non-ambiguous, and easily understandable by most;
  • the chaton commits to publish, inside the ToS, a clause about "respect of personal data and private life" which defines precisely the chaton's policy regarding the scheduled usages;
  • the chaton commits to publish its accounts and activity reports, at least regarding its activity as a chaton;
  • the chaton commits to inform users about security and backup policies (of course, without disclosing information which may damage the aforementioned security);
  • The chaton commits to communicate with its users any difficulties encountered while running the various services provided. This should come with providing support and bug reports for aforementioned services.

Open

The use of FLOSS and of open standards for Internet is the only way for the chaton members to provide their services.

Accessing the source code is a fundamental principle of FLOSS. For every proposed service, the chaton commits to use software and code chunks under FLOSS compatible licenses only.

In case of improvement of the code of used software, the chaton commits to publish improvements under a free license (compatible with the original license), and will encourage every volunteer contribution from users, by inviting them to contact authors.

The chaton commits to make the source code available either by publishing a link to the official website of the application, or, if the former is no longer available, by publishing the used source code.

Associated technical criteria:

  • the chaton commits to use only FLOSS operating system distributions for the infrastructure hosting the users' data and metadata;
  • the chaton commits to use only software ruled by FLOSS licenses, in the sense of the Free Software Foundation, either compatible or not with the GPL license (the list is available here : http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html );
  • the chaton commits to annually publish the list of packages installed on the servers who host services provided to users, for example by using the tool "vrms" under Debian and derivatives, or an equivalent tool for other distributions;
  • the chaton commits to use open formats only;
  • the chaton commits, in case of modification of the source code of software used in the services, to publish the modifications (unless doing so would imply a security threat or an invasion of privacy).

Ethical and social criteria:

  • the chaton commits to contribute, technically or financially (when possible), to the FLOSS movement. Contributions are to be listed publicly;
  • the chaton commits to ease out the leaving process for termination request. When requested, the departing users should be provided with their associated data in open formats;
  • the chaton commits to delete permanently any information (account and personal data) regarding the departure of a former user upon his/her request.

Neutral

Ethics of FLOSS are based on sharing and independence. The chaton commits to use no a priori censorship of contents, no tracking of users' actions, and to give no reply to any administrative or authoritative request unless it is a legal request in due form. On the users side, they are expected to obey the legal rules of the concerned country when producing or hosting their own contents.

Equality of access to those applications is a strong commitment: whether the services provided by the chaton require a subscription fee or not, they must be available without technical or social discrimination, and provide all warranties of neutrality regarding the flow of data.

Respecting users' privacy is an imperious demand. No personal data will ever be used for commercial means, forwarded to third parties or used for goals not described by the present charter, except for statistical needs and always within the boundaries of the law.

Associated technical criteria:

  • The chaton commits to never track the users' actions, except for administrative, technical means or to improve its internal services;
  • the chaton commits to make no a priori censorship regarding the contents generated by users;
  • the chaton commits to protect at best the data of its users from external attacks, in particular by using the strong cryptography whenever possible for its users' data, during their reception/transmission on the net (SSL/TLS) or their storage (files and databases in particular).
  • the chaton commits to maintain a list, consultable by its users, regarding administrative or authoritative requests received. In case it is not legally possible to communicate a particular piece of information, the chaton is encouraged to implement beforehand a workaround like a Warrant Canary;

Ethical and social criteria:

  • the chaton commits not to reply any administrative or authoritative request requiring access to personal information before a legal request in due form is presented;
  • the chaton commits to apply her ToS with goodwill, if moderation action becomes necessary.

United

In a spirit of sharing and mutual help, every chaton should participate in disseminating knowledge to other members and to the general public to foster the usage of FLOSS, and install FLOSS online services. That sharing of technical and cognitive resources is what makes Internet a common good, available for everybody and owned by nobody.

Associated technical criteria:

  • the chaton commits to make itself available for real life meeting with the users and make them participate;
  • the chaton commits to have an active and mindful behaviour regarding access for anybody to the services provided, in particular by complying to standards for web accessibility.

Ethical and social criteria:

  • the chaton commits to implement and promote an organisational system which is inclusive, able to accept differences and promotes diversity, by taking care that marginal or excluded groups are involved in the development process;
  • the chaton commits not to exclude a priori potential subscribers of the featured services. The chaton can define a "targetted audience" to address itself to primarily (for example by geographic criteria, or topics), however it must, whenever possible, also address non-pertinent queries, for instance by forwarding them to another chaton or by facilitating the creation of structures fulfilling the expressed needs;
  • the chaton commits to define an economic model based on solidarity. For paid services, prices must be reasonable and adequate with the means which are implemented. Additionally, the lowest salary - as an equivalent for a full-time job, comprising primes and dividends - cannot be lower than the fourth of the highest salary - as an equivalent for a full-time job, comprising primes and dividends - of the structure;
  • the chaton commits to share its knowledge as widely as possible, publicly and under a FLOSS license;
  • the chaton commits to facilitate the participation of the users to the maintenance of the services. Particular attention will be paid to "non-technicians" in order to allow them to improve their knowledge and their efficiency and to allow them to contribute fully;
  • the chaton commits to facilitate the emancipation of the users and of the targeted public, in particular by popular education campaigns (meetings, internal or external trainings, codefests, sessions of writing for collaborative documentation, hackathon, etc.) in order to insure that Internet will remain a technology reachable by everybody, for everybody.