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Nope. IRC model is closer to clustering than federation. The key difference is that all connected IRC servers have nearly full control of the whole network which is why you can not allow untrusted servers in a IRC network. Also in IRC all messages are routed to all servers. Contrast that to something like SMTP or XMPP where every server is mostly independent and generally handles only messages that belongs to them, and where federation does require very little trust.

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