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Re: [Fwd: Meta-issue: recent spam surge]

From: Derrick Norris
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Meta-issue: recent spam surge]
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 20:45:43 -0400

On Friday 26 October 2001 05:23 pm, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> [ On Friday, October 26, 2001 at 11:29:43 (-0400), Derrick Norris wrote: ]


> Sounds to me though that you do NOT have any legitimate right, nor need,
> to use outbound SMTP on your dial-up account.

You did not read my post carefully enough.  Of course I had a need; if I did 
not experience a problem I wouldn't have activated sendmail.  The lists I 
subscribed to would not accept my messages when posted through my ISPs 
mailservers because of a misconfiguration on their end.  Now you will say 
"tell them to fix it."  Sure, while I wait for God knows how long meanwhile 
having my list postings bounce.  Switching to my local SMTP service solved 
the problem.

By the way, please don't tell me that I have no "right" to use my outbound 
bandwidth as I see fit, so long as my actions do not violate the rights of 
others.  Sounds a lot like your posts telling people they <loose translation> 
have no "right" to use CVS in that fashion </loose translation>.

I will also not entertain notions to switch ISPs.  I will not go back to 
dialup, and I have heard too many horror stories about problems stemming from 
other providers being at the mercy of the local telco to provision DSL lines.

> Indeed "broadband" users can spam very effectively if they are not
> generally blocked, and it is simple and easy to block them and stupid
> not to.

Yes they can, as can those users who have dedicated fat pipes.  The idea is 
to block a type of message, not a type of user, unless _all_ of that type of 
user sends _only_ the undesired messages.

> Just because your system happens to support a certain network service
> doesn't mean you must be permitted to use it.  My system has tools to
> effectively perform denial of service attacks against anyone.  Should I
> be permitted to use them just because I have them?

No you shouldn't, but there is a wide gap between using services which can 
perform DoS to actually perform DoS, and using those services (or others) to 
send legitimate messages.  And yes, I should be permitted to use any service 
my OS provides given that it does no harm to others.

> On the other hand in this specific example of SMTP there's no loss of
> service to anyone using a dynamic dial-up port.  Your ISP has assigned
> an authorised SMTP relay host for your use.  Use it!

As I stated before, I could not use my ISP's relay for the intended purpose 
(posting to a subscribed list).  I did use it for a long time to send much 
email, but when the time came to subscribe and post to the lists in question 
the ISP's relay did not provide the ability.  Interesting that their bouncing 
my messages was the result of attempts to block spam, and the only way I 
_could_ get a legitimate message on there was to use a method you would 
consider a spamming tool.  And those same lists still get quite a lot of spam 
and also quite a lot of noise from users asking "Why are my messages bouncing 
-- I had to go my machine at work/use a webmail or whatever other account 
just to post this" along with all the attendant replies explaining over and 
over again that some ISPs won't configure their servers properly.

Blacklists are far from ideal.  Let's not forget about the personal 
vendetta/revenge fiasco that ORBS became, which resulted in blocking of 
_many_ innocent users' legitimate messages.  Needless to say a little beyond 
your apparent assertion that wider-ranging spam blocks would eliminate a 
vanishingly small fraction of proper posts.

> > I personally would rather see a spam hit a list occasionally, rather than
> > have a legitimate user post bounced and followed up by a post asking why
> > which starts a thread about the whole thing again.  That can be a worse
> > hit on signal-to-noise ratio than the spam itself.
> You're certainly allowed your opinion, but I certainly will never agree
> with that particular point of view!  ;-)


For the record, I am not in support of spam.  I hate spammers.  I just don't 
want to be lumped in with them and prevented from being heard because of 
overzealous or misguided attempts to stop them.


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