North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Spam Control Considered Harmful

  • From: Bill Hogan
  • Date: Tue Oct 28 14:56:11 1997

> One idea would be to set up a "working group" to develop subscribed to
> operations guidelines and principals for ISPs.  The group could have a
> charter and systems for addressing issues like this now and in future. 
> They could have built in review mechanisms and audit systems.  Police 
> ourselves or be policed!  The frontier work Paul and company have done 
> is great but needs to be formalized.

A very good idea!  

Please also consider that the best cops are your customers.  Do what you 
do - publicly.  Inform your customers of your policies, what you block 
and explain why.  You have a control loop as a built-in mechanism. Drop 
out rates and objections from potential customers will tell  you if you 
are out of sync with your customers desires.  

If the Internet becomes the possession of a few large Mega-Corps any of 
these control ideas become a politically (and economically) "Bad Thing".  

If the Internet continues to be composed of many, smaller and competitive
entities, that operate in a public manner, many customers will be well 
served and that is a "Good Thing".

Most of the Spam problem comes down to DOS.  It won't take any great leap
of logic for a working group to tie DOS to the fairly cross-cultural 
legal principle of theft and fraud. An RFC gives us all a good starting 
point.  Operating in the full glare of publicity will keep many people 

The ultimate rule must come from the users.  Democracy is messy and 
control freaks abound.  If DOS is equated with theft in users 
expectations, we can politically battle the groups that would impose 
outside controls by feeding the snake it's own tail.  

If you would control my content, other than as directed or delegated by 
me, for my own good and sufficient reasons, you are engaged in theft. The
more users that operate on this paradigm the harder it will be for 
censors to control.

Remember: Educate, Educate, Educate.

Bill Hogan
E-mail: Bill Hogan <[email protected]>
Sent:   10/28/97 CDT/CST 11:57:10
"They will pry my encryption algorithms from my cold, dead fingers."