North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Spam Control Considered Harmful

  • From: Jay R. Ashworth
  • Date: Wed Oct 29 22:00:10 1997

On Wed, Oct 29, 1997 at 03:12:46PM -0800, Dalvenjah FoxFire wrote:
> Is there a good reason why the throwway folks (those mentioned above)
> haven't blocked port 25 from their dialups to the outside internet?

This is on point.

As long as the dialup providers do not see fit to impose _some_ sort of
filtering on the outgoing mail of their customers, at least until the
account is validated, this crap will continue.

> The only reason I can think of that would stop this would be if a
> user subscribes to earthlink, but uses a UUnet dialin, that customer's
> software would be set up to use the Earthlink SMTP servers.

The instance of multihomed dialup customers can be dealt with without
letting throwaway accounts cause the problem that they do, if the
providers cared to do so.  Personally, I think that blackholing entire
commercial providers will solve the problem.  I'd use a filter that
bounced headers back to postmasters with a note explaining why the
filter was in place.  In fact, I may well do just this on my system...
a Spaminator<tm> is in planning here, and we're not a paid system, so I
can get away with more than some folks.

> I've currently blocked all of UUnet and PSInet from my mail server -
> spam about dropped in half. But I'm still getting spam through
> what appear to be unsuspecting relays - and the source is one of those
> dialup, throwaway accounts.

See above.

Until a concensus is reached on a legal way to force the administrations
of these dialup providers to behave in a reasonable, ethical manner
(cooperating with people engaging in fradulent behavior, when there's a
method with a low bar to entry to avoid it, is unethical), this problem
will continue to be of the order of magnitude it currently is.

I think it will get fixed the first time some ISP is named as an
accessory in a fraud suit, but I don't want to wait that long.

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                [email protected]
Member of the Technical Staff             Unsolicited Commercial Emailers Sued
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