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Re: surge in spam email (fwd)

  • From: Greg A. Woods
  • Date: Wed Aug 09 17:10:35 2000

[ On Wednesday, August 9, 2000 at 15:46:37 (-0400), Barry Shein wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: surge in spam email (fwd)
> On the other hand they've been at this relay-blocking stuff for years
> and spam just goes up and up and the spam technology gets better and
> better.
> That's the problem, sounds good, no measurables. It all stands on a
> sales pitch, basically.

True enough.  Though I would contend that if even a very few of the
major e-mail providors stood up and backed ORBS (or something almost
identical to it) that the ability of spammers to send their sales
pitches for free would be severely squelched.

Unfortunately ORBS is ineffective in closing open relays because it
doesn't cost most open relays enough to leave their broken systems lying

It's a chicken & egg situation -- if all of the real legitimate e-mail
from known open relays was blocked then they'd quickly fix their systems
but everyone's playing chicken and nobody wants to stand up in front of
the users and tell them they're not allowed to receive any e-mail,
legitimate or not, from any known open relay.  Some providers say
they'll lose customers if they do this (and they may), while others say
they'll face an enormous support overload.

I think if *everyone* stood up at once and declared that open relays
were bad for us all then there wouldn't be too much trouble because
there'd be nowhere for frustrated customers to jump to!  ;-)

> We need laws, there are thus far no viable technical solutions to
> spam, and any claim otherwise is IMHO acting in the spammers'
> interests (since a legislator would love to punt on the belief that we
> just need to close a few more relays and the problem is solved.)
> Anyhow: Where are the measurables?

Laws?  Global laws?  Where are you going to get those from?

Though as a technical solution something like ORBS might not be perfect,
and of course it can only react as fast as its users, but any technical
solution seems far more attractive than local, unenforcable, laws!

Now if we had laws against open relays that might be a different story....   :-)

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <[email protected]>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <[email protected]>; Secrets of the Weird <[email protected]>