North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Reducing Usenet Bandwidth

  • From: Vadim Antonov
  • Date: Fri Feb 08 18:00:27 2002

On 8 Feb 2002, Paul Vixie wrote:

> > In other words - USENET cannot be fixed with technological improvements as 
> > long as the root problem (admission control) is not solved.  Improving 
> > transmission or storage systems would only let spammers to send more spam 
> > for free.
> ...which is why my proposal didn't involve multicast and assumed that each
> newsgroup would be authoritatively sourced by a well known server or mirrored
> cluster of servers.  spam or offtopic postings, to be deleted, would only
> need to be deleted in that one place.  then the hierarchical nntpcache graph
> would simply "not find" the trash rather than needing to be told to remove it
> as is done today with "full nntp" servers.

Paul -- you know, i was advoicating cacheing for a long time.

But the problem with USENET is not in transmission technology.  
Fundamentally, it is inability to keep the S/N ratio high enough by
keeping away trash generators.

If someone posts an article, it has to show up in some kind of directory.  
Otherwise people won't be able to find and to pull it.  USENET-style
directories (listing subject lines, timestamp, and originator's pseudonym) 
do not carry enough information to detect spam.

The net result - even if someone's using spam filters at his end, he still
has to pull all articles.  No gain whatsoever. (Pruning newsgroup
distribution trees is another issue altogether - it can be done with
little modification to the existing software).

What USENET needs is a distributed system for collection of per-article
and per-sender ratings, and for filtration based on those ratings.  That
would be useful for other applications, as well :)