North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Clueless service restrictions (was RE: Anti-spam System Idea)

  • From: Todd Vierling
  • Date: Wed Feb 18 01:23:53 2004

On Tue, 17 Feb 2004, Tony Hain wrote:

: Most of the responses to the anti-spam thread, and the comments to Itojun's
: IAB presentation in Miami about filtering, show that this community has been
: thoroughly infiltrated and is now as CLUELESS as the PSTN providers, and
: just as power hungry. The current ISPs have the opportunity to turn the
: Internet into the PSTN, where customers can have any service they want as
: long as it uses an audio interface and a rotary dial for signaling. ;)

Filtering, however, tends to be used to stave off real problems with the use
of the service.  POTS lines on modern switches will drop voltage to a
trickle, for instance, if a device on the customer's end causes intermittent
partial shorts or rapidly cycles through off-hook state.  So, in making the
PSTN analogy, I'd have to say that filtering an application -- based on a
trigger -- would be perfectly acceptable for an ISP to do.

Mind you, this assessment does not have any relevance to blanket blocking.
It only addresses filtering on a trigger basis, which is performed by some
residential service providers today.

(I personally feel that blanket blocking particularly vulnerable things like
NetBIOS, because we can't get the vendor in question to fix the glaring
problems on a timely basis and work to prevent future ones, is a benefit to
the Internet as a whole.  But protocols that don't involve completely broken
and security-risking service implementations, such as SMTP itself, don't
warrant blanket blocking in my opinion.)

-- Todd Vierling <[email protected]> <[email protected]>