Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1997)

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Subject: Re: Threats from an unsubscribed list member
From: "Todd O." <2bits @ wco . com>
Date: Thu, 08 May 1997 19:52:21 -0700
To: whitread @ ozemail . com . au
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

At 08:34 PM 5/8/97 +1000, Graeme Read & Grant Whittingham wrote:
>You people have had much more experience in dealing with this kind of
>thing than me.   What should I do about the situation?  Should I be
>worried?  Should I take any action?


I had a similar situation with a disturb fellow with much too much time
on his hands and trouble in his mind.  I found the following to be
helpful in my successful efforts to dispose of him.

(1) I had very clear written guidelines that did not allow abusive or
exploitive behavior on the list.  Within the same document, I reserved
the right to remove anyone from the list who got out of hand, to
contact their ISP if they persisted in abusing their net access to the
detriment of the list or its subscribers, and even to seek legal
recourse if it came to that.

(2) When the first threats came in, I forwarded them to his postmaster
with a note explaining that I was still trying to resolve the matter
cooperatively, but that I may need assistance if that failed.  I also
sent a copy of the list guidelines and explained how the person in
question ahd habitually violated them.

(3) When even toned messages asking this person to respect the list
guidelines failed and the abusive beahvior escalated to a weak denial
of service attack, I forwarded the evidence to the postmaster, who in
turn shut down the guy's account without delay.  Eventually, that
senario was played out with two more ISP's before the guy went learned
his lesson.

(4) I configured the list to reject posts from non-subscribers and I
made sure the individual in question did not subscribe.

(5) I notified my own ISP of the trouble I was having with this person,
just in case he tried to cause trouble with them.  He did, but they
were ready for him.

Good luck,

Todd Ourston

Todd Ourston <2bits @
 wco .
Marin County, California

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