Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2002)

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Subject: Re: e-postage again
From: JC Dill <inet-list @ vo . cnchost . com>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 21:19:15 -0700
To: "list-managers" <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <Pine . BSI . 4 . 40 . 0205192223380 . 12958-100000 @ tom . iecc . com>
References: <B90DA0B8 . 3681C%chuqui @ plaidworks . com>

On 07:48 PM 5/19/02, John R Levine wrote:

>I think this particular line of inquiry might lead to reinventing the
>credit bureau.  We already have those.  Once that rated potential ISP
>customers, the way that regular credit bureaus rate potential bank
>customers, might not be a bad idea.

That's actually a HUGE need. At SpamCon there was a lot of talk about how ISPs might setup a customer-reputation clearing house (like a credit bureau) where ISPs could report and share information about bad customers (spammers) like other businesses report and share information about bad payees. This would provide ISPs with more control to avoid selling throw-away accounts to the known spammers.

However... there are quite a few known spammers that buy throw-away accounts (usually using fraudulent identification when signing up) and move from ISP to ISP as they get nuked, and the ISPs are relatively powerless to attack them, to prove it's them, to get law enforcement interested in investigating, etc. The lack of a solid law seems to be the biggest stumbling block. As I said earlier, get a law that lets ISPs set their policy and fees, and makes it possible for an ISP to send someone to JAIL if they violate the policy and don't pay the fee/fine, and I bet spam originating in the US or benefiting a US company will quickly die off. We just have to make the risk greater than the payoff.


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