Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2002)

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Subject: Re: Charge?
From: Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey @ goldmark . org>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 07:14:38 -0700 (PDT)
To: J C Lawrence <claw @ kanga . nu>
Cc: List Managers <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <2364 . 1021959167 @ kanga . nu>
Reply-to: Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey @ goldmark . org>

On Mon, 20 May 2002, J C Lawrence wrote:

> Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @
 plaidworks .
 com> wrote:

> >   ANY solution ultimately involves some sort of whitelist, where the
> >   e-mail user base agrees that either everyone "does this" or their
> >   mail gets bounced. Doesn't really matter what "does this" is in
> >   detail [...]

> Minor note: It doesn't require everybody.  It just requires enough.

That is only true with efforts that end up blocking traffic from sites and
nets and not for efforts that merely filter spam at the margins. Filtering
is just an automated form of "just hit delete". It doesn't change the
incentives of the spammers or the sites that allow spamming. Site
blocking, however, is effective if merely enough people do it.

> What I do think can realistically and modestly effective is SPAM control
> at the edge.  Not centrally managed or maintained, not legislated, not
> covered by doctrine, but the sum accumulation of individual
> configurations and end users.

I think that this is true, except that currently most end-user
configurations do not allow rejection at SMTP time based on IP address of
the connecting client. I'd like to see ISPs provide end-users with such
configuration options. It is technically feasible. At an academic site I
set things up so that end-users could opt their addressess out of using
our RBL blocks.

But I still maintain that measures (like filtering) which don't directly
or indirectly increase the costs to spammers for spamming will make the
problem worse, not better.  I think that this is what we've seen over the
past few years.


Jeffrey Goldberg                  
Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice

  • Re: Charge?
    From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>

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