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Subject: Re: [Fwd: EFF Mailing List Query]
From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk @ gsp . org>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 11:03:44 -0500
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
Cc: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
In-reply-to: <090F2AC8-480F-11D7-AE70-0003934516A8 @ plaidworks . com>
References: <20030224121722 . GC4646 @ gsp . org> <090F2AC8-480F-11D7-AE70-0003934516A8 @ plaidworks . com>
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Mon, Feb 24, 2003 at 07:45:44AM -0800, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> That's a first (snork).

<chuckle> Aw, c'mon.  We always see eye to eye on everything. Just look
at the swinging watch...relax...breathe deeply...relax...now say this:

	"Rich is always right and I am always wrong"
	"Rich is always right and I am always wrong"
	"Rich is always right and I am always wrong"

:-)

> and just look at how quickly the spam volume is dropping, too! wow! 
> It's almost solved!

It's dropping for those people who are using various anti-spam measures,
yes.  How much depends on too many factors to generalize, but first-hand
reports from people using various combinations of DNSBLs plus filters like
SpamAssassin report quite a bit of success: the problem is trying to fine-tune
the combinations for the specific mix of incoming spam that hits each site,
or even each mailbox.  That's why per-user settings are starting to be more
widely used: those users who don't care, don't use 'em.  Those users who
want every possible filter, use 'em.  Works for both groups [1].

We didn't get to this situation overnight: we won't get out of it overnight.
But having seen some formerly black-hat ISPs change their ways and clean
out their spammers, I have hopes that gradually those which refuse to do so
will be isolated and lose their customer base.   But it's like any boycott:
it takes time.  And IMNSHO it's only been in the last 12-18 months that the
pressure has really been turned up.  So I'm willing to wait roughly about
that same length of time before evaluating the process and deciding if it's
working or not.

> So if the laws ban RBLs? you may not have a choice any more. 

1. Won't happen -- or if it does, will crumble at the first court challenge.

2. Not everyone blocks with RBLs.  Bayesian classifiers and similar bits
of code are in widespread use.  (They have their drawbacks, too, just a
different set of them.)

3. As has been occasionally discussed -- will lead to Pandora finally
being let loose, at which point things will get much worse.

---Rsk

Please do not CC me on copies of messages sent to this list.

[1] Module the ability of the mail server(s) to handle the traffic inbound
to those users with no filtering at all.  I get the sense that large ISPs
who are doing this split the users to mitigate this problem.


Follow-Ups:
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