Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 1995)

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Subject: Re: your recent 'lists' request
From: Jason and the tiny curly girl <jgreshes @ netaxs . com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 00:21:25 -0400 (EDT)
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <199510120239 . TAA24658 @ lunch . engr . sgi . com>

> Jeff, I'd suggest you disable your lists command and cause it to say
> something like this instead:
>    **** The lists command has been disabled due to abuse.  If you
>    **** have a legitimate need for this information, please contact
>    **** owner-majordomo @
 whatever .
 machine .
> > so it appears as if you are making an organized effort to build a 
> > database of mailing lists.
> That's exactly what he's doing!

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the evil is here.  There are 
webcrawlers, bots, lyoses, etc. crawling around extracting public data 
and indexing from the web.  So far noone has pointed out anything this 
guy has done that could be considered an intrusion.  He's cataloging 
public information.  If he was lying about his identity or purposes to 
join a private list and find out what its subject matter and/or members 
were, I'd be quite concerned and offended.  If he was building catalogs 
of list members (which most servers will let you do unless you select 
otherwise) to sell to advertisers, again I would be extremely concerned.

As for a concerted effort to catalog lists, I can think of far too many 
legitimate purposes for doing this to get worked up about it...which 
leads me to wonder exactly what you would consider legitimate:

1) I guess no problem with someone you sought out subbing to your lists.
2) Maybe you would be okay with someone telling someone they know about
   one of your lists.
3) Mentioning one of your lists on another list to so that other interested
   people could join would, I guess, be an intrusion.
4) Someone going out and searching for lists involving a subject he/she is
   interested in would be offensive.
5) Someone going out and building a catalog to facilitate 4) would offend
   to the core.
6) Someone doing 5) and charging 4) would be cause for vengence.

The fact is that this person is cataloging information held out to the
public.  The server operator chose to make a list of that server's lists
available.  The listowner chooses whether or not to make any information
about that list public.  (Without subject matter info being available, all
he has is an address.) If you want to control who is on the list, you
close it and only let in the people you want. If the guy starts trying to
break through security after you've disabled lists and made list info
unavailable, then he an asshole and do with him what you will. 

Again, let me say that none of this would apply if the person was 
sneaking around trying to find resources that aren't held out to the public.
And I can perfectly understand someone having objections to how that 
information was used.

Its just that no one has written me asking if they could please put a 
jump to or catalog one of my web pages, and I don't see the difference 
when someone is just querying a different server.  I just read in PC 
Magazine that someone is selling CD-ROM with lycos' database on it.  
Stuff of mine is in lycos.  In fact, information on my lists is in 
lycos.  I'm not angry.  


Indexed By Date Previous: Re: your recent 'lists' request
From: close @ lunch . engr . sgi . com (Diane Barlow Close)
Next: Professional Courtesy Advisement...
From: Eric Hilding <eric @ hilding . com>
Indexed By Thread Previous: Re: your recent 'lists' request
From: close @ lunch . engr . sgi . com (Diane Barlow Close)
Next: Re: your recent 'lists' request
From: jeffw @ triple-i . com (Jeff Wasilko)

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