Spam Control Considered Harmful

Jordan Mendelson jordy at
Tue Oct 28 18:43:43 UTC 1997

On Tuesday, October 28, 1997 11:27 AM, Alex Bligh [SMTP:amb at] wrote:
> > The Moral Majority and The Promise Keepers and other fundamentalist groups
> > sit on white horses waiting to ride in and save us from ourselves.  What is
> > being said below needs to be considered.  Firstly, Paul mentioned the need
> > to have strong checks and balances.  What does that mean and how do we keep
> > him honest and ensure "we are using our powers for good"?

I personally do spam filtering for our site. Actually, it's not "spam" 
filtering per se. If you don't have a domain in the from addr which resolves, 
your mail is rejected. If you are not a customer of ours and try to relay mail 
off our servers, your mail is rejected.

This to me seems completely just. Why should you send mail with a false return 
to address and why if you are not my customer should you send mail?

Now, filtering based on hostname & blackholing is a bit extreme. It limits the 
user's right to choose. As long as the commercial soliciter has a valid 
reply-to address which you can use to bitch and complain, then I feel it's 

However, I believe repeated unsolicited commercial email is harassment. For the 
same reason you can't call a person on the phone in the US 4 or 5 times 
unsolicited (it's against the law last I checked). It's wasting my time. On the 
Internet, it's wasting my bandwidth and resources.

Does anyone have any stats on what percentage of networks is spam? I figure 
probably around 5%.


Jordan Mendelson     :
Web Services, Inc.   :

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