Spam Control Considered Harmful
bhogan at titania.net
Tue Oct 28 19:12:35 UTC 1997
> One idea would be to set up a "working group" to develop subscribed to
> operations guidelines and principals for ISPs. The group could have a
> charter and systems for addressing issues like this now and in future.
> They could have built in review mechanisms and audit systems. Police
> ourselves or be policed! The frontier work Paul and company have done
> is great but needs to be formalized.
A very good idea!
Please also consider that the best cops are your customers. Do what you
do - publicly. Inform your customers of your policies, what you block
and explain why. You have a control loop as a built-in mechanism. Drop
out rates and objections from potential customers will tell you if you
are out of sync with your customers desires.
If the Internet becomes the possession of a few large Mega-Corps any of
these control ideas become a politically (and economically) "Bad Thing".
If the Internet continues to be composed of many, smaller and competitive
entities, that operate in a public manner, many customers will be well
served and that is a "Good Thing".
Most of the Spam problem comes down to DOS. It won't take any great leap
of logic for a working group to tie DOS to the fairly cross-cultural
legal principle of theft and fraud. An RFC gives us all a good starting
point. Operating in the full glare of publicity will keep many people
The ultimate rule must come from the users. Democracy is messy and
control freaks abound. If DOS is equated with theft in users
expectations, we can politically battle the groups that would impose
outside controls by feeding the snake it's own tail.
If you would control my content, other than as directed or delegated by
me, for my own good and sufficient reasons, you are engaged in theft. The
more users that operate on this paradigm the harder it will be for
censors to control.
Remember: Educate, Educate, Educate.
Bill Hogan http://www.titania.net
E-mail: Bill Hogan <bhogan at titania.net>
Sent: 10/28/97 CDT/CST 11:57:10
"They will pry my encryption algorithms from my cold, dead fingers."
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