Spam Control Considered Harmful
Jay R. Ashworth
jra at scfn.thpl.lib.fl.us
Tue Oct 28 20:37:46 UTC 1997
Ok... this is going to get interesting...
On Oct 28, Daniel Karrenberg <Daniel.Karrenberg at ripe.net> wrote:
> Some of them are esentially centralsied methods of controlling Internet
> content. Paul's anti-spam feed for instance prevents users of some
> providers from seeing spam. The user has no choice; they cannot opt to
> receive spam other than by switching to another provider. Even worse:
> they may not even be aware that they are "missing" some content.
Ok, so they'll have to switch providers. As long as they were informed
that the provider they chose engaged in such filtering before either
they signed a contract, or such filtering was implemented, I don't see
that the customer has recourse.
On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, J.D. Falk replied:
> Users should be aware if their ISP is blocking something,
> no matter what it is. However, that's not a technical or
> operational issue...I'm not sure what category it is.
My observation was "truth-in-advertising", but Rik had another idea:
> How about "ethical issue"
> Not at all, Rik. The only time it becomes an ethical issue is if you
> _lie_ to your paying customers about what you are doing. As long as
> you tell the customers what you're doing, then they have the option to
> vote with their wallets. There are better than 4000 IAPs in this
> country; no one has any excuse for limiting how those people can
> operate their business on this particular point on the grounds of 'free
> The first amendment only limits the _government_, anyway; this has been
> the topic of much case law.
Then, Rik replied:
> I am a little confused here. First you state that I am wrong for stating
> that IAP's informing users of any blocking is an ethical issue.
> Then you state that lying about any blocking is an ethics issue.
Yes. They're not the same thing.
> IMHO not informing customers (paying or otherwise) of these blocks is as
> bad as lying about them.
Don't disagree. My point is that the thrust of your commentary
appeared to be that you agreed with Dan Karrenberg, that blocking was
in itself, unethical.
My point is simply that I feel it's a simple business matter of truth
in advertising, and that appeal to the (usually more ethereal) topic of
ethics isn't really necessary.
Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Member of the Technical Staff Unsolicited Commercial Emailers Sued
The Suncoast Freenet "Pedantry. It's not just a job, it's an
Tampa Bay, Florida adventure." -- someone on AFU +1 813 790 7592
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