Spam Control Considered Harmful

Paul Flores pflores at
Thu Oct 30 13:35:41 UTC 1997

On Thu, 30 Oct 1997, Matt Ryan wrote:

> > 
> > Very simple, really. There's absolutely no reason to bring "fair play"
> > into the picture when one is dealing with a band of howling jackals,
> > and that's all spammers are; the graffitti spray-painters of the net.
> >
> I think that this sums up the problem with the over-reaction to spam. Their
> appears to be a missionary zeal applied to this problem that is OTT when
> compared to (my experience of) the problem. We get spam, so do our customers,
> but it's a couple of messages, each of ~500 bytes. Even on modems connections
> this takes little time to download. And if you put in place customer
> modifiable spam filters on your mailservers, then they need not even download
> any messages.
> If people are having trouble with their mailservers dying under the spammers
> attack(!) then I would suggest they need a more scalable system.

That is the most mild case of 'spam attack' I have ever heard of! :>
When someone decideds to use your mail server to forward 5 or 6 THOUSAND
email messages, (half of which are invalid), I think you will understand
why people get so upset about this problem.


Why not setup a special AUP for Spammers, where they DO NOT get transit
services to the rest of the net? Then, If Agis, MCI, or whomever want to
sell to them, only thier customers get affected! A Spammer would then need
to purchase from ALL IAPs to get the kind of coverage they get pretty much
for free now, and UBE would suddenly not be provitable at all!

Not to mention eliminating a lot of the finger pointing that seems to be
going on about 'who is responsible for UBE'.


Just a  simple-minded thought... 

Paul Flores
Williams Communications

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