open relays at Earthlink

Edward S. Marshall emarshal at
Tue Aug 25 15:00:41 UTC 1998

On Sat, 22 Aug 1998, Steve Davies wrote:
> ISPs sell customers a TCP/IP connection to the Internet.

Not necessarily. A number of ISPs on this side of the pond are starting to
make a booming business out of selling "filtered internet"; essentially
server-side filtering of web content.

ISPs sell customers whatever it is they choose to sell them. The customer,
as well, has the option of shopping around for the service they're looking
for. If you, as a customer, are violently opposed to your ISP filtering
you, then you have the choices of switching to an ISP that serves your
needs, or getting other customers to try and convince your ISP to change

> Why shouldn't dialup users run MTAs that do "proper" delivery?

Nothing wrong with it at all (my home system, at the end of a dialup link,
does so). Of course, with an ISP that filters outbound port 25 traffic,
you'll want to smarthost everything to the ISP's mail server. Not much
different, in the grand scheme of things.

> On the other hand, I would fully support anyone's right to filter
> connections from my dialin user pool addresses if they felt that they
> needed to do that.

You've just transferred the burden of dealing with your dialup pool to
other administrators, instead of dealing with the problem locally. Yes,
you may respond quickly to abuse problems, but the fact is that abuse
problems will still occur.

> Doesn't this arrangement make sense?

Absolutely. So does filtering traffic and spam filtering at your central
mail spool to ensure that the problem never happens in the first place.

-------------------.  emarshal at  .---------------------------------
Edward S. Marshall  `-----------------------'

   Linux labyrinth 2.1.117 #2 SMP Thu Aug 20 21:20:49 CDT 1998 i586 unknown
           9:50am up 12:44, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.02, 0.00

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