open relays at Earthlink

Phil Howard phil at
Wed Aug 26 18:33:35 UTC 1998

Dean Anderson wrote:

> At 02:04 AM 8/26/98 +1000, Adam Todd wrote:
> >>ISPs sell customers a TCP/IP connection to the Internet.  To me that means
> >>taking my IP datagrams and delivering them to where I address them.  I
> >
> >UUNET sells connections to users that allows them to deliver packets?  Only
> >problem is so many places block more and more UUNET traffic every day.
> >Eventually UUNET will have to do something about it's inability to transit
> >anything except the backbones and it's a pretty lonely world out there on
> >your own.
> Yes, it certainly is lonely.  You isolate yourselves, too.  From purely
> that point of view, it is the smaller group that harmed the most by
> isolation.  So, are you larger or smaller than UUnet?

That's the wrong question.  The correct question is:
  So, are the collective set of all spam haters larger or smaller than UUnet?

The answer is, of course, larger.

Perhaps. just perhaps, the e-mail address space will end up partitioning
itself into to camps, those where spam is blocked, and those where spam is
not blocked, with no apparent gateway between them.  Now you decide which
you want to be in.  I know there will be LOTS of people who will ONLY be in
the blocked network.  I find it hard to imagine someone actually WANTING to
be in the UNblocked network ONLY.  Probably many people will have a way in
both so they can talk to everyone, but eventually it will be obvious that
migration to the blocked network will have the least cost to the customers.

Then the spammers can just spam each other (if they are on long enough to
even read e-mail, which I doubt).

Adam has indicated he already blocked  I am considering it.

If and most of the others would just block spam, we wouldn't have
this debate at all.  But I can assure you, spam haters _will_ _not_ just
decide to accept spam; the change _must_ happen at the sending side to
avoid heading down the path of partitioning.

> As I have pointed out numerous times previously, your tactics are fatally
> flawed and damage the cause more than help it.  You're losing your battles,
> pretty much as I expected, for pretty much the reasons I explained
> previously.  It's too bad.  Some spam regulation would be a good thing, I
> think, but the radicals are making that impossible.

Spam regulation, as much as we'd like to have it, just can't happen.  It is
not practical principly because there is no single jurisdiction that can do
it and make it stick.  And that's even before all the free speech issues in
the US, and the bungling when writing the text of the laws or regulations.

I hardly trust US regulators and/or congresspeople to get it right, much less
every government in the whole world, and that is what it would take to stop
the spam by means of regulation and law.

Phil Howard | blow4me9 at no35ads7 at stop5681 at
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