Lawsuit threat against RBL users

Dean Anderson dean at
Fri Dec 4 17:25:55 UTC 1998

At 11:53 PM 12/3/1998 -0500, Scott Lampert wrote:
>	I don't know about where you live but here in BellSouth land you can
>call the phone company and block outgoing 900 number calls from your line. 

Correct: YOU can ask to have things blocked on YOUR line.  The phone
company (or ISP) can't do that without YOUR permission.  But if (say a
CLEC) offers phone services without any 900 services, they have your
permission when you sign up.

Likewise, YOU can use the RBL to block YOUR mail, and your ISP can use the
RBL if you give them permission. Which you do for example (according to US
Attorney somewhere), if their service definition includes blocking.

The ethics of the RBL and its ability to coerce people and organizations
arbitrarily notwithstanding, its existance is probably not illegal.
However, that does not mean that it can't be used to illegally block mail
by people that don't have permission to block.  

The idea promulgated by some that a network operator can do whatever they
feel like with "their equipment" is plainly wrong.  There are laws which
govern how that equipment can be used by its owners.  The people who feel
otherwise seem to be falling into the kook category, so I don't see any
point in arguing further.

'Szechuan Death' brings up some good ethical and moral points about the
RBL. ORBS is even more arbitrary and unethical. But I'm not sure this is of
any operational importance.

Hasn't the operational value of this discussion been exhausted?

           Plain Aviation, Inc                  dean at

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