Monitoring, Flow Stats (Re: spam whore, norcal-systems)

Christopher Neill chris at
Wed Feb 3 17:51:57 UTC 1999

On Tue, Feb 02, 1999 at 09:43:37PM -0500, Dean Anderson wrote:
> The anti-spammers usually claim the abuse exception as justification for
> instituting a block.  Its their best (though still flimsy) argument.  Its
> flimsy since the congress has the authority to regulate or ban spam, and
> the congress did pass laws banning junk faxes, and limiting calls to cell
> phones, yet they have not yet banned spam.  Nor has any court found spam by
> itself to be an abuse. The one spam related law that was before the
> congress would have placed some requirements on spammers, but would have
> made it specifically not an abuse for 2511.  In other words, the congress
> doesn't agree with the anti-spammers.

I really would beg to differ--congress has the right to legistlate, certainly, and until they do legislate one way or the other on the matter its pretty much in the ISPs hands; let's look at it this way, shall we: it may be your "${deity} given right" to try to send out spam, but until you own your mail server, the recipients mail server and all the transit in between, it is the operator of said equipment's right to abitrarily block and/or inspect data passing through that point in the course of operating their network.

Let me also point out a couple of things you seem to have missed:

	* in the early 90s, NSF started backing out of the Internet, so instead of being a grant project of NSF/DOD the Internet came to be under private ownership.
	* our government tries to limit regulation on business in the interested of commerce, some exceptions we can all think of off the top of our heads come to mind like "public utilities" and trusts.
	* being that the Internet is not a "public utility" it is not regulated the way our LEC/IXC carriers are regulated.
	* in fact, by and large the Internet is not regulated at all, and regulations fail on the principal that (a) no one has singular control over the Internet and (b) it is an international entity.

It is important to harp on the last fact, that the Internet is an international entity. Any attempt by the US legislation to regulate it would generally be met with either dissapproval or be wholly ignored. We have some regulations in place about the export of encryption technology in place that is probably unconstitutional and definitely unenforceable--why would be want to encourage the government to pass more unenforceable, unreasonable laws with respect to how ISPs operate? This is why the Decency Act failed so miserably. Any attempt to tell ISPs that they can't choose which kind of traffic to pass on their network takes away exactly the right that the industry ralleyed for with the CDA and I assure you, we *will* not allow our industry to be regulated like that.

I have the "${deity} given right" to allow or deny traffic on my network as I see fit as an agent of Verio, period. If I choose to limit my liability by not allowing spammers to pass traffic which I have arbitrarily deemed to be dubious it is my perogative. We have a set of rules and an arbitration process to sanitize our decision making process, but the point is if I wanted to block all IP addresses with two or more "4"s on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I can. I would hope no one would be stupid enough to be my customer if that was the case; likewise, I hope that no one who sends out spam would be interested in doing business with Verio--we dont want it on our network.



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