Mitch tries to defend his open relay again (was Re: ORBS (Re: Scanning))

Mitch Halmu mitch at
Mon May 28 08:36:38 UTC 2001

On Sun, 27 May 2001, J.D. Falk wrote:

> On 05/27/01, Mitch Halmu <mitch at> wrote: 
> > Is there a rule that, except for local dial-in, we cannot offer the same 
> > services to a client located in a part of the world that we dont't have 
> > a dial-in POP as we offer to our local clients? Why shouldn't such clients
> > be able to get their dial-in somewhere and the rest of their services from
> > somewhere else? That includes using a remote SMTP server in the same way 
> > a local user can, period.
> 	You have to balance that desire against your users' generally
> 	unspoken requirement that your service be functioning, usable, 
> 	and able to deliver mail to its' final destination.  If this
> 	were any other kind of service that commonly requires user
> 	authentication (accounting, data storage, etc.) there wouldn't 
> 	even be a question.

The service is functional, usable, and able to deliver mail to those
destinations your organization or the other overseas rival gang have no 
control over. Some users left because of the blockade. Others stayed,
because they understand the reasoning posted at

That *should* worry you. It shows that most Joe users hate Big Brother.

> 	And seriously, Mitch, when was the last time that you heard a
> 	new argument for why you should close your relay?  Since you're
> 	obviously unwilling to do so, what's the point of bringing it
> 	up again and again?
> -- 
> J.D. Falk                                                SILENCE IS FOO!
> <jdfalk at>

I didn't bring it up this time, you did, and even changed the topic.
Vixie himself posted a request for comments on this also (twice, uh oh), 
and I haven't seen any replies. Perhaps others are afraid? I resisted
the temptation to answer, although you can imagine I had a lot to say
to your boss (btw, I did put on a shirt and shoes just to write these
lines ;)

I did reply once to this message, since it's been addressed to me, and 
my private post bounces from your network. It seems you still cannot
answer the top paragraph intelligently. 

So here's the essence of my reasoning: your approach to combat spamming 
and your methods of enforcement are wrong. You employ the same argument 
to restrict relays as used against lawful gun owners by those that want 
to take them away. You are unwilling to go after the actual spammers, and 
instead punish network owners for someone else's client deeds. Well, that 
won't fly in America. There is your legal precedent in spirit.

I am in favor of explicit federal legislation regulating this aspect of 
electronic communications. Then we'll all know exactly what's legal and
what's not, and the playing field becomes level again for all. That would 
likely put you out of a job, I'm afraid...



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