[policy] When Tech Meets Policy...

John Levine johnl at iecc.com
Sun Aug 12 13:41:17 UTC 2007

> I'd like to but I don't know of a practical way to measure the
> impact of domain tasting on my services: how can I do 6 million
> whois lookups to analyse a day's logs to find what proportion of our
> email comes "from" tasty domains?

Probably not much.  Domain tasting requires a registrar who is willing
to handle millions of AGP refunds without charging the registrant,
which effectively rules out anyone who isn't a registrar himself.  The
goal of tasting is to collect pay per click ad revenue, which requires
that one have a stable enough identity to have Adsense et al pay you.
Spam these days all comes from zombies with real but irrelevant return
addresses, and the target URLs are more likely to be bought with
stolen credit cards.

The problems with domain tasting more affect web users, with vast
number of typosquat parking pages flickering in and out of existence.

The real way to get rid of tasting would be to persuade Google and
Yahoo/Overture to stop paying for clicks on pages with no content
other than ads, but that would be far too reasonable.


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