[policy] When Tech Meets Policy...

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Mon Aug 13 19:34:26 UTC 2007


On August 13, 2007 at 10:11 dotis at mail-abuse.org (Douglas Otis) wrote:
 > 
 > 
 > On Aug 12, 2007, at 6:41 AM, John Levine wrote:
 > 
 > > The problems with domain tasting more affect web users, with vast  
 > > number of typosquat parking pages flickering in and out of existence.
 > 
 > Domain tasting clearly affects assessments based upon domains.  With  
 > millions added and removed daily as part of "no cost" domain tasting  
 > programs, the number of transitioning domains has been increased by  
 > an order of magnitude.  Many of these new domains often appear as  
 > possible phishing domains.  The high number of tasting domains  
 > obscures which are involved in criminal activities.  This high number  
 > also makes timely notification of possible threats far less practical.

This sort of chain of reasoning, one behavior for one purpose might
sometimes be a more insidious behavior for other purposes, makes me
nervous. I just think it's a treacherous way to make policy, except in
extreme cases.

Then again I'm not particularly bugged by people who run these ad-only
sites. Seems to me that's between them and the advertisers who pay
them so long as it's not inherently criminal. And where it is criminal
that should be dealt with, take any advertising medium in existence
and you'll find a percentage of fraud.

The real sin here is indicated by the terminology, "domain tasting".
Domains should be paid for in advance, not necessarily "by law", but
by liability.

That is, if you extend domains on credit w/o any useful accountability
of the buyer and this results in a pattern of criminality then the
liability for that fraud should be shared by the seller. This would
not be unique, there are lots of real world examples (e.g., if you
rented cars for cash and asked for no id's and they were often used in
crimes...)

So ya'd picks yer policy and ya'd takes yer chances.

-- 
        -Barry Shein

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