Yahoo Mail Update

JC Dill lists05 at
Tue Apr 15 08:29:57 UTC 2008

Frank Bulk - iNAME wrote:

> Yes, internet service providers and operators don't need to listen, but I
> can't see how Yahoo's e-mail and abuse handling history arises out of good
> business decisions. 

How would Yahoo benefit from better staffing of their abuse desk?  What 
do they gain, besides the respect of their peers in the ISP industry? 
Do you know of anyone (outside the ISP industry) who knows anything 
about Yahoo's email and abuse handling history, and who uses this 
information as part of a buying decision WRT the services sold by Yahoo?

I don't.  Through my participation on dozens of discussion groups 
(mailing lists, usenet groups, web forums, etc.) I know hundreds of 
people who collectively:

1)  Have a free Yahoo email address
2)  Have a paid Yahoo email address
3)  Pay for a website and/or domain name hosted by Yahoo
4)  Pay for advertising on Yahoo
5)  Click on ads on Yahoo
6)  Have SBC-Global/Yahoo as their DSL provider
7)  Have Yahoo as their Home page (a result of 6)

etc.  None of them know or care that the ISP industry thinks Yahoo is 
irresponsible in their email and abuse handling practices.

Staffing an abuse desk is costly.  If you are big enough that you can 
get away with doing it at the lowest levels possible - if it doesn't 
hurt your bottom line to shift some of your spam problem onto the abuse 
desks of other ISPs, if you are big enough that other ISPs can't afford 
to play hardball with you because your abuse handling practices aren't 
up to their standards, then it makes perfect financial sense to do it at 
the lowest level you can get away with.  Yahoo knows that if it comes to 
a game of chicken that the other side will be hurt more, and blink first.

(Same thing with Cogent and the Tier 1 networks that try to de-peer with 
Cogent - they know that a Tier 1 can't afford the complaints they get 
from their end users if they can't reach a site hosted on Cogent, so 
Cogent can afford to let the Tier 1 break peering, and then reestablish 
it after they suffer the expense of the support calls from their angry 
customer.  Cogent just rides out the storm, knowing that if they simply 
"do nothing" the other side will blink first.)

Now, if a major *website/webhost* (Cogent-sized) wanted to play chicken 
with Yahoo and block access to the website from Yahoo IPs because of the 
spam problem coming from Yahoo, then maybe THAT would be a game of 
chicken that Yahoo couldn't afford to wait out (because of all the 
complaints that would flood Yahoo's support center, etc.).  However the 
website/webhost would need to be able to afford the drop in traffic that 
this ban would produce, and what's in it for them?  Again, where is the 
benefit of this action?  It would cost them lost revenue (lost 
advertising revenue for the website, lost bandwidth revenue for a 
webhost) - for what purpose?

If anyone else (a smaller ISP that is mainly eyeballs, or a small 
website or web host) tries it, they will be hurting themselves rather 
than putting any real pressure on Yahoo to change.

"I urge all my competitors to do that."


More information about the NANOG mailing list