Repeated Blacklisting / IP reputation

David Schwartz davids at
Fri Sep 18 05:02:48 UTC 2009

Shawn Somers wrote:

> Anyone that intentionally uses address space in a manner that they
> know will cause it to become contaminated should be denied on any
> further address space requests.

I couldn't disagree more with this kind of heckler's veto proposal. RBL
operators should not be permited to set registry policy, even indirectly.

The point of an RBL is that it operates consensually. I choose to use an RBL
to filter something because I agree with the RBL's policy decisions. There
is nothing inherently wrong with being added to an RBL, it simply indicates
that the RBL's operators felt you met their policy for inclusion.

If someone wants to make an RBL that lists people with "bad ideas", they are
welcome to. Those who agree with them can have a "bad idea"-free internet.
But it does not follow that there's any reason to punish those on the RBL,
even if they do so intentionally, and even if that RBL listen would burden
other owners of the block.

Of course, they should not be permitted to launder their blocks either. Just
as registries should not impose costs on people just for getting listed in
an RBL, they should not impose costs on RBL-operators by helping people
evade earned listings and forcing re-listings.


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