Novice sysadmins (was: Suggestions for a more privacy conscious email provider)

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Tue Dec 5 16:33:06 CST 2017

In a message written on Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 06:49:43AM -0800, Stephen Satchell wrote:
> The NSF in particular ran the 'Net like bouncers do in a strip club: 
> you break the rules, you go.  No argument.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a more inaccurate description of the NSF.
What in the world are you talking about?

> The original trust model for the Internet was based on this unrelenting 
> oversight.  You didn't expect Bad Things(tm) because the consequences of 
> doing them was so severe:  banishment and exile.  Also, the technical 
> ability required to do Bad Things(tm) wasn't easily won.  Accessing the 
> 'Net was a PRIVILEGE, not a right.  Abuse at your own peril.

Oh wait, you took the BS to a new level.

There was no banishment and exile.  This was before we knew of buffer
overflows, spoofing, and so on.  I remember the weekly sendmail buffer
overrun bugs, the finger back bombs, the rlogin spoofing attacks.
Turns out bored college students were very good at creating mischeff.

There was no banishment.  There were plenty of bad things.

> Ok, I'll shut up now.

Good plan.

Leo Bicknell - bicknell at
PGP keys at
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