Vendors spamming NANOG attendees

Mel Beckman mel at
Tue Jun 13 16:37:44 CST 2017


My misunderstanding. Despite the subject line noting NANOG attendees, I interpreted your statement "It seems that more than just a few of us were spammed…” to be referring to the NANOG mailing list (“us”). I figured the spammer was signing up to the list first.

As for the attendee list, short of making it secret I’m (which would be counterproductive), I think we just have to live with it (I did not attend this year, and thus didn’t get spammed).


On Jun 13, 2017, at 8:57 AM, Rodney Joffe <rjoffe at<mailto:rjoffe at>> wrote:

On Jun 13, 2017, at 8:31 AM, Mel Beckman <mel at<mailto:mel at>> wrote:


You said "I see something every couple of months that I can track back to NANOG, or ARIN."

I would hardly call this a flood. But my point is that most people posting to NANOG, being technical people, respond to notifications that they are spamming. Your example email illustrates this perfectly. Sometimes they're ignorant and don't realize they're spamming. If they're persistent they get removed from the list (I don't think that has had to happen for several years).

The remaining spammers are easily caught by filters, as you can plainly see.

I don't see your need for urgency, and you still haven't said what you propose as a better arrangement. I made my suggestion. What's yours?

I'm one of 10,000. I assume others see as many as I do (I have no idea how many get caught in my filters).

I don't recall calling this a flood. Did I? And I don't believe he is on the list so there's no way to "remove" him.  I think the list does a good job over time "training" subscribers.

But I did say that if others don't respond to spammers to this list from vendors, it will become a problem. The list is fertile ground. And I'm not sure that Sterns response indicates any awareness. He admitted he used the 1,300 person attendee list as a prospecting tool.

So all that I am suggesting is that others take the time to respond to spam from vendors (as I did) rather than ignoring it (just hitting delete doesn't work out in the long run). I have to assume that after a reasonable number of people do complain to his company, they'll learn. And others on the list who are tempted, change their minds.  I don't think the list itself per se suffers from a spam problem - although my 3 emails probably qualify as too much noise already. But it is vendors who use the list to prospect who should be discouraged.

Btw I have no doubt that rogue salesmen from my companies over the years have tried it once. When I find out about it, I do kick butts.

I'm hoping that this discussion is enough to get Calient to rethink their strategy.  For crying out loud, the guy is a VP in their company. What kind of example is that?

I'll end my public noise here :-)



On Jun 13, 2017, at 8:19 AM, Rodney Joffe <rjoffe at<mailto:rjoffe at>> wrote:

On Jun 13, 2017, at 9:02 AM, Mel Beckman <mel at<mailto:mel at>> wrote:


What do you suggest? Shoot them at Dawn? :-)

The standard warning and education has always been adequate in the past. We don't have a runaway spamming problem on the list.

What standard warning and education?

We have filters to stop spam making it to the list.

But there is definitely a spamming problem of sorts amongst vendors, to subscriber addresses.

I see something every couple of months that I can track back to NANOG, or ARIN.

What I *know* is that if you open the door, and ignore it with vendors on NANOG, the list members will end up having a problem. If you want to know why I consider myself an expert, feel free to ask me offline about what the attitude that those of us who ran "the backbone" in 1994 had - and how that worked out.

On the other hand, as a senior citizen, at the end of my tech days, with enable grudgingly given up, I guess I could turn away and say "not my problem, really".


-mel beckman

On Jun 13, 2017, at 6:00 AM, Rodney Joffe <rjoffe at<mailto:rjoffe at>> wrote:

It seems that more than just a few of us were spammed by Glenn Stern (gstern at<mailto:gstern at>), an employee of Calient following NANOG 70.

The spammer had the balls to say, in his email:

We do not know each other. I'm leveraging the attendee list for NANOG to reach out and raise awareness of the value of OCS (Optical Circuit Switching) in the data center and in particular, the Carrier Neutral Hotel where we've been active with next generation MeetMeRoom discussions.

He does not show as an attendee at NANOG, but another executive, David Altstaetter, daltstaetter at<mailto:daltstaetter at> did register, and may have even shown up. Hopefully those of you who have traditional community attitudes will show your reaction via your pocketbooks.

Maybe its time for the NANOG board and staff to step in, and develop some teeth to use in cases like these? Unless the majority of you members are cool with unfettered spamming of member and attendee lists. In which case, have at it!


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