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Subject: Re: [Fwd: EFF Mailing List Query]
From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk @ gsp . org>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 16:43:32 -0500
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <55A37F9C-4768-11D7-8BFC-0003934516A8 @ plaidworks . com>
References: <3E59208B . 9080408 @ queernet . org> <55A37F9C-4768-11D7-8BFC-0003934516A8 @ plaidworks . com>
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Sun, Feb 23, 2003 at 11:52:26AM -0800, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> Here's some stuff to help awareness. [...]

Thanks.  Duly bookmarked and will read after suitable application of coffee. ;-)

> I'm glad rich doesn't think there's a problem. I wish I could live in 
> whatever bubble of reality he's found, because out here with the rest 
> of us, e-mail is rapidly falling apart, not just because of spam, but 
> because of the increasingly hysterial (and badly done) reactions to the spam.

1. "Bubble"?  Try "31 inches of snow". ;-)

2. I agree with the rest of your comment: (to borrow a bit from what
you went on to say) I too have great sympathy for the people trying
to stop the spam -- UNLESS they're also the people responsible for the spam.
For instance, I have no sympathy at all for Yahoo, since Yahoo Stores
allows spammers to operate with impunity from its space: doesn't matter
who reports them, how many times, how clear/murky the evidence is, etc.:
they do *nothing*.  And then they turn around and tout their anti-spam
measures to their subscribers.  It would solve not only some/much of their
problem to take the time/effort/money put into the latter and instead put
it into clobbering their own pet spammers.

s/Yahoo/XO/
s/Yahoo/Rackspace/
s/Yahoo/Verio/
s/Yahoo/Level 3/
s/Yahoo/C & W/
s/Yahoo/ATT/

and so on, with different variations on the theme, but the same song.
Part of this may be due to economic conditions: turning off a paying
customer, even a spammer, doesn't go over well when co-lo centers sit
mostly empty.

But I recognize that spam victims are desperate.  My little ISP operation
passed the spam event horizon last year: the point at which the volume of
spam rejected exceeded the amount of legitimate mail being delivered.  It's
now running at about 65-70% spam -- and that's with a custom anti-spam
config that's been tuned to include whitelisting for all customers so that
(I sure hope) I don't block anything they've asked for plus blacklisting
of a decent chunk of the most volumnious spammers (e.g. azooogle,
hispeedmedia, and so on) and a few other things. 

Hence the proliferation/popularity of DNSBLs (of which there are now
roughly 500), server-side filtering tools (dozens?)  and end-user tools
(I don't even have an estimate).  Some of these are clever and accurate;
others hew with a broadsword.  NONE of them would exist if ISPs would
just Do The Right Thing, because we all have better things to do with
our time than spend it tweaking the anti-spam stuff.

---Rsk


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From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk @ gsp . org>
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