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Re: blocking dialups

  • To: John Berthels < >
  • From: Ragnar Lonn < >
  • Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 12:19:38 +0200 (MET DST)
  • Cc: "Clive D.W. Feather" < >

On Thu, 15 Oct 1998, John Berthels wrote:

> True. They aren't the problem. [I'm no fan of network fascism either, but
> an open network doesn't marry well with 'free account, try before you buy,
> little or no sanction if you misbehave' mentality which marketing
> requires. Thats what I see (possibly incorrectly) as the problem.]

IMHO, I think an ISP should not be judged by how much spam it produces
but how much spam per customer.

If an ISP has a million customers and produces 100 spams per day it
is still a much better ISP, spam-wise, than one with 100,000 customers 
that produces 50 spams per day. It serves a million users and manages
to only transmit one spam for every 10,000 customers while the other
ISP sends one spam for every 2,000 customers.

I think this is the way a company's antispam measures should be 
judged. Set a certain limit on the percentage of the outgoing mail that
is allowed to be spam. If a company sends more than that it will be
considered a lax site that doesn't bother with spam issues. Have
another limit for when a site should be considered a spamming factory.

I'm convinced that spam will always be there unless we start using
*really* fascist methods for controlling what our users do. Which
we don't want to for several reasons - it means overhead both 
machine-performance-wise and personnel-wise and it introduces
complexity and confusion that we really don't need. Providing support 
is bad enough as it is.

No, spam will always be there, the goal should be to minimize it at
the sources and to lobby for sound laws that let us prosecute the
big offenders for wasting people's time and money. 

About the 'try before you buy' stuff mentioned I used to condemn
that aswell but I think that, due to tougher competition, it's not
entirely fair to claim it's all the ISPs fault that they let spammers
onto their systems. It is very hard beforehand to know that a person
is a potential spammer. What is needed is, as I wrote above, laws
to make it not worth the trouble for the spammers. Then the ISPs
can sell their services to anyone they like and stop having to act
net.police as well as providers.


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