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Re: [anti-spam-wg@localhost] feasibility of antispam actions

  • From: der Mouse < >
  • Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 16:44:05 -0400 (EDT)

>> If you're talking about "customers" as in email receivers, I don't
>> see this as an issue.  There is nothing whatever wrong with having
>> providers that accept all mail, and picking up the customers that
>> prefer their mail unfiltered, with others doing various forms of
>> filtering and picking up the customers who like _that_.
> What I thought of is e.g. proposals that would require SSL keys for
> each and every SMTP connection partner (MUA and MTA).

Your MUA<->MTA is SMTP rather than SUBMIT?  That seems..suboptimal
(albeit admittedly common).  I see no particular reason for your MTA to
demand an SSL key if it can identify you by some other means (eg,
RADIUS logs combined with your address and a timestamp).  Where such
things will be really useful is in MTA<->MTA conversations.

> If you as an ISP enforce this for your customers that want to talk to
> your MTA and another ISP doesn't enforce this he may gain benefit as
> he could say "you don't want complicated and high priced certificates
> but your ISP enforces them? We don't"

> The enforcing ISP would then be a "good guy" for about 3 months and
> after that he could be a bankrupt guy :(

I'm not sure.  If the technique is effective, the enforcing ISP will be
dumping a lot less spam on its customers, and/or sourcing a lot less
spam, depending on which way the thing goes (the former has immediate
benefits to customers; the latter indirect, largely through less
blocking by recipients).  This will make the good guys more attractive.

If it doesn't make them enough more attractive to offset the cost, then
the technique is the wrong anti-spam technique.

>> Yes...but the latter would, at least to me, be an acceptable
>> outcome; I'd be in the no-spam-here part, even if that means giving
>> up email connectivity to the "Internet for e-business" and "grandma
>> getting birthday-party pictures from Joe and Helen" crowds.  (Not an
>> ideal outcome, no.  But an acceptable one.)
> This makes my stomach growl :/

I'm not thrilled by it either.  But at this point, spam is costing me
enough that I'd take it.

> Kinda reminds me of the browser war and how they broke the idea
> behind HTML:

>         "Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label
>                  on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days,
>       before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document
>   written on another computer, another word processor, or another network."
> 		   -- Tim Berners-Lee in Technology Review, July 1996

I agree with T B-L on that.  I don't _want_ to break net-wide
interoperability of email.  But as I said, if it means curing spam for
my side of the divide, at the price of the e-business and "I can't even
program a VCR and I'm online" types being on the other side, I'd accept
the loss for the sake of the gain.

/~\ The ASCII				der Mouse
\ / Ribbon Campaign
 X  Against HTML	       mouse@localhost
/ \ Email!	     7D C8 61 52 5D E7 2D 39  4E F1 31 3E E8 B3 27 4B

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