[linux-elitists] AOL says goodbye to AT&T/Comcast and residential mail spools

Martin Pool mbp@samba.org
Thu Apr 10 22:26:59 PDT 2003


On 11 Apr 2003, Nick 'Sharkey' Moore <sharkey@zoic.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 10, 2003 at 11:19:39PM -0400, Aaron Sherman wrote:
> > 
> > How much further down this path of large ISPs slicing out the "unwanted"
> > do we have to see before all ISPs will simply stop passing packets past
> > their own networks which do not originate from their servers or a
> > "registered business partner" of some sort?

lists.samba.org uses the Korea blacklist <http://korea.services.net/>.
This is about as broad and ugly a solution as you can get.
Unfortunately, it works: we get hundreds of attempted spams from Korea
every day, and random audits show that effectively zero are bonafide
emails.  

This is (very close to) a distributed theft-of-service attack, since
any spams that were passed through would be amplified to thousands of
list recipients, incurring traffic charges for us and inconveniencing
readers.  (Indeed, many readers would be bounced off the lists because
of their mailservers refusing the spam.)

I think we are on a long slow decline of SMTP.  It needs to either be
replaced or greatly altered at either political or technical levels.
People are trying out different approaches, none of which is perfect.

Some of these approaches are based on requiring people to provide an
accountable identity so that they can be held responsible for spam.
Requiring transactions to go through ISP SMTP servers ties down a
sender as belonging to that ISP, and therefore helps hold ISPs
responsible for their behaviour.

-- 
Martin 



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