[linux-elitists] Re: MCI boots send-safe (Register) -- adds a net of 11 more spam hosts

Rob McGee list+Elite@nodns4.us
Wed Mar 2 16:08:13 PST 2005

On Wednesday 02 March 2005 16:42, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Rob McGee (list+Elite@nodns4.us):
> > Market and network pressure. Quite different from Nick's straw man
> > likening it to gov't coercion, and IMO much preferable to just
> > sitting here continuing to subsidise the spammers. Is that your
> > choice?
> Point of clarification:  Which specific list subscriber is
> subsidising Ibragimov, and how?

Any one of us who has:
- spent time and/or money to deal with the problem of spam
- paid money to network providers who have spent time and/or money to
  deal with the problem of spam
- used our purchased network bandwidth to receive spam.
- paid for a long-distance call to reach someone who ignored email
  because s/he didn't see it because of spam

I could go on, but why? Any form of theft has hidden costs. We all pay 
for spam in the same sense that we all pay for shoplifters. Do you not 
see spam as a form of theft? If not why not?

> I don't necessarily object to being trigger-happy, but prefer a great
> deal more clarity on who's being shot at, and why.

I thought / hoped that my description of him as a meta-spammer would 
help get that point across. You can look up his ROKSO record if more 
detail is needed.

Are you playing devil's advocate, or is this really not clear? Do you 
think I was wrong to complain to Gandi and others about Ibragimov? If 
so, please elucidate. I admit to having too much zeal in the spam war, 
and I don't deal well with zealots, myself. I'm willing to listen to 
reasoned arguments in defense of spam and spammers and Ibragimov. Of 
course I don't expect to agree ... :)

On Wednesday 02 March 2005 17:16, Aaron Sherman wrote:
> First off, let me note that I must have misunderstood,

To follow up on the previous reference, "Never mind." :) NP.

> or perhaps the original post was unclear.

The parent to the one you replied to was clear. I had trimmed that out 
of that.

> Ok, I won't speak for Nick, but here's why I get all flustered about
> this kind of thing: I have this nervous tick that forces me to
> imagine how every "victory" in the war against X (drugs, spam,
> terrorism, you name it) will, in turn, be used against me in future.

Agreed. I've been on the receiving end, and I cannot be more specific 
than that, lest I risk receiving some more.

> In this case, I am forced to ask myself: what happens once MCI and
> others have been trained to remove first and ask questions later?

In terms of being served with legal process, that's the way it is 
already. When 400kg gorillas serve process on smaller businesses, most 
smaller businesses will choose to lose a customer if they can avoid 
litigation ... even in unfounded cases. Bottom line over principles.

Yup, it sucks.

In early days of general public access to the Internet, I had a Web  
page which was critical of someone. Nothing libelous, just the facts, 
but it did show the content of some nominally private correspondence 
which contradicted statements this person had made in a larger, but 
also semi-private, forum.

He wrote to my ISP and demanded that the page be taken down. This was a 
non-profit community network. The head of the ISP read the complaint 
and my page, and he agreed with me that it was not libel. But he said 
that if a subpoena came, they couldn't afford to fight it out.

The "victim" didn't follow through. Eventually I lost interest and 
dropped the site. I moved away and went through dozens of other ISP's.

The EFF's http://www.chillingeffects.org/ is devoted to issues like 

I do, however, see a distinction between the war against spam and the 
other wars you named: antispam sentiment starts at the grassroots. We 
don't need "leaders" to whip us into a frenzy against it. Most of us 
feel it to some extent. I don't know anyone who doesn't.

(I personally find 419's and phishing scams very amusing. I actually 
read some of the 419's I get.)

> Heck, the spammers have the most to be gained here, AND they have
> tons of money. We're forcing them to evolve or die... what happens
> when that evolution involves buying a very large ISP? Do we shut off
> half the world or come up with a better plan?

I don't have the answers! I wish I did!

What CAN we do? IMO market effort is preferable to gov't effort. You 
need look no further than the US "CAN SPAM" Act to see a horrible 
failure. "CAN" is permissive, as in "you can spam."

Spammers come from all markets. They deal in porn, some people want 
porn. They deal in drugs, some people want drugs. And so on.

One thing I'm sure of is that the only solution to the widespread 
problem of spam will be economic, along the lines of the Boulder 
Pledge. That's what influences my actions. I want to cut into, even 
eliminate the spammers' profits.

I'm open to suggestions on how best to do that.
    Rob - /dev/rob0

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