[Baypiggies] Challenge/Response email systems

Bob Ippolito bob at redivi.com
Fri Jun 16 01:34:16 CEST 2006

On Jun 15, 2006, at 4:07 PM, Marilyn Davis wrote:

> ------- On Thursday, June 15, 2006 guido at python.org wrote:
>> On 6/15/06, Marilyn Davis  wrote:
>>> ----- On Thursday, June 15, 2006 guido at python.org wrote:
>>>> Yuck.
>>> Yuck?  Because private mail gets a challenge?
>> Yes.
>>> Please explain.
>> This antispam solution simply doesn't scale. As a matter of principle
>> I never respond to these challenges. Your loss.
> You did answer the challenge, Guido.  So I got that email twice.   
> Maybe you couldn't resist because it said door.py in the url?

Could've easily been someone else, given that the challenge URL ended  
up on a public mailing list.

> I guess, if someone wants to write to me, they should be willing to  
> answer a challenge once.  If I write to someone first, or if I put  
> them in my address book, of course they never see a challenge.
> It feels bad to displease our benevolent dictator, and I'm very  
> sorry you feel this way, Guido.
> "Doesn't scale"?  You mean that, if everyone sent a challenge for  
> personal mail from an unknown address, that the amount of email  
> would almost double, actually almost triple because usually the  
> challenge bounces, and then the mail moves to the user's Junk  
> folder -- all lovely Python code.
> Even so, mail transfer is a small resource compared to web  
> traffic.  And I can't give consideration to processing and network  
> connection time when I'm comparing with time and aggravation for  
> humans.  IMHO, computers are here to save us time and aggravation.
> And, if everyone did Challenge/Response (C/R), computer-generated  
> spam would simply be locked out of business.

C/R doesn't scale because spoofed challenges are indistinguishable  
from real ones and you can't filter any of them out without filtering  
all of them. If everyone did C/R you'd simply get hundreds of non- 
filterable challenges a day instead of spam, and you would have no  
idea which ones to respond to.

I'd rather have spam.


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