[Mailman-Developers] Interesting study -- spam on postedaddresses...

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui@plaidworks.com
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 18:49:53 -0800

On 2/20/02 5:36 PM, "Jay R. Ashworth" <jra@baylink.com> wrote:

>> So, you're saying because you protect yourself from the spammers, that
>> EVERYONE should, too?
> As a matter of fact, yes, I am saying that.  There are cost-free, not
> especially difficult to set up, facilities for all environments

Okay, what system exists for AOL users? How do you set up a system if you
live on a corporate account with an imap mail box and no shell access to the
server? What about a hotmail or yahoo account?

Show me the systems, jay, that work for real people, not us geeks that run
our own boxes on our own desks.

>> To move back to the burglary analogy, you've just told me that (a) if you do
>> get burgled, you won't call the police, and (b), the police department
>> should be shut down, because everyone should take care of themselves. Which,
>> I guess, means if you get burgled, you'll pull out the gun, find the
>> burglar, and shoot him yourself, right?
> Actually, yes.  Gun control is being able to hit your target.  Anyone
> foolish enough to burgle my house in the middle of the night is running
> (hopefully knowingly) the risk of getting shot.

Only if you're home. And if he's IN your home, be my guest. But your analogy
implies that you don't believe in the police, you believe in hunting him
down and shooting him whenever you find him. Once you leave the confines of
your property, your rights change radically here.

> Because I've been around long enough -- not that you haven't certainly --
> to see the value in the way things are if the tool does *not*
> circumscribe useful things, and I do not see fit to let the Bad Guys
> make that utility go away.  Aren't we having this argument with John
> Ashcroft right now about US civil rights?

We? No, actually.

> Cause my way is right?  :-)

Nope. Don't buy that. Especially for all those list admins in the three
cases I gave you above. Once you solve THOSE problems, though, maybe we can
start to talk. I'm really curious how you'll solve the problem of my mother
doing her own anti-spam processing on her earthlink account. Because if you
can't solve that problem, or the AOL problem -- you can't solve the problem,
except for us geeks, and we can't write Mailman just for geeks.

See, that's the other failure of your analogy. You assume everyone WANTS to
have a gun and hunt down their own burglar. The vast majority of the public
doesn't. They want to call the police.

> No, I merely don't value the email address's privacy as highly as you
> do. 

Fair enough. But I think that disqualifies you from making design decisions
about privacy issues then. It's Barry's call, but I'd argue that you take a
position that is unacceptable in the design of this software for these

>> That's nice. But -- does that override the need to protect the admin
>> from spammers? Again, do we only do things that you approve of, or for
>> the common good, is this something where you compromise your position?
> The admin works for me.  Not the other way around.
> Apologies if you think that sounds snotty or self-important.

Yes, it does. 

> Again, apologies.  If you can convince me that one Right outweighs the
> other one, for a sufficiently statistically significant number of
> possible cases, I'll change my outlook.  I don't claim to be perfect.

Solve the problem for real users (the AOL account. The corporate IMAP
account. The earthlink account. The hotmail account) and then maybe we'll
talk. Until then, your solution only works for geeks, and is unacceptable
for a tool designed to be used by regular people, not JUST geeks.

Chuq Von Rospach, Architech
chuqui@plaidworks.com -- http://www.chuqui.com/

The Cliff's Notes Cliff's Notes on Hamlet:
    And they all died happily ever after