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

Jay R. Ashworth jra@baylink.com
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 22:26:41 -0500

On Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 06:49:53PM -0800, Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
> 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.

Volvos are very safe, Toyotas are in the middle, sand rails are *just
not safe at all*.

The risks are easy to discover for each category, and the same is true
for choosing an email service.  I overstated *slightly* in saying "all"
environments; let me rephrase it:

For any given business or personal environment, a solution exists to be
chosen which permits the filtering of unwanted mail.  People can choose
this solution, or they can choose others.

In the corporate situation, the responsible party is the MIS
department, for whom this freedom of choice also exists.

Hotmail and Yahoo are jokes.  They're free; you take what you're paying

As for IMAP, the Bat will filter just fine, thanks.

> >> 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.


*Lots* of people are having that argument with the AG, and I'm one of

> > 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.

Spaminator.  You picked precisely the example I had in mind.  If the
masses *demand* solutions, those solutions *will* happen.

> 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 issue.

See *all* my other commentary on the specific topic of "design
decisions for Mailman"; I'm sure Barry will chime in here sometime

> >> 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.

See above: no, some of those cases (specifically Yahoo and Hotmail) are
in fact insoluble, but that's *Hotmail* and *Yahoo's* fault, and their
user's problem.  AOL needs to solve it's own problem -- they've made
the bed, their users are laying in it.  Deals with the devil never work
out well.

But perhaps the availability of things like Earthlink and the
Mindspring Spaminator will realign the playing field on that point --
Earthlink certainly appears to think so, given what they're spending on
ads this year.

The IMAP account solution I've mentioned already.

And as for Earthlink, well... see above.  :-)

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra@baylink.com
Member of the Technical Staff     Baylink                             RFC 2100
The Suncoast Freenet         The Things I Think
Tampa Bay, Florida        http://baylink.pitas.com             +1 727 647 1274

   "If you don't have a dream; how're you gonna have a dream come true?"
     -- Captain Sensible, The Damned (from South Pacific's "Happy Talk")