[Mailman-Users] spam, spamcop and mailman moderation

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Sat Nov 11 04:08:56 CET 2006

At 10:23 AM +0900 11/11/06, stephen at xemacs.org wrote:

>  The second is that for a bounded cost[1], you can implement signed mail.

For dozens of years, we've been telling people that once they have 
enough RAM and fast enough disk drives, the single biggest bottleneck 
in scaling up large mail systems is the filesystem, and overhead with 
regards to sychronous meta-data updates.

Signed mail causes the CPU of the mail server to have to do expensive 
crypto calculations that are many, many orders of magnitude beyond 
anything that had ever been done in the past, on a per-message basis. 
With signed mail, no amount of RAM, or fast disk drives, or smart 
filesystems will save you.

You need high-speed crypto accelerators for web servers, because of 
all those encrypted SSL connections which are used for secure 
transactions.  And yet, those are still just the tiniest fraction of 
all web connections.  What happens when SSL is the default?  And 
that's on a per-connection basis, where each connection might be able 
to represent hundreds or thousands or millions of individual 
transactions/messages.  What happens when you have to do that level 
of crypto calculations on a per-message basis?

At that point, you might as well just shut down all Internet e-mail anyway.

>  With current technology this is something of a cost, but for spammers
>  it's pure cost, for the rest of us it's arguably a fringe benefit much
>  of the time.  This is much more effective where usable, because the
>  signature identifies the sender to some degree, which spammers do not
>  want.

Actually, spammers have totally unlimited CPU power available to 
them, so they might be the only ones on the planet who are able to 
handle doing signed e-mail for all messages.

It doesn't matter that the signed message is actually traceable back 
to a particular person, it just matters that it's signed.

Brad Knowles, <brad at shub-internet.org>

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