[Mailman-Users] spam, spamcop and mailman moderation

stephen at xemacs.org stephen at xemacs.org
Mon Nov 13 08:18:15 CET 2006

Brad Knowles writes:

 > 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.

If you insist that the server do the signature, yes.  Did you miss the
part where I said you have to educate users for this to work?

I'm not proposing this seriously, because I don't expect the average
user to be willing to learn anything as long as AOL and GMail promise
to do it all for them.  What I'm trying to do is outline what will be
necessary, just in case there's some educator who's more charismatic
than me. :-(

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

For those who don't sign their messages, yes.  The rest of us will be
back in the friendly-user world because only our friends will be able
to send us mail. :-/

 > 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.

Because they are using owned machines, you mean.  Well, if those
machines can do crypto for the spammers, they can do crypto for their
nominal owners.  And if email is going to survive, by your
projections, they're going to have to.

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

Then it's just hashcash, and it can't scale.  We already knew that.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list