Re: hmm..

From: Dean Anderson (no email)
Date: Wed Nov 19 1997 - 20:27:41 EST


I get grumpy when the anti-spammers start exaggerating or start screwing up
other peoples systems, on purpose or not. Its kind of like a bar fight
that one is not really involved in. I'm upset that they are spilling my
beer.

At 12:33 AM 11/19/97, Barry Shein wrote:
>Ah, the "just lie back and enjoy it" point of view...(or at least "if
>it comes off in the shower it can't be that bad".)

Spam comes off. I think their unix sysadmins probably have knowledge and
experience. Experience with T3 and large mail and news systems is
valuable, regardless. But damaging other peoples computers doesn't come
off quite so easily. I think breaking spammers networks and computers is
much worse. People can go to jail if they are caught doing that on purpose.
Such activities are truly morally confused.

>At any rate, this is all orthogonal to the point. If a spammer was
>subscribing nanog to other lists just because he didn't like the
>anti-spam discusson on this list that would be wrong, right?

Of course its wrong. Its just as bad as the bounce scripts that some people
are making. Do you agree these are wrong too?

>Yes, keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out of
>your head.

A good idea for all. I think people who risk their careers and livelihood
to damage a spammer network have clearly let their brains fall out.

>Spammers steal enormous $$$ from ISPs, and doubly so when their
>customers complain about it incessantly and expect some sort of
>answer, and spammers add nothing.

Regarding user complaints-- You would get a lot less if you didn't promise
they wouldn't get spam. You bring the complaint problem on yourself. Set a
policy statement that users should forward illegal emails to the postal
inspector or the FBI. 'Unwanted email should be deleted. Do not contact
operations to report unwanted or illegal email.'

Have users use filtering software, and then the cost comes down to much
less than 20.017 cents times 10 million users or less than 2.01 million
dollars in a 3 Billion dollar a year market. The cost is still much less
than one half of one percent of the market. (0.006) Note that if you don't
keep spam, it doesn't even cost 20 cents per user. Truly not a big deal.
Gigabytes is not a big number in a thousands or millions of terabytes
world. Enormous indeed. I have yet to hear anyone declare bankruptcy
because of spam.

IRC adds nothing. Zip. Except lining to the pockets of IRC providers. Spam
adds something very small. At least I might get a good deal on toner
cartridges, if I wade through a bunch of garbage. Its not much but its
still more than IRC. Some people go through their junk mail and clip
coupons. I don't think its worth 30 minutes of my time to get a $1.95 in
savings at the supermarket. And even if I throw it out, I still have to
wait in line behind someone trying to go through their coupons. And despite
60 Billion dollars a year in bulk mail, people don't think thats theft.
"But dammit, their stealing my time!!" I spend more time waiting in line
at the supermarket than I do refiling spam. I guess coupons should be
banned too. And Sunday drivers.

>If I want to offer a service such as, eg, IRC, for money, that's my
>business. If a spammer is trying to ram his business down me and my
>customer's throat by sending, literally, gigabytes of unsolicited
>email then that's a real problem, that's theft. You have absolutely no
>right to make the comparison you make, it's morally confused.

So if *you* make money on it, its ok. But if someone else make money on
something that doesn't benefit you, it scum. I don't buy it.

IRC affects ones ability to communicate with other systems on the internet.
People are paying big bucks for an internet connection that is essentially
"degraded" due to IRC. Replace IRC with any of a dozen other protocols
that go across the backbone that aren't truly "useful". I pick on IRC
because it really annoyed me back when the backbone was small, and I had a
cross country internet project. I found the backbone was slow due to a lot
of IRC traffic. I've gotten over it. Everyone sending packets paid their
own way. And its a lot faster because places like The World cropped up and
charged users for the privelege of wasting time on IRC, and then bought
larger connections which in turn financed bigger backbone facilities.

I think that you're just upset that the goose laying the golden egg
occasionally takes a dump.

Here are better comparisons:

What if my users waste *my* bandwidth connecting to *your* IRC server from
*my* dialin lines? You encourage your IRC users to get flat rate dialin
service from me. That causes my "low actual use" cost model to fail, and
my costs go up. Are you stealing my dialin resources? I think a
reasonable person would say I can't complain about the economics of
flatrate services.

How about someone sending a lot of "talk" requests to your users? Suppose
your users complain, the talk requests take up some small bandwidth. Is
anything being stolen? I don't think so.

I think if your users truly can't accept spam, and your users truly don't
take up any internet resources, then you should disconnect from the
internet. But since you take up internet resources that spammers don't use,
you can't complain that spammers likewise take up some resources. They
paid for their connections. They are entitled to service.

There is no requirement on the usefulness to others. Indeed, such a
requirement by a public utility (AGIS?, UUnet? MCI? BBN?) might be a
violation of civil law. "Sorry, you can't have phone service because we
don't think you telemarketers have a useful purpose and you annoy some
people".

                --Dean

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