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Why antispam laws may make things worse

By debate ·
Do you agree with Jonathan Yarden that antispam laws will be mostly ineffective? What do you think is the best method to stop junk e-mail? Share your comments about the potential of antispam laws, as discussed in the Nov. 10 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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Why?

by maxwell edison In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

Why does Jonathan Yarden think that antispam laws will be mostly ineffective?

Why do you assume that everyone receives that particular e-newsletter?

Why don't you post a link to the article?

Why do you keep doing this even though numerous people have requested that you include a link?

Why don't you EVER address this question?

Why doesn't debate@techrepublic ever answer my emails suggesting they include links to the articles referred to in these discussions?

Why do I even care?

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Re: Why?

by debate In reply to Why?

These articles are in the Internet Security Focus e-newsletter only, so it is not possible to post a link to the article. We do not assume every TechRepublic member receives this e-newsletter; this discussion post is merely a means to give subscribers of this e-newsletter a chance to weigh in with their opinion and discuss the topic with other members.

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why not?

by mrbill- In reply to Re: Why?

If we chose not to receive the newsletter how are we supposed to know what is being discussed. A link would just even the playing field a little. More folks would be able to knowledgably participate, making it a better discussion.

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This help?

by Oz_Media In reply to why not?

LEARN WHY ANTISPAM LAWS MAY MAKE THINGS WORSE

Anyone who's worked with the Internet for more than 10 years may recall
a time, perhaps with some nostalgia, when junk e-mail didn't exist. But
as the Internet's popularity grew, the de facto rules of conduct went
out
the window.

Almost 10 years ago, the infamous "Green Card" message that made the
rounds on Usenet was the first shot in a battle that continues today.
Worldwide outrage over this incident didn't deter others from taking the
same
approach.

These days, by some counts, junk e-mail accounts for more than half of
all e-mail. In my opinion, the number is horribly low for some people;
about 92 percent of my current e-mail is junk.

How do junk e-mailers obtain your e-mail address? In my case, one reason

is that I was an early, frequent user of Usenet newsgroups, a resource
that existed long before the now ubiquitous World Wide Web.

It also didn't help that a rogue subscriber to the ISP I used in 1992
downloaded the list of users from a poorly secured system. Once you end
up
on one of those "30 million e-mail addresses on CD-ROM" deals, you might

as well just change your e-mail address.

Junk e-mail comes from thousands of different locations, with thousands
of different subjects, but it usually focuses on a topic of sex, money,
drugs, or a combination. But since many of these offers are illegal in
their own right, how can laws prohibiting junk e-mail really have any
effect?

The net effect of more legislation instead of direct action is that junk

e-mailers will devise even more desperate methods or move to areas that
don't have antispam laws. Principal junk e-mailers are already primarily

offshore, using leagues of hijacked broadband computers all over the
world to send their unwanted e-mail. So antispam laws will likely leave
them
unaffected.

In addition, there's the so-called "legitimate" e-mail marketing issue,
which is already creeping into legislation. Direct marketing lobbyists
in
Washington are keeping a close eye on the "anti-junk" legislation.
Campaign donations and swanky parties have a way of changing
legislation, even
if the public is behind it.

Do we really need federal antispam legislation? Technically, it makes no

difference if we do because it won't stop the flood of junk e-mail. A
number of state antispam laws already exist, but they're grossly
ineffective. In addition, many have specific provisions to allow legal
advertisements.

Have these state laws made any headway with stopping spam? Not
really--in fact, the opposite is occurring. Legislation has no bearing
on the
hundreds of thousands of "spam drones" on broadband networks, regardless
of
the state.

What will make a difference? Broadband ISPs can start by shutting off
cable modems for spam drones that their customers refuse to secure and
enforcing acceptable use policies.

I've personally reported thousands of spam drones, yet companies such as

Charter, AT&T, and Road Runner have taken little if any action. They
just don't care.

Make a law that requires ISPs to care, and then you'll have a real
solution. The few companies and individuals running relay block lists
(RBLs),
which are actually quite effective in stopping junk e-mail, are the ones

at the front lines of the spam war. But these companies are constantly
under attack from both the junk e-mailers and people who haven't
properly
secured their e-mail systems.

Jonathan Yarden is the senior UNIX system administrator, network
security manager, and senior software architect for a regional ISP.

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Thanx Oz

by mrbill- In reply to This help?

I appreciate your help man. I don't receive all the emails from TR so when a topic comes up on one of them I feel left out. I'll stop whinning now. Thanx again.

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The few companies and individuals running relay block lists

by Oz_Media In reply to This help?

This is very typical of someone who has only faced this issue with a Microsoft server.

With Novell's GroupWise it will by default ACCEPT relayed mail but will not actually process the relay command and propogate the email. It is a simple feature to close or patch but it is this way by default for tracking purposes so many admins don't know until too late. The server recieves and accepts the email, the sender reports it to an RBL, the RBL starts blocking mail from your server. THe worst pat is that Npvell's GroupWise is usually generally used in large organizations or those with high security needs.

As an MCNE I have run into at least 5 cases where a business has been literally shut down due to improperly reported RBL's. These guys have a nice idea but getting action to be removed from the main lists is timely (up to a week) and costly.

In MY experience RBl's are poorly managed, unprofessionally operated and are have a terrible record of acting upon a false positive.

Good concept, poorly implemented.

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Thanks for your reply - However

by maxwell edison In reply to Re: Why?

It is too bad there's no way to access the article. Some of these discussion topics are interesting enough to make someone (me and/or others) want to participate, but without knowing the exact points being made, any comments may be way off on their own tangent.

How about a suggestion: Start the discussion as you usually do, and then post a first reply as a cut and paste of the newsletter article?

THanks.

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I've posted above,

by Oz_Media In reply to Thanks for your reply - H ...

see, "This help?"

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I concur whole-heartedly

by Gerra In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

I had a discussion just the other day where-in a friend was asking if legislation could stop this spate of junk E-Mails. I suggested the same set of arguments that Mr. Yarden has brought forth.

I suggested to him that the only answer for him personally was to get an effective Spam Filter for his computer, and sign up with an ISP who will take a proactive role in the filtering and elimination of Junk E-Mails.

While I am certain that I would not agree with everything Mr. Yarden states every week, I am certainly behind his statements today. Legislation could make things a lot worse than they are already.

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I concur whole-heartedly

by Gerra In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

I had a discussion just the other day where-in a friend was asking if legislation could stop this spate of junk E-Mails. I suggested the same set of arguments that Mr. Yarden has brought forth.

I suggested to him that the only answer for him personally was to get an effective Spam Filter for his computer, and sign up with an ISP who will take a proactive role in the filtering and elimination of Junk E-Mails.

While I am certain that I would not agree with everything Mr. Yarden states every week, I am certainly behind his statements today. Legislation could make things a lot worse than they are already.

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