TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam

Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam
19 Apr 2005 08:36:28 -0700

Robert Bonomi wrote:

> Nope. it's because it is, quite simply, *NOT* ICANN's job to do so.

> Of the various organizations (ICANN, IAB, IETF, etc.) that are the
> 'authority' for specific functionalities of the greater Internet,
> _none_ of them have any authority with regard to the 'content' of
> packets.

Well then, who IS responsible to do the job? If no such job
exists, why isn't one created?

> And *nobody* on the 'net wants it any other way. (Well, except for
> folks like the government of mainland China, that is.)

I don't know about that.

I see the net as a great POTENTIAL tool, but one that is fraught
with risk and problems. Even supposedly "reputable" outfits
flood your email with spam and won't stop. (The people who
run whatever they call PC-Expo as an example).

Between hackers, spammers, perverts, and thieves, I are extremely
hesitant to do much of anything on the Internet. The newspapers
have articles constantly about how people have been fleeced from
Internet troubles -- either stolen identity, "phishing sites",
or fraudulent sites. Don't count of the authorities to go
after anyone unless it's a very major deal. (Let me know
IF any of the principals in the Norvergence collapse are
called to task -- under oath -- to account in detail for that.
I am not holding my breath.) At present, there is no

I am savvy enough that I don't open email from any source
I don't know, and I never click on attachments. That has
protected me, but in doing so I have deleted many legitimate
emails that I merely didn't recognize. Many other users have
been badly burned -- whole companies shut down -- because of
malicious sabotage sent through email.

Are you telling me this is a good system -- where people have
to go sorts of trouble to protect themselves and delete
legitimate items?

When Pat T. brought up these problems, I noticed that almost all
responses were for things _Pat_ should do. In other words, he has to
make considerable effort to protect himself from malicious efforts
from others.

Why isn't more being done to stop the malicious work at the source?
Why is it that most people just wring their hands and say "nothing can
be done".

If we can put a man on the moon using 1950 based computer technology,
we can make the Internet safe.

> Not to mention that there is _nothing_ that ICANN can actually _do_
> that would affect matters. They can't revoke the IP addresses MCI
> uses, those addresses were issued by ICANN to ARIN.

So de-issue them.

> They can't revoke the domain-name(s) MCI uses, those names are part
> of properly-executed _contracts_ between MCI and the domain registry
> operator.

Why do the contracts allow malicious behavior? Why can't
these contracts explicitly prohibit -- with penalties -- malicious
behavior? Who writes these contracts?

> And the operator's contract (with ICANN, or the appropriate
> 'national' authorizing authority) requires _them_ (the registry
> operator) to publish *all* properly contracted domains.

Again -- change the contracts!

> Those are the *only* aspects of the Internet that fall under ICANN's
> 'area of responsibility'.

Sounds like there's a lot that could be done.

> Because: (a) there is *NO*ONE* 'in authority'. The net runs by

Did it ever occur to anyone that this 'anarchy' is a very costly and
inefficient policy? How much does malicious efforts and protections
against that cost companies? How much traffic is flooding the system,
requiring increased servers and lines to accomodate malicious traffic?

> (c) last I knew, MCI had something like a _40%_ share of
> the U.S. Internet market. It simply isn't practical for
> any 'significant' player to write off that big a chunk of
> the potential customer base.

MCI, being part of a bankrupt empire (resulting from IIRC corrupt
accounting practices) has little sympathy from me. Perhaps it'd
better for everyone to dump MCI altogether.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Now Lisa, do you understand the
politics of spam, and why it is such a problem? It amazes me that
this net could be (like at present) 85-90 percent spam garbage, most
of which comes via one source -- MCI -- and yet people say "oh, we
don't dare cut them off, they are too important." That's the old Vint
Cerf/ICANN propoganda line; we are not to impose on MCI in any way.
You are correct about their bankrupt status: it was due to corrupt
accounting practices and thievery at the top. ICANN had one of their
vacation/conventions last week at an elegant resort in Argentina with
all their 'committee heads' and 'experts' present. They were able to
do that partially because of the fees they extort from netters for
permission to use this damn thing with an identifiable address at
their sites. One of the attendees told me it was not enough to just
go to Buenos Aires; he flew that far then had to take a _six hour_
bus ride the rest of the way. ICANN does not publish notes of their
meetings in any timely fashion. MCI is a big supporter of ICANN; and
Vint Cerf (I assume, unless in the bankruptcy procedings he got
canned) is a powerful employee of MCI and also an important person in
ICANN. When people talk about Vint Cerf being their idol, I have to
laugh at their naievity. He did many good things for the net back in
the 1960-70's era, but for several years now he has been a traitor,
no more, no less. I still remember the major conference held for
netters back in the early 90's when Cerf was present, and telling
everyone what a wonderful thing the 'new net' would be. I asked him
point blank on the telephone (there was a conference call arrangement
as part of that meeting in the 90's) "so what happens to little
independent netters like myself and TELECOM Digest? " Vint Cerf's only
answer was a typical John Levine sort of comment: "oh, that's a good
question". Cerf knew back then he was selling the rest of the net
down the river, and he still has some supporters -- even from here on
this newsgroup I am sad to say -- who worship him and go ga-ga over
him and support all his ideas to turn _our_ net into a totally
commercial enterprise; running off all the small guys totally,
although I doubt they exactly put it together just like that.

I would have loved to continue the 'public radio model' around here,
where a few deep pocket sponsors and the rest of the readers had
helped to keep me afloat. The 'rest of the readers' by and large came
through okay, but there were no deep pockets, simply because I come
off to offensively to many of them, by speaking the truth as I under-
stand it.

The reason I suggested cutting MCI instead of cutting China/Korea was
twofold: (1) we very seldom 'see' any spam from China/Korea until the
big guys (i.e. MCI) see it first; if _they_ cut China/Korea then we
would see little spam at all; and (2) there are legitimate users in
the domains .kr and .cn; it would be much harder for _them_ to
relocate out of those domains than it would be for the legitmate users
of MCI to help put the heat on MCI during an 'outage' period. And I
don't delude myself that by requesting John Levine to refuse MCI
traffic out of hand where is concerned would matter
even a whit to MCI and that it would hurt me more than them, but, if the
entire net (or large parts of it) simply cut MCI -- called their
bluff, kept them out of things -- for a few days until MCI had a
chance to review their own attiude and make some changes, then there
would be some vast improvement in a few days. That's my thought, and
'putting my money where my mouth is' that's why I am trying to set
that example and ask all of you to do the same: reject _all_ MCI
traffic until/unless things change. A net that is already so spam-
ridden as ours surely can't get any worse while we wait for Vint Cerf,
Esther Dyson and their cronies to have hissy fits before they listen
to reason.

The contracts you suggest changing (I agree!) only got into place as
they are when netters rolled over when ICANN demanded it. A tragic
mistake is that no one seized root long ago and forced the issue. 'They'
say that would have been a mistake; but any more of a mistake than the
slow (but increasing expotentially) rot which has taken us over in the
past few years? PAT]

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: "Re: DSL 3 mbps"
Go to Previous message: Robert Bonomi: "Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam"
May be in reply to: Lisa Minter: "Getting Serious About the War on Spam"
Next in thread: Dan Lanciani: "Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page