ADMIN: Let's can the spam discussion

Subject: ADMIN: Let's can the spam discussion
From: Eric Ray <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>
To: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 13:00:24 -0700


Gang,
Take the spam discussion offline, please. (Actually, I've set some
filters to automatically reject many spam-ish postings.)

If you have credible evidence to support a claim that spam
results from TECHWR-L, please send it to me and I _will_ take
care of it. That said, credible evidence is _ONLY_ mail
headers that show that 1) the message originated at something.raycomm.com
or 2) the message passed through something.raycomm.com (and
even those can be spoofed).

Circumstantial evidence doesn't count, and allegations
posted to the list just irritate me. Here's why:
1) We don't sell, rent, or distribute email addresses
(or any other information) in any form.
2) It's not technically possible for anyone other than me
to get information about the list off of the server.
That is, you cannot review the list or otherwise extract
names from the list.
3) _Many_ avenues exist by which you could be spammed, and
even, believe it or not, by which you and some other
techwr-l members could be spammed and still have no
connection between the spam and TECHWR-L. I know of some
spammers who have scanned in the email addresses from
the STC membership directory (although STC doesn't approve
nor does it sell addresses). Many STC chapters make lists
of members, with email addresses, available online.
If your email is in a Web page that's accessible on the
Internet, your address could be captured and used. If you've
ever filled out a form or made a purchase online, you could
well have (accidentally or intentionally) donated your name
to a spam database. Given the technologies used by
Doubleclick (www.doubleclick.com, a service we _do not_
use), generic lists of email addresses available throughout
the Internet could be easily corrolated with the STC mailing
list (snail mail) database, which may be purchased) to result
in a list of target addresses (although the spam complained
about here is clearly not of that variety).

That said, this list is mirrored to Usenet (bit.listserv.techwr-l)
and can be viewed through other sites on the Web, so if you post,
you probably increase your chances of being spammed. If you don't
post, you're anonymous as far as spammers are concerned.

Although I do sympathize with the "I don't do anything else with
this address" situation, I'm not willing to assume responsibility
for the spam or for any connection between TECHWR-L and spam. Additionally,
as lists.raycomm.com contains well under 10,000 total email addresses,
it's chump-change for a spammer looking to send millions of mails
a day. It's just not a credible target, for the same reason that
lists.raycomm.com wasn't subjected to a denial of service attack
last week.

My suggestion? Do what we do and set up mail filtering either
on your server or in your email client to discard probable
spam. Call me a cynic, but anything else is a losing battle
that takes too much time.

Given that the list is now available through a secure NNTP server
at lists.raycomm.com, it might be time to revisit killing
off the public (bit.listserv.techwr-l) mirror because of spam
considerations. If you care one way or another, please let me
know. (I don't promise a response, but I'll read and take your
comments to heart.)

Do not continue this discussion online. Thanks,
Eric
ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner




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