Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam

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 deterrent.

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]

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