×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Perspectives on Spamhaus's Dilemma

kdawson posted more than 8 years ago | from the oh-dearie-me dept.

420

The Illinois court that told Spamhaus to stop blocking the spammer filing suit against them — an order which Spamhaus ignored — is now considering ordering ICANN to pull Spamhaus's domain records. While Gadi Evron, whose blog posting is linked above, urges everyone to beat the judge with a clue stick, a guest writer on his blog counsels much greater restraint. Anti-spam lawyer Matthew Prince explains how Spamhaus got into its current pickle — apparently by following conflicting legal advice at two points in the process — and what they might have to do to get out. One spamfighter of my acquaintance says that Spamhaus's SBL and XBL blocklists knock out 75% of the spam at his servers before it hits and requires more CPU-intensive filtering. If ICANN is ordered to unplug Spamhaus from the DNS, and does so, is the Net prepared to deal with a 4-fold increase in spam hitting MTAs overnight?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Ghostbusters (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367895)

One spamfighter of my acquaintance says that Spamhaus's SBL and XBL blocklists knock out 75% of the spam at his servers before it hits and requires more CPU-intensive filtering. If ICANN is ordered to unplug Spamhaus from the DNS, and does so, is the Net prepared to deal with a 4-fold increase in spam hitting MTAs overnight?
I'm reminded of the part in the Ghostbusters movie when the man from the EPA shows up and demands that they shut down the containment unit which houses all the ghosts since it's in violation of EPA rules.

Yeah, I know it's just fiction but it seems like this could be the same kind of thing.

Excerpt from the movie:
Dr. Ray Stantz: Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.
Walter Peck: They caused an explosion!
Mayor: Is this true?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes it's true.
[pause]
Dr. Peter Venkman: This man has no dick.
Walter Peck: Jeez!
[Charges at Venkman]
Mayor: Break it up! Hey, break this up! Break it up!
Walter Peck: All right, all right, all right!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Well, that's what I heard!

I think the problem that the Ghostbusters faced in the movie was that the guy from the EPA was a prick and didn't bother doing any follow up or open a channel of communication with the Ghostbusters. Now, Spamhaus might be violating rules at the same time they provide the public a valuable service. Has the United State's judicial system attempted any lines of communication with them aside from a cease-and-desist letter threatening them with $11.7 million?

The Illinois court that told Spamhaus to stop blocking the spammer filing suit against them...
Where does it say that e360insight is a spammer? I think that Spamhaus should have to present proof that e360insight is an illegitimate spamming business [spamhaus.org] . I think that's important. If e360insight is a spammer, I'm siding with Spamhaus. Since they have taken the roll of deciding who is spamming and who isn't, I think they could use more accountability [spamhaus.org] than what I find indicated on their website.

Re:Ghostbusters (2, Insightful)

n0dna (939092) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368009)

"Has the United State's judicial system attempted any lines of communication with them aside from a cease-and-desist letter threatening them with $11.7 million?"

Yup, they would have allowed them to defend their actions in court. Spamhaus chose not to appear, and instead have a default judgement rendered aginst them.

Re:Ghostbusters (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368053)

Yup, they would have allowed them to defend their actions in court. Spamhaus chose not to appear, and instead have a default judgement rendered aginst them.
What court though? I mean, if some business that I slighted in China brings a lawsuit against me, I'm not going to fly half-way across the world to defend myself. If Spamhaus is offering the maintenance of this list for free, I doubt they make much money. Couple that with the fact that people choose to use the list, I don't blame Spamhaus for farting in their general direction.

Re:Ghostbusters (4, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368189)

I don't blame Spamhaus for farting in their general direction.

They just should be careful enough to widely publish their new .co.uk address before the hammer hits, so that we can reconfigure our MTA's in time.

Indeed, a fart is not really a fart if it doesn't smell...

Re:Ghostbusters (2, Insightful)

n0dna (939092) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368417)

I don't actually blame them either, but you do have to be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions.

If China had the ability to make your life miserable, you maybe ought to consider hiring a lawyer. You can't run something like Spamhaus without understanding that you are stepping directly on the spammer's bottom line, and you have to expect the need to defend yourself legally. Ignoring legal proceedings is an option, but not a defense. Had they chosen to fight it, they could have made the argument that their RBL is in fact optional. They chose not to. Now they are facing the consequences.

Just because you are not guilty of a crime doesn't mean you don't have to show up if you're indicted.

Re:Ghostbusters (3, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368725)

What court though? I mean, if some business that I slighted in China brings a lawsuit against me, I'm not going to fly half-way across the world to defend myself

That's a perfectly reasonable attitude, provide you are aware that the chinese business will, therefore, win their lawsuit in a chinese court. If you have no assets anyplace that a chinese court could get to, then you are fine. Just don't miscalculate, ignore them, lose to a default judgement, and then remember that you do have stuff in China!

Also, you have to be careful HOW you ignore them. For example, if you start to defend yourself on the merits, and then say "screw this...you don't have any jurisdiction over me, so bugger off" and THEN start ignoring them, that initial defending on the merits might be seen as conceding jurisdiction to the court. That's bad, because then when the winner comes to your country to collect, there is a decent chance your country's courts will recognize the debt as a valid debt, and then it is a simple matter for that Chinese business to get a judgement in your country to enforce the debt.

The bottom line: ignoring a court anywhere in the world is not something to take lightly. You need to at least get a lawyer with experience in the laws of your country to tell you HOW to ignore the foreign court so that you won't accidently open yourself up to a nasty surprise.

Re:Ghostbusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368183)

you can't just think in terms of spam..

if spamhaus.org goes down the effects will be seen across the board.. think of all the phish, 419 scams, malware and other fraud that will begin flooding into joeUsr's inbox.. corporate networks will be a mess, more zombie machines... i don't think the judge is aware of the mess he is about make of the internet.

i might as well just break out the typewriter now...

and if this judgement stands it will set a precident that other spammers will pivot off of... e360 is already making available the case files on their site for other spammers to use... anti-spam companies will begin going down b/c of frivolous lawsuits from hard core bad-guy spammers, as well as people like linhardt who structure their business just barely inside of the law...

legal or not we all know CAN-SPAM sucks and so do guys like linhardt and his buddy brian haberstroh (atriks)

Kill all the fucking gooks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368237)

kill the fucking gooks and string them up by they're balls

Re:Ghostbusters (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368627)

In a nutshell: I agree, the Illinois has no dick.

Re:Ghostbusters (1)

GoodNicsTken (688415) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368727)

Here's the thing nobody gets. This is not an issue about blocking spam. What's at issue here is the ability of a privately owned business to provide whatever service or feature they want to for it's cutomers.

If people want to get E-mail from 360, they can call the ISP and complain, they can switch providers, or they can use an alternatvie service. None of which require courts threatening people at gunpoint.

Why does the US seem to think it rules the world and can tell everyone what's acceptable behavior?

Governemnt is always the problem, never the solution.

Re:Ghostbusters (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368811)

Where does it say that e360insight is a spammer? I think that Spamhaus should have to present proof that e360insight is an illegitimate spamming business [spamhaus.org]. I think that's important. If e360insight is a spammer, I'm siding with Spamhaus. Since they have taken the roll of deciding who is spamming and who isn't, I think they could use more accountability [spamhaus.org] than what I find indicated on their website.

Except that Spamhaus is not spam filtering or blocking software. It's merely a DNS database of sources of spam. There are many things you can do with it - you could toggle the use of Spam Assassin or perform extended anti-virus checking against emails from these addresses. You could enable grey-listing only for emails from the spamhaus addresses.

There are lots of things you could do - spamhaus only provides the database.

It's up to the ISP administrator to decide to use spamhaus for blocking email messages.

If I took a list of phone numbers of "bad guys" that I don't like, and published it, is it my fault if somebody uses that with caller ID to make a "phone call blocker"?

Sorry, the judge is simply out in left field, and needs to be beaten about the head and shoulders with a clue stick.

Would you like spam with that? (3, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367913)

If ICANN is ordered to unplug Spamhaus from the DNS, and does so, is the Net prepared to deal with a 4-fold increase in spam hitting MTAs overnight?

On the plus side, that might convince the judge to rethink the order.

Re:Would you like spam with that? (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367971)

Although the judge may not understand the unintended consequences of that ruling, the world shouldn't be held hostage, so to speak, by the threat that they will actually have to do their own spam filtering if this service were to go down.

Re:Would you like spam with that? (2, Interesting)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368551)

Easily said. Not so easily done. There are many businesses out there that can't even figure out how to lock down their MTAs and prevent asynchronous bouncing, let alone deal with an enormous influx of spam, which surely they won't see coming. Hell I worked at an ISP as the sole Abuse department tech, and that was plenty bad enough at the time, but after something like this... makes me glad I quit.

Re:Would you like spam with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368877)

If you are referring to qmail's behavior: Bounces are normal. I get them (by the hundreds each day), you get them, stop getting your panties in a bunch.

Re:Would you like spam with that? (1)

cultrhetor (961872) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368341)

The most interesting facet of this case is the nature of the commerce involved. If it were traditional, paper & envelope mail, then there would be several long-standing precedents on both sides concerning interstate commerce and the postal system: prevention of fraud on the one hand, and interfering with private postal receipt on the other. In this case, however, independent ISPs, supposedly autonomous, private corporations, are using a service to filter "junk mail." Although an outside entity interfering with postal delivery is verboten, this is more along the lines of a private company locking its filing cabinets to visitors. I would watch this one closely.

Re:Would you like spam with that? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368665)

What's the judge's email address? I'm sure spammers wouldn't harvest it from Slashdot...

what pisses me off... (5, Insightful)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367917)

what pisses me off about this whole situation is that using the Spamhaus RBL is OPTIONAL, and initiated by the receiving servers. Nobody said you HAVE to use Spamhaus, people CHOOSE to.

Damn, judges really should be expected to have a clue when sitting in on a case...

The Q-Tip Solution... (4, Insightful)

patrixmyth (167599) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368087)

If you use cotton swabs, and I'm hoping that you do, then take a moment to read the package. It clearly states that they are not to be put into your ear, despite the fact that plainly that's the use that 90% of consumers make of them. This is plainly because of liability issues which arise from people who can't seem to figure out how far to stick them in their ear. Perhaps Spamhaus could adopt a similar defense by distributing the list with the explicit instructions that it is not intended to be used to block spam, especially in the U.S. and uber-especially in the region where this judge has authority. Just a thought, seems at least as effective as holding your ears and screaming "LA-LA-LA-LA" everytime the court tries to tell you what to do.

Re:what pisses me off... (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368245)

Usually I would be very, very against this sort of behavior, but I think just this once it would do a lot of good for someone to post this judges email address, both work and home. Preferably on a few high traffic newsgroups, and make sure that his spam filters are unavailable for use. He is a public official, that is trying to decide an issue that affects the whole world, maybe the whole world needs to send him a note.

Re:what pisses me off... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368457)

> Damn, judges really should be expected to have a clue when sitting in on a case...

Perhaps if they got a little more spam they might change their mind?

Re:what pisses me off... (1)

dchamp (89216) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368463)

Exactly. There are a number of other RBL's out there. I choose to use some of them, but not others. For instance, I don't use SORBS because IMHO they're a little too restrictive - but I understand why some people like them, because they block a lot more spam than others.

To lose the ability to use Spamhaus would be a big blow to spam blocking.

Re:what pisses me off... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368623)

Damn, judges really should be expected to have a clue when sitting in on a case...

But can you expect a judge to be as technically savvy as anyone in IT, given the broad range of cases they must try? Look at the trouble court cases with juries have when the case involves technical arguments (not just IT, but science topics as well).

While I agree that the judge should have some reasonable level of knowledge to allow him/her to judge the case, it doesn't surprise me that judges currently have little clue about the ramifications of rulings in technologically oriented cases.

Re:what pisses me off... (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368839)

Damn, judges really should be expected to have a clue when sitting in on a case...

The judge does have a clue. Spamhaus lost. Sure, it was a default judgement because they didn't feel that the court had jurisdiction so didn't defend, but that is irrelevant. The court has to treat it like any other judgement, and attempt to enforce it.

Hopefully ICANN is rational (3, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367923)

I imagine that ICANN will say "Uh...no" if they actually do get that court order. I mean, ICANN is kind of evil, but I guarantee they hate spammers AT LEAST as much as everyone else.

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (2, Interesting)

nihaopaul (782885) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368077)

i for one would pledge to support countersuing the government and the judge for loss of information and damages ranging into the thousands daily from increased spam. money talks bullshit walks, hit them hard and where it hurts

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (2, Interesting)

CyberZen (97536) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368347)

Sovereign Immunity [wikipedia.org]

Good luck.

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368557)

you cannot sue a state. The government is not the state.

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368599)

I don't live in the USA, and this would affect me. I can imagine that the WTO might not look too kindly on this kind of behaviour...

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368809)

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368139)

The people who deal with domains day in and day out will know what spam hits the tech/admin contact details. Be sure that ICANN support staff will suffer from this... But doesn't the judge realise that his mail box is partly being protected by RBLs?

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368441)

Moreover, given that there are ambitions to get control away from ICANN to an internationally controlled entity, for ICANN it would essencially be suicide to follow such an order. Because it would deliver the perfect argument: A real world case causing huge damage to everyone, which would not have been possible if it were under international control.

Re:Hopefully ICANN is rational (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368571)

It's a good thing that the management of ICANN was turned over to an international consortium to tend the domain name system in a broadly fair and equitable... wait, what? Crap. Nevermind.

What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367935)

I'll put them in my hosts file. I'm sure the follow-up story on Slashdot will have their IP addresses in it...

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (4, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368051)

I'll put them in my hosts file.

Um... you are aware of how Spamhaus's list is distributed, right?

You convert the IP address of the server you're trying to check into a host name, such as W.X.Y.Z.sbl.spamhaus.org, then do a DNS lookup on that hostname. The result you get indicates whether the original IP is liste or not.

Trust me, you don't want to put 4 billion records in your hosts file!

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (2, Insightful)

Mixel (723232) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368169)

So you can use the spamhaus' DNS server, querying it directly, using its ip.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368301)

I think you are confused as to what this guy is saying. The judge ordered ICANN to take Spamhaus' domain off the DNS system. If people put the IP for spamhaus.org in their hosts file, they will still be able to use it.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368529)

think you are confused as to what this guy is saying. The judge ordered ICANN to take Spamhaus' domain off the DNS system. If people put the IP for spamhaus.org in their hosts file, they will still be able to use it.

Their website, sure. But taking down spamhaus.org will also make the SBL inaccessible. Putting the IP of their web or mail server in your hosts file isn't going to help, because you have to look up a different hostname for each IP you test. Putting it resolv.conf might, but then you have to deal with sending all your DNS queries to spamhaus or waiting for timeouts.

Really, there are three ways to access the SBL if spamhaus.org gets taken out:

  • Someone could set up a mirror at another domain.
  • If you run a DNS server, you could arrange to retrieve a full copy of the zone (via rsync, for instance) and mirror it locally.
  • If you run a DNS server, you can set it up to forward all requests for *.spamhaus.org to their DNS servers.

All of these are more complicated than putting an IP in your hosts file.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368621)

And could use one of the openDNS services. They are kinda decentralized and probably hard to sue/shut down.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368355)

Nevermind, I was confused as to what you said. So how to fix it? Put the address in resolv.conf?

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (4, Informative)

TCM (130219) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368821)

Hell, NO!

You would be trying to use their DNS server as a recursive resolver. DON'T do that! It wouldn't work and you'd be an annoyance to them.

I suggest you read about DNS before doing things of which you don't understand the impact.

What could work is running BIND and doing something along the lines of

zone "spamhaus.org" {
    type forward;
    forwarders <their ip address>;
};

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368831)

Sorry, didn't see your other reply. Must've been posted while I was typing.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368395)

If DNS adminstrators hard-coded the "NS" record for spamhaus.org, then nobody would need ICANN's information. How many email administrators using Spamhaus are *also* the DNS administrator? Probably a lot of them.

-AC

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

wfberg (24378) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368401)

Um... you are aware of how Spamhaus's list is distributed, right?

People who use spamhaus usually have some inkling how DNS works (being, for example, ISPs).
They can just add spamhaus to their hints file.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

TCM (130219) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368867)

They can just add spamhaus to their hints file.
No, not that either. Spamhaus doesn't operate root servers.

People, PLEASE, if you don't understand DNS, don't suggest stuff.

See http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=199897&cid =16368821 [slashdot.org]

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368425)

Um... Are you familiar with how DNS works? He'll put the address of the modified Spamhaus DNS server in his hosts file. That way his MTA can still do the lookups even if their domain no longer resolves.

Expect to do a lot of this (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368787)

Postfix syntax for cidr's (adaptable for mta's) and includes all e360insights arin ip space Includes some spammers whom used the the case use whois command, and perl:cidr modules. So pass it on to your postman.

63.78.194.0/24 REJECT uu.net/e360insight 66.98.128.0/17 REJECT Wallace/e360insight. 63.78.194.0/24 REJECT Wallace/e360insight. 209.101.225.0/27 REJECT Wallace/e360insight. 63.85.160.0/24 REJECT Wallace/e360insight. 63.85.219.0/24 REJECT Wallace/e360insight. 66.54.187.0/24 REJECT Wallace/e360insight. 64.46.36.0/23 REJECT Wallace spam range.

credit to somebody in nanae newsgroup. Americans sure know how to piss the rest of the world off.

Not just DNS. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368095)

The NN in ICANN stands for "Names and Numbers". ICANN could not only revoke their DNS, they could also revoke their IP addresses.

Re:Not just DNS. (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368369)

No they couldn't. Spamhaus is european and its IP addresses are allocated by RIPE.

I don't think ICANN even give out IP addresses in the US.

Plus if they did everyone would probably ignore them anyway.

Re:Not just DNS. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368453)

IANA is part of ICANN, and no one ignores them.

IANA down the tubes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368715)

Don't forget that we can tunnel IPv4 over IPv4. In fact, I have some internets downloading right now. WTF do IANA think they're going to do, block the entire fucking intarwebs?

ICANN are powerless and no ruling would ever be allowed to stand by a higher court. ICANN (and IANA) may as well just disolve as comply with such an order. Even the stupid money would be on any ruling being overturned on appeal.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368173)

It really won't matter. They'll just move domain name, maybe to a *.co.uk.

Of course, this whole thing is insane. I bet all those people who supported US control of the root DNS servers are feeling pretty stupid right now.

Re:What'll happen if spamhaus disappears from DNS? (1)

maelstrom (638) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368845)

Oh come on, like it would be different in any other country, look at the problems that Yahoo and Ebay have had in France for example.

ICANNot do it cap'n! (3, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#16367973)

Can ICANN even pull a second level domain? .org is managed by Public Interest Registry. One would imagine all ICANN could do would be to put a halt on the org TLD...

Re:ICANNot do it cap'n! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368083)

One would imagine all ICANN could do would be to put a halt on the org TLD...

Well, that way all those .org domains at least won't have to deal with SPAM :-)

Re:ICANNot do it cap'n! (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368177)

They can do what they want if the registrar's offices are in USA. The data is stored on a hard disk in the USA then the court can sieze it.

Confusing ICANN with the court (2, Informative)

shani (1674) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368737)

They can do what they want if the registrar's offices are in USA. The data is stored on a hard disk in the USA then the court can sieze it.

The original poster was talking about ICANN not being able to do anything, and rightly so. I haven't read the contract between PIR [pir.org] and ICANN, but I doubt it includes the ability for ICANN to remove specific delegations from the .ORG domain.

You are correct that the court could theoretically size the servers that are located in the USA, although I'm not sure what the legal justification would be. PIR is not a party in this legal proceeding, as far as I know.

ICANN abuse (4, Insightful)

JonyEpsilon (662675) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368025)

If I've ever heard a compelling argument for an independent ICANN, this is it!

Re:ICANN abuse (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368161)

I would have to agree with you. That was one of my first thoughs upon reading the summary.

4 fold increase in spam overnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368067)

Well Spamhaus isn't the only one on the net running a RBL, sounds like they're in a pickle all right.

Stop Using SMTP (0, Offtopic)

ThinkComp (514335) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368073)

One option is to use CommonRoom ( http://www.commonroom.com/ [commonroom.com] ), which offers a non-SMTP e-mail service for authenticated users.

webserver couldnt handle 100-fold increase in hits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368075)

Therefore, here is the blog posting text:

ICANN ordered by Illinois court to suspend spamhaus.org
gadi - October 7, 2006 on 4:12 am | In Web, Commentary, Culture, Networking |

Information about this court ruling can be found on Spamhaus's web site, here:
http://www.spamhaus.org/archive/legal/e360/kocoras _order_6_10.pdf [spamhaus.org]

Apparently, at this stage, it is only a proposed ruling. But I am no lawyer.

This story has been discussed before, when Spamhaus, which is located in the UK, was sued in the US by a spammer.
http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/608 [securiteam.com]

They refused to come before the court as "they do no business in Illinois, and are located in the UK.

Legal issues aside, imagine what would happen if Spamhaus was forced to present itself before courts all over the world, where they don't even do business. They are a volunteer organization and spammers will stop at nothing to get at them.

After this court ruling, Spamhaus.org was under a DDoS attack, in my opinion for the purpose of preventing users from reaching the information it provided about the court ruling.
This was done along-side a Joe Job, sending fake email appearing to come from Spamhaus's CEO, Steve Linford. This email provided disinformation about the court ruling, claiming that anyone who uses the Spamhaus service can be facing legal action. This was false.

This court order (potential court order) to ICANN is the one of the most dangerous things that could potentially happen to the Internet, and it needs to be squashed. Next, we would see the court going after Spamhaus mirrors, Registrars or RIRs.

ICANN, while being composed of good people who do try and do good, does very little as an organization where it comes to stopping abuse. A lot of this abuse involves millions on millions of domain names. These are used for spam, phishing, CP, botnets and a lot of other such activities.

IF ICANN can now potentially be used to:

1. Attack an organization that keeps a lot of the Internet sane. Not just spam-free, but rather actively helps the fight against CP, phishing, etc.

2. Circumvent International law, forcing a foreign entity to answer the call of a court around the world, which ruled wrongly on business they don't actually do.

3. Shoot itself in the foot, forcing the formation of a sort of alternate root (we will keep using Spamhaus, folks, no matter what) or a move to a different TLD or a ccTLD. It will no longer be a relevant body. Hey, everybody is talking about how to keep Spamhaus alive. That's an idea that floats around a lot.

It will be a precedent which will open a can of worms, and there will be no end to it. This court ruling needs to be attacked with all possible force, by ICANN, the community, the news and everyone else who cares.

I still have faith in ICANN's good people, and I still have faith in the law enforcement officers who use what Spamhaus freely gives to the world. I also have faith in the judges of the Illinois court, and believe they will make the right call.

This Illinois court will meet with a clue stick and clue up, they don't currently seem to be very tech-savvy to me.
I am not sure at all ICANN can ignore such an order when it comes. ICANN will prevent this legal action, or something else will be done. Otherwise, maybe it IS time for an alternate root, as the alternate evil seems very shiny right now.

This is all yet to be determined, and mostly my opinion beyond the URLs provided. This, however, needs to be addressed. It is serious.

For now, what would be very nice is to see every ccTLD that "cares" provide with a free, courtesy domain name, and point to Spamhaus's IP addresses. Spamhaus.co.il, Spamhaus.jp, etc.

I am rather inflamatory in this post, but to be honest, the world isn't going to end, I will still go to Spmahaus's website even if I have to go to .co.uk instead of .org.

Gadi Evron

Re:webserver couldnt handle 100-fold increase in h (1)

RedneckJack (934223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368373)

ICANN should have the sense to ignore the court order espcially if they are not in Illinois.

Re:webserver couldnt handle 100-fold increase in h (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368783)

I'm sure that the Cthurch of Scientology is watching the case with interest. "Hello ICANN, about that xenu.net domain..."

Jurisdiction (4, Insightful)

chiller2 (35804) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368089)

Is this perhaps why there was pressure to separate the US government from ICANN? Maybe now we can see why.

US court
US spammer
UK RBL

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368203)

America is the world police. They want something done elsewhere in the world, they have it done through the UK.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368393)

Actually, I see this as direct corrolation to:

EU courts...
EU Companies complaining...
A certain giant convicted US monopolist selling to customers in the EU market cutting out those EU companies.

I'm sure the US courts can take any dollars from US customers to satisfy fines even if they can't enforce their ruling in the rest of the world. The RBL can withhold service from american customers-- but doesn't want to because of the profits involved.

Re:Jurisdiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368789)

The RBL can withhold service from american customers-- but doesn't want to because of the profits involved.

I didn't even know Spamhaus made profits or had "customers" as such. How does that work?

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

chiller2 (35804) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368903)

Spamhaus is based solely in the UK whereas said monopolist has a physical presence in numerous EU countries.

Microsoft
Microsoft Campus
Thames Valley Park
Reading Berkshire
RG6 1WG

Service Clients Microsoft France
18 avenue du Québec
91957 Courtaboeuf Cedex
France

Microsoft Deutschland GmbH
Privatkundenbetreuung
Konrad-Zuse-Straße 1
85716 Unterschleißheim

I would say that puts them in the jurisdiction of the EU courts. This is not the case with Spamhaus and the USA.

The odour of bullshit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368105)

This isn't going to happen, neither ICANN or the current DNS would ever recover from a scandal like this. Let's just forward all our spam to Governor Blagojevich [illinois.gov] .

Ted Stevens says (0, Flamebait)

emil10001 (985596) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368107)

of course the tubes will get clogged with all the internets being allowed now that weren't before! And it will probably take at least a day to get the new internets that are let through. /sarcasm

Its a stupid arguement. (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368109)

Users have decided to put their faith in what Spamhaus says is or is not spam. If they say these people are spammers then they are, and the users don't want the mail coming from them. End of story. If they are pulled from Spamhaus then the users will just enter them in their blacklists directly either way they will get blocked.

Its a stupid arguement...they are spammers if we the general public or our trusted agent (Spamhaus) say they are...

Re:Its a stupid arguement. (1)

DescData (196712) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368293)

Does SH have some special gift so that they never make a mistake? It does matter if their list is optional. If enough people use it, it can kill a users ability to use the internet.

An appeal process is needed. This court and this suit may not be the right process. But a process is needed. IMHO.

Re:Its a stupid arguement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368413)

You're not entitled to have access to anyone's servers. If you don't like a filter, then take it up with the users of that filter.

Re:Its a stupid arguement. (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368485)

Na, any corporation sending email that is not directed to a single user with whom they already had a relationship (aka I already bought a product from you, NOT your partners, not some other related company, etc) and that single user willing provided their email address. Thats Spam, if I don't know your email address before you send my mail, if I didn't invite you to communicate with me, you are spamming me. I genernally just work through a white list personally, your not on my list of people whos email address I know, your mail gets silently bounced, I never see it you never know it wasn't delievered. I used to do a real bounce but the traffic was bogging the server down. I'd prefer I didn't have to do this, I'd prefer that only the people I know, and perhaps the people they know who they felt secure in providing my email address to could email me. However with all the spam I have no choice I don't want to see spam in my inbox ever. I don't want to have to deal with the false positives and potential misses of filters so its a whitelist.

It really is that simple, if I don't know you your spamming me, and I don't want your mail.

Re:Its a stupid arguement. (3, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368371)

Wait, we should see both sides of this argument. All of us can read what e360insight has to say at http://www.e360insight.com/case_history.html [e360insight.com] , and yes, I mean all of us. Of course, since we are polite, all of us won't do it at the same time, will we?

Also, we can express our concerns directly to them at http://www.e360insight.com/contact.php [e360insight.com] . They were nice enough to have a comment submission form. I hope they have a lot of disk space for submitted comments.

HOW IS THIS IMPORTANT (0, Offtopic)

cmdrtacoe (1009851) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368179)

Seriously, why should we even bother about this shit when north korea is making nukes.

nerds, wake up. ur pasty white ass is just about to get toasted, kim-chi style.

Re:HOW IS THIS IMPORTANT (0, Offtopic)

dex22 (239643) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368479)

Buy the new, improved, revolutionary RAD1ATION PATCH!!!!!!

As seen on S1ashdot!!!!! This unbel1evable patch can block radiation, and absorb it, without any side effects. With the current situation in North Korea, you MUST protect yourself and your family!

This patxch can be yours for just $19.99

http://buypath.spamlikeapro.sux/ [spamlikeapro.sux]

Can we Charge Illinois for filtering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368205)

If this goes through, how about a Lawsuit against the State of Illinois for increased filtering charges? It was their dumb ass judge that thought it better to take a foreign server off line.

Hopefully, ICANN will have more sense.

Re:Can we Charge Illinois for filtering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368925)

Had you read either of the articles, you would have seen that it was a federal court, and a federal judge, the case was simply filed through Illinois. So while you can file a lawsuit against some random Illinois judge, it wouldn't be him that looked like a fool.

Go ahead - there's ALWAYS a workaround (4, Informative)

The Blue Meanie (223473) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368211)

So go ahead and pull their domain from the DNS hierarchy.

# cat >> /etc/named.conf
zone "spamhaus.org" in {
                type forward;
                forwarders {216.168.28.44; 204.69.234.1; 204.74.101.1; 204.152.184.186; };
};
^D
# pkill -HUP named

All fixed!!

Hmm... (1)

MythMoth (73648) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368233)

I have no opinion on the legal position, but I would have thought it unlikely that Nominet would pull Spamhaus's record or IP address. So ICANN probably couldn't do much about it even if they wanted to. In the worst case scenario one might have to use the spamhaus.org.uk address instead of the spamhaus.org one.

Um, the problem was that they switched horses... (5, Informative)

Mr. Protocol (73424) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368251)

According to the article by the John Marshall Law School lawyer, the problem is not that Spamhaus ignored the initial TRO. The problem is that they didn't. They appeared in state court and asked that the case be moved to Federal Court, which it was. By doing so, they implicitly agreed that the Federal Court had jurisdiction.

Then they claimed it didn't.

I can't think of anything more likely to P.O. a judge than to ask to get into his courtroom, then call him a buffoon.

In the end, as the article says, ICANN may be forced to pull 'spamhaus.org', but ISPs that use it are savvy enough to move to using 'spamhaus.or.uk' or something similar, outside the court's control. But the individuals affected by the order may be unable to set foot in the U.S. for the rest of their lives, even to change planes.

Re:Um, the problem was that they switched horses.. (0, Troll)

demigod (20497) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368597)

I can't think of anything more likely to P.O. a judge than to ask to get into his courtroom, then call him a buffoon.

Are you saying a P.O.'d judge might rule differently?

If that's the case then he would recuse himself.

Oh wait, nevermind, I was just thinking our justice system worked. Don't know what came over me.

Re:Um, the problem was that they switched horses.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368613)

But the individuals affected by the order may be unable to set foot in the U.S. for the rest of their lives, even to change planes.

True, But there's already plenty of us who go miles out of our way to avoid the US already; as it's degenerated into a police state under it's current administration...

Re:Um, the problem was that they switched horses.. (2, Insightful)

partenon (749418) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368771)

"But the individuals affected by the order may be unable to set foot in the U.S. for the rest of their lives, even to change planes."

Is it supposed to be bad?

tor hidden service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368281)

publish the xbl and sbl lists under a tor hidden service. problem solved.

Perspectives (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368291)

Maybe the judge have no clue on what he decided... showing him some examples could be good as in:
  • Making his small children/grandchildren receive viagra&porn sites spam
  • Making his mail address public, so he WILL receive spam, probably some from the very company he is defending
  • Making him understand the optional part of the equation, and that he should do the same with microsoft, yahoo, google, and practically every decent mail provider in internet as they are also probably avoiding their users to read the spam sent by that company
In the other hand, Spamhaus method of fighting spam dont stops 3/4 of the spam of the world. Probably graylists, bayesian analisys, and other methods stops far more. And taking it out of main DNSs only implies at worst a small breach in the service until a better solution is found (put it in another country? under another top domain? if really a lot of people use it there will appear lots of alternate solutions to keep having that kind of resource.

Re:Perspectives (4, Insightful)

dodobh (65811) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368509)

Spamhaus method of fighting spam dont stops 3/4 of the spam of the world. Probably graylists, bayesian analisys, and other methods stops far more.

You obviously don't run a mail server with > 1 user. The sbl-xbl list stops ~ 80% of our spam. That's for a small email service provider, defending only about 75 million email addresses.

Bayesian doesn't stop spam. It just flags stuff as possible spam. Humans are worse filters than any software. If you have to look for false positives in a spam folder, don't even bother to filter stuff. That is just a waste of CPU cycles.

On the smaller servers I run, recipient validation handles ~ 50% of the spam, the sbl-xbl stops ~ 80% of the rest, dynamic IP blocks and hostname checks stop the remaining.

whois spamhaus.org.uk (0)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368305)

jurismadiction my ass

So does this need to be renamed? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368311)

Voluntary email blocking service to block emails from addresses selected by Spamhaus?

I mean- it seems to me, if I want to pay someone to filter emails for me, I should be free to do so.

There is just one thing that can clear up the mess (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368345)

Public pressure. Through mainstream media. This is the plan:
1) Bloggers blog about this, show their outrage at this nonsense, get themselves linked on social networking sites
2) YouTube users with too much time on their hands create humorous re-enactments of Spamhous process
3) Topic gets hyped, leaks into mainstream media, leads to public debate
4) Plaintiff in Spamhaus process looses business, money, walks the street, robs gas station, dies in prison of drug abuse
5) Whacky redneck fossil judge is forced to retire and takes up terrorizing his neighborhood
6) Everybody is happy again.

Ok, bloggers everywhere, time you do something useful.

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368379)

In the same vein:

RBLs don't block e-mail. Admins who use them for blocking do.

RBLs are just a way to look up the opinion of group that runs it about the status of an IP address. It's up to the admins to block or not block based on that suggestion...

I say leave Spamhaus alone. If a company is angry about being blocked they can contact the admin that is blocking them, not the company that says, "well, if you ask me, I think they are spammers..."

Independent ICANN (1)

smooc (59753) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368553)

If anything is making the case for an independent ICANN, this is it.

I do not know all the ins and outs and frankly I do not care. This is getting ridiculous. Who is appointing these clueless judges?

Judges should go under an exam before taking (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368573)

cases their IQ/Knowledge might not be able to handle.

this is a case to prove this point.

URL for original Court Order (2, Informative)

RedneckJack (934223) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368629)

Link to Court Order [spamhaus.org]

Spamhaus is still on the air !

Get a lawyer (1)

debrain (29228) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368689)

If you have an interest in the case, get a lawyer and file arguments as an intervenor or other non-party participant. Public openness and participation is a hallmark of Western legal system.

If you don't have a lawyer in that jurisdiction, consider getting a local one who can find a proxy there.

In any event, protect your interests. If you don't, you may lose them; the law tends not to protect those who sit on their rights.

This could be the end of U.S. DNS control (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16368763)

A reckless decision by this judge to crap on the internet over an uncontested U.S. based trial will be a huge motivation to wrest DNS control from U.S. control/jurisdiction.

If U.S. judges think they have carte blanche to impose their laws on foreign entities using domain listing as a weapon then we absolutely MUST get DNS control the heck out of U.S. control, i don't care what DARPA thinks they invented decades ago. The status quo currently is bad enough as it is, but if one person in a robe is going to single handedly eliminate the backbone of the international anti-spam war when the service is based in a foreign country, run by non-U.S. citizens and it's a voluntary subscription service then something drastic needs to be done.

The notion that the U.S. can 'summon' foreigners to defend themselves in U.S. domestic courts is deeply flawed to begin with. It's just amazing that anyone can mock the Chinese for their 'great firewall' when the U.S. is prepared to yank a site from the ENTIRE WORLD, and think they can just because it's domain name is published on a U.S. machine when that is mandated by an historical quirk.

Is it time we gave the United States their little .us domain to play with and left the rest to people who understand how serious this stuff really is.

I propose a solution (1, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#16368889)

Publicly post the judge's and the plaintiff's email addresses publicly on every messageboard and blog known to man, sign them up for every known advertising list, freebie offer, etc. and extend this to their families as well.

You'll see the order rescinded and the spammer's case thrown out of court with prejudice.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?