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MAPS and Experian Settle Lawsuit

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the one-big-happy-family dept.

Spam 313

dbrower writes: "Experian is trumpeting a settlement with MAPS here, where MAPS agreed not to blackhole them without a court order, and agreed that Experian didn't need to do opt-in. Looks like a loss to me."

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313 comments

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386128)

bitches!

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386130)

sp biatches!

Imagine... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386132)

Can you imagine a World Trade Center of these?

Today is a bad day for all email users (3, Interesting)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386136)

Let there be no question about it. This is a victory for spammers. I hope MAPS elects to keep a list of companies which they are unable to block through their service. Then I could grok the list and be happy once again.

--CTH

Re:Today is a bad day for all email users (1)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386341)

I hope MAPS elects to keep a list of companies which they are unable to block through their service.

um, what would the difference be to Experian weather they're listed on a spam list, or listed on a list that aren't allowed to be listed on a spam list?

answer? none whatsoever. lawyers? come back, we need you.

Re:Today is a bad day for all email users (1)

krogoth (134320) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386398)

I'll keep in mind to block Experian what I have the tools to filter email. This should let system administrators everywhere know that they should be blocked.

blow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386138)

Suck onto my penis.

MMM PENIS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386147)

i want to suck it HARD

Re:MMM PENIS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386182)

shut up, katz.

Slow Down Cowboy!

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Re:MMM PENIS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386344)

You'll have to wait till Taco and JonKatz are finished, I'm afraid.

weird (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386144)

Why the hell does it say "nothing for you to see here, move along" whenever I try to read an article with no comments? that's totally gay

Only a cock gobbling fag would moderate this down.

Advertising is Pollution (5, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386148)

...And spamming is the worst type of pollution; they make you pay for the sludge with your connectivity, time, and frustration.

It would be interesting to know why MAPS decided to cave in. Perhaps a Slashdot interview is in order?

I'd like to see MAPS publish a list of IPs it's forbidden to add to its main blocklist, so that we could manually add them to our MAPS config.

Schwab

Re:Advertising is Pollution (3, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386196)

It would be interesting to know why MAPS decided to cave in.
<HUMOR>
Maybe they didn't want their credit rating trashed? ;-)
</HUMOR>

HUMOR tags have been added for the humor impaired, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Re:Advertising is Pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386206)

hahahah ahahahahah eeeheheheheh heheh hehehehehehehehe hahahaha oh. my. god. hahahahah eeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahah

NO .

Re:Advertising is Pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386416)

Hey, I've never had a problem with people spamming Hotmail accounts. They are only wasting Microsoft's bandwidth/storage space/processing time/etc. As for spamming other mail servers on the net, well that's just plain wrong!

Double opt-in? What the hell? (0, Troll)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386151)

If I sign up for a mailing list, I should NOT have a bunch of nannys insisting that companies waste my time with another verification step.

I appreciate that they are pushing for opt-in standards, but there is a very fine line between looking out for the rights of consumers and looking to "protect" consumers from themselves.

Which do I hate more: people who want to exploit me, or people who want to coddle and protect me, whether I want it or not? Tough choice.

I think I hate the coddlers more. I can always protect myself against exploitation, but I can't always get away from the nannys.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386161)

Think about what happens if someone else subscribes you to a mailing list with a high volume. Single opt-in means your mailbox starts getting filled up with mail without giving you any chance to avoid it. Do you really want to enable people to kill your e-mail easily by just signing you up for a few dozen multi-megabyte-per-day single-opt-in mailing lists?

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (2, Troll)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386187)

Do you really want to enable people to kill your e-mail easily by just signing you up for a few dozen multi-megabyte-per-day single-opt-in mailing lists?

Fine, if these theoretical multi-megabyte-per-day mailing lists are being abused in that way, then they can choose to be a double opt-in. But insisting that every mailing list in the world be a double opt-in or they get blacklisted is radical and absurd. That's when I start yelling "Whoa!!!!" and saying the "freedom fighters" have started looking like the "oppressors".

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386207)

"Fine, if these theoretical multi-megabyte-per-day mailing lists are being abused in that way, then they can choose to be a double opt-in. But insisting that every mailing list in the world be a double opt-in or they get blacklisted is radical and absurd."

Start your own service that handles blocking or choose one of the alternative out there.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386234)

The realistic problem is that if spammers could claim legitimacy by being single opt-in, they'd just claim they got your address when you (or someone else) requested you be added. What, you want to be removed from their list? Sure no problem... *wink* *wink*

Double opt-in is the only method that lets YOU as the user have a real way of saying yes or no and holding onto your own email address. Honestly, meaningful opt-in doesn't even start before double opt-in. And single opt-in can be WORSE than opt-out because of the pretended compliance scenario cited in the first paragraph.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386324)

From your mailbox's point of view, there is no difference between getting subscribed to a single 1000 message a day list or 100 lists that are only 10 messages a day.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (1)

wiZd0m (192990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386408)

"Do you really want to enable people to kill your e-mail easily by just signing you up for a few dozen multi-megabyte-per-day single-opt-in mailing lists?"

For a minute, I thought you were talking about Hotmail.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386180)

It may be a fine line, but double opt-in doesn't cross it. The simple fact is that anyone who has your email address (including spammers) can sign you up for anything else that uses single opt-in. Double opt-in is the *first* step that forces them to require verification that the person that owns the address actually did the opting.

If email-origin checking was more secure/foolproof, you'd have a point. As easily as it can be forged, you don't.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (1, Flamebait)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386220)

Yes, double opt-in is good. What's bad is MAPS taking it upon themselves to: 1) Make a "rule" that they think is "good for everyone" without any public debate or input, without any elected representation, without any authority whatsoever. 2) Enforce that "rule" without any accountability, oversight, or authority whatsoever.

What government abdicated and left MAPS in charge? They're just a bunch of vigilanties and they will be run out of town just like the vigilanties of the Wild West. Hell, even those vigilanties could only spread their disease so far; MAPS tries to be global in scope. Hopefully we can get them labled the terrorists they are and get the FBI after them, too.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (2, Informative)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386256)

what? do you have any idea what you're talking about? obviously not.

look, MAPS by itself affects no one. It's the ADMINS that make MAPS work. an ADMIN must implement the blackhole list via DNS or sendmail for anything to happen.

don't you think that ADMINS know what's best for the network they control? you obviously know nothing about system administration, go crawl into a hole.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386268)

Ah, yes. Someone else who forgets that aiding and abetting a crime is still a crime. Just because MAPS themselves don't do the actual blocking doesn't make their actions OK. If you'd like to provide a list of all the admins who use MAPS we can arrange to stop them as well.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (1)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386287)

why go anonymous rick the red?
an admin can do whatever they want to their own network segment.

i'm the admin for a company. if my boss thinks people are spending their time shopping on ebay while at work, i can block ebay.
by your argument, ebay should be able to sue my company. uh, ya. ok. whatever.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386339)

i'm the admin for a company. if my boss thinks people are spending their time shopping on ebay while at work, i can block ebay. by your argument, ebay should be able to sue my company.


Please explain how your boss filtering Internet access at work equates to you shutting down someone's email at home (which is what MAPS's list does -- it doesn't block internet access). I fail to see the connection.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (1)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386365)

let me rephrase that:
if ebay.com is sending so much mail to our employees that our employees are spending all day reading it, i'll block any incoming email from ebay. simple enough.

does that work for you?

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386274)

MAPS is not in charge, MAPS only publishes an opinion.

System administrators who agree with MAPS opinion are the only ones actually in control. They have to consciously choose to make their systems agree with MAPS opinion for the blackholing to work.

It is the case that a system may drop anything they haven't agreed to transmit. How they go about making the decision on what they will and will not transmit is entirely up to them and the terms of the contracts they have with other people.

What gives you the right to tell a sysadmin what they can and cannot block?

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386304)

What gives you the right to tell a sysadmin what they can and cannot block?

Because ISPs are lazy like everyone else. They will just trust that MAPS has not become corrupt.

Put it this way: do you think Experian should be able to publish anything they want about a person regardless of accuracy? After all, banks have the choice whether to use Experian or not.

This is actually pretty real world, because all three credit agencies suck when it comes to accuracy (which is not surprising when you have 150 million records). That's why they need government regulation because of the power they hold.

Believe me, I am very anti-government regulation, but blacklists of any kind are very apt to be abusive.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (3, Informative)

AndyS (655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386186)

If I don't sign up for a mailing list, I should not suffer hundreds and hundreds of spam from it.

If I signed you up to 100 such mailing lists, would you rather get 100 verification mails that you could just delete, or 10,000 mails from the mailing lists that you'd have to unsubscribe from manually?

The idea of double opt-in isn't designed to make people's lives inconvenient - all it needs is a quick reply. It's pretty easy, I do it all the time. You can even do it from a different e-mail address. However, it does protect those who suffer from massive mailbombing.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (3, Offtopic)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386205)

I believe what they call "double opt-in", is this:

You punch in an email address at the webform.
Their system sends a confirmation email, with a token of some sort, to that address.
You reply, with said token, and the address is confirmed and added to the list.

It's not that hard, and it also allows you to get your ass off a list even if you don't send from that address any more - if you get the emails forwarded, it's all good.

Now, if MAPS was demanding something more (and I half expect they may have, it seems to me they've been constantly increasing their requirements), that's unreasonable. But simply verifying that the stated account really wants on the list isn't a huge deal, nor is it hard for the user - AND it pays off for the sending servers, as they spend less time spinning their wheels on bogus/broken addresses.

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386369)

You would think, with you being a hotmail user and all..., that you would hate spam as much as the next. But I guess I could be wrong.

So in regards please send all spam and related articles to
RealityMaster101@hotmail.com

or incase a few spam bots missed it... thats
RealityMaster101@hotmail.com

Re:Double opt-in? What the hell? (2)

ClarkEvans (102211) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386382)

If I sign up for a mailing list, I should NOT have a bunch of nannys insisting that companies waste my time with another verification step.

Thus, "double-opt-in" is really just "single-opt-in". They've spun the words to mean something that they don't.

These are the only steps which prevent spammers from mass-subscribing you to a mailing list that you don't want to be a part of. Think of it this way. I have a product. I pay a marketing firm $1.00 for every person whom the marketing firm gets on the mailing list. They can do this *legitamately* and actually convince people to sign themselves up... or ... more likely, they can just add 1000's of known e-mails to the sign-up list.

I hate this crap (-1, Offtopic)

CitznFish (222446) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386154)

WTF is a PosterSubj Violation? Is that like a TPS report?

FREEDOM!!!!

(I hate replying to these posts)

Re:I hate this crap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386159)

A postersubj violation is when you are unable to put your cock into CmdrTaco's ass. Try putting some vaseline on it, it'll make it easier.

winners or loosers? (5, Informative)

Rev.LoveJoy (136856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386156)

I have a hard time looking at MAPS vs. the spammers as us agsinst them anymore. For me this has turned into one of those moral dilemas wherein the actions taken by maps are nearly as deplorable as those they are attempting to defeat.

Do not misunderstand, I am no sympathizer of the spammers. I do not think what they do warrants first ammendmend protection. However, I do not think that MAPS arbitrarily black holing companies who it cannot strong arm with threats really deserves our respect anymore.

A good idea gone awry.

Cheers,
- RLJ

Re:winners or loosers? (1, Troll)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386259)

Hooray! Someone at /. who gets it!

I'd mod you up if I had the points. Had 'em last week, but not today. Damn.

Re:winners or loosers? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386265)

As I understand it MAPS are just providing a list of IP's/Domain names from which SPAM is likely to come, it is still up to each individual sysadmin to use or not use that list. So I do not think it is fair to demonize MAPS in this way.

They didn't say there's no opt-in (2, Informative)

GrenDel Fuego (2558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386157)

They said that they don't have to use a double opt-in. In other words, no confirmation step of the opt-in.

I don't get it! (5, Interesting)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386158)

MAPS only maintains a database that provides information to others, who seek that information.

That database expresses an opinion: in the opinion of MAPS, the networks listed in the database are suspected of passing through or generating spam.

Shouldn't this be protected by the First Amendment?

Re:I don't get it! (5, Interesting)

btempleton (149110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386183)

Whether it's protected by the 1st amendment is an interesting question. Most probably yes, but not certainly. Clearly the court that issued the TRO didn't think so, since prior restraint on protected speech is supposed to be verboten.

However, this is not actually relevant. They used the threat of the courts to make a settlement agreement, and settlement agreements are not affected by the first amendment.

In theory, MAPS could have fought it, and probably (though not certainly) have won on 1st amendment grounds, after a few years and at great expense.

They always said they were willing to test that out but clearly not that willing. They may be more keen to test it on an actual spammer rather than an operator of single opt-in mailing lists.

How might the 1st amendment not protect them? I haven't read the TRO, which will have some reasons. However, they might rule that blacklisting isn't a protected activity, even though it involves speech. I wouldn't agree, but I could see courts ruling that way.

Re:I don't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386374)

Whether it's protected by the 1st amendment is an interesting question. Most probably yes, but not certainly. Clearly the court that issued the TRO didn't think so, since prior restraint on protected speech is supposed to be verboten.
Note: the First Amendment limits what the government can do. MAPS, as a private entity, is not subject to an argument that they are violating the First Amendment. Experian whinging about MAPS violating their First Amendment Rights is utterly ludicrous.

Re:I don't get it! (2)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386189)

Not if it's considered slanderous or libelous.

"Here is a database of people who we think will spam you. We think spam is equivalent to theft."

I think if you hired a good attorney you could come up with verbiage that would be legally defensible. Maybe something like "These are people who we believe will email you commercial message without your explicit permission."

Re:I don't get it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386356)

"Here is a database of people who we think will spam you. We think spam is equivalent to theft."

It's not even that though. With orbs you just had to run a misconfigured/insecure mail sever. With maps, at least with some of the lists from them, spam actually had to come through your mail server at one point, so it like "Here are servers that are known to relay/spit out spam".

Re:I don't get it! (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386371)

No, it's more like "Here is a list of ISPs known to pass unsolicited mail. You can use it if you want." Nobody is forcing ISPs to use RBL, though personally, I find it to be incredibly effective at blocking spam. It's also a good tool, I used to work for an ISP who was RBL'ed. It basically just reminded me I forgot to patch an old mailserver sitting on my network. I upgraded it (fixing several security holes in the process) and turned off relaying and the RBL was removed. Wasn't too bad of a process.

Re:I don't get it! (3, Funny)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386222)

Experian only maintains a database that provides information to others, who seek that information. That database expresses an opinion: in the opinion of Experian, the people listed in the database have good or bad credit.

Shouldn't that be protected by the first amendment and they should be able to do anything they want with it, whether it's accurate or not?

Or to put it another way, should I be able to put up a web site that is a "blacklist" of employees who are incompetent? What if someone put you on that list unfairly? That's called defamation.

Free speech doesn't mean you're allowed to say anything you want, regardless of damage.

Re:I don't get it! (1)

ocie (6659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386260)

However, like a credit rating, there are objective measures of how spam-prone a site is. Also, I believe you are given a chance to appeal being placed on the ORBS list.

Re:I don't get it! (3, Insightful)

btempleton (149110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386401)

If it's clearly an opinion, it is not defamation. If it could be viewed as a statement of fact, it can be defamation, unless of course, it's true. MAPS wordings have been more like factual statements -- these sites, they say, are known to send [some definition of] spam.

They might have felt at risk for a defamation ruling. Experian's own databases are highly regulated, subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, so they won't feel a lot of 1st amendment sympathy. Even with the FCRA, they are often wrong and hurt people getting credit who can't afford to sue.

I don't know the rules, but I could see trouble if you make a statement you claim is opinion, but everybody is treating it as a factual judgement. In this case, Experian claimed they have sent some 40 billion E-mails and MAPS admitted there were less than a dozen spam complaints. That's a lower ratio than just about any site out there, so this may have played a role, though if so, I don't know why they didn't settle earlier.

Re:I don't get it! (3, Insightful)

Velex (120469) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386306)

MAPS only maintains a database that provides information to others, who seek that information. That database expresses an opinion: in the opinion of MAPS, the networks listed in the database are suspected of passing through or generating spam. Shouldn't this be protected by the First Amendment?

The First Amendment is merely a bunch of words on a piece of paper. It can't protect anything. Instead, it is the people that protect their own liberties of free speech. What this decision means is that the people, unless they resist (which they won't), have allowed their government to become more of a corporate republic than a democratic republic.

Welcome to the Corporate States of America, where the corporate right to censor out trumps the individual right to press. In the year C.E. 1791, the people believed that every person had the right to speak and publish his mind freely, so they drafted and ratified the Bill of Rights as their supreme law of the land. The times have changed however. To become a valuable player in the world of fast-paced business, like those corporate-sponsored business classes promise you will become, you must become submissive to the will of the corporation you subscribe to. The Bill of Rights is antiquated by this new workplace, where it is common for people to think of employment as selling themselves to someone they hate, doing something they don't like, for a cause they don't approve of. In the Corporate States of America, the people don't believe in the right of free expression, so it atrophies and disappears like an unexercised muscle.

For Libertarians such as me, it is a very distressing thing to see such egalitarian fervor which was displayed at the outset of the United States of America wither into the Orwellian, business-driven culture expressed in that same country today. Unfortunatly, we Libertarians and egalitarian thinkers are a minority, and it seems as though, in the wake of September 11, our goals will be shattered by a powerful majority, whose corporations and sometimes families have been damaged by the unseen enemy. It seems futile to resist; sometimes I only wait until I am assymilated.

But I know that I won't be. I believe steadfastly in egalitarian Libertarianism, which forbids this kind of bullying by corporations against disinterested parties. Simply because some advertiser can buy law-expert whores shouldn't give them the right to censor an organization that can't buy the same whores to do battle. Apparently it does, because the judge is incompetent. The judge was appointed by a president who was incompetent. The president was elected by a people who are incompetent.

Re:I don't get it! (3, Insightful)

benedict (9959) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386346)

Corporatism isn't Orwellian -- Orwell's dystopia was a socialist one. It's more like _Brave New World_ than like _1984_. So it's, uh, Huxleian.

Here's a jaunty rejoinder for ya (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386366)

Fuck off asshole!

MAPS must have been scared (5, Interesting)

btempleton (149110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386160)

Making this settlement goes against all their principles, so Experian must have made them afraid for their very existence with this.

As noted, unless the agreement is very broad, they can certainly name on their web site the companies they have been compelled not to block, and people configuring their own mail filters could decide case by case whether to include them.

However, if they made an automated list, effectively an alternate blacklist, I could see a court saying they were violating the spirit of the agreement, unless they wrote it carefully to allow them to do this.

However, oddly enough, it could be to experian's detriment to have it happen manually. If site admins manually put in blocking for their domains, it will be almost impossible for them to get that blocking removed except over a very long period of time, since each admin would have to manually reconfig.

Of course, they could change the IP address and domain they send mail from to get around that. Somebody (not MAPS) could provide a service that simply lists mail sending IP addresses used by experian, no other comment made.

Re:MAPS must have been scared (2)

nehril (115874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386340)

hmn... what could a giant company with more money that God and more lawyers than Satan possibly do to scare anyone?

Perhaps a nice, friendly reminder was sent that Experian could possibly sic an entire legal firm on *each* of the MAPS team members, attacking them personally with dozens of lawsuits that would bankrupt them immediately. Or perhaps another reminder that credit reports sometimes have errors that could cause your bank account and credit cards to all be cancelled, not to mention your house and car might be repossessed. Such errors are usually caught in fixed in only a couple of years.

Then there's the small matter of the long cooperation between credit rating companies and various law enforcement agents. How far could that go... hmn.

Re:MAPS must have been scared (2)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386418)

MAPS has a press release about this as well, located here [mail-abuse.org] . It sounds like there was more going on than mentioned in Experian's press release. MAPS says there were months of negotiations, that both sides made comprimises, and that Experian has made "several changes to ensure that only those who want to receive their email receive it, and to respond to concerns from those who don't."

While not getting everything it wanted, it seems MAPS did get something out of the deal, and Experian is playing at least a little bit nicer.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386167)

I wonder if we could persuade Mr. Ashcroft to add spamming to the "hacking" category of his anti-civil liberties bill. Then we could stick Experian and those other spamming bastards in jail for life...

Re:Hmmm (1, Flamebait)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386235)

I wonder if we could persuade Mr. Ashcroft to add post-forging, email-forging, and email blocking to the "hacking" category of his anti-civil liberties bill. Then we could stick MAPS and those other vigilanty bastards in jail for life...

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386277)

you spelled vigilante wrong.

netmeeting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386171)

has anyone successfully used GnomeMeeting [gnomemeeting.org] with NetMeeting [microsoft.com] ? Including working audio, video, chat?

Re:netmeeting (-1)

xXgeneric nicknameXx (463142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386410)

Yeah, I used it to cyber with your mom.

Spam? (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386175)

Did I miss something? Isn't it a federal crime (aka terrorist act) to send unsolicited email? Or was that just a proposal... So hard to tell the facts from rumours these days...

Either way, I don't see why these spammer lists can't be made public... I wouldn't mind taking the law into my own hands and sentencing these spamming bastards...

Re:Spam? (2, Interesting)

netik (141046) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386254)

What about this for a solution:
  • Publish the list where everyone can see it (i.e. on MAPS website)
  • If companies object to being on the blacklist, remove them from the RBL but continue to list them on the MAPS website.

Companies can't complain in this aspect, because it's like consumer reports, and that's protected free speech.

The peoples internet? (2, Insightful)

andres32a (448314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386178)

"In addition, neither Experian eMarketing nor its clients will be required to employ the practice of double opt-in (process by which a consumer must reaffirm their permission before they are added to an e-mail list) demanded by MAPS in November 2000." This is just amazing. They shut down napster while they still allow Experian to continue SPAMing. Is this really the internet we all want??? Will this be the kind of legislation we will be seing over the net??

Re:The peoples internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386347)

It really pisses me off that they don't have to confirm people who 'join' their mailing list. I've been told I opt'd in or joined far too many things, that I'd never heard of before receiving their email.

I think you'd have a difficult time finding anyone who wants what is forming. Lots of ads, pay per view, censorship and government monitoring. Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

access.db (5, Informative)

jmd! (111669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386185)

Well, experian.com just made it in to my access.db, along with everyone else who's sued maps in the past. Do they have any mail servers outside that domain, anyone know?

Here's a list of some other companies not understanding what MAPS is and trying to stop them with bogus lawsuits. I hope they don't accidently wind up in your access.db (or whatever your MTA uses).

yesmail.com
harrisinteractive.com
blackice.com
media3.com
247media.com
experian.com
exactis.com
liveprayer.com <--- accused MAPS of being an agent of Satan

To block these in sendmail, use the 550 5.7.1 error code in your access.db file, like so:

yesmail.com <tab> 550 5.7.1 Spammer suing MAPS.

Re:access.db (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386329)

Good god, talk about self-importance. Like ANYONE cares what's in your access.db.

Not to mention the arrogance of assuming that anyone who sues the Nazis at MAPS is automatically wrong.

Re:access.db (1)

datavortex (132049) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386362)

And if you're blocking by IP address, I reccomend the following range that I have found rather effective: 167.107.0.0/16. May Experian rot in every single blackhole list on the planet for ever and ever, amen.

MAPS settled (1, Flamebait)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386191)

That's the good news. The fact that the vigilanties at MAPS settled means they realized they would lose in court and perhaps be subject to stiffer penalties, possibly being shut down altogether. Too bad it didn't go that far; another MAPS victim looking out for themselves and not carrying the banner for the rest of the world. ("they settled with us; they rest of you are on your own") That's the bad news: MAPS is still in business.

Still, it sets another [slashdot.org] precident: sue MAPS and they'll probably cave. Now, we should all sue and kill them once and for all, one out-of-court settlement at a time.

Damn vigalanties should be strung up on the closest tree (what's good for the goose and all that).

Re:MAPS settled (0, Flamebait)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386308)

haha! you got flamebaited! serves you right for pretending you know something about MAPS and administration, when you don't know the first thing about it.

please go to MAPS HOME PAGE [mail-abuse.org] and read a little bit so you can at least join the conversation without looking like an idiot.

Re:MAPS settled (4, Informative)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386370)

As a victim of MAPS, I know quite a bit about it. I'm not a spammer, I just noticed one day that my brother wasn't getting any of my email. Turns out his ISP was using MAPS's "service" and my ISP got on MAPS's shit list. When I contacted MAPS about it to find out what happened and how to fix it, the bottom line was this: MAPS lied to me about what they did and how it worked. They left me with one choice: find a new ISP. I refused; my brother found a new ISP, one that would allow him to receive my mail. My ISP does not use MAPS and guess what? I am not flooded with spam. Not one bit. You do not need MAPS to avoid spam.

P.S. I did not get "flamebaited," I got modded down. Go ahead, mod this down, too. I'm not a karma whore.

perhaps we could just.... (1)

ohzero (525786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386197)

sick se7en(http://www.attrition.org/errata/www/sev.001. html) on Experian. I'm sure it's yet another cause he might add to his list of pathetic attempts at publicity. mooo.

Experian needs to be fought, not just for e-mail (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386199)

When I read this story, I was floored by the pandering to the behemoth that is Experian. For those who don't know, they're the company that takes about one minute to damage your credit for the next seven years due to a complaint, but several months or years to get the complaint reversed when it was mistakenly done. Obviously they are business and not consumer oriented. I didn't know they were in the e-mail business, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're not correlating their credit info databases versus e-mail to provide us such wonderful services as 27% APR credit cards and the like.

How to deal with this? I will be calling them at 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742). I also found a response form at http://www.experian.com/cgi-bin/mail_page/form?cat egory=o [experian.com] . Voice your displeasure over this travesty of justice and continued trampling of consumer rights!

Re:Experian needs to be fought, not just for e-mai (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386409)

All credit reporting companies are corrupt. at a last report I read was that the credit reporting agencies accuracy was 48% and there was a 63% chance that your credit report had 2 or more errors and a 48% chance of serious errors.

What moron at a bank would trust a data source as reliable as a pathological liar? yet it's done every day.

Add to this thet they love spamming and you see the credibility and quality of companies like experian. (Oh and the fact that anyone with about $500.00 can have their credit report legally wiped (for the most part) really adds to the trustworthyness.)

what about changing negative to positive? (0)

Alejo (69447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386201)

They can sue them because they "ban" people. What if there is the REVERSE, and instead of giving a Black Hole list, they give a Star list. This list having domains wich are NOT spammers.

Of course this would take a LOT more effort on hardware, but given todays cheapo steroid-pcs (ie athlon 1.4 at $350 [pricewatch.com] ) it is possible.

Being there something of 100 million domains registered (please correct this), and using a hash of it ti store a valid domain, it would take 400MB, adding some cpu nice sorting stuff say it takes 1GB.

Main prob would be validation, but with a report based similarly to whatever MAPS uses now, it is most likely already done.

Even though IANAL, I guess they don't have so much background to sue MAPS with this schema.

Comments?

Re:what about changing negative to positive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386354)

Interesting, but (IANAL) all the other guys have to do is add "By implication," to their argument.

History on this case (3, Informative)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386202)

In the spirit of Karma Whoring :-)

Here's some history on this case [dotcomeon.com] . It features articles from various stages in the case. Has anyone found the text of the complaint or injunction? still looking...

--CTH

For those who are confused: (4, Funny)

Nindalf (526257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386213)

Experian is a company that sells crack by spamming millions of schoolchildren. MAPS [maps.org] (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) has refused to provide their drug-friendly mailing lists because they insist that crack is not a psychedelic drug. However, Experian threatened to take them to court with the argument that if they can include marijuana under their umbrella, then the definition is broad enough to include crack.

Wisely recognizing that both sides are better off not attracting the attention of the courts, MAPS has apparently backed down.

A loss indeed. You can expect many of your peaceful local potheads to become violent criminal crackheads any day now.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions you may have had from the shamefully vague top-level story. I'm a little fuzzy on some of the details myself, but as usual, trying a few likely domain names gave me access to the essentials.

Re:For those who are confused: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386232)

Eat shit, you unfunny bastard.

heh.. for some reason i was just reminded of the sceme from The Jerk where the gunman was shooting at Nevin. "OH MY GOD, HE HATES THESE CANS!"

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do i understand this correctly? (1)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386224)

MAPS provides a list of known spammers. so what? simply listing a company doesn't affect that company at all.

it's only when mail server admins incorporate the MAPS list as a spam list does action actually take place. shouldn't a company have to sue that particular admin?

it's the admin that actually did the damage, not a simple list somewhere...
i can put up a list of corporation names on my website on my own webserver and make it publically accessible. if one of the companies tells me to delist them, i can't say no??

Re:do i understand this correctly? (1, Flamebait)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386253)

So your arguement is that MAPS is just an accessory to the crime, since they don't do the actual blocking? Isn't inciting a crime still a crime?

Re:do i understand this correctly? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386319)

MAPS provides a list of known spammers.

No, MAPS provides a list of alleged spammers. Alleged, convicted, and executed by MAPS, with no trial, no appeals process, no nothing. "Recognize that we are Net Gods or we block your email." Extortion, even if they aren't asking for money. Hell, they are asking for money -- they're asking for someone to take the time to "prove" a negative, which can take quite a long time, indeed (forever is about the longest time there is).

As a victim of MAPS (no, I'm not a spammer, I just was unfortunate enough to use an ISP that got on their shit list) I know what I'm talking about. MAPS lied to me, and I have the proof: They claimed to only block IP addresses, not entire domains, but my emails that were blocked were from a different subnet than the mailings they claimed were "proof" of spam from my ISP; hence they were not blocking just select addresses but my ISP's entire domain. Liars, plain and simple. Most terrorists are.


Just because MAPS claimed someone once used my ISP to send spam, my email was effectively shut down. Why should every internet user in the world obtain permission from MAPS to send email? Who the hell granted them this authority over the Internet? Nobody, that's who. If they can take unilateral action then so can anyone else. I deplore crackers shutting down legitmate sites, but if someone were to kill this nest of vipers I would consider the world better off. Far better off.

Distributed MAPS (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386245)

We need a decentralized, "P2P" MAPS so that there isn't anyone to sue.

well... where do we go from here? (2, Insightful)

digitalmuse (147154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386248)

"We are very pleased with the settlement agreement and believe it reflects the validation of Experian's e-mail marketing standards and that we remain at the forefront of consumer privacy and protection,'' said Tom Detmer president and general manager of Experian eMarketing Services. ``This settlement confirms that the privacy practices we have in place are responsible, accountable and in the best interests of the public and the marketplace. We will continue to offer the double opt-in solution for those clients who determine it is the right permissioning practice for their business."
well, since we will only be seeing more cases like this in the future as these spam-whores use the courts as a shield to protect themselves from MAPS and other public-service mail filtering tools, what are we going to do from here?
I for one would be quite interested in finding a listing of companies that have fought these charges in court and through miss-representing their datum and hiring bigger and better lawyer-weasels, have made themselves immune from public ban lists. Does anyone know of any existing services like this? I for one would be glad just to have a plain html listing of folks like Experian who have won in the courts to keep them selves off of RBLs and the like. I'd be even more keen on a nice XML page that I can parse with a quick script and have update my mail-server's ban lists. anyone want to make me a very happy admin? c'mon, please?

Other filter lists... (5, Informative)

gavcam (120595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386257)

If a spammer gets taken out of one filter list then you can always rely on it still being in the other lists.

I use

  • relays.ordb.org
  • or.orbl.org
  • inputs.orbz.org
  • outputs.orbz.org
  • spews.relays.osirusoft.com
to keep my inbox clean.

Winning one battle doesn't win the war!

Re:Other filter lists... (1)

j-beda (85386) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386342)

However the ORB sites only list Open Relays, which this is not one of.

It doesn't really sound TOO bad, presuming that they are actually using at least single opt-in lists. Yes, the single opt-in is open to abuse by third parties, but as long as the list maintainers are not abusing their own opt-in policies it is certainly much less of a problem than the traditional web/usenet address harvesters out there.

Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386278)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Finally a non-SPAM icon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386284)

finally!

Another enemy of MAPS (2)

Hanzie (16075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386295)

Reverend Keller of liveprayer.com is another enemy of our friends at MAPS. Apparently, you could sign anybody up to be on their e-mail list.

Donation address of liveprayer.com:

6660 46th AVE North
St.Petersburg, Florida 33709

For fun, read the letter [liveprayer.com] he posted to brag about suckering a young girl out of her babysitting money, and getting her to work her family and friends for him. THIS is social engineering.

Re:Another enemy of MAPS (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386323)

Good god (pun intended), what a brilliant site! It's almost enough to make me wish to give up all my morals, and start my own "sucker the gullible" Internet church. Why the heck shouldn't *I* get the credulous to throw three million buckaroonies at me? Hell, I can write more persuasively and convincingly than the turd that's running this so-called "church," and I might even be tempted to put that money to good charitable use!

As always,
amazed by people...

Re:Another enemy of MAPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386360)

hm. i was going to say something insightful but i forgot what it was. kids, don't smoke the dope.

Re:Another enemy of MAPS (2)

Hanzie (16075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386331)

Take careful note of their street address.

I wonder if keller "has 2 horns and spake as a dragon?"

maybe a blacklist would work on a web page (4, Informative)

mj6798 (514047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386330)

Currently, to many lawyers and judges, MAPS probably looks like an obscure, deeply technical means by which some group of people is "preventing" another group of people from getting mail.

But these people understand the concept of a "web page". If, instead, something like MAPS were based on a list of domain names found on web pages, I think people would have a much harder time "shutting it down". After all, it would be human readable speech, and if people mine that data for their E-mail programs, well, so be it.

MAPS no better than the spammers (2, Interesting)

terrymr (316118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386358)

MAPS' tactics appear no better than those sending the spam - All kinds of innocent sites have fallen off the internet for daring to be on the same IP block as somebody who sent spam.

Requiring a double opt in for mailing lists isn't exactly spam related now is it ? the subscription policy for an email list should be a matter for it's owner not for some third party to decide.

Koko (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2386372)


Dr. White writes that in the recent report from Science Weekly, Dr. Brooks found some chimps to be smarter than Negroes.The full report will be published in December. Also a genetic link between Negro genes and idleness.

Then I remembered a show which I had seen on television. Last summer watched a PBS program about Koko the gorilla using sign language and so on, and among other things, they said this ape had an IQ of 85. The first thing that came to mind was the average American black IQ as mentioned in Charles Murray's The Bell Curve. Surely I couldn't have been the only one to take note, but I figured that if anyone complained, the newsmedia wouldn't respond because it would be just too damned embarrassing to publicize if the nignogs demanded that this segment be edited out.

Dynamic DNS Services get blackholed too! (4, Informative)

mtgstuber (457457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386375)

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of SPAM, but given that MAPS and services like it, automatically blackhole email from dynamically served DNS entries, I am quite happy to see them sued, sued into oblivion even. MAPS decreases freedom on the net. I have a DSL connection through a local carrier who shall remain nameless. I run a web server on my connection, largely for family and friends. If I get a business connection where I can get a properly registered DNS entry, I have to pay twice as much for half the bandwidth. So I use dynamic DNS services. Thanks to MAPS its about impossible for me to send email directly from my server. Instead I am forced to use the email account of my service provider. (Ironically, I can send email from SPAM ridden web mail services any time I want.) I resent MAPS's heavy handed self righteous policing of the net, even more than I resent the bandwidth wasting spammers. I would rather delete some extra #$%^ and have freedom, than have somebody tell me what I can and can't do.

Free speech? (5, Interesting)

Hanzie (16075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386387)

How in hell can posting a list of spammers be illegal when posting a list of abortion doctors you want murdered [209.41.174.82] be protected speech? Families of future victims are listed by name too. And addresses.

The crossed off names are people who have been murdered since the list went up. Greyed out means they were only wounded.

simple solution.. (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386394)

A non US company to start making a blackhole list.

If you were in a country that wasnt under direct US control you could basically have the entire staff moon a camera and respont to expierian's lawyers with the photo.

anyone in the former USSR care to start a global business?

Article Summary. (2, Insightful)

catsidhe (454589) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386412)

From the article:

Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining
sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world's most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles
and property...

Translation:
  • Experian knows who you are.
  • Experian knows where you are.
  • Experian knows what you buy.
  • Experian will sell this information to anyone who wants it.
  • Experian wants you to be bombarded^H^H^H^H^H^H exposed to those advertisements which will be most suitable - or failing that, all of them.

and from the rest of the article:
  • Anyone who thinks they have a right to protect themselves from our 'services' is gravely mistaken.
  • Anyone who thinks they have a right to provide protection from our 'services' is gravely mistaken, and will be sued.
  • Resistance is futile.

As far as I read this, it seems that Experian is saying that it is illegal to even provide the option of opting out.

Remember... (2, Insightful)

SiMac (409541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2386421)

Some times blackholing can indeed be inappropriate. Above.net (which may be owned by MAPS, I don't remember and don't quote me on that) blackholed sites like macromedia.com and ORBS.
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