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Spam Blackhole Lists Redux

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the doubling-every-42-days dept.

Spam 329

tsu doh nimh writes "Are spam blackhole lists good, bad or indifferent? That appears to be the question they're tackling in this Washington Post story. It has some interesting back and forth between supporters of the lists and those who claim they condone censorship." J adds: Brad Templeton recently offered some comments on the most extreme pro-blacklist position.

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You'd get better results... (4, Funny)

craenor (623901) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960638)

By tossing spammers into blackholes...just a thought.

Re:You'd get better results... (4, Funny)

Zeebs (577100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960653)

By tossing spammers into blackholes...just a thought.

Now, what in gods name did blackholes ever do to you buddy!

Mr. Carmack (the spammer) was arrested today. (2, Informative)

Blaede (266638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960852)

I'm quite surprised nobody has mentioned this yet [] , or submitted it as a story. He's being indicted for forgery and identity theft.

Re:You'd get better results... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960909)

...or by tossing them into the hole created by one of these. []

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960642)

black holes rock

YOU FAIL IT! (-1, Offtopic)

YOU FAIL IT! (624257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960770)

The biggest black hole here is the black hole of your FAILURE!


Black-lists, white-lists, they both are flawed (0, Troll)

confused philosopher (666299) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960657)

Shouldn't email be open and free for the spammers? They have to make a living some how, it might as well be on the backs of ISPs and suckers.

I like the idea of white-lists, but big companies that send their customer's mass emails like PayPal does will suffer from those even.

Re:Black-lists, white-lists, they both are flawed (2, Insightful)

yintercept (517362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960921)

The biggest flaw in these lists is that the spammers are better at getting lists than the people who are blocked by by the lists. Spammers will be better at getting off the lists, and will be better at changing their accounts around so they can continue to spam.

Personally, I wish the article told people how to find out if they are blacklisted. I had a spammer use my domain as a return address. Did that get all my mail blocked?

A flawed list might boast that only 1% of the mails that they block are legitimate. However, when you look at the volume of spam sent compared to genuine email, you realize that 1% is a sizeable chunk of the real mail. Lets say poor joe user gets 2 real messages for every 100 spam. The 1 percent fail rate means that the spam cop deleted half of Joe's legitimate mail. (1 percent is half of 2 percent).

Counter to the spirit of the Internet (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960660)

It just depresses me that everybody thinks it's OK to drop undesirable segments of the Internet. Doesn't seem to run well with the spirit of Free Speech, and really if you think about it it just makes things like DRM and various recording industry proposals to kill P2P seem reasonable.

And they're not. They go against the spirit of the Internet. What makes it great is that everybody HAS a voice, and when we start talking about who should have a voice and who shouldn't we start to sound a lot like fascists. Doesn't matter that it's speech we don't agree with, because it's just a matter of time before the whole thing is so watered down that nobody in their right mind will bother to use it (like amateur radio nowadays...)

It's not exactly counter... (0, Troll)

I'm a racist. (631537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960732)

See, you can say anything you want on the Internet... regardless of blacklists or whitelists. Provided, of course, that you host the data you want to distribute (or at least, pay someone else to host it).

Spam doesn't work the same way as something like a webpage (or Usenet, or IRC, etc). With most systems (HTTP for example), you must actively request the data you want. With email, the spammer makes that decision for you. That's the real problem with email, it's the IETF's equivalent of the Windows Messaging system (which, coincidentally, also gets spammed).

I did some development of push technologies for wireless devices. Preventing unwanted (from the network operator's point of view) push traffic out was a big priority. Email is, essentially, a push service as it's currently implemented, anyway.

Personally, I am leaning towards using a "web of trust" system, with confirmed authentication to prevent relaying of spoofed email. Sure, open relays should be legal, but that doesn't mean anyone has to accept mail from them.

Anyway, the point is, if you say something on your website (such as "niggers are great"), I do not have to read it. However, if you send me a nice big jpeg, with a smiling porch-monkey, that says "niggers are great", I end up having to deal with it. If I felt the need for a larger penis and an unaccredited degree, I'll bet Google could help me find places to get that... I don't need someone telling me shit I don't want to know.

Re:It's not exactly counter... (1)

SwissCheese (571510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960749)

Thats just what I was going to say. You still have the freedom to send what you want and I have the freedom to setup my anti-spam systems to dump your email into the blackhole. Nobody is forcing you stop sending email, but on the other end nobody can force me to receive it either.

Re:It's not exactly counter... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960843)

But what about ISPs who possibly dump the email that you DO want and have even explicitly requested into oblivion?

Re:It's not exactly counter... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960858)

what about ISPs who possibly dump the email that you DO want and have even explicitly requested into oblivion?

I don't know about you, but no mailing list that I have ever been on makes any effort to hide either its origin or nature. Besides, the hosts that send spam and mailing lists are nearly disjoint.

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (2, Insightful)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960741)

Nobody is forcing you to use a blacklist on your mail server. Forcing people to accept this trash, err spam, is free speech? I think the freedom to accept whatever mail you want is crucial. Next time I get DoS'd I'll remember your comment and think.. hmm.. I should let them flood the hell out of me because if I blocked them, that'd be quite fascist.

Let the people choose. I use SpamCop as a RBL and I still get a decent amount of spam. This weekend, I plan on adding some broad ACLs so my mail server won't have to put up with this garbage (or at least most of it).

The right to speak isn't a right to be listened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960762)

If you want to spew penis enlargement emails, don't be surprised if a lot of folks want to cut you off - figuratively if they can't do it literally...

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (5, Insightful)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960769)

I can see where you're coming from in a "theoretically, Communism should work" sort of way. But from a practical standpoint, free speech only works if people have the ability to tune out some messages and concentrate on others.

Imagine that you're having a lively conversation at a dinner party. There are a dozen different groups of chatters in the room. The spammer mentality recognizes the opportunity here: If I just brought in a megaphone, then everyone would be able to hear what I have to say.

The problem is twofold: Everyone has a message that they want others to hear, and thanks to the marvels of the Internet, everyone with a broadband connection has a huge megaphone. At some point, it becomes difficult to pick out the messages that are important to an individual, and the medium as a whole suffers. The solution here is to silence the proverbial megaphones.

The difference between Spamhaus and the RIAA is that Spamhaus is interfering with "speech" that interferes with more constructive speech, and the RIAA is trying to interfere with speech that interferes with their monopoly on certain messages.

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (2, Interesting)

NegativeK (547688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960948)

The difference between Spamhaus and the RIAA is that Spamhaus is interfering with "speech" that interferes with more constructive speech, and the RIAA is trying to interfere with speech that interferes with their monopoly on certain messages.

I disagree. The difference between anti-spam address lists and the RIAA tactics is that anti-spam address lists are utterly and completely voluntary. There's a problem when ISPs start ignoring traffic from certain segments.. But to say that everyone has free speech and then say that you don't have the freedom to plug your ears is hypocrisy. Just don't plug my ears for me.

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (2, Insightful)

oldwolf13 (321189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960777)

I don't know who the hell modded this up, but I'm out of mod points or I'd put it down for sure.

There's a difference between free public speech, and invasion of privacy. Would you call it free speech if someone broke into your house and talked dirty to your underage daughter?

These lists are not about stemming free speech... they're not stopping anyone from setting up a webpage or some other form of information server, they're about stopping invasive practices from people... shoving their CRAP down other peoples throats.

As for DRM and p2p, well those are completely seperate issues, the only thing in common is someone wants to stop or continute them. DRM defeats my legal right to use the music I *license* fairly. As a Canadian I pay $.21 cents on every blank (with no choice on the matter) to gain some of these rights (Canada actually grants us some nice rights for this levy), and their copy protection schemes turn around and (IMHO) ILLEGALLY stop me from doing what I have PAID for. Don't give me that crap that it's only $.21 a cd and they're not recouping lost income, because I think maybe 1 in a hundred cds I buy gets made into an audio cd... hell, they should give most of the levy to the porn producers :)

As for p2p, well this is a tricky issue, that has been stated before... the actual systems are not illegal, it's what the user does with them. It's unfair and not feasible to outlaw everything that can be used for illegal purposes, so I don't have the solution to that, but the actual technology shouldn't be condemned for this.

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (5, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960880)

Since when does someone else's freedom of speech *require* me to listen?

In the case of spam, it is on my dime too!

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (1)

tres (151637) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960916)

Fine. You send me your e-mail address & I'll forward messages from all those people whose freedoms you're concerned about preserving.

Yeah... just think of it, you'll singlehandedly be preserving their constitutionally granted right of free speech.

Re:Counter to the spirit of the Internet (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960956)

The free speech argument doesn't hold water because the spammers are criminals.

Spammers illegally harvest email addresses, illegally steal computing resources from insecure servers, illegally hack servers to send email and take great pains to conceal their identity.

Everyone still has a voice on the internet -- as long as that voice isn't 12 million emails sent to millions of random people.

E2E and reasonable laws are the answer. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960962)

Blacklists do not have to violate the end to end priciple of the internet. If I run my mail server and chose to run a blackhole list on my own email, and I give my users that choice as well, no "censorship" has occured. Now, if I run a mail server and a blackhole list without asking, I have indeed violated people. It's that simple. Give people static IPs, let them run their own mailservers if they want and the rest will work itself out. Everyone has a right to speak, but no one has to listen.

I'd prefer actual laws against unsolcited comercial email. It's not really speach at all and any judge can tell the difference between a message and an advert. The fact of the matter is that the internet is a pull media and you don't have to shout to be heard. All you have to do is something interesting and people will find out. Spam is not speach, it's an abuse of a public space much like shouting in church or building billboards in the middle of a road.

It's important to distinguish these issues in order to come to the least obtrusive solution. Confusing them plays into the hands of large ISPs such as M$ and AOL who would love to be the only people alowed to annoy everyone with spam, a situation analogous to radio broadcasts. These "service" providers are screaming about how span is ruining the "internet", yet they do all in their power to leave their users powerless to do anything like run a mail server or a web site for any purpose. They also are using their own blackhole lists as a club against smaller ISPs, without giving their users a choice of spam filter. These are the policies most against the spirit of free speech and it's obvious that these "service" providers who abouts their own users would love to eliminate their competition and so end the internet as we know it.

I still don't understand... (4, Interesting)

ajuda (124386) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960667)

Why don't we just create a system where we all only accept mail that has been PGP encrypted with our public keys? That way spammers will have to burn through a whole lot of clock cycles to get their crap out and as an added benefit, we will get a bit more privacy.

Re:I still don't understand... (2, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960748)

Well, we're all free to do that. Any one of us can chose to only accept e-mail that is pgp signed, or comes from an approved list of senders, or contains the phrase "this mail is not spam" in the header.

That's the beauty of the internet. We can all do it the way we want. I am afraid of what will happen when some people start imposing their ideas of how things should work on the system.

Often what starts as common sense restrictions becomes a straightjacket.

Re:I still don't understand... (1)

Shackleford (623553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960811)

Why don't we just create a system where we all only accept mail that has been PGP encrypted with our public keys? That way spammers will have to burn through a whole lot of clock cycles to get their crap out and as an added benefit, we will get a bit more privacy.

That all sounds good, but it's much easier said than done. Having every single legitimate e-mail user use PGP (or their cryptographic e-mail software of choice) is something that'll take time, as well as standardization, I'd imagine. It will be a long time before rejecting all e-mail from those that don't encrypt it will be reasonable. These kinds of changes take lots of time. Although making encryption of e-mail a standard make speed it up, won't the FBI, who came up with that whole Carnivore idea, and certain other organizations that want to monitor our communications want to stand in the way of it?

Re:I still don't understand... (2, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960894)

Why don't we just create a system where we all only accept mail that has been PGP encrypted with our public keys? That way spammers will have to burn through a whole lot of clock cycles to get their crap out

Not to mention making mailing lists completely useless.

Re:I still don't understand... (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961004)

Actually, no. This has been discussed before.

IIRC, you have the users encrypt their mail with the public key of the mailing list server. Once the mail reaches the ML server, it decrypts it with its private key, and then reencrypts it using the public key of each registered user of the ML when delivering the mail to that user.

Unfortunately, such a solution has quite a few problems - it won't work very well for extremely high-volume lists, each user has to pre-register their public key with the ML server, etc.

Probably the biggest obstacle to this is getting all users to actually install and learn how to use a PGP/GPG-enabled mail client.

Added bonus of this method (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960958)

No more annoying emails from Mom. Or from anyone else who won't learn how to use PGP.

pop ups are worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960669)

for you average folks,

pop ups cause far more frustration, especially brilliant digital and the renders them practically powerless until they call and plead for me to clean up their windoze pc.

spam is something just spend a little more time deleting...but at least their computers are usable.

No (2, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960729)

Pop-ups can be blocked on the "end user" side with filters and/or browser functions. Spam propagates thorugh the very mail system itself, and exploits it's shortcomings.

Popups are merely web content, presented on pages that you actually choose to visit - web sites that you willingly expose yourself to. Spam is forced upon you whether you like it or not, and ends up costing both your ISP and you money to prevent.

Re:No (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960981)

until brilliant turns on it's distributed network.

then when you have thousands of dronez moving ads, sending back updates to databases, creating hubs....

wasted bandwidth from spam will look like a joke.

Re:pop ups are worse (1)

CyberWolf (309553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960736)

Sort of...I know a friend that only visits a few websites (and amazingly, they are very few pop-up ads on those websites).

She finally got a hotmail account, and had an average of 50 spam messages a day within the first three days of opening the account (and she did not post the email address anywhere). She only gets about three messages (non spam) a week, which gets lost in the spam.

So it all depends on the user, to some, spam is more important problem, to others, pop-up ads.

Just my 2 cents

Santa Sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960673)

Santa came to with a start. His head was throbbing and his eyelids felt like they had some fine grit trapped under them that made opening his eyes more than a little difficult. He groaned and yawned. "There must have been something strange in those cookies on the mantle,'' he thought as he struggled to recall where he was and what he had been doing when he blacked out. "Or maybe it was something in that glass of milk . . . "

He realized that he was sitting up in a chair. Not only that, but he was feeling a distinct draft. Suddenly he realized that his cozy fur-trimmed red suit was gone.

He squinted in the gloom, trying to make out the details of the dungeon-like room in which he sat. He wanted to rub his eyes to clear his vision but he couldn't raise either of his arms. As his eyes slowly focused, he saw that his arms were strapped to the arms of the heavy wooden chair in which he sat. What's more, his hands and arms were sheathed with tight black rubber gloves that ended about eight inches above his elbows!

As he struggled to clear his vision, he noticed that his clothing had, in fact, been entirely stripped from his ample body, which, incidentally, had been shaved as hairless as an infant's tummy. It was not surprising that he felt chilly: instead of his cuddly red and white Christmas suit, his torso had been cinched mercilessly into a thick rubber corset that was laced so tightly that it pinched his flabby stomach into a ridiculously narrow wasp's waist of only about 28 inches. At the top of the shiny black garment, the generous white flesh of his chest had been bunched up into two mammoth and very feminine looking breasts which mounded out of the rubber cups of the corset's built-in brassiere.

"What in thunder is going on?" the stunned elf muttered aloud in shock. "What has happened to my clothes? How did I get wedged into this infernal rubber girdle?"

He tried to move his feet but found that they, too, were immobilized. In the darkness he could see that nylon stockings had been carefully pulled up his legs and clipped to heavy-duty rubber garters that were attached to the corset's bottom. He could not see his feet - they appeared to have been strapped to the legs of the stout chair, which was bolted securely to the floor. However, he could tell by the odd position they were held in that they had been strapped into some very tight shoes with extraordinarily high heels.

Clearing his throat, he called out for help. For a few moments, he heard nothing. Then, in the distance, he heard the click-click-clicking of a woman approaching in high-heeled shoes.

There was a door some twenty feet away from the chair that confined him, and the light that poured through as it opened temporarily blinded him. He heard a click and the room was flooded with brightness.

"Good! You finally woke up! Now we can finish you up," came a woman's low and smoky voice as he blinked his watering eyes and struggled to see.

The woman who stood before him was an Amazon who towered more than six feet tall in her incredibly high-heeled black patent platform boots. Her hair fell black and straight to her wide hips, past a perfectly proportioned upper body with the most gigantic breasts he had ever seen. Her waist was nipped in sharply and her exaggerated torso was snugly nestled into a jet black rubber dress that ended halfway down her thighs, about four inches above the tops of her skin tight boots. Her hands and arms were concealed with opera length black latex gloves like those on Santa's own arms, and in one hand she held a foot-long cigarette holder with an ultra-long filtered cigarette already flaring in its end. She raised it and took a deep drag, letting the smoke slowly stream from the moue of her mouth. Her lips were well-formed and painted such a dark red that they almost seemed black against the porcelain whiteness of her skin, but they were so huge they appeared grotesque - like a parody of a normal woman's features.

The rest of her face was as exotically made up as her lips: razor thin eyebrows were painted in a high black arch high above her deep-set, heavy lidded eyes; her lashes were so extravagant they had to be fakes - and probably two full sets, at that; the dark rouge on her cheeks accentuated the height of her cheekbones, and made them appear immense mounds alongside the narrow snub of her nose.

Raven black bangs as straight as a gunshot ended just above the parabolas of her brows. Beneath them, her eyelids were layered in creamy white, azure and pale blue shades of eye shadow. Her dramatically large eyes had been thickly ringed with black liner, making them appear even larger against the paleness of her face.

"Well, Santa dear," the latex clad Amazon drawled as the last of the smoke drifted from her tiny nostrils. "You've certainly kept me waiting long enough. I wanted to save the last stage of your transformation for when you were awake. I wanted you to be conscious when I finished converting you into my slutty little latex maid!"

Santa spluttered, helplessly flexing his hands inside the tight black latex gloves.

"See here, Miss - I don't know who you are or what you think you are doing, but whatever it is, it has gone quite far enough," he stammered angrily. "This is Christmas Eve, blast it! I have gifts to deliver. You are keeping children waiting for their Christmas presents."

She stepped closer and bared perfect white teeth in a sneer of contempt.

"Shut your mouth, slut!" she said viciously, biting off the words with an edge of menace. "I know that my house was the last one on your route tonight! You've finished all your deliveries for this Christmas. I could keep you here as a prisoner indefinitely, and aside from the people at your North Pole workshop, nobody would realize you were gone until next December 25!"

She lifted his chin roughly with one latex-gloved hand, still smiling cruelly in her triumph. "As it is, if you behave yourself - and do EXACTLY as I say - I will release you in time to go back to your workshop and begin preparing for next year. Let's see - that would give me more than a week, wouldn't it?"

Santa sagged in his bonds. His artificially pushed up breasts rose and fell in a sad sigh of realization: she had him in her power, totally. His workshop elves had already gone on holiday hiatus when he left with this year's sleigh full of goodies. Work on next season's inventory would not begin until the second week of January. He was baffled at how she seemed to know his schedule so exactly.

"But my wife!" he spluttered desperately. "She - she'll be expecting me back. She will know something odd has happened and will send people out to look for me. You'll never get away with this - not even for a week!"

She dropped his chin and her smile grew even more terrible. "Ah, yes!" she said bitterly. "The little woman! The obedient, self-sacrificing Mrs. Claus - human doormat! Do you think I don't know she has gone to Florida to spend the entire month of January with her sister? Or did you forget she was gone yourself?"

She took another deep puff from her cigarette and blew a thin stream of smoke directly into his face, sending him into a fit of coughing.

He realized that she was right and hope fled entirely. Mrs. Claus had taken the Polar Express south that very morning before he left on his annual delivery rounds. He had been so consumed with his last minute preparations that he had not come to the North Pole station to see her off. As he remembered that Mrs. Claus would be gone for the next 35 days, he sagged again with resignation.

"So you had forgotten that little detail, had you?" the sleek, rubber-clad Amazon said with a nasty laugh. "How perfectly like you. So tied up in your own affairs, your own compulsive, self-important sense of duty, that you didn't even realize she wasn't going to be waiting up there for you. Not too surprising, really. The word has gotten around, Santa dear. You generally treat her like a piece of the North Pole furniture anyway. It's no wonder you forgot she was going to be gone."

She removed the cigarette from her holder and crushed it out beneath one of her jet black high-heeled boots with an impatient stamp of her foot.

"You can just forget about being rescued, slut," she said venomously. "You can forget all about your duties. I am going to give you some new duties to think about for the next few days - maybe even longer, if I choose. Instead of serving boys and girls all round the world, you can serve me as my own little latex maid. If you are a good little slut, I will give you your freedom. If not . . . well, in that case, you will get a lump of coal in your nylon stocking - and a night on my Iron Cross to ponder your disobedient, self-centered ways."

Santa did not know what an Iron Cross was, but it sounded unpleasant. He shuddered, and the china white flesh of his mounded "breasts" jiggled provocatively with the action.

The Amazon strode to a table on a far wall and opened a large box that was sitting on it. "But first, it's time to finish your transformation into my little slut handmaiden," she said with an unpleasant chuckle. "Time to say goodbye to Santa Claus, slave. Time for you to become Lola, my latex slave!"

She pulled what looked like a bust of a woman's head and shoulders from the box, except that this bust was painted in lifelike colors and had reddish blond hair that fell in cascades of loose curls down its back and shoulders. Reaching behind, she pulled down a hidden zipper and removed the "woman's" face and hair from the piece of statuary. Then she approached Santa menacingly, holding the wriggling mass in front of her and grinning with malice at his growing dread.

As she closed on him, he could see that the "skin" in her hands was a rubber mask, made to fit the wearer precisely from crown to shoulders. She shook it loose in front of his face and, grunting slightly with the effort, stretched it carefully over his head, pulling in spots to seat the thick, cold rubber over his own elfin features. As she roughly sheathed his head in the rubber garment, he realized that his beard had been shaven off while he was unconscious, and was vaguely aware that his hair had been cropped closely, too. He attempted to protest, but his murmurs were ignored as she fitted the tight rubber hood into place and pulled down the zipper at its rear, completely sealing him inside.

She brandished a tiny padlock before him, allowing him to get a good look at it through the eyeholes of the mask, then attached it at the rear of the hood with an ominous metallic click.

"There!" she said with satisfaction as she fluffed the mask's auburn tresses at the sides and back of Santa's completely concealed head. "Your own mother wouldn't recognize you now. Only I know where the key to that lock is. And believe me, no locksmith on Earth can break into it."

She held a hand mirror in front of his rubber-shrouded face so that he could see what she had done. A blandly beautiful female stared back at him impassively, with daintily painted lips of pink, long curling lashes and just enough rouge to give her cheeks a permanently embarrassed blush at her helplessly humiliated situation. Santa's light blue eyes were his only features that were actually visible through the mask, and they were so perfectly aligned with the eyeholes that they simply appeared to be part of a living woman's face.

Oddly, as he stared at his image, Santa found his new appearance oddly exciting. His genitalia, trapped under a pair of tight thick black rubber panties, gave a throb of sexual arousal inside their latex cocoon. The reflection that stared back at him seemed incredibly sexy, with pale skin and large rounded bosoms. He opened his mouth in surprise and was astonished to see the female face in the mirror mimic his action perfectly. He licked the mask's lips slowly, watching as the red tip of his tongue as it slid over the sensual dark pink rubber that covered his mouth. The image was somehow intoxicating!

The Amazon brandished a small black device with two silvery metal prongs in front of him before speaking again.

"This is a stun gun, slut," she said with a wicked grin. "It can give a 45,000 volt shock -- enough to knock a fully grown man to the ground and keep him there for several seconds. You are locked inside your corset. You are locked into your maid's shoes and your slutty maid's face. You cannot get out of this outfit, no matter how you try. There are no sharp-edged tools in this house that could be used for cutting, and all your rubber garments are much too thick to tear manually. I know that violence is not your way, but in case to attempt to struggle or escape, I will give you a jolt with the stun gun, and you will wake up locked in chains."

She slipped the weapon into a holster on a wide leather belt that hung low on her latex-clad hips, then unfastened the straps on his hands and legs.

"Get up, slut!" she hissed, beckoning with a latex covered finger. "I have many tasks for you to perform."

Santa stood up unsteadily on the teetering heels of his shoes and struggled to control the shaking of his long bound limbs. He inclined his head to the Amazon as a gesture of total supplication, and followed her out of his dungeon cell. As he walked through the doorway, he caught a glimpse of himself in a full-length mirror hanging on the wall. He could scarcely believe the reflection was his own.

The image in the glass was that of a tall, zaftig female, with massive swelling breasts, an impossibly slender waist and large hips. She teetered on a pair of ankle-strapped black patent leather shoes with six inch high heels. Her well-formed legs were smoothly covered with dark, seamed nylon stockings clipped to garters at the skirt of the heavy rubber corset that gave her delectable body its large but lovely shape. Her arms were gloved past her elbows, and her face was the very picture of innocence, framed by shoulder length strawberry blond curls.

With equal feelings of humiliation, dread and outright sexual excitement, Santa gave up hope of escaping. He was trapped inside his new persona: Lola, the Amazon's latex slut. But surprisingly enough, deep inside he was elated. This was something new, incredibly arousing and amazingly wonderful - something different from anything that had ever happened to him before. In a way, he gloried at his helplessness, and looked forward to being ordered around by the frightening but sexually exciting dominatrix that had taken him captive.

He decided that he would give himself over completely to this powerful and cruel woman. He would do whatever she demanded.

And, secretly, he knew he would enjoy it!

Re:Santa Sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960701)

You degenerate soy-fucking homos disgust me. You ought to be locked up, whipped by naked men on a regular basis, while SLATHERED IN CHOCOLATE. Yeah, that would teach you, you dirty, dirty, little whores. Oh yeah. That's right. Yeah.

bit bucket (5, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960676)

I think black hole lists are a great thing, but I will admit, they are certainly censorship, and the customers of an ISP using such a list may disagree with some or all of it.

Perhaps the solution is to design a standard format for a black hole list, and add that functionality to email applications? If the end users had such access for themselves, then they could decide whether they wanted someone else to censor their mail (and whether they wanted to bypass that censorship for certain specific people or networks).

And yes, I know there is software that does this, but it's all proprietary. Is anyone interested in adding a generic functionality to, say, Mozilla? Perhaps the ability to import an XML list of bans from one or more specified URLs, run by volunteer blackhole list sponsors?

Re:bit bucket (1)

SimplyCosmic (15296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960799)

Many ISPs actually provide you as the end-user the ability to turn this feature on or off through a simple website form, which to me would be the best option.

Requiring it as an option in the email client puts just another task on the end-user's computer that's better handled back at the server.

Re:bit bucket (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960841)

in my opinion, it is absolutely appropriate and fair for a company (or individual if he controls the server) to block access to it's mail server for any reason they choose.
(with the exception of government servers. The government has the additional responsibility of ensuring their servers do not block any speech that would be protected by the constitution, and that would probably make blacklists impossible for them)

In the case of an ISP, I do think it should be disclosed to their clients so that those clients who disapprove of that choice can move to another provider (or possibly, if there is enough demand, the isp can set up another server that allows anything through).

I think having software that checks for spam once it arrives in your inbox is good too and people should be allowed to use it also.

The only exception i can imagine to this would be if the ISP had a monopoly on internet connectivity. Otherwise, it's just their business policy and the customers can approve or disapprove with where they spend their money.

Re:bit bucket (1)

mark_space2001 (570644) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960865)

Blacks holes lists are not a great thing. They are a necessary thing.

I believe that a black list is something that is loaded into a firewall router by an ISP. It is NOT something that a computer sits there and reads each message to find. Read the article, see where the ISP guy explains that filtering is no good, because if he has to filter it, then it's already costing him money? That's what black lists prevent -- the email from even reaching the ISP WAN link.

What if a spammer gets a new IP address, or bounces his spam email off of someone else's mail server? Well, that's where spam comes from...

In short, this is not something you *could* put in the hands of the user, because then your ISP will have a huge bill paying for all the crap that gets sent to your inbox.

Re:bit bucket (1)

yintercept (517362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960969)

The black hole lists do not give the end user any idea of what is blocked. Likewise people may not know that they are black holed.

In my opinion, it would be better to create a more robust email clients that give the end user the ability to control their mail. For example, just a simple function like letting the clients download and process the headers, before downloading the body of the mail would eliminate a bulk load of network traffic caused by spam.

The fact that a bunch of sysadmins are running around believing themselves to be gods and deleting emails that they do not like will ultimately be a much bigger problem than the spammers. Especially since the spammers hire sysadmins who are very good at figuring out how to get around the blocks constructed by sysadmins.

blackholes... (2, Insightful)

zbowling (597617) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960678)

Blackholes. Just another thing for spammers to get around, just to sell you penis enlargment products, prime morgage rates, and how to make $50,000 in 5 days. How about a new email system all together. Solve all these dang problems.

Re:blackholes... (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960776)

You're a brave man to use a sig like that. I wouldn't dare :) Not on Slashdot

Re:blackholes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960796)

I was tempted to respond pressing you for details of what magical things this new system would do that can't be done with the current system, and watch you squirm just like every other clueless asshole who buys into the "just reinvent the wheel" theory, but then I looked at your other recent posts. Die painfully, troll.

good god! (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960683)

I think half the stories in the last 2 days have been about spam (and that's only a slight exagerration...)

More stories about spam than the matrix even!

Maybe spam is a problem after all....

Re:good god! (1)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960970)

Somebody, mod this guy up.

I'm tired of discussing and dealing with spam. I know that won't make it go away. But, it seems like I'm spending more time talking about, and battling against spam than I am spending time having sex.

Here is something funny. I just heard on foxnews that Bagdad looters will now face 3 weeks, instead of just 2 days of 'detention'. I got this image of these bearded, dark skinned guys sitting in those little chair-desk units in long rows. Passing notes, shooting spitwads.... Oh well, I thought it was funny. Detention.

Anyway, I say we stop talking about spam and have more sex.

On that note, I'll go make sure the kids are sound asleep and wake up my wife, in the best way.

What is is with the Spam??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960689)

What is this the 20th fucking spam story this week? Let me give you a hint. Don't sign up for stupid shit or keep a special account for doing so. I really don't know how you do it, because I don't get spam. I set up an account in case I wanted to sign up for something, and I don't get any spam in that account either. What are you all doing wrong?

Re:What is is with the Spam??? (2, Informative)

yintercept (517362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960862)

The people with the main Spam problems are the ISPs. There are thousands of dead email addresses, and mistyped email addresses on spam lists. You will get hit with a hundred spams just for owning an email list.

Of course, the biggest problems are with web sites that display email addresses. I've had my private email address ruined because I did some volunteer service and the web site owner posted my email address to thank me...arrrggghhhhh!!!!

BTW, you can sometimes find if your email address is on a web page by entering your email address in Google.

against free speech (-1, Troll)

ugly colour scheme (673061) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960693)

Blacklists, regardless of the motives behind them, infringe on the right of free speech.

Re:against free speech (4, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960742)


I run my own server. Tell me again how I am infringing on someone's right to free speech by electing to not receive their message?

I simply can't follow your logic.

It's my bandwidth, my server, my software, my electricity, and my choice to decide who I will talk to or not, right?

Re:against free speech (2, Interesting)

parkanoid (573952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960920)

Perhaps the original author meant that ISPs and the like would infring on (customer) rights by implementing such a blacklist.

Re:against free speech (1)

knightinshiningarmor (653332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960764)

The Internet seems to have very different laws and standards than American laws. If you want to guarantee everyone's rights you must also guarantee responsibilities. Thus, if you want rights for all, purchases on the Internet should be taxed, any threats posted on any Internet site should be taken as though spoken directly, and you must have 1 black webmaster, 1 hispanic webmaster, and 1 old fart webmaster.

But the package is subject to USA laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960793)

...once it enters American wires. The message may have originated outside the USA, but once inside here, it IS subject to our laws and whims.

No one has the right to be heard. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960775)

One cannot force another to listen to the message, if they so do not desire. So talk all you want, we're covering our ears.

Re:against free speech (2, Insightful)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960781)

The f*** they do.

Using them is entirely voluntary.

Or is this yet another attempt to define "free speech" as "speech I like"?

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers

Certainly a good thing (2, Interesting)

knightinshiningarmor (653332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960696)

If you have been placed on a blacklist, then something must be wrong with your system(s). If the problem is with insecurity and unrestricted relaying, you must fix that before becoming un-blacklisted. If the problem is with a customer, you must deal with them before you can have your IP/domain removed from the blacklist. We need a central service to look at cases and see when someone is "clean." Until they are, there system could still contribute to the spam problem and must be blacklisted.

Re:Certainly a good thing (1)

current93 (191436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961032)

Personally I don't have any problem with blacklists that use a predetemined method to add and remove offending parties. The problem I have is with organizations such as SPEWS who do not, in fact, use a standardized process for adding and removing offenders. Also, they do not appear to warn the owner of an IP block before they are added to their list. For more reasons to avoid SPEWS as a blacklist please see antispews [] .

rbl's (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960698)

are the only decent way to keep spam out of a company's email.

screw censorship. Get responsible, admins

To RBL or Not RBL... (3, Interesting)

TexTex (323298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960702)

I'm wondering what the slashdot fans seem to lean towards. Is it viewed as better, or easier, to simply flip on a few RBLs and prevent the messages from ever touching your server...or would you rather use these alongside sorting technology to channel spam towards a designated folder?

Spamassassin and the like do a decent job of helping the spam problem, but my users still complain that their SPAM box has 80 messages a day...even if they get no false positives.

Personally, I'd rather have control over this than my at least I can control how I choose to filter or not to filter. And I think the brute-force nature of an RBL often offers piece of mind but without adequate logging or reporting to guarantee you're only blocking what you intend. I'll settle for a full SPAM box any day...

Re:To RBL or Not RBL... (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960868)

My opinion is both are good. I have no problem with people using RBLs to categorically block addresses that are known to produce spam in large quantities or whose output is primarily spam.

I also have no problem with people sorting their mail automatically and deciding for themselves what to keep and what to dump.

With respect to ISPs, I think it is appropriate for them to use RBLs as long as it is disclosed to the users. The people affected by the blocking to have a right to know the specifics of the limitations being put on their service by their provider.

Re:To RBL or Not RBL... (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960872)

rbl all the way........why waste a single fucking bit of network bandwidth on spammers?

If anything, i am militant above and beyond RBL's......

i add entire colo's to my port 25 blocking firewall if they host spam hauses. If their hosting spammers, then i dont need ANY of their smtp traffic.

What do you call... (4, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960703)

What do you call 100 spammers, chained together, and tossed into the ocean to drown?

A start...

Re: I was just thinking... (1)

knightinshiningarmor (653332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960739)

Darwin's theory included the idea that:

The organisms whose variations best fit them to the environment are the ones who are most likely to survive, reproduce, and pass those desirable variations on to the next generation.

What's going on!? Spammers aren't best fit! They really SHOULD be drowning in the ocean. I certainly don't want them reproducing!

Re:What do you call... (2, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960973)

You're trapped in a room with Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and a spammer. Thankfully, you're armed with a handgun. Unfortunately, you only have 2 bullets. What do you do?

Shoot the spammer twice.

No quarter (2, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960705)

Spammers deserve no quarter.

Spam is the direct result of an abuse of the existing system(s). It costs companies money, money that they would not be spending otherwise. Spam is not like traditional advertising, like in TV, in which the advertiser actually pays for the ads (since they are usiing the hosters resources and/or popularity). On the contrary, the Spammers pay no fees, and force the hosts to take financial losses.

Immediate death is the answer. Kill them. They are like animals. AND WE SHOULD TREAT THEM LIKE ANIMALS!!!!!!!

Re:No quarter (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960792)

Well, then there's that whole collateral damage thing...

I'd say the safest way to do it is to use an RBL that has an efficient removal process to handle mistaken listings. Or you could only run your heaviest filters on messages flagged by the RBL. I'm not running a mail server right now (thank heavens) so that's just off the top of my head.

Any mail admin who is using RBLs alone isn't doing the whole job. I can't see it being professionally responsible (in the strictest sense) to rely on a sole source for refusing mail from whole netblocks. RBLs are simply too controversial, and for good reasons, to be used without at least confirmation. Ideally, you confirm from multiple sources and at best you combine RBLs with other methods entirely.

What happened to is a Bad Thing. Steps Must Be Taken to see that innocents are not harmed. But for "just" email, a few percent error is acceptable if the errors are corrected quickly.

Uhh, no. (3, Informative)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960719)

Blockquoth the article,
It is unknown who runs SPEWS, and the Web site -- -- offers few answers. The site's registration information at various Internet WHOIS databases is deliberately false, with the e-mail contact listed as
Someone hasn't figured out the -h flag to whois, apparently. Depending upon the flavor of whois being used, any queries for .org domains will now list "" as the contact email addresses unless the sponsoring registrar's server is queried.

SPEWS' WHOIS record isn't really hiding anything when you ask the right server:
# whois -h
status: production
organization: Visit Lake Biakal!
owner: chip level domains
address: po box 61, Baikalsk-2
city: Irkutsk region, -- 665914
postal-code: 665914
country: RU
registrar: JORE-1
created: 2001-07-07 15:50:12 UTC caserv
expires: 2003-07-07 15:50:12 UTC
Whether or not that address really exists, I don't know - but I doubt SPEWS is about to put obviously bogus information (e.g. in their WHOIS record. The spammers would just file a complaint with ICANN.

Re:Uhh, no. (1)

parkanoid (573952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960902)

I can confirm tha the city/zip/address certainly look legit (I used to live around there).

Re:Uhh, no. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960912)

Mind if I ask you something? What's the search warrant for that you link to? I take it there's a story behind this? Can you share it?

Re:Uhh, no. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960959)

What's the search warrant for that you link to? I take it there's a story behind this? Can you share it?
Yep, there's a story behind it, but probably not the one you were looking for. I got curious one day and URL'd over to [] . Turns out it's a browsable directory. So, I browsed, and wound up finding that search warrant a few levels deep.

No idea what it's for or why it's on Slashdot's image server. Probably hosting for one of the editors' friends, or maybe it was related to a story at some point. I'd love to know, though.

Re:Uhh, no. (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960965)

They misspelt Lake Baikal! Don't the editors ever check ANYTHING?!?

Brad Templeton and his analogies (2, Insightful)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960725)

...are just as bad as most analogies.

What is the difference between asking ISPs to cut spammers and sking ISPs to cut users, who set up porn websites?

Well, the latter is not against the TOS of the ISP. The first one is.

The latter is not threatening to destroy Email. The first one is.

The latter is not stealing. The first one is.

But I guess this one's just another personal opinion of an EFF Director, and not representitive of EFF's opinion on these issues...

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers. Remember to shoot knees first, so that they can't run away while you slowly torture them to death.

Re:Brad Templeton and his analogies (-1, Flamebait)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960779)

Spamming is stealing? You're an idiot.

Re: Spamming is stealing (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960807)

Who pays for the storage, distribution and cleanup of spamming? Who pays for the bandwidth of open proxies used by the spammers? Who pays for the increased subscriber fees ISPs are charging because of costs attributed to spam?

Not the spammers...They're the freeloading thieves of the Internet.

It might make sense for you to think before hitting that reply button.

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers

Re:Brad Templeton and his analogies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960788)

You know, I don't think that's very humane.... and as an upstanding citizen I should probably intervene and rescue those poor spammers. But since I'll probably be sorting through my huge daily volume of 'get-rich-quick' and 'herbal viagra' mails when you do that, I fear I might be a teensy bit too late :D

If your ISP or WPP is spam friendly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960735)

MOVE! It's not that hard.

Re:If your ISP or WPP is spam friendly... (2, Insightful)

CyberWolf (309553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960820)

It would be nice, except some of us do not have that many options to choose from (some of us have no options, just one isp).

So while your comment sounds sensible, it is not applicable to all.

Just my 2 cents

Vary Simple Solution - Use with Discretion (2, Interesting)

hillct (230132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960737)

The SBL and other blackhole lists are a valiable tool in the war on SPAM. The problems with their use arise only when upstream providers of client email services, make use of such systems either without the knowledge of the end users or without providing those users optionality in the use of the system. I and many other readers of /. run their own mail servers for recipt of personal email rather than depend on the mail services of their ISPs. These indevidual mail servers can be configured as you see fit with as lax or stringent mail acceptance rules as desired. When upstream providers of mail services implement such systems there is the possibility that the end users would be unaware of the mail they were not recieving. These systems must be implemented with discretion.

As for the consequences for the sender, of sending to a recipient who may not recieve the mail, due to the appearance of the sender's IP address on the SBL or other such lists; the sender is responsible to insure that they recieve service from a reputable ISP who does not cater to spammers. This presumes that due diligence was performed before any IP is added to an SBL list. This also asumes that any mail recipient using such lists is responsible for using a reputable list provider where they are confident of the due diligent performed in generating the list. The whole system (not unlike many other elements of internet architecture) depends on the good faith / good will of the participents.

The primary responsibility lies with the email recipient who selects an SBL type list that is as lax or stringent about the content of the list, as the email recipient is comfortabe with, since the relative levels of stringency maps directly to how much legitimate mail that recipient will have rejected.


block hole? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960743)

Is that like a nigger goatse [] ?

Spam blackholes are flawed (2, Informative)

Mohammed Al-Sahaf (665285) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960750)

There will always be some sites improperly secured that allow the spammers to relay their material. I find almost all the emails I get now are bounced through DSL boxes. Blackholing them doesnt help because you're actually blacklisting legitimate users and the spammers themselves are hidden. Having said that, I think such blackholes are important as an incentive to force ISPs to enforce their Terms of Usage. A lot of the SPAM i get is bounced through the same ISPs, or ISPs in eastern countries like Taiwan who dont seem to care about complaints.

You're out of character, dude. (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961002)

What you meant to say:

We are not afraid of the Spam. Allah has condemned the spammers and they will all die. There is no spam on the internet. The spammers have been defeated in battle after battle. They will commit suicide on the firewalls of our ISPs. God will roast their stomachs in hell.

Why Support the Draconian Anti-Spam Proposal? (1)

Shackleford (623553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960756)

The views stated in the article seemed to support taking more extreme measures against spam. It said that ISPs that are affected by it should tell those that send out spam that they either get rid of the spammers or be blacklisted. What would happen is the "Internet equivalent of the death penalty." This does seem quite extreme, but considering the amount of bandwidth consumed by spam, ISPs may need to do this. In fact, I understand that many ISPs do use blacklists and find it quite effective.

Of course, there are problems with it. The problem with "false positives" occurs with spam filters that solve the problem only after the bandwidth consumption occurs. And there may be many more false postives in this case. But those are from ISPs that support spam. Legitimate users wouldn't be able to have their messages get through, but who would want to support ISPs that are spammers? ISPs need to prevent their bandwidth from being consumed by junk, but how do they explain it when their customers don't get their intended mail? And here a true story: Somehow, a perfectly legitimate ISP found itself on one of the blacklists of the ISP where I used to work.

Perhaps blacklists should only be used to block those that are known to be spammers. It's a brute-force kind of method, and it works well, if used properly.

phones and snail mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960759)

I have to pay to send out on both, and dont pay to receive either. Make the financial use of email the opposite to internet use, and everyone will be happy. Then its a user pays system, and it would flatten bandwidth use world wide.

Yes and NO (5, Insightful)

d3ut3r0n (664760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960771)

Yes it is a form of censorship, but NO this is not about free speech - SPAM is not free in the cost sense. It costs money to move it around - if you don't believe me, then you have no idea how the internet works.

Sure, if you get SPAM at work, you personally don't absorb the cost... and sure, if you have uncapped internet access, sure you don't absorb the cost. BUT SOMEONE DOES. I don't get SPAM at work but do on some personal email addresses and I, like many other people outside the united states, DO NOT have unlimited download limits.

So those who want the right to speak freely about their latest porn sites, sex products, can pay, albeit a tiny amount of money, per email we receive.

Another thing about free speech, it doesn't mean you can talk as loudly as you want in the middle of the street at 3am - no, you WILL be approached by authorities for disturbing the peace - just try it. SPAM is not really all that much different - you don't have the option of not hearing it, the same way as you don't have the option of not hearing someone blaring music or screaming at 3am while trying to sleep. While the remedy might sound easier to delete a SPAM message than bother the local police for noise complaints, you don't have the noise every day, and hundreds of times.

Free speech might mean not being censored, but it doesn't mean you can do it at other people's expense of inconvenience.

Reply with a DOS (2, Interesting)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960785)

All we need is a nice perl script to suck x bytes of bandwidth from a given IP address. It will attempt to do this with pings, recursive http or ftp, or whatever services it can find. (Real maliciousness such as Pings of Death is unnecessary.)

So Every time a mail server receives a suspected spam, it would fork() off this script against the server that sent the spam. With enough receiving servers configured to do the same, *poof*! The offending mail server is, almost instantaneously, effectively taken off the Net.

Re:Reply with a DOS (1)

flatface (611167) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960889)

Most spammers use an unsuspecting server that isn't theirs to send out their spams. If you actually DO succeed, you'd probobly just end up pissing off some sysadwin who already has to deal with the spammer himself.

Believe me, I used to get ~1500 returned e-mails per day because I was an open relay X_X

black hole (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960790)

I've got a black hole in my pants. The suction is good, but I can't tell if I'm coming or going.

Blackholes don't really work anymore for me... (4, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960818)

I set my mail server to tag emails rather than block them (move to spam folder on workstation), so i see some interesting things...

When i first tried it 6 months ago, it magically worked, 99% of spam ended up in my spam folder.

Now the blocking ratio is down to about 10%... and here's why. There are 3 MX records for us:
A - linux server - MX = 10
B - msexchange server - MX = 20
C - isp's server - MX = 30

messages delivered to A are tagged (if spam) and forwarded to B. B exists in the MX records for redundancy. C is used because A and B are on the same site.

What i'm finding though, is that spammers send emails to B or C. When A receives the email, it has come from B or C, not the original spammer, so suddenly the blocking doesn't work anymore.


It can only work if everyone in your MX record list does it, and my isp is the biggest in Australia so it's an awfully large machine to move.

I have tried adding in more dummy MX records, so that A is first, middle, and last. That seemed to work for a bit but not for long. I might have more success adding different ip addresses for A and peppering the MX list with those... but it's a bit messy.

d. None of the above (4, Interesting)

mcubed (556032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960848)

I don't think blacklists are good, bad, or indifferent. The questions are how fairly are they implemented, how rigorously are the claims against the blacklisted party checked out, and how accessible are the administrators of blacklists for appeals. Obviously, there are problems with some of the implementations, as detailed in the Washington Post article -- and these particular problems read to me less like the typical growing pains of any developing concept than like design features. I wouldn't trust any blacklist who's operators hide behind a veil of secrecy anymore than I'd trust ad-ware.

Still, how effective can a blacklist, however well implemented & maintained, really be? Isn't this one of the easier types of blocks for spammers to get around?

If everyone would just stop trying to grow their penises, turn $5 into $5000, and visit XXChristyXX in her all-nude sorority, spam would wither and die. Lately, I've received some very helpful emails about how to stop spam and make money in the process, secrets I will be sharing with about 16 million fellow computer users very shortly.


Will they ever get it? (2, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960860)

The lists seem to be similar to the Better Business Bureau (in the US).

"OUR MISSION is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence."

The BBB is an organization without authority. It is a voluntary system to People can lodge complaints about a business. People can also inquire about complaints against a business.

I may choose not to do business with any other businesses that do not have what I consider acceptable BBB records. Is it really the BBB's fault? Is their system flawed?

I don't think so. The BBB only provides information. Depending on how much I value the BBB or information, I will choose to do business with a company.

Blacklist are not much different. Organizations sign up for their information *voluntarily* and understand that there may be some "false positives" or disputed cases. Organizations weight the benefits and risks and make their own decision.

If a blacklist proves to block to much email then organizations might try another blacklist or not use one.

Thats it for now.

ok .. it is late and I am not sure where my point is going.

Last gasp - the end of the line for *BSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960884)

So why now? Why did *BSD fail? Once you get past the fact that *BSD is fragmented between a myriad of incompatible kernels, there is the historical record of failure and of failed operating systems. *BSD experienced moderate success about 15 years ago in academic circles. Since then it has been in steady decline. We all know *BSD keeps losing market share but why? Is it the problematic personalities of many of the key players? Or is it larger than their troubled personalities?

The record is clear on one thing: no operating system has ever come back from the grave. Efforts to resuscitate *BSD are one step away from spiritualists wishing to communicate with the dead. As the situation grows more desperate for the adherents of this doomed OS, the sorrow takes hold. An unremitting gloom hangs like a death shroud over a once hopeful *BSD community. The hope is gone; a mournful nostalgia has settled in. Now is the end time for *BSD.

What's wrong? (1)

elid (672471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960890)

I really don't see what's wrong with this. If I have an ISP and someone is trying to clog up my bandwidth with junk, why can't I block it? What law automatically gives everyone the right to use my network? And if one of my users decides that he wants to get spam (for whatever odd reason) he can switch to another ISP. An ISP is a private corporation and can do whatever the heck it wants. Even if an ISP decided to do something ridiculous like deleting every fifth word in everyone's e-mail there would be nothing wrong with that either. I would quickly switch ISPs, but the ISP isn't doing anything WRONG per se. They can do whatever they want to; I, as a consumer, can choose.

No to blacklists! Yes to whitelists! (1, Funny)

axxackall (579006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960905)

Do you have a list of all women from Earth that you don't want to sleep with? I guess no. Instead, you have a list of all women from Earth you want to sleep with. Musch better as the second list must be much shorter than the first one :)

Same thing should be with email. No need to blacklist bad IPs (which might not belong permanently to a spammer) or email addresses (also very temporal). Instead, list all people you trust or all their features that make the being trusted by you. You can guess that I mean e-signatures, public keys and cross-trusted CA network.

P.S. if it's more appropriate, please use for the text above:

sed -e 's/women/men/g'

Re:No to blacklists! Yes to whitelists! (2, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961013)

Do you have a list of all women from Earth that you don't want to sleep with? I guess no. Instead, you have a list of all women from Earth you want to sleep with. Musch better as the second list must be much shorter than the first one :)

Actually, I've known many guys for whom the first list would be shorter.

Am I the only one who enjoys spam? (1)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960910)

Thanks to my friend spam I've been able to negotiate a lower mortgage, increase the length of my penis, spy on my neighbours, and start a lucrative ebay business. Thanks spam!

RBLs are not effective at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960924)

RBLs are ineffective at blocking spam and have a farily large rate of false positives. My provider imposes an RBL on me. I don't see a week without a friend or relative complaining that my "email system is broken".

The funny part is that when you check the domain itself, it's not relaying third party emails anymore. It all depends on the sender's sysadmin to remove his/her IP block from a gazillion RBL providers.

For an interesting comparison of a few methods, look at this paper [] . Clearly, RBLs are not the way to go.

Question for Brad Templeton (4, Insightful)

Thurn und Taxis (411165) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960934)

Here's my response to Brad Templeton's post:

What if, at the end of Brad's list, we add:
h) trading child pornography
i) plotting terrorist attacks
j) promoting cannibalism

On his list, items a, f, and possibly g are potentially illegal - the others are clearly legal in the U.S., although they may violate service agreements with some ISPs. Nonetheless, even the possibly illegal actions are perceived as minor crimes, like speeding - if you found out your neighbor was doing these things, you wouldn't start looking for a new place to live. The three items I listed above are different - if any reasonable person even suspected that their neighbor was planning or committing one of those acts, they'd be calling 911 (or your local government's equivalent, unless you live in a country that supports terrorism / kiddie-porn / cannibalism) in a jiffy.

Spam is different from both of these. It's legal in most places, which distinguishes it from the three items I've mentioned, but it's looked upon with nearly equal horror as a violation of trust. If spam were made illegal (particularly porn spam), it could easily be lumped in with these other categories (okay, spam doesn't directly involve killing/torturing other people, but when you get spam that lists your full name and discusses rape, that's bordering on assault).

I think most people would consider it ethically responsible for their ISPs to report kiddie-porn traders, terrorists, and cannibals - at the very least, it would be irresponsible of the ISPs to not report such activities if they were aware of them. The difference, which Brad's post ignores, is that some activities (kiddie-porn, terrorism, spam) cause or can potentially cause DIRECT phsyical or emotional harm to other individuals (and before you argue this point with regard to spam, think carefully about how you would distinguish between soliciting children for sex and sending porn emails to children), while other activities (copyright infringement, NAT) don't.

To (hopefully) temper the debate, I'll add that I would oppose a "one strike and you're out" rule. It's easy to imagine someone being tricked into downloading unpleasant images, and it's easy to imagine someone sending out spam without knowing any better. But after being warned, the punishment the second time should be more severe.

my PeNiS!!! RAPE!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5960967)

loLoloolo i just lit my penis on fire and raped this bitch! she was screaming as my flaming cock entered her pussy. the smell of burning flesh and steamin' semen filled the air!!! LOLlololol

while i was RTFA'ing (2, Insightful)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960977)

i noticed this chunk of the article

"Blacklist operators call this "collateral damage," admitting that it is an unfortunate side effect. But for people like Haselton, who can go unaware for weeks that their messages are dissolving into the ether, collateral damage can seriously hinder someone's ability to communicate via the Internet."

Unaware? Why the fuck didnt he check his smtp logs and notice all the 553's ? When you hit a mail server that rbl's you, it sends you a 553 bounce.
Also, many user's mail servers will notify the sender of the bounce and give them a copy of the bounce message so they know why it got bounced.

Collateral damage is why you NEVER ever host your servers with a spam friendly outfit. Our company recently hosted a client's email server, and the FIRST thing we did was run the colo against every blacklist we could think of. We also asked them their policy on handling abuse emails, and spammer termination. Read , its full of good info on how to avoid spam friendly hosters.

Condone censorship? (2, Insightful)

HornyBastard77 (667965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960994)

If this or any of the other methods to curb spam condone censorship, then so do the 'OFF' buttons on my radio and television.

Blackhole list + Bayesian + Whitelist +... (1)

SpyderFan (654349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961010)

I personally use Spam Sleuth which supports Blackhole lists, Bayesian (which seems to get a lot of attention on this site), Whitelist (which they call Friends), Blacklist (which they call Spammers), Turing Test(Challenge-Response), EMail Stamps (must pay to send), Bounce (NDR), Chinese and Korean Character Set detection, and Regular Expressions (for the power user). There's more, but I can't remember them all. []

I've found it easy to use and it automatically configured and read in my contacts from Eudora. I hate Outlook, but I think it's also supported.

Any e-mail I get, I can block with some type of rule. I even wrote a regular expression to detect comments inside words (a new trick of theirs).

Ever wonder? (3, Interesting)

MegaHamsterX (635632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961026)

Ever wonder why IM has taken off like it has, you don't get fucking spammed.

Blacklists suck, they don't work. Blacklist an ip address or range and a new guy gets it and can't send mail, real fucking smart and real fucking frustrating to be the admin, use the reverse domain name all you want, but don't involve the ip address.

Do you think ISPs want spammers, spammers are a pain in the ass to deal with, they are the squeeky wheel at an ISP and they rarely pay their bills after bitching about everything.

An extension to smtp and pop3 is needed, smtp stopped working years ago and people now ignore their email, often you need to call someone to check their email and search for you amongst all the spam in their box.

I'm an admin, not a programmer, but I would do it this way if I was a programmer.

mail is received, the host starts out with a zero rating and the user does as well.

A global bayesian filter then ranks this piece of email, the email is then delivered to a users box with the rating attached for the domain and the user.

The user may sort by this rating to filter out spam from non spam, it is optional at this point, but if the user is using software with the necessary extension, the user can then check if the email is spam or good and have the domain's rating adjusted slightly, and the user's rating fully in the negative or positive, if negative the sending user will not have mail accepted again unless someone uprates the user.

If enough complaints arrive from the sending domain, the domain is blackballed and cannot escape since multiple users have decided that this domain is sending inappropriate email according to the TOS of the receiving ISP.

So, to be more specific, sorry to make this so long, but maybe it will inspire someone.

Connection established with port 25, reverse checked for presence on blackball list, if present drop connection silently. No reverse also gets dropped.

Check for from line with specific user name, if user is on blackball list drop connection silently.

Receive email and grade with bayesian filter using global ruleset, this filter cannot blackball domain or user no matter how much it looks like spam, but can make it nearly so.

Deliver mail, if user confirms mail is spam, blackball user and downgrade domain further, this may actually blackball the domain if enough mail is sent and the filter grades it badly enough (based upon average grade).

Since Dialup and DSL connections do not control their own reverses, it would be trivial to add a simple filter that would refuse mail delivery from these sources, except from their own isp, and then the outgoing mail would be run through a filter, if the rating dropped for the user into negative territory as reported by receiving servers the user would lose their bulk smtp privledges and have thier outgoing mail throttled in a severe fashion with all mail containing bcc and cc mail rejected, and the number of emails per hour limited to stave off potential damage.

The SMTP extension comes into play with a network of these mail servers, blackballed domains would be automaticlly sent to a neighbour in p2p fashion, but ratings would only be accepted if the neighbour server had a valid key, that would be exchanged amongst admins and a network of trust would form.
If a domain becomes blackballed, a user/domain notification takes place alerting that site to the fact mail from their domain/user is not being accepted, at this point an admin could get involved, but my guess is that more often than not the domain will remain there.

Anyhow flame away, my asbestos suit is on :-)
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