Mark Galbraith writes:
> I realize that my earlier comments were probably not received in the
> best light, and, by many of you, were not received in the way they were
> intended. They were intended as a warning.
Err... I'm not exactly sure what we were being warned against.
> I stand by my original intent. There may be others out there who are
> concerned about this rude behavior of going after information without
> asking whether or not it's okay to do so.
Hmmm. I'm not sure what makes you think of this a "rude behavior" --
any more than connecting to someone's WWW server or verifying an
address with SMTP VRFY. Perhaps a better analogy would be a finger
server. Would you consider finger inquries, or more specifically a
finger client attempting to see if you ran a finger daemon, "rude
behavior" or a security intrusion?
What about a Web robot that travels your WWW pages and indexes
It's difficult to believe that someone would have the rational
expectation of being asked before someone connects to an Internet
server and makes a request that is part of the normal operation of the
server. Heck, I telnet to sites' SMTP ports and do VRFY and EXPN
operations quite regularly in an attempt to debug mailing list problems.
Many sites turn this capability off, which they have the perfect right
> As stated in my previous
> message, if the sender had asked ahead of time, I might have even given
> the information to him directly. It's just a matter of good manners and
> common decency.
I think this is a bit much to ask... after all, the software
(Majordomo or another program) is supposed to help automate the job for
you so you (the list manager) don't have to be bothered by routine
requests. (Like "what lists do you host at your site?")
> You just don't take something that doesn't belong to you without asking
> permission first. I don't allow my 5-year-old niece to do it, and I'm
> sure not going to tolerate it from an adult.
"Take"?? Information freely supplied by a publicly-accessible server
in the normal course of its operation (*not* a loophole or a hack)?
It does not surprise me that most people found your response
unreasonable. I have managed Internet stes and mailing lists for
about 10 years, and would not consider use of my server in this manner
slightly odd, much less objectionable.
Michael C. Berch
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org