Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 1997)

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Subject: Re: verification II (was: Re:
From: "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg @ monkeys . com>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:11:42 -0800
To: List Managers <list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
In-reply-to: Your message of Mon, 27 Oct 1997 11:30:24 -0800. <>
Reply-to: rfg @ monkeys . com

In message <>, wrote:

>The e-mail newsletters I coordinate were among the mailing lists Mr.
>Guilmette. found himself dealing with as a result of a mail bomb attack.

>As I said, I raised this topic a couple weeks ago, and I'll forward to
>you the responses if you wish.

Thank you but I don't think that will be necessary.  My assumption is that
now that I myself have also raised this issue here, I can see how people
feel on the subject, based upon my onw rant.

>> In short, the majority of the list admins involved displayed a density
>> rivaling that of lead.
>I hope that I am not among those you describe here.

No, in fact I would characterize you as the exception that proves the rule,
just on the basis of the fact that you _did_ take the time to join this
mailing list and to try to seek out some other, independent opinions on
this issue of subscription verifications.  That alone proves that that you
are both more clueful and more sensitive to the potential effects of list
abuse than the vast majority of the other list owners whoses lists were
misused to harass me.  I salute your openness to new ideas, and the good
sense you displayed by (a) coming to this list and (b) soliciting more
opinions on the topic of subscription verification.

But how many of those other 83 list admins whose lists were also abused to
harass me even took the time to find this mailing list??  Nary a one, I
gather.  Most of them seem to either not get it, or else they just don't

>At any rate, if I
>may interject some advice here, it is this: I know that you feel you
>have been wronged here...

Excuse me, but this is something more than a mere ``feeling''.  I *was*
wronged, and when I catch the bastard that did it, I'm going to make him
pay dearly for it in a court of law.... and I *am* going to catch him.

>... and there is no doubt of that. But if the first
>correspondence you sent to me regarding the attack is any indication of
>the type of message you send to other admins...

It was.  In response to this overwhelming attack on my site I drafted a
single ``form letter'' nasty-gram which I sent to all involved list admins.

>... I think I see a possible
>reason for the communication problem. My first message from you was an
>angry threat, not an opening to discussion on the issue.

You were expecting maybe a kiss on the lips and an ``atta boy''??

Sorry, but I was in no frame of mind to be kind to the 84 folks who, in my
opinion, had helped to make it possible to perpetrate this crime.  (And
no, I am _not_ stretching the definition of the word ``crime'' in any
sense.  This attack involved _several_ violations of federal laws, most
notably the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.)

>I know that you wanted action on our part...

That's putting it mildly.

>... not discussion, but retaliating to an event
>such as this with threats to parties who might otherwise be sympathetic
>to your request will not help your cause.

I agree that my nasty-grams were of no help whatsoever in some cases, in
particular the ones I sent to the list admins in France and Brazil, neither
of whom (it seems) were able to adequately appreciate my finely honed verbal
venom, owing to the fact that they didn't even speak English.

But in other cases, I think that whatever words I used to clarify just how
extrodinarily pissed off I was about these subscription bombing incidents
may in fact have been useful in leaving no doubt in the minds of the
recipients about the degree of seriousness I attached to these incidents.

>Lastly, I think we need to understand each other's view point. You seem
>to see yorself as the victim of two parties: the mail bomber, and the
>borderline-criminal list owners. I see you as a victim of the mail

Yes, and if I get shot tomorrow by some fool with a Saturday Night Special
that he bought from a kitchen-table gun dealer who failed to perform _his_
due diligence in doing a background check on the perp before selling him
a gun, then I shall likewise hold that gun dealer partly responsible for
_that_ crime.

>That is not to say that our mailing list system should have been
>set up to prevent such abuse -- I agree that it should have. But we'll
>all be better off if we work together on these issues, not as enemies
>(i.e. please don't flame me -- I am honestly trying to be helpful).

I am not flaming you, and I shall not flame you.  As I have said above,
I think that you are probably the _only_ one from your group of 84 list
admins who was even willing to admit to himself/herself that there may
be a problem, or that it was even possible that there may be some amount
of social responsibility associated with running a mailing list.  For
that you have my appreciation and my respect.

-- Ron Guilmette, Roseville, California ---------- E-Scrub Technologies, Inc.
-- Deadbolt(tm) Personal E-Mail Filter demo:
-- Wpoison (web harvester poisoning) - demo:

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