Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 1999)
 

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Subject: Re: list attacks
From: "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg @ monkeys . com>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 11:40:24 -0800
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Your message of Fri, 19 Mar 1999 10:03:03 +0000. <36F220D7.A70A15AD@ect.uce.ac.uk>


In message <36F220D7.A70A15AD@ect.uce.ac.uk>, 
Richard Kay <Rich_Kay@ect.uce.ac.uk> wrote:

>This probably came from a spammer who didn't like my
>complaints about such activities to his ISP.

Yea.  That's what happened to me too... at least thrice.

>Fortunately only 1 of the 200 or so lists he tried subscribing me
>to didn't require any subscription confirmation - thanks
>to the great efforts of those who maintain Majordomo code.

That's the good news... most ordinary/traditional two-way
mailing lists are now properly secured with a subscription
verification process on the front-end... a process that quite
properly defaults to NOT finalizing the subscription request
unless the magic subscription token is in fact returned by
the alleged new subscriber.

The bad news is that there is an ever-growing number of
one-way commercial marketing / product announcement mailing
lists in existance these days, and almost without exception
they all:

    1)	Have _no_ subscription verification whatsoever, and...

    2)	accept sign-ups via some web form/page somewhere (while
	generally not even bothering to save the IP number or
	date/time stamp of those subscription requests... infor-
	mation that is critical to finding the perp in cases
	involving intentional harassment).

I've had lengthy conversations with several people who run these
kinds of lists, begging, pleading, and cajoling them to try to
get them to add an up-front subscription confirmation step to
their subscription mechanism, and almost without exception, they
always end up just shining me on and saying ``We'll think about
it.  We have to run the idea by marketing first.  Nobody else is
complaining... only you.''

This is the `Tragedy of the Commons' in its purest form.  These
people _always_ use the lame excuse that ``Some of our new sub-
scribers may get confused if we ask them to return a token we
send them.''

My response?  ``Yea.  So?''

Folks running these types of mailing lists don't care if their
subscribers have single digit IQs.  They just want to get them
into the tent and then sell them stuff.  And if they have to do
it buy putting everbody else at risk (of being subscription bombed),
well then the public be damned.

-- Ron Guilmette, Roseville, California ---------- E-Scrub Technologies, Inc.
-- Deadbolt(tm) Personal E-Mail Filter demo: http://www.e-scrub.com/deadbolt/
-- Wpoison (web harvester poisoning) - demo: http://www.e-scrub.com/wpoison/

    "Ping can be used offensively, and it's shipped with every windows CD"
                                                  -- Steve Atkins


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From: Richard Kay <Rich_Kay@ect.uce.ac.uk>
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