1993-03-16 - Re: Threat of restoring the status quo

Header Data

From: Al Billings <mimir@u.washington.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6e10f6e67cb43018be1edc9c9049380257c3e066e4a5570f84c8cc19c4acda2e
Message ID: <9303140515.AA07333@stein.u.washington.edu>
Reply To: <C3r9vE.EIx@redpoll.neoucom.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-16 02:27:38 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 15 Mar 93 18:27:38 PST

Raw message

From: Al Billings <mimir@u.washington.edu>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 93 18:27:38 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Threat of restoring the status quo
In-Reply-To: <C3r9vE.EIx@redpoll.neoucom.edu>
Message-ID: <9303140515.AA07333@stein.u.washington.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

 Forwarded from news.admin.policy where this individual is threatning to
set up a cancel message generating script to kill all posts from Julf's
Anon Service.

In article <C3tzLF.5ou@redpoll.neoucom.edu> Richard Depew
<red@redpoll.neoucom.edu writes: 

>Hi David,
>    I hope you don't mind my changing the title of this thread... I
>didn't care for the one you were using:
>Re: Threat of mass cancellings was Re: Anonymity is NOT the issue
>     Tisk, tisk... you make it sound as if masses of postings are
>threatened.  Have you *looked* for anonymous postings in the "sci"
>hierarchy?  There are really very few.  Only two, for Friday:
>     The best time to put out a fire is while it is still small.  :-)
>In article <1nq1f2INNfed@flash.pax.tpa.com.au> dclunie@pax.tpa.com.au writes:
>>I presume that cancel messages can be cancelled ... though I haven't
>>experimented with this yet, but it looks like I might have to. In fact I
>>think I will probably just turn off response to cancel messages totally if
>>you go ahead with this scheme, and I encourage other news administrators
>>to do the same ... they were a bad kludge in the first place and still are.
>>It seems to me they are rarely used for other than controversial purposes
>>like you are proposing (I don't like other people's postings so I won't let
>>anyone else read them).
>     That (disabling cancel messages) would be unfortunate.  They have
>many legitimate uses.  Cancelling inappropriate postings is one of
>these legitimate uses.  Controversial, sure, but my reason for
>activating the Automated Retroactive Minimal Moderation script, if
>Julf remains unwilling to accept any compromise, is simply to
>demonstrate that the status quo with regards to anonymous postings from
>a particular site *can* be effectively enforced.  As I have said many
>times before, I do *not* object to anonymous postings in newsgroups
>that invite them.  However, I think it *is* important to demonstrate
>that USENET *does* have a defense against a self-styled cyberpunk
>who refuses to cooperate with the rest of the net.  Whether USENET can
>find the *will* to oppose him remains an open question.  I simply
>intend a brief demonstration of one defense mechanism.
>>I really think you are getting carried away with a non-issue here, and
>>inflamming the situation is going to make you extremely unpopular, and
>>undoubtedly start a "cancelling war" at the very least.
>    The issue of an irresponsible system administrator trying to
>impose his anonymous server on readers of thousands of newsgroups is
>not a trivial one.  My proposal to restore the status quo in a
>hierarchy that has protested anonymous postings may not make me
>popular with anonymous posters, but I haven't seen a single message
>claiming that any sci newsgroup has invited anonymous postings.  If
>there is to be a "cancelling war", it will be very brief.  If I
>activate the ARMM script, it will only be for the weekend.
>>No-one has appointed you as the moderator of all the non-alt groups
>>retrospectively or otherwise, and no-one is likely to appoint anyone else
>>in such a position either.
>    You are right, no one has appointed me to the post of
>minimal-moderator.  It is a volunteer position with, I assure you,
>miserable fringe benefits.  I will gladly relinquish the position when
>the opportunity arises.  :-)
>>> There shouldn't be much controversy over this, but there will be
>>> anyhow.  :-)
>>There should be and there will be ... you are way out of line here Richard,
>>regardless of how many smileys you tack on the end of your message.
>     No.  It is Julf who is way out of line here... and has been for
>four months, now.  He has finally met someone who has gotten fed up
>with his silly game, and is willing to call his bluff.
>>I hope you are prepared to take responsibility for what is going to happen
>>to your institution's news and mail servers if you go ahead with this plan.
>     I hope you didn't mean that the way it reads... as a threat.  I
>thought you were more responsible than that.  Perhaps I am wrong.  You
>*have* been one of Julf's strongest supporters in this newsgroup,
>urging him to ignore the advice of the experienced news administrators
>in this group.  To date, this has been an argument between, if not
>friends, then at least respected opponents.  Most of us have the best
>interests of the net in mind, agree that anonymous postings have their
>place, and agree that cooperative anarchy is a wonderful experiment.
>You may not like my "Automated Retroactive Minimal Moderation" script,
>but you must at least admit that it is simply an automated version of
>moderation - a well-accepted practice in newsgroups that want to keep
>an acceptable signal/noise ratio.  You may protest that I have
>bypassed the usual mechanisms for establishing moderation, and you
>would be right.  I have brused some USENET traditions while trying to
>protect others.  However, threats against the integrity of internet
>sites are a far more serious matter.  I sent a long note to the
>system administrators of my feed site, explaining my proposal and
>pointing out some of the threats that might affect them.  We then
>had a long talk.  They were, as you might expect, less than thrilled
>at my rash proposal, which received a decidedly mixed reception.  They
>were even less thrilled at the prospect of being the recipient of
>denial-of service attacks.  They will take any such attacks seriously,
>>I am sure you don't want to become Usenet's next "J Palmer" in terms of
>>reputation. (This is reference is becoming a bit like the "who is John Galt ?")
>   Glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor.  :-)
>Richard E. Depew, Munroe Falls, OH               red@redpoll.neoucom.edu
>"Leap years are a pain; the earth should be stabilised." - Geoff Collyer
>                                         and Mark Moraes in getabsdate.3