1997-05-22 - Re: spam is a good thing (was Re: Spam IS Free Speech)

Header Data

From: “Willaim H. Geiger III” <whgiii@amaranth.com>
To: Adam Back <aba@dcs.ex.ac.uk>
Message Hash: 5d70afffc85905ba320f66818102012a1a325b483f822e6ef85bca168b57fbb0
Message ID: <199705222053.PAA19345@mailhub.amaranth.com>
Reply To: <199705221633.RAA01999@server.test.net>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-22 21:03:52 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 05:03:52 +0800

Raw message

From: "Willaim H. Geiger III" <whgiii@amaranth.com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 05:03:52 +0800
To: Adam Back <aba@dcs.ex.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: spam is a good thing (was Re: Spam IS Free Speech)
In-Reply-To: <199705221633.RAA01999@server.test.net>
Message-ID: <199705222053.PAA19345@mailhub.amaranth.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


In <199705221633.RAA01999@server.test.net>, on 05/22/97 
   at 10:33 AM, Adam Back <aba@dcs.ex.ac.uk> said:

>William Geiger <whgiii@amaranth.com> writes:
>> >The problem is that you and most of the rest of the internet world are
>> >renting your mega phones/accounts out without charging for usage volume. 
>> >You are also allowing completely free use of your account as a recipient,
>> >and completely free use of your sendmail as a mail hub service.
>> >If this causes you grief, you need to start metering, and charging
>> >postage to receive mail, and metering mail hub usage.
>> Bullshit! No metering of accounts is required. All that needs to be done
>> is blocking of all mail from Spamford's sites. He nor anyone else has a
>> "right" to use my equipment. If Spamford uses my equipment without my
>> permission he can be charged with criminal trespass. I am under no
>> contract with Spamford and am under no obligation to provide him so much
>> as 1 bit worth of bandwidth.

>So why are you leaving your machine configured so that he clearly can use
>your bandwidth?

>Courts are uneconomical solutions.  It's as if I had said the fact that
>you left a $100 bill sat on your doorstep might have something to do with
>the fact that you are now $100 worse off, and as if I had suggested to
>you that a solution might be to be more careful about leaving
>money/resources in easily accessible places, and perhaps it would be
>better to store your money in a wallet and it is then as if you had

Oh I don't know if they are that uneconomical. I think a class action
lawsuit filed by a few 100 ISP's against Spamford would shut him down.

>William Geiger <whgiii@amaranth.com> writes:
>: Bullshit! No wallets are required.  All that needs to be done is for a
>: court injunction made stopping this particular thief from picking up
>: my money.  He nor anyone else has a "right" to take my money.  If
>: Joe Thief picks up my money without my permission he can be charged
>: with theft.  I am under no contract with Joe Thief and am under no
>: obligation to keep my money in a wallet.

>I hope you see the similarity in argument.

Yes unfortunatly I nolonger have that thread. If you could give me a date
that was posted I will look at the archives.

>Clearly you can only issue injunctions against people you can identify. 
>If not you don't get your property back.

>Your solution is to require legislation, or court intervention ("he can
>be charged with criminal trespass").  So how are you going to get a
>reasonable prosecution rate on this one?  Perhaps replace cash with a
>traceable form, so that you can trace who it was that took your money? 
>Perhaps escrow peoples positions so that the government can trace the
>thief.  Perhaps have the government put video cameras up at intervals of
>100m in residential areas?

Perhaps criminal trespass was a little extreme on my part though no new
laws would be required for such a prosecuition.

>The costs and unattractiveness of government intervention are even worse
>on the net.  

>Do you want legislation stating that you can sue people who send more
>than a certain number of posts via your sendmail hub?  Consider the
>logical consequences... you must be able to identify people to sue them,

>	- Internet Drivers licenses must be required
>	- Remailers will be outlawed
>	- Every SMTP session must be authenticated with your True Name

>Are you in favour of these?  Realise that these provisions will be in the
>1998 anti-SPAM bill put before congress, and the congress critters will
>say that the regulation of anonymity on the net was as a result of public
>demand.  In this case, they will probably be right about the demand.

>Note that I did not say Spamford had a _right_ to spam you, just that
>with government "solutions" to this problem the "cure" is worse than the
>problem, at least from a pro-privacy perspective.

I am not looking for the governmental intrusions that you have listed
above. They are not needed to take care of Spamford. I as the owner of
certain computer equipment have the right to determin who uses such
equipment and how. It should be no different that my right to determin who
can enter my house and who can not. If I inform Spamford that he is not
welcome in my house and he still insists on comming in I should have some
recource to stop him.

IMHO this can be taking care of through civil courts hitting the spamers
where it counts in the wallet. As far as identification this is quite
simple to do without the above measure. Even if Spamford uses tricks to
cover his tracks his clients are known as they tell you who they are in
their spam. Traceing back to Cyber-Momo is trivial once his clients are
known. IMHO when Compu$erve suied Spamford thay should have listed all of
his customers in the lawsuit.

>> I have no problem with Spamford's free speech rights. He can go out buy a
>> bullhorn stand on a street corner and shout to his harts content. He does
>> not have the right to kick in my door stand on my coffee table and say a
>> word.

>Yeah but he didn't kick anything in, he just used something which was
>setup to be used for free, in an unmetered fashion, where no contracts
>were agreed to before hand.

No it was not. Just because you leave a door unlocked does not mean that
anyone has the right to enter. If you run into the store and forget to
lock the doors on your car does that mean that anyone has the right to
drive off in your car? If you leave the front door unlocked on your house
does that mean that anyone can walk in and help themselfs to the contents
of your house?

>You might perhaps with some justification argue that there is an implicit
>contract to act reasonably, well ok, this is largely the way the internet
>used to work 10 years ago, but the problem is still how are you going to
>catch him.  What about sendmail forgeries, what about public access
>terminals, what about remailers, what about free AOL disks, etc, etc. 
>You've got to admit it's worse than hopeless.  The government "solution"
>to the problem would attempt to make the net fully traceable.

>By arguing for the use of litigation for spam, you are hastening the
>outlawing of remailers.

I never have argued for more legislation of the internet for any reason. I
just think that creative use of current laws can put an end to this
pestilance. I don't see remailers being hurt in this as the whole purpose
of spam is to be non-anonymous (you can't sell anything if they don't know
where to send the money to). I do think that litigation can be used
effectivly to put an end to Spamford without changing the current
structure of the internet.

The whole spam issue could be handled in a non hostile manner. Spamford et
al. could sign a contract with me to allow x amount of messages/day onto
my system for y $'s. I then could use these funds to compensate my users
with lower rates, better equipment, ...ect. Other ISP's could chose not to
allow spam on their systems and use this as a marketing tool. Some users
would like the lower rates and tolerate the spam others would opt to go
with a no-spam ISP. Either way everyone comes out a winner. Unfortunatly
Cyberpromo and other such companies have decided that they can have a free
lunch at others expence.

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