1997-05-24 - Re: Geiger learns to read (was Re: spam is a good thing)

Header Data

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
To: Cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: bb5be766004943c59e486d1117580ed274c203fd9b1e18ba154f67e718df5d1e
Message ID: <19970524005533.59448@bywater.songbird.com>
Reply To: <19970522144701.16280@bywater.songbird.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-24 08:13:58 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 16:13:58 +0800

Raw message

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 16:13:58 +0800
To: Cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Geiger learns to read (was Re: spam is a good thing)
In-Reply-To: <19970522144701.16280@bywater.songbird.com>
Message-ID: <19970524005533.59448@bywater.songbird.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Fri, May 23, 1997 at 08:29:59AM -0500, William H. Geiger III wrote:
>In <19970522144701.16280@bywater.songbird.com>, on 05/22/97 
>   at 03:47 PM, Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com> said:
>>Your analogy is flawed in many ways.  1) The entities entering your 
>>house have an identity; what is actually entering your computer 
>>equipment is just bits, which have no identity.  Spamfords bits are  no
>>different than anyone elses.  2) By the very act of connecting to  the
>>network you agree to recieve any bits that are automatically  routed to

Note the "automatically routed" clause.

>No not at all. Just because I am connected to the network I am under no
>obligation to accept a single bit.

The only way you can really accomplish that is to disconnect.  The 
interface/modem/whatever in your computer blindly receives the bits that 
are sent to it.  There isn't a thing you can do about it except 
disconnect.  (I consider turning your machine off as disconnecting.)

>Obviously you have not ever entered into contract agreements with an
>accesses provider.

Jeez.  I *am*, in my small way, an access provider.  And, of course, 
I have a contract with my upstream.

>There is no obligation on my part to receive a single

You don't read very well, do you?  I said "automatically routed 
bits".  You can't stop receiveing those bits unless you turn your 
machine off.

>If I never run a sendmail daemon then I will never receive a single
>e-mail message regardless of how many are aimed at my servers. This is the
>same with any TCP/IP service.

Yes, because the network layer negotiation doesn't complete the 
connection, and the other side agrees to stop sending.  Basically, you 
have convinced the other side to stop sending.  You still receive any bits 
on the wire, and the only way you can stop that is by disconnecting.

>The only obligation I have with my upstream
>provider is to pay my bill. If I choose to bounce everything that is
>routed from Spamford it is my right to do so as it is *MY* equipment.

Good, though trivial, point.  Not what I was talking about, though.


>>Identification isn't the problem at all.  The problem is that you  have
>>no grounds on which to base a suit.  Just as you can't sue me for 
>>sending this mail -- it's an exchange you entered into of your own  free
>For the occasional spam then a lawsuit would be pointless. If you decided
>to dump 10,000 messages a day and deny the use of my equipment by myself
>and my clients then I would have a very strong case for litigation. You
>seem to forget that this is MY equipment and it is you who have no rights
>regarding the use of it. I have the final say so as to who uses it and


>>All flawed analogies.  You *did* agree to recieve mail -- in fact,  that
>>is one of the primary uses of your computer -- and you did *not*  place
>>any restrictions on that connection.  Furthermore, you can't -- 
>>no one will sell you an internet connection at any level where they 
>>will accept a contractual obligation to keep spam from getting to you.
>Once again it is you who have it wrong. I have agreed to nothing other than to >pay my bill for my connection. If Cyberpromo starts filling my clients mailboxe>s with spam and tieing up bandwidth I am under an obligation to my client to st>op him from doing so. My obligation is to my clients to provide the services th>ey have paid for. I would be remiss in my duties if I allowed such actions to c>ontinue both to my contractual obligations to my clients but also my feudatory 

You mean "fiduciary", I presume.  But "feudatory" is cute.

>responsibilities to the stockholders of my corporation.

Recall that -- what is it? CyberPromo -- sued AOL, and forced them to 
not block their spam...though I guess AOL was able to give their 
customers the ability to block, and there was an appeal -- I don't 
remember the details anymore...

>You do not have a right to send mail to my system I have an obligation to my cl>ients to allow them to receive mail. This is a important distinction that needs> to be made. You have no rights regarding the use of my equipment. Furthermore >if your actions deprive the use of my equipment by myself and my clients you ca>n find yourself both financially and criminally liable.

I agree that if I flood your box with the intent of denying service I 
would be liable.  That's not the normal mode of spammers, though.  
As an individual you only receive one or a very few copies of a 
particular message.  It's just that there are a great many messages.

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent@songbird.com			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55