1997-07-31 - Re: non-censorous spam control (was Re: Spam is Information?)

Header Data

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 3e6f017fb7c2ab0bfb1f59cadd11c3a1c76c9358a3226b3b9a00a07a9d86c618
Message ID: <19970731111247.45264@bywater.songbird.com>
Reply To: <19970731095523.04336@bywater.songbird.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-07-31 18:30:18 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 02:30:18 +0800

Raw message

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 02:30:18 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: non-censorous spam control (was Re: Spam is Information?)
In-Reply-To: <19970731095523.04336@bywater.songbird.com>
Message-ID: <19970731111247.45264@bywater.songbird.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Thu, Jul 31, 1997 at 12:25:59PM -0400, William H. Geiger III wrote:
>Now if an access provider does detailed analysis of his traffic and
>determins that he needs only 4 T3's to provide service for 20 T1's and
>therefore reduces his costs that's fine. But if one of his T1 customers
>traffic increases he is obligated to add more bandwith on his end to
>handle it.

He has several other options.  Most importantly, he can terminate the
agreement.  This gives the customer a choice -- find another provider,
or moderate their use.  As I said, this stuff sometimes isn't written
in the contract, but it's there, nonetheless. 

>This is what the whole bandwith issue comes down to. 

Thinking about this a little more, however, this whole line of
reasoning has almost nothing to do with the bandwidth problem
associated with spam, and is a complete red herring.  Granted that you
have contractually guaranteed that you get full time 24/7 28.8 modem
access, and you have paid for it.  I can still completely flood your 
bandwidth with stuff you don't want.  Granted that at your machine 
you can throw away the stuff as fast as your receive it.  But you 
aren't receiving the stuff you want to receive, because I have 
completely choked your line.  

Spam can be thought of, therefore, as essentially a low-level denial 
of service attack.

What is overlooked in the free speech debate is that speech always 
has a physical manifestation, and that physical manifestation may in 
itself cause harm, regardless of the semantic content of the speech.  
For example, I could rupture your eardrums by putting a megaphone 
next to your head.  And I can cause you economic harm by flooding 
your mailbox with stuff you don't want.  I have a right to speak; you 
have a right to not pay attention.  I don't have the right to force 
you to pay attention.

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