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Re: Paul's Mailfrom (Was: IETF SMTP Working GroupProposal at

  • From: Brad Knowles
  • Date: Tue Aug 27 19:00:52 2002

At 9:45 PM -0600 2002/08/26, David Van Duzer wrote:

 Not to try to undercut the general point, but that would imply that
 Earthlink, AOL, and MSN (for examples) should have a combined abuse
 department of roughly 1500 employees.
Last I checked, AOL itself had over 6000 employees, of which 5000 were the help desk. The other 1000 were the rest of the company, and the Operations group had something over 100 (many of the rest were in Development). The Abuse department was an entire division of something like a couple dozen people, and was divided into multiple groups -- one handled USENET abuse, one handled e-mail abuse, etc.... This was back when AOL still had only about eight or nine million users.

Ghu only knows what the numbers are like today.

                             Perhaps the real social problem is
 convincing whatever standards bodies and vendors necessary that it is a
 technical problem.
No, this is wrong. It is not a technical problem. Any technical "solution" you apply will have any of several technical work-arounds that can be relatively easily discovered, and probably within the span of just a few hours early on Saturday morning -- so that they've got the rest of the weekend to generate spam using their "new and improved" tools, and then a few months to make a killing on selling their new versions to the even more clueless.

                     There seems to be far too much apathy (FUD?) rather
 than just designing a partial solution, however imperfect, and
 implementing it.
The problem is a social one, and the only real solutions will be socio-legal in nature. They may have technical implementations, but that is the only respect in which technology is employed.

Fundamentally, you can't implement a policy until you actually have a policy. The setting of the policy is a socio-legal problem, the implementation of the policy may have technical aspects.

Brad Knowles, <>

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

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