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Subject: [IP] more on 4 Rivals Almost United on Ways to Fight Spam

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: Ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 04:54:04 -0400


Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <Bob2-0406@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: June 28, 2004 8:14:58 PM EDT
To: dave@farber.net, 'Ip' <ip@v2.listbox.com>
Cc: John R Levine <johnl@iecc.com>
Subject: RE: [IP] more on 4 Rivals Almost United on Ways to Fight Spam

{Once again, I’m erring on the side of brevity so as not to run afoul 
of short attention spans (the readers’ and my own)}

&nbsp;

I’ve just run afoul of http://njabl.org and, according to its site “Do 
not email asking for removal of dynablock entries unless we have 
incorrectly listed an IP as dynamic that is not. IPs that really are 
dynamic will not be removed.”

&nbsp;

The problem is that the static IP address is a major bug in the 
Internet (as I’ve been pointed out) – it doesn’t scale for routing and 
adding more dependence upon the static address seems to make it 
increasingly difficult to make the Internet dynamic. It also adds more 
mechanism and social policy in the heart of the network and builds on 
top of the DNS which is a failed (though noble) attempt to provide a 
stable identifiers for a potentially dynamic Internet.

&nbsp;

I looked at http://spf.pobox.com and in my initial reading I find the 
approach to have serious problems. It seems to create complex 
mechanisms for policing the heart of the Internet. When I read about 
reputation systems and community banishment I get very afraid. It seems 
to be one more attempt to build upon the accidental properties of a 
mechanism rather than stepping back and looking for an end-to-end 
solution such as using capabilities and encryption (why do we send 
email in the clear anyway?)

&nbsp;

Design committees that care too much tend to self-select for those who 
accept the basic assumptions. The press loves to tout the latest 
solution for what bothers their readers and thus adds credibility to 
what are merely unproven proposals. Andre Maginot’s “solution” is very 
appealing with its promise to keep the bad guys out (similar to what 
Maxwell’s Daemon promises?).

&nbsp;

In the long term such efforts are merely annoying since we will deploy 
end-to-end approaches but in the short and medium term it can do real 
damage by adding more impediments to making effective use of the 
Internet.

&nbsp;

Sure, spam is a pain. My computer gets 10,000 to 20,000 messages today 
– good thing most are for bogus addresses. I’m not ready to give up on 
social solutions since there actually do seem to be a finite number of 
prime spam sources generating a huge number of nearly identical 
messages. The latest offering me a “degre” (I had to trick Word into 
allowing the misspelling!) &nbsp;And, of course, there are the phishing 
messages. Such is the price we pay for a vibrant connected ecology.

&nbsp;

Ultimately, however, taking control at the edge is in the spirit of the 
Internet though, I guess, it shouldn’t be called the Internet since we 
will be connecting the end points themselves rather than just LANs.

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