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A proposal....

On Wed, 1 Feb 1995, Remailer Operator wrote:

> I'll not block addresses based on information supplied here. You forget
> that there is no -formal- system, just a loose collection of operators.
> There is no single policy, that operators use. 

     Certainly, each operator is responsible for his own site and must
act or not act as he sees fit, accepting the full consequences of those
decisions.  That is as it should be.

     No one is DEMANDING that anyone block an address, except the
complainer's of course. :)

     However there is no harm in global reporting of spams or abuse,
as each operator can choose to act or not act on the data as he will.

> >     Perhaps there could be a blocking mailing list, and all remailers
> > could advertise that list in their headers, and anyone who wants to
> > be blocked can send mail to that list and we would all get it.
> Perhaps. But I think it is a matter between the operator of a specific
> site and the to be blocked address, not something for the world to know.

     Well in general I would guess that complainers WANT all reops to know
about the complaint, they only complain to the one they got the abuse
from, but they figure the abuser will just go to the next remailer and
start there.  They would prefer a way to contact all reops immediately to
stop this sort of thing from happening.

     Complainer's are often so mad at the abuse that they not only
write the remailer operator but also his sysadmin.  Rahul for example
has gotten at least two things 'on his desk' in the last two days,
because of stuff going through my remailer, and that's two two many
for me.  That doesn't include all the ones he's gotten that he didn't
forward to me because it was already handled.
     Further various and sundry turkeys are going to be complaining
both to ME and possibly to Rahul for the next month about the
Valentine's spam, as late readers come up to it in their news.  I am
STILL getting complaints and the guy was hung out to dry 10 hours ago.

     The complainer almost always wants ALL remail to that address
stopped, and he certainly doesn't want to have to send repeated
messages to various remailers as the abuser keeps jumping around.
That would infuriate me no end if I were a postmaster.

     I would suggest that those of us who are interested, provide such
a common list for complainers, it would make them feel one hell of a
lot better about remailers, and keep the borderline cases on the side
of free speech.  A lot of people would like to see remailers shut
down, but for many of them its mainly because remailers make them feel
hysterical when things go out of control.  

cc's to sysadmins and things, which I for one find INTOLERABLE.
     If we can bring a sense of immediate (even if partial) response
and control to the remailer network, then this hysteria may subside a

     I would distinguish between two kinds of abuse.
     Individual abuse, and spams.
     On the individual abuse I would agree that personal data should
probably be kept confidential.  Certainly one does not give away
the complainee to the complainer so of course one does not post
the complainee's name here or elsewhere.  I have taken to posting
the letters that I write them however, to show newbies possible
ways of dealing with these things.
     However I see nothing wrong with posting the complainer's name.  Some
complainer's might object, but I think they understand the need to widely
distribute, at least to the reop's, their address so that we can all
effectively block them IF WE CHOOSE. 

     In any case, such individual abuse is usually from one person to
another, and its easy to block the TO: line without revealing the From:
line, so there is no need to post the complainee's name. 
     In the case of spams, its different.  Spammers usually spam from one
address (forged or not), but post to many sites. Blocking the To: line is
impossible, but the From: line is easy. 
     In this case I am for posting the From: line, not only here but as
far and wide as possible.  If I am wrong, I am sure you will let me know. 
     I propose a mailing list, public or not, which those of you who wish
to can subscribe, and which we advertise in the headers of all outgoing
mail, saying that complaints should be sent to the mailing list.  That way
we all get to see spammers and complainers at once, making for much more
effective action. 

     This reduces the wear and tear on the postmasters, who surely do not
deserve the brunt of the abuse.  Like the Credit Card reporting agencies,
one call is all it takes to report all your cards gone, one mail is all it
takes to inform all operators of a spam or abuse. 
     I am not suggesting that all reops join this list, or act on the
data posted to it if they do, or advertise the list in their headers.  I 
propose that THOSE OF US WHO WANT TO DO THIS, do it.
     Sort of a loose coalition or alliance amongst reops to show
solidarity and personal responsibility towards the net.

     I KNOW people would appreciate it.

     How say any of you?
P.S.  [email protected] went down after the Valentine spam.
     Not very nice.  I have already gotten warm mail commending US
on how fast we nuked the guy.
    I say have no mercy for spammers.