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Re: Technical mail setup question

On Sat, Jun 05, 1999 at 10:29:09AM +1000, Craig Sanders wrote:
> they don't actually ban anything. they're just a lookup list which can
> be used to find out if an IP address is a dialup or not. how this is
> used is *entirely* up to the person using it.

That was essentially my understanding, although by extension those
sysadmins who do employ the use those services to reject certains
mails are in effect banning certain classes of mail.

> the MAPS RBL is the original, and gives people plenty of time to fix
> their mail configuration problems before adding them to the RBL. it's
> really difficult to get listed in the MAPS RBL, you have to try so

This sounds very reasonable.  Thank you for clearing that up.

> ORBS came later and is much more aggressive. it's very easy to get
> listed in the ORBS RBL - if you are an open relay, they list you
> immediately and send you an email telling you what you can do about it

I really disagree with this approach as, so I gather, do you.  It
really seems to be overkill when from what I can tell the RBLs are
working reasonably well.

> today if i didn't use any anti-spam filters. these days, by using the
> available anti-spam tools (and by writing my own stuff) i get between
> one and three spams per week. this result is a LOT better than nothing.

This, IMHO, is a very acceptable rate of spam.  I actually get very
little spam these days.  I am unsure how much is being filtered
upstream, but there's been a definite decrease in my reception of spam
lately.  Still, I do use some filters (probably RBL-based) after my
mail is pulled to my box from the server and I do occasionally find
some spam (as well as the occasional legitimate message) in my spam

> monitor your mail logs constantly and make sure that they are doing
> their job WITHOUT causing more trouble than they are worth

> it's a balancing act. i think i've got the balance just about right.

Aye, that it is.  Now that you've explained it, I can definitely
understand your rationale.  It sounds reasonable for the most part.

> ISP's acceptable use policies. their ISP can also limit the damage by
> either restricting the number of CC/BCC recipients per message to a
> reasonable number (say 20 or 50) or by running programs which monitor

I had not considered this aspect.  Encouraging the ISP to be
responsible for its clients' conduct (through the ability of the ISP
to monitor and control) is probably a good thing. ;)  Still, others in
this thread have raised the concern of unreliable ISP relays....

> i know most of the pros and cons of various techniques. my attitude
> to spam blocking would probably be regarded as loony and extreme by
> a few (e.g. spammers and sympathisers), reasonable and moderate by

Your attitude seems loony and extreme to people who are just beginning
to deal with these types of issues, too.  Now that I understand the
rationale, it seems quite a bit less so.  Indeed, I think you have put
up a good argument. 

> argument is far less broad than that. try "s/all/direct/" - i.e. dialup
> users have numerous options to avoid the DUL RBL, including relaying
> their mail through their ISP's mail server or using a uucp-over-tcp
> service.

Assuming for the sake of argument that said ISP mail server is
unreliable at best and there is no option for chosing a new ISP due to
financial constraints, the use of DULs does pose a problem for certain
people.  You mention uucp-over-tcp services, and this may very well be
a solution (something I'd need to do some checking into).  Perhaps
there's other reasonble alternatives as well.

I myself use a dialup to send mail.  I have not been using a mail
relay and thus far have had no problems sending mail because
of it, but I think I shall look into my ISPs mail relay at some
point (as well as uucp-over-tcp and other techniques).

Again, thank you for your time in providing such a helpful explanation
of the issue.  At the very least, you've given me some things to
think about. :-)

 Brian Cox (coxbrian@msu.edu)  |  Tonight you will pay the wages of sin; Don't
                               |             forget to leave a tip.

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