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Re: Spam in the lists out of control

Scripsit Neil McGovern <maulkin@halon.org.uk>

> however, the question is if we should make the list postable to only
> those who are subscribed, or those on a whitelist. As it stands at
> the moment, the list policy, whilst very admirable for it's open
> access mentality, is prone to spam.

However, nobody have proposed any solution that does not entail a
greater problem than the one it is supposed to fix.

Rejecting posts with a From address that is not also a subscriber
address is Not An Option:

 1) It will prevent me from posting to the lists unless I change my
    From address to the one that I use for receiving mail from that
    list, which

     a) will cause that address to be exposed in the public list
        archives, and I get quite enough spam on my public address,
        thank you,
     b) will therefore vastly *increase* the amount of spam that lands
        in my debian-foo mailbox, even though the amount that reaches
        it via lists.debian.org itself may drop to 0,
     c) will prevent me from crossposting, even to two lists I both
        subscribe to, even in circumstances is appropriate, and
     d) will make it impossible to people to reply to me privately.
        I want private replies in to go to *different* address than
        the one I receive list mail on.

    That would make me shut up and leave the project quickly. Well,
    Debian as a whole will probably not even notice losing whatever
    braincycles I could have contributed, but I assume that there are
    many others who, like me, like to separate list mail from private
    mail. If we're *all* forced away, the effect *will* be noticeable.

 2) It will, by definition, make it impossible to participate in a
    single discussion on a list without having *all* the unrelated
    discussions and flames on the list sent to one's personal mailbox.
    This possibility is valuable not only for the individual "from
    outside", but also for the list itself. There are many situations
    where it can be extremely useful to involve an upstream author in
    a single thread on a list, but where it would be discourtious to
    require upstream to be buried in the entire list traffic.

 3) Many Debian lists are not only discussion fora, but *contact
    points* for specific functions in the project. The ease with with
    people can contact these lists will be greatly reduced if we have
    to say

      If you want advice with DFSG-freedom of a license, please
      subscibe to debian-legal@l.d.o and post your question there.

    instead of just "post to d-l and ask for a summary after the

    Or how about:

      If you want to report a bug against any orphaned package, please
      first subscribe to debian-qa-packages and then post the bug to
      the BTS.

      If you want to request a rebuild on your package on a particular
      architecture, please first subscribe to debian-pdp11@l.d.o, and
      then ...

 4) It will be impossible to read list mail through a NNTP gateway
    shared with others and still post directly by email.

 5) The number of morons who manage to subscribe to a list only do be
    hit by severe amnesia and become unable to follow the clear and
    easy unsubscription instructions at the bottom of every list mail
    will increase dramatically, because more morons will be forced to
    subscribe in the first place. The number of "plaese unsucbirbe me"
    emails may become comparable with the number of spams a
    subscribers-only policy will keep at bay.

(Some, but not all, of these problems can be alleviated by having a
single whitelist that gave entry to *@l.d.o. However, many people
would probably still prefer to silently get outta here rather than
bother the listmasters with petitions to be put on the whitelist).

Henning Makholm                         "Al lykken er i ét ord: Overvægtig!"

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