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Re: Spam in the lists out of control

On Wed, May 12, 2004 at 01:21:59PM +0100, Neil McGovern scribbled:
> > > I think what Bas is meaning here is hat you cannot rely on the From
> > > field to work out who sent you a message. If some spammer decides to use
> > > my e-mail address as the From: recepient (and they do), I have not sent
> > > you a mail, but would receive a response from yourself.
> > > 
> > challenge comes to you generated by somebody's mailer because it _thought_
> > it was you who sent it, you can simply discard the challenge message
> > automatically, causing no harm - since it is certain it wasn't you who sent
> > the challenged message. 
> The same reasoning can be used:
> If someone spams you, simply discard the message.
You miss one small issue - spam is generated to avoid catching it, the tmda
challenges are not created for that purpose. Again, the intent and purpose
are what matters, too. The world is not black and white.

> > Therefore the argument that the TMDA challenges may be annoying can be
> > dealt with using filtering. And the filters necessary to discard TMDA
> > challenges should be much simpler and much more reliable than those
> > which deal with spam. I hope it's clear what I meant now :)
> This is, however, putting the onus on the receiver, not the sender, and
> is equivilent to me sending you 3000 Vi*gra messages, and expecting you
> to filter them.
Really? So there is not a single difference between spam and tmda
challenges? So your claim is that every message you do not want to receive
is spam, as I understand. Well, then I would consider 70% of mails on the
debian lists spam, since I don't care about various flames that go on on the
lists, or "problems" with binary software licenses and other equally
irrelevant issues. And the fact that I subscribed to the debian lists does
not mean I _want_ to receive the messages listed above, just the same as the
fact I have an email address doesn't mean I want to get spam. Both having
the email address and being subscribed to a mailing list is voluntary, and
neither means anybody's consent to receive unsolicited mail. So if we take
your definition of spam (as seems to be apparent from your assesment that
tmda challenges equal v*agra spam) then most of the mail traffic IS spam.
So, is the world still black and white? 
You say that I put the onus on the receiver. You're right to some extent.
But, call me naive, I believe in people (sometimes) helping each other when
the intent is clear and not harmful for anybody. By that token, I would
expect that you (or anyone else) who feels offended by the tmda challenges
comes up and says "hey, dude, are the challenges necessary? Is there
anything you can do so that I don't receive them?". Then the party
generating the challenge would come back saying "sure, here is a set of
procmail/maildrop/spamassassin/whatever filters that will make them
disappear from your mailbox. Thanks". Instead, what we get is "Hey dude! Get
the fuck lost with your spam! I don't care about your problems, get away,
I've got my problems you prick! You're a spamming asshole, loser!" or
something in that spirit. Now, that's a true cooperation spirit.
I can imagine cooperating with the Debian tmda maintainer to provide the
procmail, maildrop, spamassassin filters to deal with the tmda challenges,
so that they are shipped with debian and people are educated about the need
for them and how to use them. Just a little bit of good will instead of
coming up and ranting, is that so hard?



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