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Re: AOL's spam policy

On Fri, Apr 03, 1998 at 02:16:58PM +0100, Jules Bean wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Ossama Othman wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I forwarded abuse@aol.com some of the spam the list has been getting.  I
> > thought that posting what AOL has to say about spam might be interesting.
> > They also mention spam from Compuserve since AOL recently acquired
> > Compuserve.  The following is an excerpt from an automated response from
> > postmaster@aol.com:
> [policy chopped - go read original]
> Yes.  I have read that.

Did you really?
> I have forwarded, with full headers, every spam I've seen on this list in
> the last week to abuse@aol.net.  I have just received a cordial reply from
> one of AOL's overworked postmasters saying that they appreciate the report
> and have taken 'appropriate action'.
> This is the best response, IMHO.  Forward every spam you get to
> abuse@aol.net.  Always include full headers.  If AOL receive several
> reports of the same user, they *will* cancel his account.  It quickly
> becomes quite hard work for the spammers to operate.

You didn't read the policy of AOL --- they will close the account if *one*
spam occures to them. There is no need for every Debian user to mail the
same spam to them, please leave it to the Debian Team to take appropriate
action. The mail you receive from the list mailer is useless for AOL, as
they can't verify the origin of the spam, because the list mailer places a new
header on the mail. And even if you would have the full header, you could
easily verify that most spam mails aren't really from AOL, but from
elsewhere. It is easy to forge a header so that it pretends to come from
somewhere else.

You beat the wrong people in these cases.

The only people who can take action are the people that have access to the
debian list system, as they can verify the header on the original mail.
You can notice them at abuse@debian.org (hope this is right. Get this from
the top of my head).

> And any genuine AOL debian enthusiasts are welcome to lurk here until they
> get the new hard-disk they're waiting for to dump Win95 ;)

Those statements aren't really helping. They have the same rights as you and

Don't believe everything you see. Many people have been victims of spammers,
that forged millions of headers pretending that the spam comes from one
people they want to hurt. It is no fun.


"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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