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Re: [Off-topic] What happened to ORBS?

Nathan E Norman <finn@midco.net> writes:

> Anybody know what happened to orbs.dorkslayers.com?  I'd email them, but
> there are no address records for the domain - just ns and glue records.

I got this on third hand:

  Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 11:12:38 -0800
  From: Alan Hodgson <ahodgson@electric.net>
  Reply-To: Alan Hodgson <im@witzend.nu>
  Cc: spamtools@abuse.net
  Subject: BLOCK: ORBS is going away

  It is with sincere regret that I am forced to announce the demise of
  the dorkslayers.com Open Relay Blocking System (ORBS).

  My upstream provider, BC Tel (the local phone company), has decided
  that the mechanism ORBS uses to test open relays (ie. one or a few
  small relay tests) constitutes, without prior agreement from the
  the site to be tested, Network Abuse.  As such, ORBS is now
  unwelcome anywhere on BC Tel's backbone.  You may write abuse@bctel.net
  to comment on this position, if you'd like.  Obviously ORBS cannot
  function if I have to receive approval from each site prior to
  testing them.  At least, that's what BC Tel claims their demand
  for killing ORBS is based on (personally, I think they just don't
  like having to answer the odd abuse complaint; they can't actually
  be that ignorant).

  Unfortunately, through predatory pricing and other phone-companyish
  techniques, BC Tel provides the sole connectivity to 80-90% of the
  ISP's here in Vancouver.  This includes _all_ the local ISP's who
  I have contacts with and who would be willing to host ORBS, as well
  as my employer, who has asked me to remove ORBS from their network
  due to BC Tel's demands (and some legal concerns due to our
  relationship).  As such, without actually paying for a co-locate
  or bandwidth contact, ORBS is now not able to live in Vancouver.
  I am not prepared to make that financial commitment to ORBS.

  I have known that my employer wishes ORBS gone for some time.  I had
  co-located a server with another ISP and was moving the final
  pieces of ORBS to them this weekend when I found out the extent of
  BC Tel's objection to ORBS.  As I did not wish to get the new
  ISP into a fight with BC Tel over a non-paying customer, I cancelled
  the move (most of their employees are ex-coworkers from a previous
  job).  A site I had previously arranged a home with does not
  receive connectivity from BC Tel, but the guy I knew there
  left at an inopportune moment.  He and I actually jointly built
  the server that is now installed at the latest ISP who, unfortunately,
  does receive connectivity from BC Tel.  It's been a stressful
  6 weeks, put it that way.

  Anyway, unless BC Tel changes their mind in the near future, or an
  ISP in Vancouver who does not receive connectivity from BC Tel offers
  to provide ORBS with a free home, ORBS is dead.  The web site will
  disappear today.  The DNS zone will be emptied today and the
  zone will completely disappear in the near future.  I strongly
  recommend that you disable ORBS in your MTA and local configurations
  as soon as possible to avoid any potential problems.  Those of you
  who provide official slave sites for ORBS, please don't disable the
  zone for at least 2 weeks.  I'll try to get in touch with you
  before then to arrange disposition of the zone.

  If anyone wishes to take over ORBS I will happily provide them with
  the database, web site, domain names (I recently registered ORBS.ORG
  and was in the process of migrating to it), scripts and technical help to
  get it all installed and running.  I will also be available for on-going
  help if desired (this might be good - getting rid of day-to-day
  maintenance would give me a chance to focus on improvements to the
  testing mechanism and stuff I've been meaning to do).  Please contact
  me privately if interested.  You will need at least a pentium-class system
  running UNIX of some sort (everything is written in Perl except one
  C script that has been tested on both Linux and NetBSD), Apache, BIND 8.1.x,
  a database with a DBI module, 20-30MB of free RAM, and probably 25% of a T1
  connection to adequately host the site and serve zone transfers.

  If no one steps forward, however, ORBS will be gone forever.

  It's been fun, folks.  Thanks once again to everyone who has written
  over the last 6 months with words of advice and support.  You've
  made the abusive and clueless messages from blocked relay sites
  more bearable.

  Thanks also to everyone who has supported ORBS, through providing
  slave name servers, including support for ORBS in their products,
  etc.  I understand that the latest Sendmail distribution even has
  ORBS support.  I very sincerely apologize to all of you who will
  thus be impacted by the dissolution of ORBS.  At least we got
  a few relays closed down and raised awareness of the problem
  to a new level.

  Please, if you know any sites that are using ORBS who may not receive
  this notice through the standard channels, can you let them know of
  of this announcement ASAP.  I would like to minimize the problems
  associated with this change as much as possible.  I already feel
  about as bad as I can stand - finding out this change caused undue
  mail disruptions to anyone (other than the obvious increase in
  incoming spam) would be very bad news indeed.

  A few statistics from the 6 months of ORBS operation:

  Open relays currently listed by ORBS: 48636  (this appears to have levelled
    off about a month ago, it's been fluctating between 47,000 and 50,000
    ever since)
  Relays reported as closed and tested as closed after being added
    to ORBS: ~15,000 (no idea how many fixed their relays because of
    ORBS, but it's still pretty impressive)
  Largest providers still operating known open relays: Netcom, MSN, GTE
  Average claim of amount of spam blocked by ORBS on sites using it: 55-60%



I know that at least one has offered to take over.

Peter er den mindst gamle af de gammeldags usenettere, og moderator på
den eneste modererede gruppe i dk.*, so there.
                                                    - citat RockBear

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