TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam

Re: Getting Serious About the War on Spam

Dan Lanciani (
Tue, 19 Apr 2005 00:20:42 EDT (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

> There are various ways of "coping" effectively:

> You can use _different_ e-mail addresses for different functions
> (e.g., one for the newsgroup moderator 'submission' address,
> a different one for submission "acks", another one for
> outgoing Telecom-Digest mailings, and yet another one for
> "personal" communications.)
> You can then apply _different_ rules for each address. e.g.:
> You can whitelist everybody that is subscribed to Digest mailing-list.
> You can auto-accept any message that is a "reply" to a
> newsgroup posting.
> You can whitelist other "known" correspondents.
> You can auto-accept any message that has a certain "magic word" at the
beginning of the subject line.
> You can then, fairly safely, _reject_ messages that lack the
> 'magic word'
> in the subject line, *with* a notice telling the sender that the
> magic word (and what it is) is required for message acceptance.

> Doing these things 'right' requires some fairly close integration with the
> mail-server itself.

> BUT, when done right, can be _very_ effective.

> I've been running a custom-developed system (along the above lines)
> for roughly the last year.

Some months ago I described a similar system that I've been using for
considerably longer than one year. (My system is actually even more
similar to what you describe than one might infer from my original
description in that the magic word approach is exactly what I use for
the challenge/response component, though I'm prepared to extend this
if spammers ever bother to include the magic word.)

You pointed out (correctly) that spam often includes a forged but valid
from address whose owner might then receive my bounce notice explaining
how to bypass the filter. You went on to accuse me of spamming and
mail-bombing such innocent parties.

Since you also now advocate rejecting possible spam with a notice, can
you please explain exactly how you avoid the misdirected bounce
behavior that you find objectionable?

Dan Lanciani

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thank you very much! You said it
very well. PAT]

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