TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Ethics of Deterrence

Re: Ethics of Deterrence

Steve Sobol (
Thu, 21 Jul 2005 23:30:15 -0700

Eren Reshef wrote:

> Some bloggers have recently claimed our fight is morally flawed.

I'll go further and tell you you're a criminal.

It's trivially easy for someone to put an URL of a website I own into
a spam.

And if you attack my website in response, and I had nothing to do with
the original spam, you will have law enforcement knocking on your

You're in California, I'm in California, should be as easy as a phone

Did you mention something about the US Constitution? God, I *hate*
when ignorant people claim that the Constitution gives them rights
with no restriction -- you are welcome to certain rights as long you
don't infringe on others' rights in the process of exercising
yours. People who whine about their First Amendment rights being
impugned often forget that.

Steve Sobol, Professional Geek 888-480-4638 PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
Company website:
Personal blog, resume, portfolio:
E: Snail: 22674 Motnocab Road, Apple Valley, CA 92307

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well Steve, you are forgetting a couple
of important factors: although yes, it is 'trivially easy' to put
someone else's URL (for a web page) into spam a third party wants to
send out, if you have a web page, your web page would have to have
one or more 'forms' on it for people to use to fill in their credit
card numbers in order for other folks to come along and deface your
web site, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it be quite a coincidence if you,
the innocent web site owner happened to have forms all over your
web page which related to the product or service being spammed by
some other person, _and_ through some 'human error' your web site
got chosen? I really have to wonder if you read any of the FAQ on
how the system works ... let's say for example, I
am offended by a piece of spam I recieve; I forward it to BlueSecurity;
someone there who has a modicum of intelligence (about as much
intelligence as the people who write up filtering software) looks at
it, quickly finds mid the HTML crap on the source page an IP address
which _appears to be_ the offender. He (the investigator) goes to
the URL; is it in fact the product or service being spammed? If not,
then he junks it. If it is the product being spammed, and it has
'forms' around the page for things like credit card numbers, comments
or names/addresses, etc then it gets put somewhere. Now the investi-
gtor finds a thousand more pieces from the same spammer, referring
to the same URL, then acts on it. It is not a willy-nilly process
where 'you' sent me spam so I 'crash your system'. They only release
the 'do not spam me further' notices (which simply goes to that URL
and fills in the aforementioned, already located 'forms') once they
have discovered the _actual offender_, not some innocent bystander.

They got a lot of money from somewhere to put investigators to work
tracking down _good_ URLs of spammers. Admittedly they cannot get
anywhere with much of the crap which comes to them, but they do find
some of them. And it is _not_ DDOS since the spammer is first given
ample warning, and assistance as needed in cleaning his list.

Oh, I know ICANN would not approve of it, nor would many of the old-
time netizens who prefer being in denial about spam/scam, etc. ICANN
tolerates it since it does the dirty work they don't have to do;
driving small web site owners and netizens off of 'their' network,
then when anyone like Blue Security gets a sum of money for their
'start up costs' and proceeds to catch and punish eve a few of the
spammers, the ICANN-favored users start chanting against it, with all
sorts of warnings: it won't work; even it does a little it is a stupid
thing; those spammers may claim _their_ First Amendment rights and
get _you_ in trouble, yada yada yada ad nauseum ...

Oh, and by the way, if 'suddenly stops
working' sometime soon, well ... its just ICANN doing their thing,
trying to silence anyone who tells you how naked they and their merry
band of choristers are. Anytime you cannot get through on, remember that is still
a good address and points to the very same place. PAT]

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