TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Spam Fighting Technique Fought by Some Netizens

Re: Spam Fighting Technique Fought by Some Netizens
22 Jul 2005 22:00:34 GMT

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> While generating an auto-ack for submissions seems like a nice
> gesture, in the case of spam all it does is aggravate the
> situation. It might be more effective to do something like comp.risks
> does now -- ask submitters to tag submissions with a unique identifier
> in the subject line. Or create a unique email address that's
> recognizable but not harvestable (maybe by adding a tag line to
> postings with instructions on how to construct the submission
> address).

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: First of all, if I were interested in
> 'doing like comp.risks does' that's one thing, however although I do
> have many regular correspondents here, there are also many newer and
> inexperienced netizens who write me to _ask questions_ about how
> _telephones work_, etc. I cannot have a system where if someone wishes
> to write me, he has to include 'keyword' in the subject line. I do not
> have a closed-loop of my friends or enemies as my only writers. Far too
> much good letters would get trashed that way. And with twenty some
> years of postings in our own archives here and many other places, it
> would take a long time to teach people how to construct the submission
> address.

Unfortunately, you are in a somewhat unique position. I have
implemented pretty effective blocking here, but basically by
blacklisting most of the Internet :-) For instance, I blacklist every
email whose sending hostname or return address uses any of the Country
Code Top Level Domains (i.e., .uk, .fi, .kr, etc), something you
obviously can't do.

But it's no less legitimate to ask someone to include a keyword on
their subject line than to ask them to respond to a challenge
email. And as for dealing with an address from an archive, you could
set up an auto-responder for that address which would provide the
necessary instructions. It doesn't solve the negative side-effects of
an auto-responder, but it might help with your spam problem.

I agree you have some unique circumstances that don't have easy
solutions. Mostly I was just trying to point out that it's not the
spammers who see the auto-response to spam, but some previously
uninvolved third party. So it's really pointless to use the
auto-responder with regard to spam.

The Internet has indeed become a dirty place. :-/

John Meissen

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: One reason I do not wish to block off
email from any two-letter country domain is because I do get mail from
.ru(ssia), .uk (United Kingdom), .de (Germany), etc. What should I do,
tell them I cannot be of help or respond to them unless they move into
the United States? I have readers in those countries as well. I think
it is sort of a slap in the face of _those_ people to imply they are
not good enough to participate in the same internet as myself. If
anything, I should block off all email from (anything).com since .com
is responsible for so much spam/scam is it not? And I have various
domains of my own in the '' and '' country codes. Now
admittedly, all they do at the present time is re-direct all calls to
wherever else you _really are at_. One thing I like about those domain
names, along with '' (another one I use) is that the people who
run those top level domains ('tc' and 'tf') charge nothing for
registration, allow remote registrations, _and_ if you ask them to do
so, they will 'cloak' the actual place where you are at, by using
frames with your real location buried inside the frame and the bar
across the top gives _their_ name for you. For an example, look at which redirects to my page at berkeley.

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