[svlug] Perplexed about spam

Dagmar d'Surreal dagmar at dsurreal.org
Thu Mar 22 13:06:01 PST 2001

On Wed, 21 Mar 2001, Todd Lyons wrote:

> This doesn't affect me directly, but a fellow LUGger who works at an
> ISP.  The following names are given to set the stage:
> ISP:          isp.com
> Site:         site.com
> Open Relay:   relay.com
> Asshole:      Jeff Aaron (jmaaron at wwonline.com)
> isp.com has in their AUP a clause forbidding using systems within their
> network for spam.  site.com used relay.com to send spam to (apparently)
> many people, one of whom is Jeff (go look at his site at
> http://jmaaron.wwonline.com/).  Jeff complained to isp.com and demanded
> they shut down site.com or (and I quote) "your company will go out of
> business because you'll never be able to get another internet connection
> due to your reputation as a spam friendly company."  WTF???  If that was
> the case, .kr would be unable to get a net connection <tongue_in_cheek>

His assertion is a little extreme, to say the least.  ...and Korea isn't
"spam-friendly", they are just technologically lagged and have a
disproportionate number of clueless administrators.
> Jeff should go complaining to relay.com, not to isp.com.  No spam flowed
> through isp.com.  The question is, is isp.com legally or morally
> obligated to cancel site.com's connectivity?  If this were an email
> account, yes, shut it down (as yahoo and hotmail do).  But this is a
> whole domain.  What are industry standard responses on this?  What are
> the legal precedents?  If not asking here, where would be the
> appropriate place TO ask?

The ISP providing connectivity to the spammer has two ways they can
approach this, and it's _all_ dependent upon their AUP with the
customer.  In the eyes of most administrators, abusing an open relay is
just as good as an intrusion, and as such is unacceptable behaviour on the
'net.  If their AUP disallows criminal activity they should also look into
that as a possible avenue for justifying disconnection.  While ISPs are
generally reluctant to disconnect dedicated line customers, if that
customer insists on continuing the activity after being issued a warning,
disconnection is inevitable.  It really boils down to what's in the AUP
more than anything else.

> What was the name of that anti-spam guy who got roasted when someone
> sent out spam saying it was him?

No idea, but it's not the only time spammers have tried to
character-assassinate someone to get revenge.

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