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Re: Legislative Relief - was Re: Motion for a new POST NSF AUP
From: Paul A Vixie <paul () vix com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 20:29:48 -0700

I don't think we really want any more laws that criminalize ill defined
acts.

Agreed.  Until the net community defines what is spam and other unacceptable
messaging, we have no foundation to build on.  Can anyone define concisely
what exactly is 'spam' ?  Or this this possible?

Well, below are the definitions they use in news.admin.net-abuse.announce.
Note that this topic could not possibly be less appropriate for any mailing
list in Known Space than on nanog, and so I have set Reply-To: accordingly.

As long as I have everyone's attention, though, I'd like to point out that
Interramp(PSI) has a uniformly horrid record in their response to complaints
about spam from their users.  Were it in my power to do so, I would cut off
their news feed and autocancel all leaking articles from any Interramp user
until the Interramp folks wake up, smell the coffee, and start behaving
responsibly.  Now, aren't you all glad I'm not in charge?

======== (from a random news.admin.net-abuse.announce article.)

Excessive Multi-Posting (EMP) means the same as the term "spam" usually
does, but is more accurate and self-explanatory.

The Breidbart Index (BI) is defined as the sum of the square roots of
how many newsgroups each article was posted to.  This is a measure of
Excessive Crossposting (ECP) also known as "Velveeta".

If you have questions about how not to spam, or where "it is written that
I shouldn't spam" or similar things, we suggest you consult the newsgroup
news.announce.newusers, or the rtfm.mit.edu FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions
archives), and read the following FAQs:

    - "What is Usenet", by Salzenburg, Spafford and Moraes.  (FAQ archive:
      usenet/what-is/part1)

    - "What is Usenet?  A second opinion.", by Vielmetti.  (FAQ archive
      name: usenet/what-is/part2)

    - "DRAFT FAQ: Advertising on Usenet: How To Do It, How Not To Do It"
      by Furr.  (FAQ archive name: usenet/advertising/part1)

    - "A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community", by Von Rospach,
      Spafford, et. al.  (FAQ archive name: usenet/primer/part1)

    - "Rules for posting to Usenet", by Horton, Spafford & Moraes.
      (FAQ archive name: usenet/posting-rules/part1)

    - "Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette", by Templeton
      et. al.  (FAQ archive name: usenet/emily-postnews/part1)

The heuristics for cancels are based _only_ on one or more of the following
measures:

        1) 20 or more separate copies of essentially the same article
           were posted (EMP), or
        2) 5 or more separate copies of essentially the same article
           were posted and the BI is > 30 (ECP), or
        3) is a continuation of a previous EMP/ECP, within a 45 day
           sliding window.  That is: if the articles posted within the
           past 45 days exceeds the thresholds in (1) or (2), it
           gets removed.  _Unless_ the originator has made a clear
           and obvious effort to cease spamming (which includes an
           apology and undertaking to do so in news.admin.net-abuse.misc).
           This includes "make money fast" schemes which passed the
           EMP/ECP thresholds several years ago.
        4) broken gateways regurgitating old articles with new messageids.

[Please note: threshold (1) has been reduced from 25, to the generally
held concensus of 20.]

The first three are generically called "spam".  The fourth is a "spew".

General consensus puts the spam cancel threshold strictly as a BI of 20.

These cancels have nothing whatsoever to do with the contents of the
message.  It doesn't matter if its an advertisement, it doesn't matter
if it's abusive, it doesn't matter whether it's on-topic in the groups
it was posted, it doesn't matter whether the posting is for a "good
cause" or not, if it breaks these thresholds and I detect it, it will be
cancelled.

Therefore, these cancellations are non-content based.  They're not
based on _what_ was said, they're based only on _how_ it was said, or
what software was broken.

======== end of included text


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