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Re: Stealth Blocking
From: "Christopher A. Woodfield" <rekoil () semihuman com>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 15:43:36 -0400

Let me add that to this that it is trivial for a MAPS subscriber to 
"whitelist" any site, overriding any affects of a listing in the RBL, DUL 
or RSS, via ALLOW statements in a mail server or deny statements on an 
inbound distribute list in the case of a BGP RBL subscriber. Any provider 
that wanted to receive email from/route traffic to an IP listed on the 
MAPS lists can easily do so without necessarily unsubsribing from the 

I'm saying this to hopefully drive home the argument that MAPS does not 
blackhole ANYONE, its subscribers do. And those subscribers have the 
option at any time of overriding a MAPS listing within their own network.


On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 01:45:19PM -0400, Jeremiah Kristal wrote:

I would suggest that folks read how MAPS RBL works before they spew innuendo
and half-truths.  MAPS may not be perfect, but it certainly isn't 'a single
person/organization' with this power.  MAPS only acts on third-party
nominations, has an exceedingly drawn-out confirmation process, and only
publishes a BGP feed that *providers* must configure their routers to
accept.  MAPS RBL does nothing beyond publish a list of known, confirmed,
unrepentant spam sites in the format of a BGP4 advertisement.  Private
networks can and will block what they want, MAPS just publishes a list of
sites that they block from their network.  I (and every other network
operator) can and will block whatever I want, unless my contract with my
customers prevents it.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-nanog () merit edu [mailto:owner-nanog () merit edu]On Behalf Of
Robert Sharp
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 12:57 PM
To: Mitch Halmu
Cc: John Payne; nanog () merit edu
Subject: Re: Stealth Blocking

I like how MAPS is allowed to black hole your machines and their traffic.
But if
you deny them access to your network resource as they are you are
assumed a spammer.  Wait you don't believe the same things we do, well you
be the enemy.

I think we can all agree spam isn't a good thing, but where we drawn the
line is
something we can't agree on.  When you start black holing traffic to hosts
making that choice for other people.  MAPS does this with their blacking of
traffic.  This type of power in the hands of a single person/organization is
wrong.  I would propose a system whereas there are multiple representatives
many viewpoints to make VERY SERIOUS decisions like this.  I don't care how
disclaimers you have in your contracts, it's not the right way to deal with


Rob Sharp

Mitch Halmu wrote:

On Wed, 23 May 2001, John Payne wrote:

Umm... yes.  You run an open, abused mail relay, got listed in RSS and
whine about it rather than fix it.

I have posted two URLs, one was to a slashdot article describing a stealth
assault on Macromedia. So as to clarify the provenance of the URL
previously given by others in full context. Don't see your comments
there. Why? Perhaps the ACLU and those other do-good  organizations
command more respect than an ISP? But they're talking about the same

The latter was to explain our position. Let's make several things clear.
First, what is the difference between an open relay and a free email
account somewhere? None, absolutely none. You could subscribe as Michael
Mouse today, and the emperor of China tomorrow. Yet such service, with no
credit card or implant chip to validate your true identity, giving away
free resources to the world, is perfectly legit in your judgement.

NetSide maintains its own access control list. If a particular ip or ip
range didn't abuse our servers, we feel no need to lock them out. And
certainly not because you say so. Not to mention that all instances of
abuse can be traced from logs to someone's ip, and there is a venue of
complaint with the abuser's provider. We have a valid reason for doing
so: locking our servers would prevent our customers from roaming, and we
would also lose a good part of our non-local client base, some of them
subscribed since 1995, who couldn't make full use of their accounts

Second, open relays were the norm until Paul Vixie decided you should do
otherwise. And in many cases, he convinced thy by brute force that his
way is the right way is the only way. But it wasn't the legal way. Most
providers bent over and silently took the punishment. We won't. Do I seem
to whine here?

Third, the new 'rule' MAPS just came up with now is that you must keep
server open to their 'testing', or they'll blackhole you. See for
That is the reason given for blocking us the second time around. No new
'evidence', just open wide for inspection and say ahhh...

Could you be more clueless?

That's just about what I was going to ask you. This is not about the
merits of some technological implementation over another. It is about
basic rights and freedoms shamelessly trampled upon by those that can
thump their chests the loudest and have Daddy Warbucks bankroll their
operation. Say you fall out of grace with the 'in' crowd tomorrow, could
it be your turn?

If you want to whine some more, news.admin.net-abuse.email is over
there ->
and spam-l is that way <-

And you, John Payne, are here. And clearly on the side of the network
operator that's deliberately destroying the connectivity of other
This problem won't just go away, as much as you want it swept under the


Christopher A. Woodfield                rekoil () semihuman com

PGP Public Key: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xB887618B

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