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RE: Stealth Blocking
From: "Vivien M." <vivienm () dyndns org>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 17:05:26 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-nanog () merit edu [mailto:owner-nanog () merit edu]On Behalf Of
Robert Sharp
Sent: May 23, 2001 2:36 PM
To: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Cc: nanog () merit edu
Subject: Re: Stealth Blocking

OK Let me start again.  Lets go over some assumptions I made the
first time that
obviously need to be restated.

Like a large majority of all assumptions, they are based on little but your
own personal opinion of this issue...

1)  MAPS is a single self appoint law enforcement agency on the
INTERNET.  Don't argue
until you hear me out.

Fine, since I'm a nice guy and want to give you a chance, I'll leave my
replies to further down below.

a) MAPS creates the LAW, ie. no open relay

No. MAPS provides a listing of people with open relays (or dialup IPs, or
whatever, depending on what MAPS list you use). A phone book provides a
listing of restaurants providing Italian food; how is that different?

b) MAPS enforces the law and if you don't let them scan your
machine you are
automatically assumed guilty.  Last I checked you needed a
warrent and some proof to do
that, one easily forgable email header is not proof, in any universe.

So, as someone else pointed out, you mind MAPS scanning your machine, but
you don't mind spammers relaying through it? I'm afraid that your value
system's logic is not apparent to me; perhaps you'll care to enlighten us?

c)MAPS sentences you.  You are placed on this LIST rather or not
you are actually
generating spam.  This is a case of the ends justifiys the means.

MAPS sentences you to WHAT????? MAPS is a LISTING.

It just so coincidentally happens that several thousands (or hundreds of
thousands) of your fellow network/system administrators don't want mail from
open relays.

So, MAPS makes a list of open relays and says to those people "here folks,
we'll give you a list of those open relays you don't WANT, so you don't need
to go and find them and block them yourself, which will take you forever". A
large amount of these people agree that MAPS' offering is useful to them.

The people sentencing you, to use your analogy, are the network
administrators using MAPS (or ORBS, or vi /etc/mail/access, or whatever) to
block you. Your crime? You run an open relay. If these people don't want
open relays talking to their mail servers, then I don't see who the hell you
are to tell them that they HAVE to accept mail from you. They don't. Each
network admins' servers are his/her own, and if he/she doesn't want his/her
servers to talk to yours, then too bad for you.

I might add that whether your open relay is abused or not isn't the
question; an open relay is almost like a loaded weapon being pointed at
someone else's servers. It will be abused someday, and being proactive means
blocking it _before_ the next wannabe spam king sends a few dozen gigs of
spam through you. If you get blocked _after_ the gigs of spam have been
sent, then there's still a lot of damage to be cleaned up.

on deaf  MAP'S ears. I
don't like the IDEA of one person controlling the show.  I would

What show? MAPS provides a listing. Obviously, whoever USES MAPS' listing
trusts MAPS' judgment, just like whoever buys a $WHATEVER based on
$INDUSTRY_PUBLICATION's opinion of it obviously trusts
last time I checked. (If that's their new policy, then I guess I'm in

And if you use the MAPS list by your choice you are most
definetly filtering out email
or traffic for people who are legitimate.  I know I have been
filtered before.  MAPS is
using a very large hammer to kill a not so large bug.

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that spam sent through open
relays are a "not so large bug"?

In conclusion.  I HATE spam like everyone else.  I am just
opposed to the solution that
seems to keep gaining acceptance.  And I have been asked by many
other people on and
off list to spot expressing my obviously un informed views.  We
let me say that asking,
rather demanding, I stop questioning this is dead wrong and if
people didn't question
ideas we would still thing the earth was flat and we were the
center of the universe.

Well, OK, so you don't like the method MAPS has chosen, but now claim to
hate spam. At least _they_ are doing something to fight the problem; if you
don't agree with their method, then why don't you implement your own? I'm
sure lots of people would love a better solution than MAPS, because, as you
pointed out (and I agree with you that MAPS can lead to legitimate mail
being blocked due to the cluelessness or wilful blindness of various
admins), MAPS' way isn't perfect. But, for now, there isn't much else out


Vivien M.
vivienm () dyndns org
Assistant System Administrator
Dynamic DNS Network Services

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