Answers to questions, spam problems

Dave Skinner dave at
Tue May 27 16:41:34 UTC 1997

> > Dave Skinner writes:
> > > I agree that the spammers should be stopped, and if that takes
> > > monitoring postings before they are actually posted, then so be it.
> >
> Chris Carrier writes:
> > The only posts that would be monitored/moderated would be those from
> > non-tz subscribers; not an undue burden.
Dik Winters writes:
> I do not believe that.  Currently spammers are using throw-away accounts,
> shortly they will be using throw-away subscribtions.

Not to dwell on this subject for too long, but I tend to agree with Chris
Carrier on this one, and I'm the one at the top of this sequence of quotes.

I grew up where burglaries were rare, but did occur.  So, we locked our
doors when we left the house.  By comparison, we had friends in rural Ohio
who never locked their doors when they left the house; there was no need.
Now, I live in one of the maze of cities and towns that make up the greater
Los Angeles area, and there are many areas, that fortunately do not include
the one in which I live, but which are nearby, that not only feel they need
to lock their doors, but also the need to put bars on their own windows,
which can really get in the way of the fire department should there be
a fire.

The point of this analogy is that letting subscriber articles through
unmonitored is working for now as witnessed by

Chris Carrier writes:
> So the list moderator decided to require that all posts sent from non-
> subscribers be cleared through him.  Posts from subscribers are still
> automatically posted.  No spam has appeared on the list since this
> policy was adopted five months ago.

I would say we have been, up till now, operating like my friends in Ohio.
At the point where we feel the spam has gotton bad enough, and I am not
sure we are at that point yet, but if and when we get to that point, then
we should do the equivalent of locking our doors, i.e. we probably should
have non-subscriber articles be monitored.  If that gets the job done, then
we should leave our anti-spam security measures at that level.  At a later
time if the spammers start using "throw-away subscriptions" as Dik Winters
fears, and if the spam again becomes a significant problem, then we should
regretfully do the equivalent of adding the bars to our own windows as well.
We can always take this more draconian precaution, but I really hate giving
up freedoms, and adding work to the maintainers of this list, unless it
really becomes necessary.  We should not make the cure worse than the
disease.  Although I am switching analogies as I state the following,
I really do not think we should have representatives of the post office,
so to speak, censoring our mail simply to avoid that portion which is
junk mail.

Dave Skinner

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