[UA-discuss] Blue Coat's Web's Shadiest Neighborhoods and implications on TLD acceptance

Jothan Frakes jothan at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 09:16:38 UTC 2015

David, I am really glad you are CTO, as I appreciate you weighing in on
this (and I am a sucker for a Star Wars reference).

Clearly, SPAM ("Sith Penetrate All Media" ;) ) is patient zero of UA
disruption.  Second only to evolutionary resistance, followed by snap

I share a similar experience with router-lords within NANOG meetings from
lunch discussions with people who are responsible for massive systems and
networks.  Anecdotally speaking, the abstract/overall sentiment on New TLDs
that I heard in the informal and more authentic settings (lunches, hallway
banter, etc.) was unfavorable.  Even from people whose employer were

Somehow, there is a belief that TLD makes for correlation with SPAM.
Actually it is more often TLD pricing, but researching prices of domains is
more cumbersome than the "kill everyone and let god sort them
out" approach.

Essentially, New TLDs are viewed as being a complexity introduced to their
jobs that exists only for marketing purposes, and it represents change that
increases their workload like any change in technology.  But in this case
there is also the "we are once again pushing brooms as cleanup behind the
parade marketing threw" angle as well.

I have heard similar annoyance expressed at various points over the past
few decades over the router-lords having to react to the increasing
bandwidth needs when WWW and then VOIP and Video became more and more
popular.  I am not comparing WWW invention to New TLDs, just making the
point on evolutionary resistance.

I respect the expressions of frustration from router-lords over
the challenges that are introduced, as well as the way it triggers the
battle for budget or reactive scenarios that plague day to day operations.
I myself have lived it.

The anecdotal stories about evolutionary resistance and response
scenarios typically carry an intensity, derived from tactical events that
create a fire to put out at unforeseen times.  If you take a long view,
rolling the calendar forward a few years to where the changes are more
mainstream though, the benefits of the changes start to manifest
themselves, and the sentiment changes.

When faced with a reactive event, the solution is often less elegant or
well thought out for their long term impact, but I respect how folks need
to get on with their day job and normal responsibilities (or get back to
sleep if paged in the middle of the night). And whatever band-aid gets put
in place at the point of reaction can have lasting consequences.

I recall a time (1991) when a 64k ISDN was adequate internet connection for
a company of 400 to use for their corporate WAN gateway, when it was
primarily used for email.  But SPAM was ever increasing, and consistently
choking the connection, and monitoring was paging the on call sysadmins at
all hours to remedy things.

The IT department budget for capacity and equipment solutions that would
have aided in mitigating the issue were constantly denied, so the admin and
I wrote a shell script that executed on the system our SMTP gateway
attached to, which would sweep through the sendmail queue directories and
purge out emails from any addresses that did not have com, net, or org at
the end of the FROM address.

Tick the box next to "solved" for IT, or so they thought until the CEO
could not receive email from a .EDU and complained, then the sysadmin
sighed and begrudgingly added it to the whitelist, and later a .co.uk (and
thus began the whack-a-mole static list), each time having to make these
annoying changes they would not have needed to make.

We ultimately got the budget and stopped the script from running.  It had
been particularly effective, but completely inelegant.  And yet necessary.

I reckon there are quite a lot of solutions like this still running on
systems throughout the Internet due to how effective they are.

I will say it again, clearly SPAM combat is patient zero of UA disruption.
Followed by evolutionary resistance and snap judgment.



Jothan Frakes
+1.206-355-0230 tel
+1.206-201-6881 fax
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