Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one

Feel like being infuriated? It seems that at least one ISP is aiding and abetting spammers if an internal e-mail is to be believed. The odds on it being a believable e-mail are somewhat enhanced by the fact that the original link has been farked, apparently at the request of the ISP in question. The scandal has made the computer press as well. The e-mail includes the following charming observations about terminating spammers:

Our potential strategies and outlook:
2. Fire the customers as Spews et al wishes.
a. While our AUP gives us some power to do this it could develop into breach of contract issues.
b. It is not clear that even a mass firing would satisfy Spews.
c. Revenue loss ranges from $250k MRR to $2 million MRR depending on judgments about where to draw the line.
(Unnamed ISP) hosts a number of customers in the email marketing business including customers such as Sheck Media, High Performance Broadcasting, Bluestreak, Subscriberbase, etc. The top 10 alone represent approximately $200k MRR. Overall the business brings in $250k to $2million MRR.
There exist a number of volunteer antispam operations (eg Spews, Spamhaus). Many of these organizations do not distinguish between legal email marketing operations and the many illegal spammers using stolen bandwidth, hacked servers to market questionable and/or illegal propositions. Their goal is to eliminate any form of advertising or 3rd class mail from the Internet. To the best of our ability to monitor, our customers in this business, email marketers or spammers depending on your viewpoint, operate entirely with the law (CanSPAM) and the relevant stronger FCC guidelines.

First, note that the guy who wrote this is a CISSP. Certification does not equal Subject Matter Expert, the above memo constituting proof QED. Just because the guy passed a test does not necessarily make him the paragon of ethics.

It's entirely true that most of the bottom-feeding spammers host their operations in countries such as China, Korea and Brazil, as I've pointed out in many previous posts analyzing my own inbox. As to whether those servers are hacked, I sincerely doubt it. The moral compass of the ISPs in those countries seems to be ask no questions and as long as the spammers willingly pay the freight the domains will continue to be hosted. Complaining to the likes of Hanaro, Hinet and Chinanet is an exercise in futility, where only the most egregious hosting violations will bring any sort of action. The question here is why this particular ISP, which happens to make an absolute boatload of money from the financial services sector (ask the market data providers whose networks they use for delivery) feels that two mil a month from the spammers is worth its reputation. They've already been blacklisted and blackholed, so damage has already been done. The interesting inference that one could make is that the writer apparently believes that UCE is either integral or beneficial to the Internet, something that any person who's actually administered an e-mail server or firewall would disagree with in no uncertain terms. I would imagine that his secretary is quite busy sanitizing his inbox from spam before he ever sees it.

A couple of amusing tidbits from the entertainment news for a coda to the commentary. First, Elton John called 'em as he see 'em -

During the Q Awards in London, John referred to Madonna's nomination for Best Live Act but saying "Madonna, best fucking live act? Fuck off. Since when has lip-synching been live"?

Needless to say, the publicist immediately insisted that Mrs. Ritchie does no such thing, but any cursory look at the (ahem) chanteuses who perform the intricate dance bits with the Captain Scarlet microphones can see that they're huffing and puffing, or counting steps. Good on ya, Reg.

Second bit finds that Bruce Springsteen gets a favorable mention on Al Jazeera of all places for his current political idiocy. Funny how there was no mention of the Zionist Imperialists amongst the E Streeters (Roy and Max, if you didn't know already).


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Technorati search