Can the internet police itself
May 9, 2000 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Can the internet police itself given a little time and some smart people working on it? Or do we need some kind of law? The war on spam continues.

I personally find reporting spammers and getting them whacked by their ISP fun. I'm not much of an outdoorsy type, though.
posted by flestrin (8 comments total)
Oops. That link was supposed to be:
war on spam

Sorry. My first post. *shame*
posted by flestrin at 4:13 PM on May 9, 2000

Here's an elegant way to respond to spammers. I'm making a list of my own.
posted by wiremommy at 4:42 PM on May 9, 2000

Can the Internet police itself? What, then, would be the need for the Internet Police? (I noted this back in January on my weblog, to wit: "VIGILANTISM ON THE WEB: Beware the Internet Police. Although, considering the self-defeating grammar of their homepage, these keystone kops may be their own worst enemy. 'The Internet Police are looking for commercial partners to help us fight our cause.'")
posted by bradlands at 4:53 PM on May 9, 2000

I'm a sysadmin for several domains, as well as my own. I have a zero tolerance policy towards spam. And I mean ZERO tolerance. Living in Seattle is pretty nice, when I call the admin with the offending mailserver, the phrase "take all actions necessary and available to me in the state of Washington" can get results.
It's actually very easy to protect your mailexchangers from being used to inject spam. Both the site and the postfix sites have explicit instructions on how to protect the integrity of your servers.
There is no practical way to rely on someone else to police the internet. The fact of the matter is, your MX's are YOUR servers, and YOU are responsible for them and for the messages that pass through them. End of story. Do you want there to be governmental bodies telling you what sets of configuration options are available to you?Picture M$, Netscape, Sun and AOL all sitting around with the politicos carving up port 25, and telling you how to do your job. No thanks, I'll just stick to R'ingTF'nM and doing it right the first time.
posted by katchomko at 5:40 PM on May 9, 2000

I like wiremommy's idea, but that would take forever, no "professional" spammer would use their home ISP email.....

Here comes the celebrity endorsement pitch...

(Deep Voice) That's why I use.... Cyberkit!!!!

With just a touch, you can punch in the email's originating IP address, run a traceroute, and it will give you their ISP (as Hotmail, et al, uses your ISP's SMPT to send your mail).

Then send the offending email to and someone's in deeeeeeeeep doo-doo!

Just mention you saw this ad and you get it FREE!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 5:49 PM on May 9, 2000

Cyberkit looks suspiciously like Netlab 1.4, which is freeware and highly recommended.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:57 PM on May 9, 2000

By the way, Here's my algorithm for dealing with spam.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:58 PM on May 9, 2000

Another automated service is Spamcop. You can run it through for free, but if you buy membership (by the megabyte of throughput), it will send the report back to the ISP itself. I bought 25Mb last year and I've barely cracked it (24.7 left?), which might change if I start forwarding my old e-mail through their gateway.

You can also report websites referred, like Steven recommends.

There is little purpose in publishing spammers' addresses. Most of them are gone within days or weeks anyway.

If there is an 800#, you can call it -- preferably from work. That at least costs them some money back. But they do get your name and address if you do it from home.
posted by dhartung at 6:24 PM on May 9, 2000

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