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Mott Says No Smut 2 June 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

2Day.com "Chief Enthusiast" Peter Mott say's he's having nothing to do with the new list of offensive words that can now be registered as domain names under the .nz namespace.

Mott says he's always had a policy against his service being used for the hosting or DNS associated with anything which might be considered "offensive."

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While many have come out in support of Mott's stance, others have crticised him for playing censor -- but of course if people don't like 2day.com's policies they're always free to go elsewhere eh?

And... wouldn't you know it... ISOCNZ have proven yet again that they have no idea of how to manage the events over which they preside. It seems that the change of policy in respect to these new naughty domain names was announced to the media before any ISPs, registrars or hosting companies were advised.

The first most of them knew about it was when they read the industry rags the next morning -- appalling!

Mailing List Sites Spammers Friends?
If you send spam through your local ISP then, unless that ISP is i4free, you're probably going to lose your account.

Now spammers know this so some of the smarter ones appear to be relying on the sluggishness of a few of the many free mailing list sites to deliver their wares.

Both eGroups and Microsoft's ListBot services appear to being abused in this way.

The strategy is very simple -- they create a new (free) mailing list and then upload a list of addresses to be spammed. The message (often a series of ads disguised as a bogus list which also contains claims that you have subscribed in the past) is then sent out to all those on the list.

What's worse, because these lists are opt-out and appear to be run by organisations with strong anti-spam policies, many people are going to click on the "unsubscribe" link. At the end of the day the spammer can then download the list of names that remain after the opt-outs have removed themselves -- and the difference between the original and the new list becomes a "premium list" of addresses that are not only valid but also regularly read.

When I complained to ListBot about being the recipient of such a spam-run it took over a week for the matter to be resolved -- plenty of time for the spammer to hit-and-run.

One particular eGroups list has sent me three lots of UCE now and I've complained to egroups on each occasion -- without any response. Finally I've had to complain to their upstream provider including copies of all my previous complaints. At least their upstream provided the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

I've suggested to both eGroups and ListBot that they only allow users to create opt-in lists and not opt-out. Unfortunately neither seems interested in changing their systems so that spammers can't use them to spread their garbage far and wide while simultaneously cleaning up their dirty lists.

It appears that these sites have decided, just like i4free, that money is more important than good Net ethics these days -- and that's a shame because I run a list on eGroups and subscribe to another. However, that is about to change!

They'll Be Baaack!
Quite a few readers have asked whether the archives will be back on line and whether I'll be restoring the "previous edition" link.

Fear not -- it will be done shortly.

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