[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: re previous communication

Hash: SHA1

On Thu, 21 Dec 2000, rick wrote:

> Mr goldberg
> I have told you we will look into the issue.

I appreciate and understand that.

> i have stated that i have asked the client to cease his actions
> [...]

As long as you have stopped spamming from your network, you need not fear
a MAPS listing.  They don't list "ex-spammers" or "ex-spam-friendly-ISPs",
but only current ones.  I do sincerely thank you for stopping your
customer from spamming.

> [...] till such time as to when we can determin under law if his
> actions are illegal or otherwise.

There are cases where spamming is clearly illegal, but the spam from
emailsvr.net was not, in my inexpert opinion, clearly in the illegal
catagory.  The clearly illegal spam:

   (1) Uses an unwilling third party relay to carry the load of sending
       the spam.

   (2) Forges envelope and header addresses so that complaints and bounces
       get sent to some innocent third party, and damages that third
       party's reputation.

In contrast that spam that was sent by emailsvr.net was not forged and was
direct to MX.  That is, of all types of spam, it was the least worst.

However, it still may be illegal.  Spamming is generally considered "theft
of services" because the recipients are actually paying for the spammers
advertising.  While the marginal cost to each recipient is extremely
small, it does add up.  And it would be cripple email if spam were
entirely unfought.  I do suggest that you follow links from the first
"educational" message I sent you.  Following links from there will lead
you to legal arguments on both sides of the issue (although mostly related
to US law).

> I had hoped that you could find the courage to converse with me
> directly [...]

I will telephone you only if you grant me permission to make an audio
recording the conversation.  Please also let me know how late I can call
you, as we do have an eight hour time difference.

> [...] so as i could with clarity explain why we act to the letter of
> the law and not just on some personal ethic,

That would be interesting, particulary with the case of spamming.  But I
would prefer it in writing.

> you continue to squander this oppertunity however, but let me restate,
> i personally find spamming a annoyance, but unless it is illegal i
> will not undertake actions which could threaten a clients livelyhood,
> or could be construed under the law to be acting as outside it thereby
> threatening this companies respect under the law.

That statement makes you a spam-friendly ISP.

> [we do not monitor clients mail as this is highly illegal in this
> country],

I wish that that were true.  But unfortunately under the provisions of the
RIP, however, you must have the capacity to silently monitor your
customers' email, web browsing, chat, etc.  But of course only at the
request of law enforcement agencies.

Preventing spam from your network is most certainly NOT illegal.  Every
other ISP does it, and I believe that there are cases were spammers have
unsucessfully challenged the ISPs' actions against them.  So there are so
far two legal questions (but there are more to come)

 (1) Is direct to MX, unforged spamming legal?

     I don't know.

 (2) Is it legal for an ISP to take action against spammers?


> I have offered you the oppertunity to apllogies for the slanderous
> accusation that this company has been carrying out mass spamming

Please quote that accusation.  My first message to you said,

 I've noticed from your TERMS that you do not clearly forbid spam
 from your customers.  If this turns out to be the case I am sure that you
 will find yourself nominated MAPS RBL inclusion.

And it quoted spam from one of your customers.  All I have accused you of
is permitting spam from your customers.  You have stated in your current
message and in previous messages that you did permitt spam from your
customers.  And you have stated that if you consder it legal to permit
spam from your customers, you will continue to do so.  So I have accussed
you of nothing more that you have repeatedly stated your self.

So next legal question:

 (3) Is it slandorous (or libelous if this were published) even under
     the restrictive libel laws of the UK for me to state (or publish)
     statements about your company's activities and policies which
     you yourself have stated?

> and as a courtesy to you have undertaken to investigate this issue
> more thourghly.

Thank you.  I suspect that this was not "as a courtesy" from me, but
instead at the insistence of newnet.co.uk, but whatever the reason, I do
thank you.

> i have offered you the oppertunity to talk directly
> to me in a effort to ease communications.

You have been insulting me and threatening me with legal action.  While
you have absolutely zero case against me, given the situation I prefer to
keep things to email.

Also keep in mind that if you resume your spam friendly activity (as you
might after your legal review) it doesn't matter what I personally think.
You would end up being nominated for MAPS listing.  Anyone can put forward
a MAPS nomination.  I am in no privileged position.  Once a nomination is
in, MAPS would investigate.  You would then have the chance to make your
case to MAPS investigators.  If they determine that you are and intend to
remain an ISP that allows spam from its customers, they will add your IP
addresses to their list.  By your own admission would allow spam from your
customers.  So you can't really dispute MAPS adding your IP addresses to
their list of similar IP addresses.  Then there are the tens of thousands
of users of the MAPS list.  MAPS makes their list available, but MAPS
itself doesn't block any email.  (Again, please follow the URLs in my
"educational" posting).  Instead tens of thousands of mail servers around
the world choose of their own accord to refuse connections from IP
addresses on the MAPS list.  You would then have to persuade demon,
freeserve, and just about everyone else to either not use the MAPS list or
to specifically allow mail from you.

The point of that explaination (among other things) is that I, Jeffrey
Goldberg, do not matter in your fate.  newnet.co.uk is pressuring you not
because I am asking them to, but because they don't want to host a
spam-friendly ISP.  If I get hit by a bus today, it won't change anything
for you.  If you persuade me that it is ok for you to allow spam from your
customers, that won't change anything for you.  The only reason I have
mattered at all is that I was the first (and only) person to report the
spam to the correct location (which took some investigation and
expertise).  Because emailsvr.net was a small scale spammer (it appears
that it was less than 100000 per day) your spam friendliness was slow to
be noticed.  But had I not noticed it, others would have.

Even if I became your biggest advocate, you would still be in the same
position.  Your policy of allowing spam from your customers unless legally
compelled to do otherwise makes you a spam-friendly ISP.  That fact,
whether I act or not, has consequence.

> instead you have continued to lecture and berate our ethics,

You keep trying to persuade me that what you are doing is right.  I keep
trying to persuade you that what you are doing is wrong.  You keep on
threatening to sue me because I am planing an stating your stated policy
to a wider audience.

> The only thing that i find of questionable judgement  was that the
> senior admins choice of words to yourself when first he replied
> to you in brief, and though it was brief it was not
> personally meant to be insulting to you, [but he has offered an
> apollogy which i forward to yourself on his behalf].

You don't find:

 "I hope you get your personal issues sorted out... because I think you
  need help."


 "Cowards and bullies are the two things I hate the most, and you are


 "I can assure you Mr Goldberg; to threaten me or My company is the very
  last thing you should ever do."

To be of questionalable judgement or insulting?

> Now i will offer you one last oppertunity to apollogies for the
> slanderous accusation,

I have stated that I had reason to believe that your company allows spam
from its customers.  You have confirmed that that was indeed your policy
and practice. The conventional term for an ISP with such practice is a
"spam-friendly ISP".  I have stated that I consider that practice
unethical.  I have attempted to explain why.   Please point out where
there is anything close to slander in what I have done.

> and for your initial set of insults about our ethics and education. If
> you do so I personally would be prepared to enter into better
> relations with you and reconsider my oppinion of you, and only then
> will i offer you a personal apollogy for my retaliatory comments.

I appreciate that, but I must reluctantly decline your offer.  I will say
that it was never my intent to insult you when stating that you needed
"education" on the matter of spam.  It still isn't my intent to insult you
when I say that I am more concerned about your attitude toward spam than
about your attitude with me.  Maybe "attitude readjustment" was a poor
choice of expression, but that was a reaction to your "We don't whinge"

> At this time i would be then willing to enter into quallified debate
> with yourself over this issue of the law and the ethics of the net,
> and as to why we beleive your stance of imposing a moral imperative
> on net users and companies outside the law is not only the wrong path
> to take but also a minefield which will lead to severe restrictions to
> access information in this country and inevitable worldwide.

The place to carry out that old and tired debate is in the Usenet news
group news.admin.net-abuse.email.  I have little expertise on the legal
issues and others there (both pro-spam and anti-spam) have more knowledge.

> I state here again we are not a spam freindly company

I merely intend to quote your statements regarding your spam policy and
practice, which make you a "spam friendly ISP".  If you don't want to be
known as an ISP which allows spam from its customers, then don't allow
spam from your customers.  That is a simple fact, independent of anything
I say or do.

> If you do go ahead and publish our communications and also name
> myself and this company in as spam freindly i will consider that
> you are maliciously and with intent trying to damage not only this
> companies reputation but my own, [something i would take very
> personally indeed]

I am currently seeking UK legal advice on my right to publish the
correspondence and what personal information (names, addresses, etc) ought
to be excluded from publication.  Maybe I would have been less committed
to persuing this had you not called me a "coward" so many times.  But I
also am on record in UK civil liberties groups for objecting to the use of
libel action threats as a means of censorship.  Your legal advisors will
know that I have the right to publish this, and that reporting your spam
policy is in no way slanderous.  But lawyers will make threats even if
they know they have no case.

> in addition i now expect you to apollogies on
> usenet newsgroups for carrying out this maliciouse attack and  also to
> state that we are not a spam friendly company, and i demand proof
> sent in electronic form that you have done so.

Have you read the the group or the messages?  You should feel free to
respond there.  You obviously don't know what has been said about you

> If you decide to refuse i am afraid i will cease to communicate with
> you in any way outside that of our legal representatives, which is
> always the least productive method.

I agree with you on both counts.  I think that every time you have written
to me, you have made your case worse and just damaged yourself.  You would
have done better not to respond except with clear legal advice.

> Concurrently i have already reported your actions this morning to the
> authorities.

I will cooperate with them fully if they contact me.

- -j

- -- 
Jeffrey Goldberg
I have recently moved, see http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/contact.html
Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice
Version: GnuPG v1.0.3 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: pgpenvelope 2.9.0 - http://pgpenvelope.sourceforge.net/