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ANNOUNCEMENT: Spam Cancel Moratorium (fwd)

----- Forwarded message from Chris Lewis -----

>From [email protected] Wed Apr 01 02:37:19 1998
Delivered-To: [email protected]
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                          [email protected] using -f
Path: despams.ocunix.on.ca!not-for-mail
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: news.admin.net-abuse.bulletins,news.admin.net-abuse.usenet,news.admin.net-abuse.misc
Date: 31 Mar 1998 21:19:24 EST
Followup-To: news.admin.net-abuse.usenet
From: [email protected] (Chris Lewis)
Subject: ANNOUNCEMENT: Spam Cancel Moratorium
Organization: Despams 'R Us
Approved: [email protected]
To: spam <[email protected]>
X-Requests-To: [email protected]
X-Originally-To: [email protected]

[Cc'd to relevant newsgroups and mailing lists.  Separate copies to
news.admin.net-abuse.policy and news.admin.announce]

Usenet Spam Cancel Moratorium

As many of you are aware, the volumes of Usenet spam are
ever-increasing.  Latest statistics show about 1.3 million or more
spams per week.  Fully 40% of all Usenet traffic is spam, 40% spam
cancels, leaving 20% non-spammed.  In other words, 4/5ths of all Usenet
traffic is spam or spam cancels.

Many groups still look pretty good from the perspective of not being
too spam-filled, but this is largely due to Herculean efforts on the
part of a relatively small number of spam cancellers, or the handful of
sites that have good filters.

Recently, we're seeing other trends, such as more and more sites
turning off cancels altogether, yet, implicitly relying on the spam
cancellers to get much of the spam before it arrives at their systems.
Many systems are doing this not because they don't want the spam to go
away, but the sheer volume of cancels is causing technical problems
with their servers.  In contrast, many other sites have not taken any
measures of any kind to protect their own systems, users or the rest of
Usenet for that matter, and they rely on the spam cancellers to clean
up spammers on their own site, keep their Usenet services useful to
their customers and, in many cases, to keep their servers from

The situation is clearly getting out of hand, and it's time for us to
temporarily change tactics.  It has always been our intention that we
should be aiming towards putting ourselves out of business by making
spam cancels unnecessary.  As this doesn't appear to be happening on
its own, it is becoming necessary to force the issue.

What we need:

	- We need users to become more vocal in their complaints
	  to ISPs, and sites that host spammed web URLs.  Accurate
	  targetting of complaints can sometimes be diffcult.  Here are
	  some hints: http://www.sputum.com/sputools.html, and the
	  links to the SPIT/SPITE tools.

	- We need ISPs to become more proactive in ensuring that
	  spam doesn't originate on their own systems.  Too many
	  ISPs are sluggish, and rely on us to clean up their
	  messes.  The filters mentioned below, as well as
	  spamfind on http://spam.abuse.net are useful in this

	- We need ISPs to become more serious in providing high
	  quality service to their customers, whether it be the
	  implementation of inbound spam filters, installing
	  NoCeM-on-Spool, or, encouraging the development of
	  spam-free feeds.

	  See:  http://www.cm.org	for NoCeM information
		http://spam.abuse.net	for filtering tools and
					other links
					Cleanfeed filters
	        http://www.spamhippo.com	Spamhippo filters.
	        http://www.nntp.sol.net/patches/diablo	Diablo anti-spam
		http://rtr.xpat.com/~jem/cyclone	Cyclone anti-spam

The status-quo is not accomplishing these ends - the despammers are
cleaning up the mess, so where's the incentive?  It's time to
demonstrate in inarguable terms what Usenet is facing, and force the
hands of ISPs.  It's like trench warfare: years of moving the line back
and forth a few yards, and what do we have to show for it?  A
tremendous waste of resources and no significant progress towards
ending the war.

Therefore, effective April 3, we are calling for a full spam cancel
moratorium.  For an indefinate period after this date, no spam cancels
should be issued.  This includes "classic spam", "broken gateway spews",
"newsgroup bombing" (ie: alt.religion.scientology, alt.pagan, and even
news.admin.net-abuse.* bombs), third party forgery cancellations, in
the big 8, other global top-level hierarchies such as alt.*, and
regional hierarchies.

You'll notice that we said "indefinate period".  This is because
we don't want ISPs to implement short-term solutions.

NoCeM notices will continue being generated.  We believe that NoCeM has
some technical/scalability problems, but, NoCeM-on-spool is one of the
easiest filters to install and the most effective.

Most of the major anti-spammers have participated in the discussions
leading to this, and will participate in the moratorium.  We would hope
that the despammers who've not been involved in this discussion will
also decide to participate.

Any despammer wishing to confirm this can email me directly at
[email protected].

The only cancels that we will generate will be cancels that we're
required to issue (ie: administrators issuing cancels of their own
users), or forgeries of our own names.

It is expected that some spam cancellers (particularly ones limited to
specific regional hierarchies) will not participate either due to not
seeing this notice, or deciding not to go along with the rest.  So,
some cancels will undoubtably continue.  However, it is anticipated
that the cancel volume will drop by at least 95%.  Any "broad-coverage"
despammer attempting to continue will be more than a little busy... ;-)
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----- End of forwarded message from Chris Lewis -----