Question: Why is having your mail service go down due to spam bad?
Answer: Because it stops all legitimate mail getting through.
Question: Why is having your mail service go down due to spam good?
Answer: No reason
Question: Why is deliberately blocking legitimate mail from spamming networks bad?
Answer: Because it stops some legitimate mail getting through.
Question: Why is deliberately blocking legitimate mail from spamming networks good?
Answer: Because it puts pressure on the spamming ISPs to stop, and is in fact the only way anyone's found to do that. Because it stops network abuses from as-yet blocked areas of the provider's networks.
You've aligned yourself with vigilantes, dedicated to causing the financial ruin of any ISP you don't like. Can't you see the madness here? "The nations of Brazil, Korea and China Must Be Forced Off The Internet. Bell Cananda, AOL and Verizon Must Be Forced Off The Internet."
I fail to see how it's 'vigilantism' to set up my server so that it remains functional. But, hey, if the government's willing to do that for me, by all means I'll stop.
And, for the record, Bell Canada, AOL, and Verizon actually terminate spammers' connections. (Well, Verizon is a bit clueless and slow last I heard, but at least they aren't maliciously moving spammers around to dodge IP blocks.)
And no one wants to remove these people from the internet. OTOH, no one wants to have their machines continually attacked. Eventually I decide to stop visting friends who live places that I get mugged every time I go there. I decide even sooner if the reason I get mugged is that the neighborhood beat cops think that's a reasonable way to make a living, and thus don't do anything about the muggers.
Why don't you make a preemptive strike? Make a list of all your SPEWS using buddies. You guys are the only people who will never allow spammers on your networks, no matter how many millions of dollars they offer you. You're the most moral business on the planet. Because every other ISP in the world could concievably harbour those spammers once your crusade smites the evil spammer-harbouring ISPs of today, it would be best to launch a preemptive strike against those ISPs. Blacklist the entire internet, whitelist only your buddies. That'll show 'em! Fuck your customers, they didn't read their contracts anyway. A victory against spam!
Yes, let's set up a nice strawman to show how evil everyone who uses SPEWS is.
However, you're almost right. Eventually there will be three 'internets'. There will be the 'spam internet', where only spammers live (because that internet can't contact anyone), there will be the 'spamless internet', where anyone who spams is immediately removed, and cannot be reached from the 'spam internet', and there will be the 'dead internet', which doesn't use filtering and where fifteen people get email, once they wade through eight million spam messages. (What, you thought the volume of spam would go down when the number of accounts reachable did?. As far as anyone can tell, the amount of spam never goes down.)
Spam is destroying email as a viable form of communication. You are accelerating that destruction! The Internet was designed to route around damage, but the one thing it can't cope with is DELIBERATE damage at the endpoints. You are causing deliberate damage, wilfully blocking out legitimate email because you're so hung up on petty revenge against spammers that you've decided it's more important to play some fucking power games against ISPs than it is to ensure the reliable functioning of email.
Unless we come up with some way to stop spam, email is dead, period. There are two ways to stop:
Harm the spammers enough so that they stop (or never start)
Harm the spammers' provider's enough so they stop (or never start)
Everything else besides blacklisting has been tried and failed. Blocking just spammer IPs fails, spammers are moved, and it doesn't stop the traffic. C&R is failing, and is ironically leading to an even bigger abuse of the network than spam. Greylisting has promise, but it's too little too late, and spammers can really easily get around it, once they realize what's going on. Legal means have been amazingly slow to get off the ground, and are just causing spammers to commit more crimes to avoid being traced. Even the murder of two spammers hasn't seemed to deter them. (Now that I'm condoning that, if it was indeed for spamming, and not just mafia-related gambling.)
The only method that has ever reduced the amount of spam sent (vs. the amount of spam seen) is to blacklist the 'wrong' people. (And it's the amount of spam sent that's crippling the internet.) Some lists, like the SBL, blacklist corperate mail servers of the ISPs, so the ISP itself can't send mail. Some lists, like SPEWS, blacklist the ISP in continually increasing chunks, hoping at some point the ISP will decide hosting spammers isn't worth it.
In short, blacklisting peole who then whine to their ISP, or company presidents who then whine to their server admin, is the only thing that works, period. Well, that, and if they still remain completely clueless, just blocking their entire network and forgetting about them. If you have any other suggestions, you're welcome to make them. Be sure to google for them first, because almost every one of them that makes any sense has been tried.
-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
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