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Spam++;

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I've been meaning to update this site for weeks, but I just haven't had the time. Every time I start at work someone calls me with some "catastrophe." Then when I get home I can't seem to do anything but sit on the couch and veg. I found a story on slashdot recently that I couldn't ignore.

This story is about the spam blacklist site spamhaus.org. They are currently having legal problems with an Illinois court. Apparently a spammer marketing firm called e360 Insight brought a lawsuit against Spamhaus because they listed e360 in their database. They lost the suit and basically thumbed their nose at the judge because they feel he has no jurisdiction over them since they are a UK based company. In his infinite wisdom and candor (</sarcasm>), the judge told ICANN to pull the DNS records for spamhaus.org! Now I realize this judge is just annoyed that Spamhaus basically said "FU", but taking Spamhaus offline is going to cause big problems. It isn't going to hurt the company anywhere near as much as it's going to hurt the millions of email systems that use it to filter spam

I personally use spamhaus' blacklist on Harley's email server and my own email server at home (yeah I know, I'm a nerd). They predict if ICANN actually pulls the records, the amount of spam ending up in mailboxes will increase 4-10 fold within seconds. Some even say such a load increase would push many large systems (ISPs and Universities) over the edge.

The other big issue with this situation is over the control of the internet. If some dumbass judge can order a non-US site removed from the internet, who's to say some Chinese official can't order the removal of wikipedia or CNN because it some of their content violates Chinese law? This could set a very bad precedent.

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