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2003 Jan 15 08:37

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] Re: [vox-tech] smtp question - blocked ip
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Re: [vox] Re: [vox-tech] smtp question - blocked ip



On Tue, Jan 14, 2003 at 08:23:05PM -0800, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> redirected to vox

Okay

> begin Ted Deppner <ted@psyber.com> 
> > On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 08:56:57AM -0800, Joel Baumert wrote:
> > > Your right the human factor is the problem with RBLs, and it is not an
> > > easy one to get around.  
> > 
> > It is exceptionally easy to get around.  There have always been
> > alternatives, black sheep, hermits, anarchists, other countries, etc, etc.
>  
> i happen to find solving first order linear differential equations
> exceptionally easy.  i can do them in my sleep.  but i wouldn't dare call
> it easy to anyone's face.  easy is a wonderfully relative term that only
> has absolute meaning when you're talking to yourself.  :-)
> 
> and for someone to say that "the human factor" is exceptionally easy to
> get around... definitely sounds like arrogance!  lucky for you we don't
> live in a greek tragedy...  ;)

Sorry it sounded that way... not my intent.  

In broad terms, RBL effectiviness means more RBL use, which means more RBL
effectiveness, which means more use, etc.  Breaking the cycle is possible
(and happened with the MAPS RBLS) in the overall sense because the public
will reject it, meaning less use, meaning less effectiveness, etc.

In the specific application to you or me being blocked, there are many
tricks in the unix and open source bags... some familiarity with them
helps, but there are so many resources and methods (there's more than one
way to do it), that given any problem "with many eyeballs all problems are
shallow".

I agree with the idea that you or I will not be changing PAN-AM or
SpamCop policy ourselves for any specific case... but over time they will
change to accomodate the needs of those that use them.  You saw this
firsthand with PAN-AM removing the blocks and publically apologizing. [1]

I'm not familiar with any of the semantics you refer to regarding the use
of the word easy.  As I said in my message (though you didn't quote this),
given the list's membership, using linux, embracing open source, and the
plethora of open source options, I fully expect that any problem along
these lines can be met quite successfully by anyone taking the time to
investigate.  After all, an inappropriate RBL block is essentially a
technical problem when your server no longer works.

Perhaps we have differing values on the important of the occasional false
blocking... I view it as a technical challenge if it affects me, and am
not concerned when it momentarily affects others.  If I may, are you more
concerned over how it got that way, ie the human factor making a mistake?

[1] Ever wonder why rocks and bits wind up at the edges of the road.  Yes,
it's because the tires don't go there as often, but in reality it's
because when they were in the road under the tires, they got hit, and
bounced around.  That kept up until they bounced out of the way.  Public
opinion is similar in many ways.

-- 
Ted Deppner
http://www.psyber.com/~ted/
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