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Q6: Combatting Spam

To what extent and how should ISOC be playing a role with respect to spam, and what are your opinions regarding the battle against spam?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 at 3:38 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Q6: Combatting Spam”

  1. Comment by: Bill St.Arnaud   
    March 30th, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I think ISOC can play an important leadership role by bringing together various groups who are involved with SPAM and perhaps produce a set of guidelines, recommendation for governments and other bodies on how to address the issue from a policy perspective. IETF is doing an excellent job at looking at technical solutions.

    I am a member of the Canadian antspam task force, and I believe the model adopted by Canada and Australia is a good example: the industry and other stakeholders first met to agree on a set of guidelines and then government prepared legislation that reinforced these guidelines (but did not dictate solutions)

  2. Comment by: Artur Serra   
    March 31st, 2006 at 9:16 am

    I’m not an expert in spam. In my view. spam was born importing a mass market technique into the digital world. I don’t know anybody that is interesting in buying or get in touch with the spammed mail . Spam is a wrong technique of marketing.

    ISOC should work closely with marketing researchers and innovative people from business schools in order to educate and give proper marketing alternatives to spam and to spammers. ISOC Chapters should also work with policy makers in order to help in setting policies that discourage spammers.

  3. Comment by: Franck   
    April 6th, 2006 at 2:59 am

    Well it goes may be a little further than SPAM? Security could be also supported by ISOC. I’m everyday confronted with SPAM for the organisation I work for and also for the countries I support. I use blocking lists and delaying tactics that stop spammers, but then free e-mail services or large ISP providers get listed because their users are abusing the service or they use dynamic IPs. I end up removing the blocking list from my checks because the free e-mail service or large ISP cannot be bothered to fix the issue. There are a couple of good sites out there that list offending spammers and “mis-configured systemsâ€?. May be ISOC should support some of these sites and use the listings to identify systems that need awareness as to be fixed?

    In a similar manner, may be the CERT network should be supported by ISOC too? Security is important and the stability of the net and its security could be a responsibility of ISOC. IETF taking care of the technical details while ISOC working on guidelines, awareness and support services.

    And the wild, wild idea, would be for ISOC to support a conformance label company, to certify applications and software respecting RFC. For instance you could have a IETF RFC XXXX certified logo of some sort on your software. The money to get the certification would fund ISOC activities. A little like the PIR (dot org) is a company managed by ISOC.

    But then, these are my views, they need to be shared so I can understand more on the subject from other people.

  4. Comment by: Richard Bell   
    April 6th, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Difficult one. Issues of Spam that may relate to IETF – Yes, Issues of Spam that come up in more general policy discussions – Yes, introducing issues of SPAM in workshops and awareness campaigns – Yes.

    BUT, for ISOC to start getting involved in SPAM as a specific area of focus may be venturing a step too far and may distract from the real issues that it was setup to deal with. I have my reservations – but am ready to be challenged and have an open mind to a good argument.

  5. Comment by: David Isenberg   
    April 16th, 2006 at 9:51 am

    Spam is bad. It is but one form of malware; others include viruses, worms, spyware, phishing, etc. But these are largely application-layer issues. In my comment on the previous question, I said that ISOC should encourage development of socially useful Internet applications. Anti-malware apps should fall into this activity.

    On the other hand, ISOC should lead the way in advocating that port blocking, content-awareness, and other forms of Internet restriction, are not appropriate responses to malware. ISOC should lead in asserting that the Internet should not be harmed by proposed solutions to the malware problem.

  6. Comment by: Spencer Dawkins   
    April 24th, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    Spam isn’t the biggest malware problem we face, but it is a big malware problem.

    ISOC’s most effective role may be ensuring that policy makers understand the size and nature of the spam problem today, It does bother me that we have worked so hard, for so long, to provide an Internet that carries so much traffic that is not wanted.

    I agree with David’s concern that ISOC needs to think about the unintended consequences of a “Final Ultimate Solution to the Spam Problem” (FUSSP,

    A second, much smaller role may be ensuring that spam-related IETF/IRTF work is as effective as possible (discouraging more meltdowns like MARID in IETF and ASRG in IRTF).

    Anything that also improves the phishing situation is useful – there’s enough overlap that I’d prefer to slow down the activity that is actually criminal, given a choice.

  7. Comment by: Yan Baoping   
    April 27th, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    The definition of Spam is broad and varied. I suggest that a clear definition of spam should be reached first before supporting nations to resolve the issue through legislation process.