Give the reflector admins a break

Tom Carlson tcarlson at fcpa.fujitsu.com
Tue Dec 8 12:03:30 PST 1998


* From the T10 (formerly SCSI) Reflector (t10 at symbios.com), posted by:
* "Tom Carlson" <tcarlson at fcpa.fujitsu.com>
*
A number of people have responded already since I began the message below, and some of them beat me to most of the
points I wanted to make.  The voice of reason was among them and I'm glad.  Apologies to those who already said what I
say below.  Sorry too if the sections I deleted make it harder to follow.  -Tom

(Enough has been said already, I know, but I wanted to point out the role of public access for those who have lost
focus.)


------------------------------------(the post)

You know what's hard to do?  Maintain a reflector that's open to public usage.  Know what's easy to do?  Post indignant
up-in-arms flames about a spam or two that slipped through.  Know what's even easier?  Blame someone/something else for
your internal problems, i.e, threatening to unsubscribe a public reflector for not providing content-filtering that is
the responsibility of, should be done by, your OWN company.  I feel for you, but your problem is an internal one and
doesn't belong here.

Is there really any problem at all?  I think not.  Raise the general alarm elsewhere, it isn't appropriate here.  If
your company has "zero-tolerance" sexual-harrassment policy misinterpreted in this way, it is your company's
responsibility to implement any screening required by the policy, no one else's.

[my text here deleted in favor of Jonathan's very well-said post to T10, pasted at the bottom if you missed it ...tc]

I called it "public" reflector for a reason, the obvious reason.  Reflector Administrator(s), please clarify or correct
me if I have this point (or any points) wrong in some way.

Erich Oetting made a reasonable statement (T10 post):

> Implementing this would require a lot of manual work on the part of list
> administrators, who are already overworked.  I also think that the
> reflectors should be open to use by persons who are not members of T11 or
> other standards bodies.

"Open to the public" is a very important principle.  Public access is at the very heart of the committees' reason for
existence.  Without it the standards committee(s) stand a good chance of withering away completely (or just morphing
into private corporate-mutual-benefit clubs).

Unfortunately, Erich's suggestions #1 and #2 are unworkable because they undermine those very principles he supports.
You just can't have public access without allowing non-members to post.  Think about it.

Suggestion #3 might be OK, IF email addresses are unreasonably exposed to spam address collectors.  Big IF.
Direct-addressed spam is tough to fight, must be squelched individually.  I'm not so sure that's the problem here,
however, since the spam is being broadcast and not targeted that I know of.

Bottom line, the reflector administrators (I'm assuming John is not the only one) CANNOT implement a closed system as
suggested without torpedoing the whole public review process, and possibly the committees' future as well.  There is no
possible way to screen every little bit of crap that comes around, and considering the shower of spam we would all
otherwise "enjoy" without their help, I think they're doing a damn good filtering job as it is.  Improvements were also
promised by John as well in a recent post.  How about we give him a chance before clamoring for heads to roll?  A
chance, at least?

A few spams will always get through.  Deal with it.  As was also pointed out by others, indignant call-for-action
responses pile up a lot faster than the few slippery spams that find a way in.

I'm aware that this post also adds to the bulk, my apologies to you all for that.  I don't/won't make a habit of it.

Go after the spammer(s) directly if you're so offended; or else talk to your own network admin about getting that old
company firewall refurbished; or buy yourself some filter software; just get off the reflector administrators' backs.
You might also consider not using the rest of us as your forum for this unrelated topic.  If you feel so strongly about
it all, offer your help (to the admins) instead of public comments.

Tom Carlson
Sr. Reflector Lurker
tcarlson(at)fcpa(dot)fujitsu(dot)com


Jonathan R. Taylor's post repeated here:
---------------------------------
* From the T10 (formerly SCSI) Reflector (t10 at symbios.com), posted by:
* Jonathan Taylor <jon.taylor at mediagate.com>
*
I have zero tolerance for anything with the words "zero tolerance" in it. ;-)

Seriously though...

I'm still on this mailing list mostly for nostalgic purposes; I haven't been
actively involved with SCSI or storage since 1994.

Since that time, I have started a company that builds an Email server product
for ISP's.  Our company actively participates in anti-SPAM activism, works with anti-spam technology vendors, has
developed it's own own anti-spam technology, and has worked with both the State of California and Congress to review
language for anti-spam legal bills.  Our company was also one of the founding participants of the Software.com spam
roundtable.

And after all that, I've come to one conclusion: There is *nothing* that can be done to prevent all spam.

I'm not a lawyer, but I will say this: If you don't forward these messages on
to your colleagues, it's not "sexual harassment".  If your company interprets
you *receiving* these messages as sexual harassment (of yourself, I suppose),
they better get a line of credit with the lawyers, because anyone who gets
fired for receiving such messages has an amazing wrongful termination lawsuit
they could file, and almost certainly win.

Again, in summary:  It sounds like John is doing all he can to address the
problem; SPAM *cannot* be entirely stopped;
please, just *delete* the messages for now; and lets get back to the real
business at hand.

Sincerely,

-Jonathan R. Taylor


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