Netcom and Spam — Apparently, when we reported on Netcom’s spam policies last week in NetBITS-004, we were more informed than Netcom’s senior management. According to CNET’s News.com, the excellent procedures Netcom engineers put in place to stop millions of pieces of spam from reaching their users or being relayed through their mail servers have been pulled due to privacy concerns – and because the management of Netcom never knew the system administrators had put this into practice. It’s unfortunate; this means an onslaught of additional spam despite the best intentions of Netcom’s engineers.
Another item of interest is the percolation of spam concerns to a high-level news source – The New York Times. Our friend and colleague Peter H. Lewis (not to be confused with Australian Peter N Lewis who writes Macintosh Internet software) has a column in last Monday’s Times on the subject. In it, Cyber Promotions’ Sanford Wallace, the self-described spam king, tells how he is in the process of setting up his own backbone network and how this will make it harder to beat him, because he’ll be part of the Internet’s infrastructure. Fortunately for all of us, this would simplify the process of eliminating all spam originating from his site. As we discussed in last issue’s spam article, high-level networks have preassigned blocks of IP addresses that are simple to filter out. We recommended against this, because you’ll often filter legitimate traffic; with Cyber Promotions’ backbone, however, there would be no risk of this. (Note: you can access the Times Web site for free only in the U.S. and Canada, and even that requires signing up for an account.) [GF]