Re: FoRK This Action!! (P2P's Dark Side)

From: Gary Pupurs (
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 22:11:53 PST

> Some efforts that many people applaud are responsible for some of the
> problem also: on a typical dialup or broadband connection you are now
> forced to channel all outgoing email through the ISP's email server in
> the name of spam control. There is a registry of IP segments that
> record which are end-user accounts which are blackballed by modern
> MTA's. Other ISP's simply block all outgoing port 25 connections.
> While spam is annoying, I am offended that I cannot setup legitimate
> Internet email without being subjected to the limitations of the ISP's
> MTA. This is in addition to the likelihood of filtering, monitoring,

While I appreciate the SPAM prevention methods, arbitrarily blocking ports
is wrong. It becomes a slippery slope from there, and besides that, even a
spammer deserves a second chance. If all ISPs actively investigated spam
reports and subsequently cancelled services, that should be enough. Most
people who spam I don't think want to go through a three month install
process a day or two after getting broadband because their service was
shutdown. But I could be wrong.

I think the best way to approach this is to encourage the typical home user
to support the few ISPs who are technically savvy and understand what the
value of broadband to the end user should be, even if that typical user
won't make use of the features fully. My DSL ISP allows, no actually
_encourages_ their customers to run servers off the DSL line (no IRC servers
though, because of the excessive bandwidth eaten up). Static IPs, while a
bit extra, are available for the asking. I run several websites and a few
listserves from my Linux box (which they officially support for use with
their services, BTW). They're somewhat unique, catering to the techie
geek/gamer/daytrader/MP3er crowd who demand these sort of services.

But the funny thing is, they're becoming the "go-to guy" for many of the DSL
providers who are going under and looking to move their customers to another
provider, and their CEO mentioned today in his monthly email that they
expect to be profitable by Q4 2001. Their CEO also includes his direct
phone number in the email if customers want to reach him. Hmmm. There's a
message here.

But the typical home user doesn't know anything about these issues, much
less the correct questions to ask. Only when they get the PPPoE dynamic IP
setup in their home and try to setup the P2P software of the week do they
run into these things. And they're likely appeased with an answer from tech
support like "Sorry, that's not supported unless you have a business-class
service, starting at $299/month, would you like to upgrade?"

I think it's important that we try to encourage friends or colleagues to
sign up with ISPs who don't unnecessarily restrict the services. At some
point that user may have a need for an unrestricted line, and even if they
don't, it gives the ISP more influence on government regulations by having a
larger customer base and more at stake. Especially as we move more towards
a distributed read/write web (err, rather, back to that original vision) and
more custom automation through the net, this will increasingly become a


(My ISP name is available on request if you're interested, I didn't want to
seem too evangelical about them. Oh hell, they're Only
minor complaint is that my kbps and latency have slowed a little bit of late
here in DC, but they've been flooded with new transitioned customers and
have several new DS-3s coming online soon, so that's acceptable to me. It's
been solid for about a year now, only going down for perhaps a few minutes
every once in a while. More often than not due to my faulty attempts to
change the routing table in my firewall, I suppose. Oh yeah, mention me if
you sign up, I think I get something out of it. <grin>)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:13:31 PDT