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Date:      Fri, 24 Sep 1999 23:19:09 +0000 (GMT)
From:      Terry Lambert <>
To: (David Schwartz)
Cc:,, chat@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: On refusing to talk to dialups
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000201bf06d8$932f5ac0$> from "David Schwartz" at Sep 24, 99 03:03:04 pm

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> > Any blacklisting, like the RBL and/or the DUL, is potentially
> > actionable under current "Restraint of Trade" laws and under the
> > RICO "Anti-Racketeering" statutes.  There also may be a cause of
> > action under the Sherman Antitrust Act, and under the First
> > Ammendment (as "prior restraint" by systems which have not yet
> > been abused by an abuser who has found himself placed on a list).
> It is no more blacklisting than requiring a password to log into
> a computer blacklists everyone without a password. It doesn't
> prevent any content from going anywhere, it simply sets technical
> requirements upon the _form_.

Legally, you're wrong.

The technicality you are trying to use is the "select group"
technicality, where you grant priviledge to a select group of
people.  This is commonly used in defense of trade secrets,
where your select group is, e.g., "Everyone who has signed an
SVR4 source license agreement".

This doesn't work when you attempt to define an "everybody but X"
group.  It doesn't matter if "X" is "whites" or "blacks" or
"people with Brazialian ancestry" or "people who don't have
static IP addresses, either because they are unavailable in
their region, or because they are too poor".

Technically, you are also wrong, since it is the non-existance
of the "credential" in the DUL that grants access.

> > The DUL is on much shakier ground, since many ISPs dialup address
> > assignment blocks have been entered involuntarily, without an
> > offense by the particular address being placed in the list.
> Yes, it's one of the many limitations that come with the access provided.

It's a social, not a technical limitation.  It opens the door
for similar enforcement of other social policies, dictated by
the larger society rather than the online society.

Really, this is a technology problem, in that technology should
be built to be inherently impossible to implement non-technologically
required controls.

> There are tons of others. Access to the Internet is not a blank check to
> send any packet to any place you might wish to send it.

Actually, it is.  Just as you are free to say anything you want,
at least if you live in the US.  Don't confuse the right to speak
with some fictitious "right to be heard" (though the mainstream
media seems to be getting good at confusing this).

> Being on the DUL is not a punishment of any sort. It's simply a
> means to require a technical requirement, namely that mail be
> handled by machines that have long-term reachability.

Which is a social requirement, not a technical one.  Technically,
transient connectivity to the Internet is what backup MX's are
designed for.

To make an analogy: there's no difference between a server doing
dialup IP and a cell phone roaming between cells.  The only issue
is one of identity, and identity should be centralized at the
machine (via a certificate) rather than at a central DUL that
is so dull that it can't tell the difference between machines
with different certificates, but using the same IP address.  Nor
should it be stored haphazardlay in a random set of databases as
login/password pairs.

The fix is a per user credential, or minimally, a per machine
credential, for the case of a single user machine.

Much of the existing "AntiSPAM" practice, while it has been truly
well intentioned, has resulted in a balkanization of email
connectivity, to the point that the Internet really no longer
meets its initial design goals, at least in as far as email is
concerned.  Having only a single path between all servers for
any given source and destination email address is broken.

					Terry Lambert
Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
or previous employers.

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