From: Paul Vixie <vixie(_at_)vix(_dot_)com>
"why do we have to discard the current system?" but rather "how long will
the world population tolerate current and increasing levels of mangled or
nonconsensual communication?" and also "who will develop technology to meet
this gaping and obvious need?"
A contrary view that we have seen the crest of the flood of spam
can be argued:
- spam filtering is a major selling point for all major ISPs,
- the mass media is talking about spam filtering and spam, with ever
decreasing sympathy for the "ethikal biznezmen" who are harmed by
various anti-spam mechanisms, decreasing talk about evil, nasty
vigilantes, and increasing sympathy for even abusive spam defenses.
- there are some amazing legal attacks going on. See for example
"Legislators Call for Fix to Law Against Unsolicited E-Mails" in
(may require a subscription)
- the DMA is getting its fingers squashed in some state do-not-call
lists and the continuing federal DNC evolution. See
- since the start of the recent series of legal attacks on the worst
spammers, I've seen a possible leveling off in the total number of
streams of spam in the system. The bend in the curve on
coincident with the announcement of some legal attacks on spam
might be an artifact or it might be real.
All of those could be coincidences or illusions, but all of them were
either conceivable or silly jokes 12 months ago. It is possible that
people have had enough and aren't going to take it any more, much as
people in neighborhoods in some cities in Iraq reportedly decided
enough lawlessness was enough and took steps to control it.
Extrapolating from peaks of lawlessness in Iraq, the Balkans, Lebanon,
and elsewhere implies that the old system of a few, easily broken
locks and a few lightly armed police must be replaced with a full-up
prison state. However, the local residents eventually decide to deal
with the worst problem makers one way (e.g. vigilantes) or another
(e.g. cooperating with old or external/U.N. civil authorities) and
the apparent need for extreme measures ebbs. Sometimes, it takes
years for the residents to decide and overcome the problems including
external pressures, but eventually things get better and the old system
In other words, Paul, are you sure you're not calling for an ashcroft?
Personally I'm equally convinced of the validity of both Paul's and
the view above. I'm not convinced either is all or even most of the truth.
Vernon Schryver vjs(_at_)rhyolite(_dot_)com