The Spam Problem: Moving Beyond RBLs

Tuesday, 31 December 2002, 5:26 PM EST

People have strong views about spam. I intend for this to be an accurate, even-handed and balanced discussion of RBLs. Please do not contact me with death threats, flames and the like, because I will ignore them. If you disagree or can provide further information on the subject of RBLs, please contact me with your opinion, supporting or refuting evidence, your own personal stories, etc. and I will endeavor to make any necessary corrections to this document.

I hope after reading this paper that, at least, you will understand what an RBL is on a deeper level than "a simple spam blocking mechanism" which it really is not. These mechanisms have implications and their architecture creates power and renders people subject to this power. As such, everybody subject to RBLs should question and understand them.

I believe that all of the ideas that I put forth here are consistent with the Electronic Frontier Foundation's public statement on the use of RBLs as tools to combat spam.

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