Your First Post To NANAE

Section 1

Avoiding Mistakes

Section 2

Block Lists, Posting Advice, Blocklist History, SPEWS Mini-FAQ

Section 3

Introduction, Culture, Characters, Opposition to Spam

Welcome to the newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email, known as "nanae"!

Executive Summary: Avoid the common mistakes of new posters, carefully consider your Subject: line before posting, don't panic (even if you are angry), and be aware of the skills, knowledge, and in-jokes of frequent participants. Do a little research before you post, and be ready for a wide range of responses once you do post. If time is of the essence, you can skip the Cultures and Characters sections at the end of this document and view either:

Please read before posting! The purpose of this FAQ is to prepare you to "look your best" when posting to the group. None of this advice is mandatory, but it will assist you in receiving the best possible response to your message. Since knowledge is power, you are encouraged to "power up" before posting by checking out the following information.

Take a deep breath and count to ten before you compose your message. Coming to NANAE making threats is like charging into a warehouse full of leaking gasoline, blasting powder and dynamite with a flame thrower and being incinerated as the warehouse goes up with a colossal ***FOOOOMMMM***, accompained by a rain of popcorn.

If you are uncertain that your topic belongs in news.admin.net-abuse.email, please take a few moments to read the POINTER: ALL THESE NET-ABUSE GROUPS! WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE? FAQ

Avoid These Mistakes

  1. Do not use the word "SPAMTM" (all capitals), although "spam" and "Spam" are acceptable. "SPAMTM" is a trademark for Hormel processed meat. If you use "SPAMTM" to refer to unsolicited advertising email, you will be razzed as a "clueless newbie".
    http://www.hormel.com/
  2. Do not confuse spamming with marketing. Marketing is the process of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or a service while spamming is trespassing into a private email box. If you insist that spamming is marketing, you will be razzed for being a Marketoon -- a lunatic posing as a marketer.
  3. Do not post your answer at the top of the quoted posting. Most viewers read from top to bottom and will miss the flow and context of the discussion if they read your answer before they read the previous poster's question. If you do add your comments to the very top of a quoted message, you will be razzed as a "Top Poster" and you might be razzed as a Microsoft-centric lemming since Microsoft products encourage non-standard top-posting.
    http://www.geocities.com/nnqweb/nquote.html

    Dave: Oh! Now it makes sense to me. Okay! No more top-posting for me!
    Bob: It's annoying because it reverses the normal order of conversation. In fact, many people ignore top-posted articles.
    Dave: What's so wrong with that?
    Bob: That's posting your response *before* the article you're quoting.
    Dave: People keep bugging me about "top-posting." What does that mean?
    A: Top posters.
    Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?

    http://www.mindspring.com/~frites/repl.htm
    http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html
    http://www.geocities.com/nnqweb/nquote.html

  4. Do not accuse the posters of being Net Cops, Dot Communists, Anti-Commerce Radicals, or other defamatory names. Insulting regular posters to the newsgroup will not help you get your point across or draw you sympathy or assistance. Most of the posters here are system administrators, and it's their job to enforce the Terms and Conditions of Internet access on their machines. If you mischaracterize their efforts in this manner, you will be razzed as a spammer, spam apologist, or spam supporter.
    http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html Scales of Justice
  5. Do not threaten legal action in your first post unless you have checked with an attorney. (Hint: if you speak with an attorney first, you will be advised not to annouce your intent to file a legal action). Spammers often threaten lawsuits, and The Nanae have come to regard such bluster with well-deserved cynicism. Existing case law regarding resistance to spam is nicely summarized in the CompuServe vs. Cyber Promotions Consent Decree, and you are encouraged to read it thoroughly and show it to your attorney before threatening legal action. If you choose to wave around legal threats and spout official-sounding mumbo-jumbo, you will be razzed for making "cartooney" threats, for attempting a SLAPP Suit, or for actually being a cartooney.
  6. Do not make references to Hitler, genocide, 40's-era Germany, Nazi (including "Net Nazi") or any other totalitarian remark. It shows a gross misunderstanding of the resistance to spamming as well as a gross misunderstanding of the holocaust of World War II. "Godwin Invoked" as a response to your posting means you have reduced the thread to irrelevance (see "Godwins Law" in the terminology FAQ). You will be razzed for your rather spectacular lack of comprehension if you use this style of argument.
    http://home.att.net/~marjie1/Glossary.htm
    http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/ip/freenet/subs/complaints/spam/jargon.txt
    http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/
  7. Do not demand results by a certain date or time, or use similar attempts at intimidation. Nanae is not your personal helpdesk. If you do make demands, you will be razzed for attempting to control a situation over which you have no authority.
    Lumber Cartel Cabal Network Security
  8. Do not accuse the frequent posters to this group of being a part of some secret society that seeks unilateral control of the Internet and/or seeks the deforestation of the world's precious natural resources by encouraging the use of postal advertising paper mail while simultaneously discouraging the use of email. You will be razzed by agents of the Lumber Cartel (tinlc) and members of the Internet Cabal (tinc), two fine organizations that do not exist and which do not have official web sites at the following URLs:
    http://lumbercartel.freeyellow.com/
    http://www.cabal.net/
    Notice: Not affiliated with Villain Supply Dot Com
  9. Do not post information about an alleged spammer and say "Go Get Them!" Nanae is not a lynch mob and does not take official action on a group basis. Antics such as mailbombing, cracking, fax overloading, and excessive calls to a spammers toll-free number are abusive, illegal, and counterproductive because it reduces you to the spammer's level. If you do make such a request or encourage others to engage is such activity, you will be razzed as a "lazy bum" (not in the terminology FAQ) and/or a "slacker" (also not in the terminology FAQ) for making others do your work. Sock Puppets
  10. Do not masquerade as an anti-spammer while posting with a pro-spam attitude using two or more different email accounts such as Yahoo or Excite. You will be razzed for being a "sock puppet" for a die-hard spammer.
  11. Do not bother saying, "I hate spam as much as the next guy, but you folks are doing everything all wrong." If you do, The Next GuyTM will show up and remind you that he hates spam much more -- and the remaining posters will razz you for misidentifying yourself as an expert or as a know-it-all.
  12. DO NOT SHOUT IN YOUR POSTINGS USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! It is NOT NECESSARY and actually INTERFERES WITH READING. If you SHOUT EXCESSIVELY in your posting, you WILL be RAZZED for using mommy's AND daddy's computer withOUT their knowledge and consent.
  13. Do not accuse The Nanae of "not having a life" or characterize them as "geeks who can't get a date" or suggest they use their free time to "save the planet". If you do, you will be razzed as a spammer who got caught and subsequently lost their Internet connectivity, usually accompanied with descriptive language cheerfully discussing the thorough and complete flattening of various critical body parts utilizing a wide variety of modern industrial tools typically found in a well-equipped auto body shop.
  14. Do not use the term "Double Opt-In" when referring to the confirmed opt-in process since the confirmation step is not an opting step. Spammers generally skip the confirmation step entirely by requiring an email address to be entered twice on a web form instead of verifying that the owner of the email address actually signed up. If you do use the term "Double Opt-In" you will be razzed for engaging in "spammer-speak". Followup replies will ask if you "Double-Answer the Phone when it rings".
  15. Do not assume a concensus of opinion from any one posting. Anyone can post any opinion and masquerade as any thing they want. If you're looking for help, you'll get help. If you're looking for a fight, you'll get a flamefest. If you're looking to defend self-centered email policy decisions in an environment that is cooperative by its very nature, you can expect to be jointly and thoroughly razzed for being part of the problem. In the words of many a poster, "Welcome to Usenet."

Finally, take the time to read the group for a week or so to get a feeling for the mood of the posters and their responses to other messages. You may also find that any questions you were planning to ask have been answered in various message threads.

Also: If you find yourself somewhat bewildered at the apparent contradictions sprinkled throughout this document, you are making great progress and are almost ready to create your first posting to the newsgroup! When you are comfortable with these contradictions, you will be ready to contribute to the ongoing discussion.

Posting Advice

The Subject: Line

The "Subject:" Line: is the most important part of your posting. Given the large amount of traffic in the group, your message may be ignored by those who are short on time if your subject is not clear and descriptive. Generally, the subject should clearly summarize your key point, even if it "gives away" your message. Example subject lines:

Example 1
Bad Look at this!
Better Spam header shows recursion!
Example 2
Bad Hey, SPEWS
Better [S-4182] domainname.com Does Not Spam!
Example 3
Bad Nice URL
Better [ OT ] "Daily Bikini" Start Page

Be Calm, Don't Panic!

If ISPs are rejecting your email you are understandably upset. Before you post, keep this clearly in mind:

Don't post anything to Usenet that you wouldn't have on your résumé.

Consultants have been censured and employees have been terminated for ill-considered Usenet posts. Embarrassing public apologies/retractions have been posted after "counselling" from employers. Prospective Employers, Enemies, even your Grandmother can read anything you ever post at http://groups.google.com/groups. This message archiving service is free, goes back 10 years, and is available 24/7 to anyone with a web browser. So remember:

DON'T POST ANYTHING TO USENET THAT YOU WOULDN'T HAVE ON YOUR RÉSUMÉ because Usenet is used by more & more employers as *part of your résumé*.

Block Lists

MAPS

The Mail Abuse Protection System was one of the first public lists of known spam sources available to all ISPs. It had a policy of accepting "nominations for listing" which was followed by an attempt to educate the abuser. If education was unsuccessful, the nomination for listing was approved.

SPEWS Mini-FAQ

The Spam Prevention Early Warning System is one of many public lists identifying known spam sources. It is also one of the most controversial and effective lists available to Internet Service Providers for controlling the inflow of unsolicited advertising email. If you're posting about a SPEWS listing, be sure to include the record number (S-nnnn). This will ensure the best response and help to conserve valuable administrator time. Keep in mind, however, that the group cannot remove you from any particular list, but what you will get is the best advice on how you can help yourself out of the situation.

    1. What is your policy regarding using your facilities for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail, hosting sites and email accounts (including redirectors) advertised in this way, and any other activity which might cause IP addresses in your range to be publicly blocklisted?
    2. Do you have a functioning "abuse" and "postmaster" addresses and is correspondence to them promptly dealt with by a live human?
    3. Is all your contact information currently published on the Internet and held in domain registries accurate and complete?
    4. Are the IP addresses you will allocate to me currently on, or have they ever been on any public blocklists, including those listed at http://www.osirusoft.org ?
    5. Have any other IP addresses hosted by yourselves ever been on any blocklists or are they now on any blocklists?
    6. What guarantee can you offer me that the IP addresses to be allocated will not later be blocked or become unusable as a result of acts or omissions on your part, and what actions would you take (or what contractual adjustments will you make) if this situation does occur?

Brief Blocklist History

Courtesy of Frederick, the Amateur Spam Killer in news.admin.net-abuse.email

1. Apex Global Information ServicesAGIS decided to be a spam-supportive major backbone provider in the early days of the spam wars. As long as the spam was sent from some other ISP, AGIS would not pull the spamvertised site. The result was that hundreds of individual ISP admins put pieces, and eventually 100%, of all AGIS netspace into their blacklists, with a note not to remove the blacklists until the heat-death of the universe. AGIS, therefore, died the death of a thousand cuts.

2. Mail Abuse Protection SystemMAPS (Mail Abuse Prevention System - www.mail-abuse.org) was eventually set up with the idea of educating the $BADISP on the evils of spam, and then eventually listing pieces of their customer's IP space in a blacklist. It was ultra-conservative. You had to send complaints to the $BADISP, make phone calls, etc, before submitting a nomination to MAPS for inclusion into their blacklist. When it was done, one or two IP's were included, which did essentially nothing to encourage the $BADISP to terminate their spammers. The reason was simple: The spammers sent from a third party ISP, and the MAPS listing did nothing to stop people from going to that website. $BADISP had no incentive to terminate their spammer's accounts, the spammers would continue to spam, and the situation, sadly was not resolved.

3. One major spammer sued MAPS due to their listing (which was perfectly valid). They kept the financial perssure on MAPS until they folded and said "ok, this particular spammer can be removed from the blacklist". MAPS was a good idea that failed.

4. Spam Prevention Early Warning SystemThe result was SPEWS. You cannot negotiate with SPEWS. You cannot submit nominations to SPEWS. You cannot beg to get out of SPEWS. SPEWS simply says "$BADISP is hosting spammers." It starts with just the IP space of the spammer, and over a period of time, puts more and more financial pressure on $BADISP by listing more and more of their IP space until $BADISP gains clue, i.e., keep the spammer and lose legitimate customers (bleed money right and left), or lose the spammer and keep the legitimate customers (be profitable).

Opposition To Spam

Spamming is a violation of:

Introduction

Introduction, eh? This introduction is located midway through the document so that those who are in a hurry and need the bare essential information prior to posting are served first. Thank you for taking the time to dig a little deeper into the inner workings of the newsgroup!

Group Purpose: Nanae is where computer system administrators and other dedicated spam fighters gather to share information on responding to abusive email practices, most notably unsolicited bulk/advertising email (also known as "spam"), open relays, and address obfuscation. You will also find an occasional running battle with a spam supporter who decides to vent in the group.

Assistance: Requests for help and advice are welcome and will generally receive a fairly prompt and detailed response.

Spam Tracking: It is vitally important that you include complete headers for a spam email (the spam message itself is irrelevant and should be deleted from your posting) if you desire help tracking the source. Be sure to mention what you've tried in your effort to analyze the headers, or what is causing the problem in your analysis when you post your message. It is okay -- encouraged, really -- for you to delete or munge URLs and email addresses of yourself and innocent third-parties so they are not harvested by the spammers. From the munging FAQ, maintained by W.D. Basely:

The Munging FAQ is intended to be a concise discourse on "spam-blocking". Otherwise known as "munging", or breaking one's email address, this is usually done when posting to Usenet, for the purposes of avoiding junk email. It is very important to "mung" in ways that minimize possible damage to third parties.

Full Headers: Instructions for getting full headers from various popular email programs are available from many sources, including:

Culture

Culture: Over the years, a friendly camaraderie has formed among the frequent posters, and the group as a whole has formed its own unique way of doing things. You'll find wildly off-topic [OT] subjects tend to form frequently within threads among those who know each other, just as you'd see at any gathering of like-minded individuals. Some of the unique concepts in the group include:

Characters

Characters: As with most newsgroups, nanae has it's share of kooks, weirdos, and charlatans. Their postings are usually answered with "Do Not Feed The Troll" followups, sometimes including some very clever ASCII art (best viewed using a monospaced font). Flamers and judgemental types abound, mostly as a form of defense against the relentless abuse they receive as a part of their daily job, and their information is just as good as others (if a bit hard to take at times).

Welcome to news.admin.net-abuse.email!


Other FAQs

Reading the News.Admin.Net-Abuse.Email newsgroup.

RFC 1855: Netiquette for email and Usenet

POINTER: ALL THESE NET-ABUSE GROUPS! WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE?

Email Abuse FAQ

Address Munging FAQ

news.admin.net-abuse.email FAQs:

The Evils of Spam
Spamfighting Overview
Terminology
Newsgroup Charter

Designated Mirrors

Pick a site nearby for best performance.

OzEtechnology.com New South Wales Australia
Amray.net Manitoba Canada
Chebucto Nova Scotia Canada
Magpage.com Delaware USA
Sitetamer.com Georgia USA
81832.com Illinois USA
Johny5.com Indiana USA
The Foxhole.org Michigan USA
Brian Abay New York USA
Techhouse.org Rhode Island USA
Asus Net Virginia USA


Contributors

Thanks to the following, who carefully read the original drafts(s), giggled themselves silly at all the errors, and were somehow able to offer constructive criticism with a straight face:

Revision History

12 December, 2002: Added "Qualifying A New ISP", thanks to John Elsbury

9 October, 2002: Added Blocklist History section, thanks to Frederick

22 September, 2002: Updated SPEWS information to Mini-FAQ status

28 August, 2002: Rearranged sections so those in a hurry get the good stuff first.

20 August, 2002: Added Executive Summary, divided FAQ into three parts, added Popcorn to Culture

8 August, 2002: Rough draft posted for suggestions.

FAQ maintained by: George Crissman, strads@excite.com

Internet Data MiningContents Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 by George Crissman. All rights reserved worldwide. Page design by George Crissman, strads@excite.com, updated 10/18/2002.