First Post To NANAE|
you create and send your first posting, please read the following
Lists, Posting Advice, Blocklist
History, SPEWS Mini-FAQ|
to the newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email, known as "nanae"!
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: |
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.|
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.|
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|
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".
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.
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.
Oh! Now it makes sense to me. Okay! No more top-posting for me!
It's annoying because it reverses the normal order of conversation. In fact, many
people ignore top-posted articles.
What's so wrong with that?
That's posting your response *before* the article you're quoting.
- Dave: People keep
bugging me about "top-posting." What does that mean?
What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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:
affiliated with Villain Supply Dot Com
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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".
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."
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.|
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.|
"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
Spam header shows recursion!
[S-4182] domainname.com Does Not Spam!
[ OT ] "Daily Bikini" Start Page
Calm, Don't Panic!|
ISPs are rejecting your email you are understandably upset. Before you post, keep
this clearly in mind:|
post anything to Usenet that you wouldn't have on your résumé.|
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:|
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*.|
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.
off the MAPS List: Contact MAPS and explain that you have a plan to correct
the situation, then follow that plan.
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.
- Getting Off
The SPEWS List: "If you are not the administrator of the IP address(es)
in the SPEWS list, then you should contact your ISP in order to attempt to resolve
the problem. When you contact your ISP, they will need a copy of the bounce message
which you received and/or other evidence of the problem. Be sure to include the
IP address which was rejected. Let them know that it is on the SPEWS list and
give them the URL of the lookup form." From the SPEWS
FAQ. Need more information? Check out the DeSPEWS
the large IP range? If the netblock is used for dialup connections, that means
the spammer gets a different IP number with each spam run since IP numbers are
dynamically assigned. If IP numbers in the block are statically assigned by the
block owner, the range is large because the block owner will tend to move a spammer
from one IP number to another within the same block and then annouce "We
have removed the customer at IP number xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx", hoping that people
won't notice the offending customer hasn't actually been terminated.
Errors happen from time-to-time, causing accidental listing of IP addresses
not associated with spam supporting upstream providers. Fortunately, SPEWS personnel
read news.admin.net-abuse.email and have quickly corrected mistakes in the past.
To address the issue, your posting should show that your upstream provider is
not a spammer & you are not a spammer. In the Subject: line, mention SPEWS,
the S-record number, and "Listing Error" for the best results.
- Summary of
Frequent Answers about SPEWS:
aren't listed, your provider is listed.
can't get unlisted, ONLY your provider can get unlisted
does not take emails, send emails, or otherwise communicate. Any discussion
with SPEWS would be unproductive, since the requirement for delisting is the removal
of the spammer identified in the evidence record, something only your provider
can do. In other words, it is better to discuss with your provider, who is listed,
and not SPEWS.
of Frequently Offered Solutions are:
to another provider
your provider to boot their spammers and the listing will eventually go away.
relating to the Frequently Offered Solutions ("How Do I Find A Non-Spamming
Upstream?", "Why would my provider listen to me?", "What evidence
will I need to provide to my upstream so they'll take action?", etc.) are
reasonable and are welcome in the newsgroup.
A New Service Provider (Courtesy of John Elsbury in nanae): Here, for the
benefit of the innocent, is a sample set of questions that a prospective purchaser
might ask the hosting company as part of the "due diligence" process.
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?
you have a functioning "abuse" and "postmaster" addresses
and is correspondence to them promptly dealt with by a live human?
all your contact information currently published on the Internet and held in domain
registries accurate and complete?
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 ?
- Have any
other IP addresses hosted by yourselves ever been on any blocklists or are they
now on any blocklists?
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?
of Frederick, the Amateur Spam Killer in news.admin.net-abuse.email
AGIS 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.
MAPS (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. $BADISP had no incentive to terminate their spammer's accounts, the spammers
would continue to spam, and the situation, sadly was not resolved.
One major spammer sued MAPS due to their listing (which was perfectly valid).
They kept the financial pressure on MAPS until they folded and said "ok,
this particular spammer can be removed from the blacklist". MAPS was a good
idea that failed.
The result was SPEWS. You cannot negotiate with SPEWS. You cannot submit
nominations to SPEWS. You cannot beg to get out of SPEWS. SPEWS simply says "$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).
To Spam |
is a violation of:|
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!
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.
Requests for help and advice are welcome and will generally receive a fairly prompt
and detailed response.
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
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.
Headers: Instructions for getting full headers from various popular email
programs are available from many sources, including:
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:
It is vitally important to read the terminology
FAQ to keep up with abbreviations such as TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such-a
Thing As A Free Lunch) and cockeyed concepts such as "Frea
(including oblique references to Colonel
Harland Sanders), and "Mainsleeze".
and Cats [C&C]: A subject-line marker to indicate that the posting contains
humor that might cause the viewer distress if they are drinking coffee (which
might be spewed onto the monitor during a helpless spasm of laughter) or if they
are tending to a lap cat (who might inflict significant scratches and injury to
avoid a fall during paroxyms of laughter). Posts not containing the [C&C]
notation that DO contain humor generally result in faux billings for new
keyboards as well as for feline psychological therapy.
An indication that a huge brouhaha is under way or that an amazingly clueless
message has appeared which will engulf most of the nanae participants, cause multiple-hundreds
of follow-up replies, and generate a bit more heat than light. Frequently seen
after a cartooney threat has been posted, but may appear when any remarkable
posting appears.. Imagine yourself in a theater watching an action/adventure
movie, or at a sporting event in the stadium as the snack hawkers wander by. N.B.:
"See The Show" by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer makes for great background
music while following a popcorn thread.
of Spam: Over time, various characteristics of spam and spammers have been
identified and codified. Patricia Shaffer is the official rule keeper and Mart
van de Wege keeps the current list online for easy reference. Knowledge of these
six carefully-crafted rules of spammer behavior will help when reading postings
that refer to "Rule 3" or "Rule 1" without further explanation.
Anti Defamation League: No matter what item (animal, vegetable, or mineral)
you use for comparison with a spammer, the appropriate anti-defamation
league -- which may or may not be an actual organization -- will appear and
demand a retraction and apology. Originally promulgated by Gym Quirk, also famous
for the Quirk Objection ("answer assumes faculty not in evidence"),
this technique has spread throughout the channel. An example of the discussion:
"Persecuting that misbegotten cross of a half breed slime
mold and a dung beetle is a benefit to all humanity."
"The slime mold and dung beetle anti-defamation league will get
in touch with you shortly."
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).
Highly opinionated people, frequently lacking a sound and factual basis for their
comments, who post long rambling diatribes that only tangentially relate to the
topic at hand. KOOKS may be an abbreviation for the Keepers Of Odd Knowledge Society,
but there has been no confirmation of this assertion.
Verbal bomb throwers who post topics and information known to upset others in
the group just to get a discussion going, usually generating more heat than light.
Most Trolls (short for "trolling for followups") ignore helpful responses.
Warriors: On occasion, there will be a remark about the "best operating
system" which immediately causes all participants in the group to take potshots
at each other, other operating systems, and a variety of unrelated subjects.
Within the newgroup setting, flamers are an important part of the overall response
to spammers, because they persist in their efforts when others back off. It's
sad but true that some die-hard spammers only respond appropriately when defeated
by a superior force. If you find yourself the target of a flamer, nomex
clothing is recommended.
You will also find some friendly and helpful folk that are happy to assist you
in your efforts to deal with the spam problem.
1855: Netiquette for email and Usenet
ALL THESE NET-ABUSE GROUPS! WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE?
Evils of Spam
a site nearby for best performance.
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:
- Anri Erinin
- Bart Ashe
- BEI Designs
- Taki Kagoma
- Uh Clem,
- Will Yardley
December, 2002: Added "Qualifying A New ISP", thanks to John Elsbury
October, 2002: Added Blocklist History section, thanks to Frederick
September, 2002: Updated SPEWS information to Mini-FAQ status
August, 2002: Rearranged sections so those in a hurry get the good stuff first.
August, 2002: Added Executive Summary, divided FAQ into three parts, added Popcorn
August, 2002: Rough draft posted for suggestions.
maintained by: George Crissman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 by George Crissman. All rights reserved