Jonathan Zittrain on Spam - Dictionary of Arguments
Spam/Zittrain: One example is the early implementation of the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) as a way of dealing with spam.
In the summer of 1997, Internet pioneer Paul Vixie decided he had had enough of spam. He started keeping a list of those IP addresses that he believed were involved in originating spam, discovered through either his own sleuthing or that of others whom he trusted. The first thing he did with the list was make sure the entities on it could not send him e-mail. Next he made his list instantly available over the network so anyone could free-ride off of his effort to distinguish between spammers and nonspammers. In 1999, leading Web-based e-mail provider Hotmail decided to do just that on behalf of its customers. (1) Thus if Paul Vixie believed a particular mail server to be accommodating a spammer, no one using that server could send e-mail to anyone with an account at hotmail.com. MAPS was also known as the “Realtime Blackhole List,” referring to the black hole that one’s e-mail would enter if one’s outgoing e-mail provider were listed. The service was viewed as a deterrent as much as an incapacitation: it was designed to get people who e-mail (or who run e-mail servers) to behave in a certain way. (2)
1. Paul Festa, Hotmail Uses Controversial Filter to Fight Spam, CNET NEWS.COM, Nov. 9, 1999, http://news.com.com/Hotmail+uses+controversial+filter+to+fight+spam/2100-1040_3-232706.html.
2. Id. (“MAPS has used the RBL primarily to pressure server administrators to mend their policies, according to supporters. ‘The RBL is an educational tool for applying pressure more than a technical tool,’ said John Mozena, vice president of CAUCE, which has ties to both Hotmail and MAPS. ‘The wider implementation it has, the more important it becomes, because that increases the number of people your users can’t reach if you’re not playing well with others.’”)._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It New Haven 2009