Anastrophe's Official Policy Statement, Acceptable Use Policies, and Terms and Conditions Statement.

The anastrophe mailservers are running RBL, which blocks a goodly portion of the worst of the worst spam out there. It's not perfect, we still get a pretty good share of crud, but at least the most recalcitrant spammers out there don't get through.

Regarding anastrophe's use of the RBL. To prove a point, I'm engaged in a battle of wits with an individual armed with a plastic spoon, who believes that since he doesn't like the RBL, nobody else should either (see this and this ). I applaud that, since it's a free country, and he's free to think whatever he wants. However, he's not free to force people to share his opinion; and of course, he can't, which I believe angers him no end. Since this lack of control of other people appears to drive him batty, I'm taking the following steps, to see if he'll step up the challenge of acting in an ethical manner. Below, I'll be following his demands to the letter - and I'll be including my counter arguments as well. By taking these steps, I will have complied with his demands completely, in both a documentary and evidenciary manner, and I will have also exercised *my* right to say - after a fashion - that he's full of jicama. Here goes:

His first demand is that use of the RBL be plainly visible on the main page. Check out the main page, and you'll see it's there.

His second demand is that we mention that we are not obligated to use the RBL, and that our use is voluntary and not mandated by any duly constituted authority. Absolutely! We chose to apply the RBL, which is a privilege any individual or business has. Nobody forced us to use it, we wanted to use it, since it works pretty well overall!

Third, he demands that we mention that the RBL is being sued for it's practices. Duly noted. Since anybody can sue anyone or any entity at any time for any thing or any reason, that's about par for the course in America. Mr. Cranky pants could sue anastrophe if he wanted. He could sue me for having a picture of myself with long hair on these pages! It's true. There are no restrictions on anyone's ability to sue in this, a free country.

The next demand is that we list the consequences of our use of the RBL. We must state that while some unwanted email may be blocked, it is also quite possible that my customers "will" (actually, "may") not be able to exchange email with some friends, family, and business acquantances because of our use of the RBL. Yes, it's true. Legitimate email might be blocked. However, having employed the RBL in production for several years now, I've only had one proven instance of this occurring. And in that case, it was easily resolved by the correspondent whose ISP was blocked (that is, the ISP stopped being a spam haven). All of my own personal and business email - all 7,000+ messages per month that I receive! - go through my RBL'ed mailservers. I've never had a problem communicating with anyone due to it. Not once. Add that up - 7K messages a month, been like that for two years now, easily. In my own email, just one person, 168,000 messages, without a single failure. You do the math. The only people affected or inconvenienced by the RBL are the spammers. Mr. Cranky pants may disagree - which is of course his right!

The next demand is one that was tacked onto the end of the previous one. It's a real slippery one, rather sleazy, designed to make it so that nobody can comply with his demands if they disagree with him. But of course, I'm smarter than my interlocutor, so he's going to lose again: The demand is "You may not state that most providers do the same (they do not)". How's that for slick! If I were to make that statement, no gold star for me - regardless of whether it were true or not. So, I won't make that statement. But I do question it. I honestly don't know how many providers use the RBL - I'd bet Mr. Cranky pants doesn't actually know either. But in any case, this demand has been complied with.

The next demand is that we "may not mention that commercial email is forbidden by law unless your state has an active law on it's books (California and Washington state do not)." Well, I'm happy to comply with that, because it's true. Commercial email isn't forbidden. Perfectly legal. And by the same token, BLOCKING commercial email is also perfectly legal. I'm required to mention that there is no Federal law against commercial email. No problem with that either. The fewer stinking federal laws there are, the better, we have far too much government intrusion in our lives as it is. I'm required not to convey the impression (there's another slippery, weasely way to prevent compliance with the demands), either in words or by the omission thereof, that all commercial email is illegal. Heaven forfend! I would never say that, since it's just plain silly. If all commercial email were illegal, how would anyone do business? I personally have no desire to see commercial email made illegal. Here's more compliance with the endless litany of requirements to get the gold star - i'm beginning to wonder if this guy was an author of the tax code, he's so hell-bent on making sure there are no "loopholes". I must state - and I will freely state - that it is perfectly legal for ANY business to advertise it's product or services via email, and the RBL, and our use thereof, does not make it otherwise. And again, complete agreement. I'll also add, that it is perfectly legal for ANY business to BLOCK that advertising using the RBL. Lawsuits are irrelevant - there is no law that says I can't run the RBL.

I'm required to mention when I first started to use the RBL, so that my customers will have some idea of how long we have been blocking some portion of their email, with or without having previously told them. I began running the RBL on the anastrophe mailserver well before August 31, 1999, which is the MTIME of the current rblsmtpd program. This was before there were any customers on this system other than myself.

I'm required to state why I feel that decisions regarding THEIR (my customers) email cannot be made by my customers themselves and, thus, why I must make those decisions for them. Okey dokey! I don't feel that my customers can't make decisions regarding their email. I do feel that I - as a free person - have the right to run my mailserver any way I choose. Since there is no government requirement mandating access to the internet for all individuals, and since nobody has a gun to anyone's head with regard to use of my service, I'm fully within my privileges to do so. If any of my customers should ever have a problem exchanging email with any person on the net that they wish, I'll be delighted to assist them in remedying that. Since the issue has come up only once in the exchange of millions and millions of email messages through the mailservers I run (approx 2 million messages per month!), it's just simply a non-issue. The only people being affected by our use of the RBL are the spammers. boo hoo. I'm also required to state why I didn't notify my customers here about use of the RBL previously. The reason, again, is that it's a non-issue. It's not important. Nobody has been negatively affected by it, so notifying people of something that hasn't affected them just isn't particularly pressing. I'm making the notification here, again, simply to comply with the tinpot fascist's demands - and note, I have indeed complied!

the last demands have to do with the statements being accessible via a clear link from the main page - already complied with, and that these detailed statements be reiterated in our AUP and Terms and Conditions, which this page is, so that's complied with as well.

So, herein, I've complied, to the letter, with each and every one of Mr. Cranky pant's demands. Now, frankly, I still don't expect that I'll see the little 'star' next to our entry on his 'list of shame'. Why? Because he'll change the rules again after he reads this. That's how he works. He'll add a further disclaimer, probably along the lines of "you may not in any way contradict the statements that i've demanded you place on your pages. you must give the overt impression that you fully and completely agree with me". Again, this is the nature of the control freak - he needs to control others, at all costs. He will never admit that he's wrong, he'll simply change the rules again, to give the appearance that he holds 'the high ground', because nobody out there can comply with his rules. Heck, five'll get you ten, he'll just remove any mention or option of getting the 'star'. Well, sorry chief, what really happens is that you lose in the long run. Just like your fascist little policy on your site that prohibits your customers from advertising or encouraging people to use other ISP's (talk about a need to control people!), those who try to control others will always lose in the end, because doing so only makes you the controlled one - controlled by your paranoia, and your powerlessness. I hope you find peace some day, baby, cuz you are never going to control me.

Oh, in case anyone might be wondering if Mr. Cranky pants might be some courageous freedom-fighter, battling the big bad evil RBL strictly on ideological grounds, bzzt, sorry, thanks for playing. Mr. Cranky pants is ranting about the RBL simply because he's listed! Yup, once a sleazy spam-enabler, always a sleazy spam-enabler, that's my belief. I've no tolerance for providers who refuse to take responsibility for spam referencing or emanating from their network. I hope he goes belly-up. Actually, I take that back. I hope he sees the light and learns to act as a responsible internet provider. But I'm not holding my breath. ( see evidence here )

Addendum, 08apr01 - Well, as the following shows, I was right - Mr. Cranky pants is incapable of ethical discourse or actions. This is from his 'list of shame':
" (Paul, you're right about one thing - in this small corner of the world, we make the rules, and we can change 'em. Don't get your hopes up)"
There you have it in a nutshell. What a pity!

The saga continues, 08apr01 - Ah, the ways and wiles of the pathologically unethical person. Mr. Cranky pants has once again taken the weasel's way out. Now, his page is listing a little skull symbol with "RBL" across it next to three sites on the list, ours included. Next to our entry, it states, "(we think this is a suitable symbol for such a dictatorial site)". He makes demands, he changes the rules when the demands are met, we meet the new demands, he changes the rules yet again. And _we're_ dictatorial! So, we are still awaiting a truly honest, ethical demonstration from this pathetic little man. All he'd have to do is put ze leetle star next to our name - perhaps a six pointed star would be appropriate, to identify us as yuden (my wife is jewish!). Then, when he takes control of the world, it'll be easy to identify us as sub-human, and dispensable (I just had to make the necessary reference to nazis, you can't have a decent online flamewar without it! ;^)

The only other policy of note is that everybody must be very nice to everybody else here. Users failing to abide by this policy will be tickled.

Last updated 08apr01 17:41:33 PDT