So, in the course of yesterdays DNS rants
, I let slip my low opinion of ICANN
- which I don't believe is a democracy, unless you're using American democracy as an example -
burst forth in a plea for personal responsibility in the commons - which changed how I've been coping with postmaster email. It's not every day that a discussion changes how you're thinking, so, here's Chip:
I wanted to get on a tear about this.
(Mike, careful, you are becoming a MS Droid, top-posting and everything.)
I don't have time to write all my own material!
I was blaming ICANN and ARIN for all of our woes. Then I went to some public ARIN meetings, kept my mouth shut, and listened. I heard some folks presenting who knew a lot more than I ever will about this stuff, who work really hard at trying to do the right thing.
The main point they stressed was, This is OUR internet.
It doesn't belong to ICANN, it doesn't belong to AOL, it doesn't belong to the US Congress, and it certainly doesn't belong to ARIN.
ARIN/ICANN is a democracy.
If you (I) don't like something, then get involved, and try to make it better.
It was a sobering set of talks.
So, for my part, I am lurking on the public ARIN mailling lists, and reviewing them when I have the time. And keeping my mouth shut until I have something "real" to say, and not just my usual bitching rants.
The problem, as i see it, is the co-option of ICANN by the "big" isps. The Time Warner cable companies, the huge spam shops and such. The folks who are run by marketing MBAs and have no clue about the fact that the internet is a common. That don't even know what a common is. They equate common with communism, and they hate communism only because they think it exists to keep them from getting rich, without understanding anything about it.
My big thing is this:
Every domain must have a postmaster, EVERY SINGLE DOMAIN must have a postmaster, and a hostmaster, and a webmaster.
Those addresses postmaster@, hostmaster@, webmaster@ must go to a REAL PERSON. Now, that real person can be a pool of tech support people, but there must be confidence
that every email sent to those addresses will be reviewed in a timely fashion (within 48 hours) by someone who has a vested interest in the domain in question.
Every Single IP address must have a technical contact.
EVERY SINGLE IP ADDRESS MUST HAVE A TECHNICAL CONTACT.
Now, that technical contact can be a pool of technical support staff, but there must be confidence that any email sent to that technical contact address will be reviewed in a timely fashion by someone who has a vested interest in the IP network in question.
*IF* emails addressed to postmaster@,hostmaster@,webmaster@ or technical contacts go unaddressed for an unreasonable amount of time. Then the big dogs, ARIN/ICANN should
pull the allocations. PERIOD.
Yes, this means Verisign/NetSol loses their "all your domains belong to us" monopoly status.
They should lose it, because they have demonstrated a certain lack of concern about the overall health of the commons.
Unless of course, such a resonable proposal was adopted and Verisign/Netsol stepped up and honored their status.
*THIS* WOULD stop spam, would reduce the load on the dns system, and would speed things up considerably because our packets would have real purpose instead of just being mostly garbage.
Long ago, I mean, LONG AGO
I stopped reading my postmaster email due to being overwhelmed by spam, and this is a violation of the social compact that email is supposed to be
. I blog now, because I can't handle my email volume as it stands.
I checked. I had 17361 messages in my postmaster mailbox! 99.9999% spam, I thought. It's too much, I can't deal with it
I tried an experiment today - although it adds to the packet overhead that Chipper is bitching about, I started forwarding my postmaster email to my gmail account, where I can at least report the spam to a service that will attempt to block it.
Or so I thought, briefly. All I'd be doing by forwarding it all to gmail is blocking messages from my own domain. There has got to be a better way... maybe I should implement razor.... I don't have a technical solution, but blaming network solutions, or ARIN, saying "ICANN'T", is not the solution.
I went back and looked at that mailbox again. It wasn't all spam, 17,223 messages were messages from my local cron daemon - I used to keep statistics on my router's utilization and the code has been broken for months. I just spent 10 minutes fixing that. Deleting all those messages crashed mozilla (note: this is the first time I've crashed mozilla in months)...
118 messages were from another daemon - only 19 messages were spam... and one, exactly one, explained why I hadn't got a response back from a friend when I'd emailed him a few weeks ago.
----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
jefe AT blaize.org (reason: 553 5.3.5 system config error)
----- Transcript of session follows -----
553 5.3.5 127.0.1.50. config error: mail loops back to me (MX problem?)
554 5.3.5 Local configuration error
Not one single mail was directed by a human at postmaster. Not One
No one bothers to send mail to postmaster anymore
!! Not network people - Not even spammers. Perhaps that's the answer - that postmaster has returned to being a valid, usable, email address, that we can, once again, use as a standard to communicate about network problems.
I put security, hostmaster & postmaster back into my aliases files. I'll be a better netizen from now on.
Paul Vixie, originator of the bind DNS system
, still answers his postmaster email
Maybe Jefe has fixed his mailer problem. Maybe I'll send an email to his postmaster to find out... nope, blaize.org is still broke...
But then I realized that I was sending that email to the wrong domain and the wrong email address, that I'd got his account and address reversed in my mind -
Heh. Being a responsible postmaster is a good thing. I'd forgotten that.
Just for the hell of it, I fired off an email to postmaster AT mci.com -
"Why on earth do you have a TTL of 0 on global.mci.com?"