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Spam Your Rights Online

Australia's Largest ISP Redefines Spam 304

Posted by timothy
from the don't-tell-all-your-friends dept.
cpudney writes "According to this article in NEWS.com.au, Telstra BigPond, Australia's largest ISP will monitor its customers' e-mails and suspend the accounts of users suspected of sending spam, viruses or denial-of-service attacks. Under changes to its Acceptable Use Policy, BigPond will investigate cable and ADSL Internet customers sending more than 20 e-mails in a 10-minute period, and BigPond management "may suspend the (user's) account while the customer is contacted" if they are suspected of sending spam. Previously, BigPond's definition of spam was held to be 400 messages sent over a 15-minute period and now it's changed to 20 e-mails over 10 minutes. Internet Society of Australia president Tony Hill said BigPond's new definition of spam was very restrictive and he was concerned the limit had been set too low for legitimate e-mail users."
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Australia's Largest ISP Redefines Spam

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  • by wrinkledshirt (228541) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @01:27AM (#7615896) Homepage
    I couldn't tell from the article exactly how they were counting 20 emails (cc's or bcc's count? groups count?). But the fact that they monitor by email sending rate seems interesting. I think adding just one more step to that process could make it really useful.

    1) Monitor all sources of emails in which large numbers are being sent over a short time period.

    2) Allow a central repository for people to report which emails are considered spam. Once that amount reaches a certain threshold...

    3) Connect the dots, you get a spammer.
  • by Steve 'Rim' Jobs (728708) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @01:35AM (#7615946) Journal
    Quote:

    Under changes to its Acceptable Use Policy, BigPond will investigate cable and ADSL Internet customers sending more than 20 e-mails in a 10-minute period, and BigPond management "may suspend the (user's) account while the customer is contacted" if they are suspected of sending spam.

    It doesn't say anywhere they they will suspend your account if you simply send 20 emails in 10 minutes. All it says is they may investigate users who do, and may suspend their account upon further investigation. I really don't see a huge deal with this, and there isn't any plausible reason to get angry with this policy if it is followed properly.
  • Wait and see (Score:5, Informative)

    by SEE (7681) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @01:37AM (#7615956) Homepage
    It's not like there's an automatic suspension for exceeding the limit. They're just advising that 20 in ten minutes is the level that now prompts them to look more closely at. If they aren't stupid about it, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Admittedly, that's a big if, given that it's Telestra that we're talking about, but . . .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @01:38AM (#7615970)
    I act as a class rep. for the technical program I'm in at school. I often have to send out information via the class email list... of 24 people... Hmmm... I'll be investigated for each email I send out to the list ?
  • by KU_Fletch (678324) <bthomas1&ku,edu> on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @01:39AM (#7615982)
    They're only going to investigate those people, not disable their accounts. If they look at it and see that they sent legitimate messages because they just pop on to send e-mail, they'll be find and their ISP will move on. At least this should make the net big enough to actively catch spammers eariler.
  • Re:Honest question? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @01:41AM (#7615997)
    I can send 20 messages in 10 minutes. I usually check my email at 7 AM when I get into the office. Many times its emails like "Can you update this item on my webpage". At the end of the day, say about 4PM. I will reply to these messages with a simple: Done, you have X hours of tech support left this month and I can send out 15 - 20 in 5 minutes easy.

    400 in 15 minutes, yeah, that looks odd and should be checked into. 20 in 10...that's not too hard.

  • by bernywork (57298) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `notelpatsb'> on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @02:14AM (#7616173) Journal
    If you read a little better, this is only for ADSL and Cable customers, why they would read offline (Unless they have a notebook or something) when on ADSL or Cable it doesn't matter if they are online or not?

    On top of the previous posters comment regarding it only being investigated and not an automatic immediate suspension.
  • by bernywork (57298) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `notelpatsb'> on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @02:17AM (#7616183) Journal
    Possibly not. A lot of virii and worms send email directly; therefore not using Telstra's mail servers. Therefore Telstra wouldn't even see the messages leaving the machine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @03:53AM (#7616461)
    *Notes that it's just a c/p from perl.org*

    http://www.perl.com/language/misc/virus.html

    So it's not like whoever posted that actually *wrote* a 3000+ footnoted slashdot comment, just to point out the correct plural of virus.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @04:23AM (#7616550)
    The time scale is definately not too small. If the ISP wants to stop a spammer, he should do that as soon as possible (after 10 minutes or even earlier), not a day later, when 10.000.000 e-mails have already left the pc. Once upon a time one of my servers was an open relay and got abused for a spam-run - I assure you: in 10 minutes the server will spout out several thousands of e-mails! Kudos to Big-Pond!
  • by terrox (555131) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @07:33AM (#7616987) Journal
    1.5 million pensioners on bigpond dialup ? you are insane
    the article says "will investigate cable and ADSL Internet customers"

    (1.5 million pensioners on bigpond LOL)
    mod parent down -10 off topic, misinformed, knee-jerk
  • by letxa2000 (215841) on Wednesday December 03, 2003 @10:48AM (#7618093)
    If they used online mailing, the phone line would be tied up for long periods doing nothing.

    Well considering the story itself says that "BigPond will investigate cable and ADSL Internet customers sending more than 20 e-mails in a 10-minute period", I fail to see where staying online for long periods will tie up the phone line.

    Unless ADSL and cable service in Australia ties up the phone? :)

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