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Spam Communications

Spamhaus Opening New Branch in China 222

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the inbox-mine-sweeper dept.
Eggplant62 writes "ChinaTechNews.com is reporting that Steve Linford's Spamhaus.org will open operations with the help of Chinese government officials and ISP's in order to remove spammers operating servers on China's portion of the Internet. For years, China's unwitting ignorance of the spam issues they have with the rest of the world has been a major stumbling block in the fight to control spammers who operate from the netblocks of foreign nations. Seeing China take steps to help the world curb the scourge of junk email has me cheering all the way. Go Steve!"
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Spamhaus Opening New Branch in China

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  • Awsome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tokerat (150341) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:19AM (#9274446) Journal

    I'm glad China realized just how much money they're going to save their economy which they have been viciously trying to kickstart lately.

    Go China!
    • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spyffe (32976) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:29AM (#9274511) Homepage
      I must say, though, that if I were a member of an organization that informs law enforcement, I would be hesitant to work with the government on the mainland.

      Spamhaus.org in the US can assume that spammers will be assessed for fines; the punishments may be more serious in China, whose legal system is much less transparent than that of the United States (although the US is working on theirs).

      I would be very careful to point spammers out to law enforcement; I would hate to have on my conscience that some guy with a family to feed is sitting in jail just for spamming because I cooperated with his government in prosecuting him.

      • by fmaxwell (249001) on Friday May 28, 2004 @08:19AM (#9276079) Homepage Journal
        I would hate to have on my conscience that some guy with a family to feed is sitting in jail just for spamming because I cooperated with his government in prosecuting him.

        Your argument is wrong on so many counts, so I'll just pick on a few of them here.

        1. Company X makes widgets.
        2. Company X gets a lot of spam.
        3. Company X's employees and IT staff spend a lot of time dealing with the spam.
        4. Company X has to hire additional IT staff to combat the spam software.
        5. Company X is forced to raise the price on widgets to pay for the man-hours and additional staff that deals with spam.
        6. Sales of Company X's widgets decline due to the higher prices.
        7. Company X goes into the red, losing money.
        8. Company X lays off workers.
        9. Those workers, who, unlike the spammer, did nothing wrong, have families to feed, too.
        Consumers are paying more for most consumer goods (especially Internet access) because almost all companies are dealing with spam problems. That means lower sales of luxury items, layoffs at stores, etc. Republicans are quick to claim that taxes drive down consumer and business spending, but what do they think that the "spam tax" is doing to the economy?

        Would you hesitate to turn a mugger in to the police because his family might go hungry? Would you not turn in some guy who robbed a liquor store because he is doing it to feed his family? Just because the U.S. government won't jail spammers doesn't mean that the spammers should not go to jail. If China jails them, then I will applaud China.
        • Alternative:
          3. Company switches to Mozilla (or any other client with antispam plugin) and teaches the employees to teach the built-in Bayesian engine by labeling spam as spam - even a monkey can learn a single click. The lone admin considers it good but it could be better, and adds a second layer of protection on the mailserver, along the lines of SpamAssassin.
          4. Profit!

          Spam is a problem. But usually not *that* big problem, maybe with exception of some ISPs.

          • 3. Company switches to Mozilla (or any other client with antispam plugin) and teaches the employees to teach the built-in Bayesian engine by labeling spam as spam - even a monkey can learn a single click.

            Flaws:

            1. It costs money to deploy a new mail client. Try doing it for a company with tens of thousands of computers.
            2. It costs money to train people in how to use the new mail client. Yes, many administrative people, secretaries, facilities support personnel, etc. will need training and support.
            3.
      • By the same logic, any con-man with a family should stay out of jail? Fines, spammers can pay and will accept as a cost of business. Jail time is a punishment. They'll get to see lots of enlarged penises that they helped to create.
    • Go China? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      A country that has massacred dissenters and viciously oppressed their people while routinely practicing human rights violations? Uhhh, yeah, "Go China"...
    • by baomike (143457) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:42AM (#9274580)
      Actualy china has been trying to slow economic expansion. The current rate is believed to be unsustainable. It has been leading to "excesses".
      There is official worry that the bubble may burst,
      therefore they are attempting a "soft landing".
  • by Spruce Moose (1857) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:20AM (#9274455)
    Maybe now people can start removing country code blocks. It's kind of sad having to block off countries due to spam and it would be nice to be able to turn this off.
    • Especially when it often makes good sense to work with other companies in these countries. Especially when looking for good cheap suppliers [globalsources.com].
    • I block all mail from CN, HK. & KR becasue I get nothing but SPAM from them. I do mail for about 40 users and I block more than 5000 spam messages from CN each day. Until that number drops by at least a factor of 1000 I will leave my country block for CN online. Trojan proxies and CN now are my number 1 & 2 sources of spam.
      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday May 28, 2004 @05:11AM (#9275424)
        I block all mail from CN, HK. & KR becasue I get nothing but SPAM from them.

        I live in Hong Kong. For every legitimate email I get from the US I get hundreds of spams. All in English, selling drugs, mortgages, software, porn, cable decoders etc. The US creates the spam, and routes it through whatever servers it can find. And you know who thw spammers are (ROKSO [spamhaus.org]) and do nothing to even slow them down. But you block my emails becuae I live in the same country as the server the American spammers are using.

        • About the only answer I can give you is... yep.

          You can't be ignoring the crucial detail that there must be a reason they are spamming from China right? As with most things in life, the path of least resistance is often chosen. If China ISPs cared, they could reduce the attractiveness of their IP space to spammers. And it seems that that is now the case. Also, you realize you are talking to people who can't actually effect change right? While I wish there was currently a better solution than massive ip
          • Also, you realize you are talking to people who can't actually effect change right?

            That's exactly my point. My mail is blocked because of the actions of people retaliating against other people I have no power to affect in the slightest. I'm collateral damage.

            You can't be ignoring the crucial detail that there must be a reason they are spamming from China right?

            But what does that have to do with me? It's my personal mail that is blocked. And again, most of the spam originates in the US. If you quarant

  • by Hungry Admin (703839) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:20AM (#9274456) Journal
    welcome to level 50 of whack-a-mole!
  • by nev4 (721804) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:21AM (#9274462)
    What's the penalty for spamming in China, getting runover by a tank?
    • They get exiled to jails operated by US contractors.
    • They'll simply disappear.

      No seriously. If the Chinese government ever half understands how trashed its email reputation is, it will _never_ let these people touch a keyoard again. There are other careers, several of them, in the PRC.

      But really the problem is international spammers exploiting unsecured relays, and I would suppose that with official cooperation Mr. Linford oughta be able to track those down pretty easily.

      Whether the Chinese netspace can ever be redeemed is another matter. I for one know
  • by thewldisntenuff (778302) * on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:24AM (#9274476) Homepage
    atall? When a good percentage (can't find the stat when I need it, of course :) ) of the spam comes out of the United States, why the hell does Spamhaus look to the Chinese for help...We ought to start hunting down those the homegrown idiots like Scott Richter before we solicit help internationally....

    • by blowdart (31458) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:32AM (#9274527) Homepage
      A lot of the spamvertised web sites (including Richter's) are hosted on Chinese ISPs (71% according to a survey [chinatechnews.com] from Commtouch. (The same survey shows that 60.5% of spam is sent from US addresses)

      The ISPs are unresponsive to emails, some don't have abuse@ addresses and of course there's the language barrier. So, hopefully, a spamhaus setup in China will get the chinese ISPs to remove the spamvertised sites quickly.

      The effectiveness of this idea, of course, remains to be seen. I can see the temptation of taking hard currency when you're happily ignoring complaints about the "Make big penis" web sites hosted in your IP space.

      Now if only Russia would do something about the paypal, ebay and bank phishing spammers they host, then I might consider lifting some country blocks.

      • WE can do something about the phishing sites, just need to set up a few machines to go through and put random and invalid data into the fields on the phisher sites, spam the spammers untill they cannot respond efficiently to actual successfully captured info. Have a long list of names and surnames, randomly combined to produce names, then mathematically produced CC#'s that are valid but with bogus billing info (imaginary streets and cities) which the CC companies will throw out but the spammers wouldn't kno
      • When you refer to hosted sites and country blocks, it sounds like you're blocking http traffic. Is this the case?
      • The ISPs are unresponsive to emails, some don't have abuse@ addresses

        How is that different from a lot of ISPs in the rest of the world?

        Here in the UK, NTL still have an abuse@ address... shame they drop all the mail that goes to it into the bitbucket. They also have an abuse form on their website which they dutifully ignore - frankly they just don't give a damn.

        We're having this problem at the Swansea University Computer Society, which has been well documented [sucs.org]. (Not a spammer, but a virussed windows ma
    • Comcast the steady number one with around 5 times more spam than number 2 on the list of the spam recorded by SpamCop.

      They simply don't handle spamming zombie computers efficiently.

      No .cn domain event gets into the top-10 list:

      1 lacking dns 149112 2.411%
      2 comcast.net 77528 1.254%
      3 attbi.com 13561 0.219%
      4 mindspring.com 8718 0.141%
      5 charter.com 6043 0.098%
      6 rr.com 5751 0.093%
      7 revolution-media.com 3395 0.055%
      8 zonnet.nl 3230 0.052%
      9 ewetel.net 2911 0.047%
      10 nameservices.net

      Being European, I block everyth
    • I assume that by homegrown you are speaking of the US as "Snotty Scotty" is a Yank. Steve Linford, who is helping US authorities to track spammers, is a Brit. International help is needed because the Internet is international. One other group that needs to provide MUCH more help right now is the North American broadband providers. I believe that all of the spam that the notorious American (and some other English speaking nationalities) spam is sent either through non-US mail servers or through infected
    • Not sure if you've ever been to Times Square, but imagine if you will a loudspeaker in times square that rebroadcasts (very very loudly) whatever it picks up via its wireless microphone receiver. Now there are about 4 people somewhere in a 10 block radius of that loudspeaker and they are using the loudspeaker to make everone's life miserable. By your account, they should leave the loudspeaker alone, but instead search every single apartment and office within a 10 block radius of that loudspeaker looking for
  • by Richard_L_James (714854) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:24AM (#9274478)
    Great title.... makes Spamhaus sound like a fast food chain !
  • Eh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gordgekko (574109) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:32AM (#9274523) Homepage
    For years, China's unwitting ignorance of the spam issues they have with the rest of the world has been a major stumbling block in the fight to control spammers who operate from the netblocks of foreign nations.

    Unwitting...ha ha...good one. Nothing happens in China, especially in the high tech sector, without the government knowing about it.

  • now those spammers that he pisses off will be on the other side of the world and won't be able to smash his car up..
  • by dananderson (1880) on Friday May 28, 2004 @12:57AM (#9274640) Homepage
    This all sounds very familiar. I had Chinese roomates back when I was a grad student. To improve their English, they got the People's Daily. It was written in broken English (at least then), but was very interesting reading between the lines. I would read about a major government initiative, say, to control water pollution. Great! Well, nothing would happen and a few months latter, I would read about another water pollution program (for example). This would repeat for other "good things."

    So, the lesson is, the Chinese government leadership has very good intentions. However, they don't follow through or don't have the power to overcome inertia, bureaucracy, and corruption.

    • I wonder. Are the intentions good, or is the intention simply to look like they have good intentions? My understanding of Chinese cultrure is that face is often more important than reality."Yes, we've got a program to clean the water for the villagers" * refills glass from bottle of imported mineral water * It's hard to take well meaning politicians seriously when they are so far removed from the problems and the people (This goes for everywhere, not just China).

    • I would read about a major government initiative, say, to control water pollution. Great! Well, nothing would happen and a few months latter, I would read about another water pollution program (for example). This would repeat for other "good things."

      So, the lesson is, the Chinese government leadership has very good intentions


      Man, if I were a greedy, materialistic, totalitarian regime, I would give my RIGHT ARM for citizens like you!

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday May 28, 2004 @01:01AM (#9274661)
    Seeing China take steps to help the world curb the scourge of junk email has me cheering all the way.

    Now if we can only get them to do something about that pesky human rights problem, we'll be all set. You know, disappearing people, executing them for things like speaking against the government, no free press...

    It'll be especially handy, since then if they need anyone from outside China to work in the office, people might actually want to, instead of being terrified of getting arrested for uttering the wrong word or failing to bribe the wrong guy, or telling someone about what's really going on in the world...and getting locked away in some (literal) shithole for the rest of eternity, with a little T&E(torture and execution) thrown in for fun.

    Seriously, people- you go to China, there are lots of ways you can end up never being seen/heard from again. I wouldn't go there if you paid me to- I'd go to Iraq before I went to China.

    • Funny you should mention that...people've been talking about muslims dissappearing somewhere in the coast of Cuba for a few years. I wonder what's causing it?
    • I'm in China now, reading and submitting to slashdot. As random info, I tried accessing the following sites, from a cybercafe here, with the following results:

      reuters.com/news.html -> ok
      www.iht.com -> ok
      www.cnn.com -> ok
      www.lemonde.fr -> ok

      and you can see that slashdot is working

    • I am an atheist, in China, I will be normal, in the U.S. I would be considered a freak and ostracised. I am a scientist by training, in the U.S., stem cell research is heavily limited by bible thumping politicians, in China, no such problem.

      In China, a white guy speaking chinese is impressive. In the U.S. a white guy speaking anything but english is scary, espescially if he speaks french too!

      In China... I could go on for hours but I have class in ten minutes (chinese class at that).
  • The real problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2004 @01:13AM (#9274705)
    For years, USA's unwitting ignorance of the spam issues they have with the rest of the world has been a major stumbling block in the fight to control spammers who operate from countries where spamming for some reason is legal.
  • It's 2004 People (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wan-fu (746576) on Friday May 28, 2004 @01:24AM (#9274751)
    Hello? Reality to the readers of Slashdot. Every time China is mentioned in any /. article, China's human rights issues are immediately pushed to the forefront. I have serious beef with that in the form of two main issues:
    1. The "get priorities straight" or "let's see China get some basic human rights" posts are more cliche and more often seen than hot grits and Natalie Portman (then again, I read at +1).

    2. It's 2004 people, China is no longer the China of ten, even five years ago. China is one of the most rapidly developing nations and with each major technological push in the country, the people receive even more degrees of freedom. When I was in China just two years ago, I could talk to just about anyone about how they felt about the government. No discomfort, no "oh crap, is he secret police?" (I am Chinese, US Citizen, with Beijing Mandarin accent so it's hard to tell that I'm not from there)

    Though Internet access is "spotty," e.g. no access to Google cache, etc. They have the Internet and most of it at that. Sure, things operate differently there and it's easier to find yourself in a jail cell. But there is no longer the mentality of "he critized the government, flog him."

    Now, in the more interior/central parts of China, changes are slower than on the coast because of the slower pace of technological change there. But I can't emphasize this enough: China has made some serious progress from ten and even five years ago. Every year, China makes big strides. People have more freedom in their speech, press, and some places even have elections.

    Also, since it's obvious that most people here aren't that knowledgeable about China (nor am I, but at least I know enough that it's not how everyone is describing it), another important thing to note is the changing of leadership. The old guard is slowly receding with China's new president (though obviously Jiang is still a big figure lurking in the shadows) and fresh blood in the Congress. New ideas and new leadership will only make the country better

    Lastly, though we always hear about human rights violations every year, I feel (and this is just my opinion, no real facts here) that a lot of it is blown out of proportion. Not to say that it's okay, but that perhaps people should try to be less biased about it. I think that because people hear about these incidents in China, they automatically think, "Damn, that China, they'll never fix their human rights problems. They are always beating people and torturing them, etc." But now, put that in perspective of what happens in many other developed countries (US, Britain, etc.) Many people are unlawfully detained, or excessive force is used upon them, or they are mistakenly incarcerated. I think that if you took all the news stories about those types of events happening in the US, and said it happened in China, people would go nuts calling out for China to give their citizens "basic human rights."

    • by TheOtherKiwi (743507) on Friday May 28, 2004 @01:45AM (#9274821) Homepage Journal
      Mod me as off topic but the actual difference between China and the other nations mentioned is that other nations prohibit such violations - when they occur, it is against the will of the democratically elected government and hopefully the people that elected them. Unlike China where it is "legal" to do these things.

      To get back on-topic, I think the article is a good example of how China is moving (slowly) towards more modern society even if the pace is not as fast as many would like - there are other factors to take into account...nobody wants a revolution in one of the world biggest economies...this is not good for anyone of us.
    • On Human Rights. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nailer (69468) on Friday May 28, 2004 @02:53AM (#9274992)
      I live in Australia. We're apparently a US ally (more like a lackey), but even the most conservative (therefore pro-US) newspapers here reported the Iraqi torture as just that. The Australian, the nationwise conservative newspapaer in a country of 18 million that's one of your biggest allies, used the word torture to describe naked prisoners being badly beaten or having chemical light fluid poured through their anuses.

      Which is why I find it amusing that on Nightly Business Report (a US financial news and current program that's on just before our own news) you're using the words 'suspected mistreatment' to describe something that's documented and not denied by anyone (the only issue seems to be whether the Geneva convention was officially supposed to be ignored).

      So yeah, look in your own backyard before judging China. Since Sep 11, you're like a wounded pitbull attacking everything and anyone without thought. What on Earth does Iraq have to do with terrorism anyway?

      (And yes, Australia has a pretty poor HR record in a lot of ways too - but I'm not denying that)...
      • ... like you need another one. :)

        As I see it, our government has been hijacked by a gang of shortsighted evildoers. It was in Newsweek, fer chrissake -- Bush/Rumsfeld asked around for ways to invalidate the Geneva Convention. Colin Powell replied that reversing 50 years of policy in that regard, with the goal of legalizing torture on the people of any country we occupied, was both a stupid and dangerous policy. He was overruled.

        http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4999734/site/newsweek/

        We've been betrayed as a peo
  • It'll just be moved to Taiwan.

    I'm sure then China will try to use that as leverage as to why they should get Taiwan back.
  • by puke76 (775195) on Friday May 28, 2004 @02:55AM (#9275002) Homepage
    [Queue comments about China's human rights record from flag wavers]

    I believe Amnesty International just gave the US a damning report on human rights abuses. Detention without charge or trial [amnesty.org]

    It is hardly suprising that those in the US (land of the free etc) point the finger at China's human rights record, whilst ignoring human rights abuses in their own back yard (Guantanamo Bay, Iraqi prisoners, etc). I'd say our hypocracy (do as we say, but not as we do) and our naive view of the world ("good" vs "evil") has given us a lot of rope with which to hang ourselves.

    Flag waving is not a sport
  • Still USA spammers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by some1somewhere (642060) on Friday May 28, 2004 @04:25AM (#9275300)
    Keep in mind it is USA spammers/scammers taking advantage and hacking/cracking other people's/countries computers.

    The ROOT of the problem still exists, and that is USA spammers.

    So if China makes some headway to reduce the number of trojaned computers, open relays, etc. thats good but the core spammers still need to be caught and dealt with.

    • No matter how much headway China makes in patching open relays etc., the spam problem will never go away, or even begin to slow down unless the USA bothers to do something about the source of the problem. The spammers will keep finding ways to spam as long as it is profitable and they can get away with it. But American egos seem to prevent us from even allowing themselves to acknowledge that we are the cause of the problem. So don't expect much headway on this when the country causing the problem thinks it

  • China? US! (Score:5, Informative)

    by hherb (229558) <horstNO@SPAMdorrigomedical.com> on Friday May 28, 2004 @04:44AM (#9275352) Homepage
    I welcome any effort to reduce Spam anywhere.
    However, I just went through the hassle of analyzing what has been caught inmy spam trap today:
    243 spam messages total
    of which
    4 (four!) apparently came from China.
    7 came from Russia,
    1 came from Germany
    19 I haven't been able to work out yet
    the rest comes from ... USA. That's 212 out of 243, or almost a whopping 90%

    Guys, the problem is with the good old US, at least for the spam I receive. The legislation there is not biting at all.

    Anybody got a link regarding larger and long term spam statistics re country of origin?
  • by strider_starslayer (730294) on Friday May 28, 2004 @05:10AM (#9275421)
    oh no; here comes the magic phrase: I know I'm going to get modded into oblivion, but...

    Somehow whenever china gets mentioned- it's horrid stompings on the concept of human rights comes up. That's good, china has some very serious problems with human rights that need to be addressed, even today. However, I find a lot of this stomping to be 'blind stomping' people insult china's human rights violations, without understanding them; or trying to assault the root of the problem. Also statments like 'china shoulden't be doing this until they can get there human rights issues sorted out' come up a lot.

    Maby this IS how there going to fix there human rights issues- by making forward strides to making a forward thinking comunity china will raise it's peoples standard of living, and slowly emerge as a global 'contender' in world politics and technology (there allready recognised as a power; but often a pool of cheap labour power, rather then a technological one), so long as china's people are (in the world view) nothing more then cheap labour, how will they ever be able to comprihend there own people as cheap 'disposable' labour; and that sort of thinking results in- you guessed it, human rights violations- if there lives are cheap; there is no incentive not to end them when they commit 'crimes' (the state identifies crimes, which may or may not align with morality or even sanity- see the DMCA for examples)

    The next problem I have with people poo-pooing on china's human rights violations blissfully ignores human rights violations from other countries (torture of Iraqie prisoners, horrid treatment of 'illegal combattants' in guantolomo bay from the US for instance, in my own country, we were still 'indoctrinating native children into society' which is a polite way of saying kidnapping native americans and forcing them to attend schools far from home while there sexually assaulted by the priests and nuns until 1971)

    My point is; none of our countries are 'perfect' when it comes to human rights- and I think that china should be given some slack- for all the ill they are doing, they seem to be improving by leaps and bounds- improvement still needs to be done, the human rights issues still need to be addressed; but simply saying 'china is a hole where humans have no rights and should be ignored' is wrong- china as a country is trying to better itself, it diserves recognition for that; great change either requires time, or revolution: I think everyone can agree revolution is not in the bests interests of anyone with regard to china.
  • Good news! (Score:3, Funny)

    by varjag (415848) on Friday May 28, 2004 @09:17AM (#9276400)
    Now, when they will outsource the recipients to China as well?

    I just see it:
    "Enlarge your party membership"
    "Hot XXX caucasian teens"

  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Friday May 28, 2004 @11:01AM (#9277266) Journal
    the spam blocks you!
  • was that he *paid* an ISP in china to relay his crap.

    So now it's not just an "unwitting error" but "intentionally irritating".

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