August 7, 1997 2:45 PM PDT

Word of UUNet truce stifled

As far as its organizers are concerned, the "Usenet death penalty" that was called against backbone Internet provider UUNet (UUNT) has been lifted.

The problem is not everyone knows it, according to Ken Lucke, an organizer of the UDP.

It seems that every time Lucke and others try to post a newsgroup message explaining how they've lifted the penalty, a "rogue canceller" sends out a command canceling the message, Lucke said.

In other words, whoever is doing this is using the same cancel command that the organizers of the UDP were using to cancel Usenet messages sent by UUNet users.

The only difference is that those involved with the UDP were generally known within the Usenet community as people who sent out cancel messages for spam. Even if they weren't popular, they were at least known and reachable, Lucke noted.

Whoever is doing the canceling is trying to hide behind anonymity, he added. The bottom line is that some people don't know that the UDP has been scrapped.

"I keep posting [the message] and it keeps getting canceled by a rogue canceler," he said. As a result, Lucke has asked that his entire message, including its Pretty Good Privacy signature, be circulated as widely as possible to publicize the end of the UDP.

A loose coalition of news administrators and concerned users was cancelling out Usenet messages sent from UUNet since August 1. This was done in response to an alleged tide of junk email the group said was being sent by UUNet customers.

Lucke and others had called for the UDP to be lifted yesterday at 2 p.m. PT.

Meanwhile, UUNet, which added more antispam measures in what it called a zero-tolerance policy toward spam, has said the UDP "amounts to digital terrorism" and vowed to "take legal action against this group," according to UUNet spokesman Alan Taffel.

 

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