merlin merlin at
Tue Sep 20 02:13:45 EST 1994

In article <> brunstei at UNIXG.UBC.CA (John Brunstein) writes:
>Sending unsolicited messages of the sort you describe is 
>generally all that is needed to have someone's access revoked if they are 
>using an account on a university server or even most commercial services.

Well, one can always try complaining to postmaster at his host and/or
domain server.  Unfortunately, with the demise of NSF funding for the
INTERNET long haul communications facilities (pretty much replaced w/
commercial [profit and nonprofit] network providers) and, as a result,
nullification of the NSF Acceptable Use Policy -- what members of the
academic community once believed to be hard and fast rules about non-
commercial use of ARPANET/INTERNET facilities suddenly disappeared.

One would be hard pressed to claim any authority to regulate postings
or email based on previous traditions, customs, rules, or regulations.
Some sites will honor your sense of outrage about commercial messages.
Increasingly, though, your complaints will elicit a polite reply that
the postmaster or domain administrator has no authority to censor the
content or originator of virtually any message sent via the network.

Perhaps the best tool for responding to people who violate previous
noncommercial use policies would be to boycott a vendor's products.
Unfortunately, in many cases such a boycott is impractical.  In the
end we are just going to have to live with the predictable results
of opening INTERNET access to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who pay a
nominal fee to a commercial network access provider.

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