Discussion re sg development. You don't have to be a developer.


Postby Guest » Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:40 pm

By: jqh1 ( Josiah Hamilton )
2003-01-03 14:37
Have you all heard of a company called Habeas (habeas.com, I think) - they copyrighted a haiku that is placed in mail headers. Spam filters that see the haiku can assume the sender is not a spammer, provided the ip address that the mail was sent from isn't included in the "habeas infringers list". They maintain the list to indicate people who have used the copyrighted haiku without their blessing, or in violation of their license.

I noticed that spamassassin checks for the habeas headers, then checks the infringers list, and I was thinking about including the feature in sg.

Do you all have any opinions on that? Assuming they're not negative, consider:

Looking for the headers is easy enough, but I'm a little worried about checking the infringers list. The instructions page:


says we'd need to do a "dns query" with an IP address to see whether it's on the list. I'm not 100% sure I know what that means (I suppose the spamassassin code holds all the answers) -- I played around with nslookup, but not knowing any ip addresses that *are* on the list, I couldn't be sure if I was doing it right. In any event, does it appear that we'd have to do a tcp connection for every message that has the haiku headers?


By: maratheamit ( Amit Marathe )
RE: habeas
2003-01-09 09:49
I think you are right: from the description on their web site a TCP connection will be needed for every message having the haiku header. Won't be much of a problem if only a small percentage of messages received by SG have that header but thinking long term I am against implementing this feature unless Habeas publishes their infringers list (which we could then upload into a local database).

-- Amit

By: syskoll ( Fred )
RE: habeas
2003-01-09 19:55

The problem with this approach is twofold:

1) Technical problem: a DNS lookup requires a socket connection for each IP address to resolve, and this call can generate a potentially long wait, depending on the saturation of DNS servers that you query. This will severely limit the throughput of the process doing the lookup.

2) Usefulness problem: Is this system different from looking up an IP address in a blacklist server? Why use the habeas server rather than one of the many blacklists? With a blacklist server, you compare your sender's IP address with a list of IP addresses that are known spammers. With Habeas, you lookup a much more restrictive list of spammers that have infriged the haiku.

Of course, I understand that it's tempting for an IP lawyer to crack down on spammers that don't even respect copyrights. :-) But still, I don't think it's a good idea.

IMHO, the Habeas system has the advantage of limiting the spam sent by well-known outfits because you could sue them for copyright violation even in the absence of spam laws. But you're still going to get spam from anonymous scammers and low-life scum relaying through China who couldn't care less about breaking one more law. Hence I doubt Habeas will be successful.

Or did I miss something?

-- SysKoll

By: jqh1 ( Josiah Hamilton )
RE: habeas
2003-01-12 13:56
Good point about spammers being able to move faster than the infringers list. As for the constant lookups, the first email I got from Habeas mentioned either DNS lookup, or DNS transfer -- I'm hoping the DNS transfer would allow access to the complete list. I sent them an email asking for clarification on this, and for an IP address that tests positive if we want to test the lookup.

In any event, I'd probably add it as a feature that needs to be enabled (eg, "trust Habeas certified messages") so that the lookups would be restricted to those users who had enabled the feature (at least at first).

(BTW, the "features" are stored as a prime number multiple in one of the columns of the Users table. To add a feature for tracking, just grab the next prime number and assign it to a constant - to check and see if a feature is enabled, see if you get mod 0 when you divide - I think there are functions for this already in place -- the web code has methods to add and remove them)

Anyway, I thought it would be a quick hit -- I'll probably try and sneak it in at some point.

By: jqh1 ( Josiah Hamilton )
RE: habeas
2003-01-13 15:11
here's the answer to my latest query regarding positive testing and dns transfer:

> 1) Can you provide an IP address that "tests positive" in the
> infringers
> list? That is, it would be nice to test our implementation with an
> address that we know should return from the DNS

the address and both return positive- using
the HIL server, you'd do a lookup on to
see the "positive" result.

> 2) Is there a way to obtain the entire list on a regular basis (eg,
> nightly) so that the look-up can be local rather than remote? Is
> what you refer to as DNS transfer below?

Yes. You would set up your own nameserver as a slave for the
hil.habeas.com subdomain, with our server as the master.

-Qarin Van Brink
Systems Developer, Habeas, Inc.

> On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Alfiya Tamayeva wrote:
> >
> > The Infringer's list is available via DNS query or transfer;
> information
> is
> > available at http://www.habeas.com/services/infringers.htm
> >

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