Everybody thinks if its not us, we don't have problem so we dont want
to spend anything to fix it - bu its not true, you already are paying
for it due to increased cost of operation. The cost of fixing your own
network even 50% of other ISPs did it, would in the end be smaller.
The cost of building a network is a step function.
If you didn't have to provision the capacity to handle
the traffic from spammers and DDoS attacks, then you
could delay spending these significant chunks of money.
In fact, I suspect that this was an important factor in
killing off companies during the telecom collapse. These
companies were driven to expand their networks faster
than could be justified by the paying customers because
of the large amount of traffic generated by non-paying
DDoS and spam have to be tackled in two different ways
but both of these problems will not be solved until we
address the roots of the issue and not the symptoms.
In both cases, the root of the issue is that network
operators are unable to cooperate effectively in tracking
down network abuse.
I know that a lot of people in the ISP industry have a
basically anarcho-libertarian political viewpoint and that
viewpoint has helped them make the right kind of decisions
in building most of the technical architecture of the
Internet. But this has also blinded people to the advantages
of co-operative action. There is nothing wrong with
network operators meeting together in a forum to jointly
make decisions about best practices for running the Internet's
email system or for tracking down the true sources of network
abuse. This is basically the same kind of thing that the
IETF does for network protocols and the MPLS forum and the
ATM forum, etc.
Once again, I call on the companies who participate in
the various NANOG forums to get your email engineers and
email architects and email managers all together in a
single forum to hash out the issues. We have solutions,
too many of them, but we cannot deploy these things
succesfully without broad agreement.
Remember what Tony Hain and Phil Karn have said about
end-to-end. If you get a bunch of network engineers together
and ask them to stop spam they will inevitably want to
configure their routers which leads to filtering and ACLs.
Anyone who believes that would be a mistake should be
supporting the concept of an Internet Email Operators
Forum because the people responsible for the application
will be able to find a solution at the application layer.