[Cryptography] STARTTLS, was IAB Statement on Internet Confidentiality

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Tue Nov 18 23:29:37 EST 2014

> Blocking port 25 on consumer networks to prevent outgoing spam, with
> real mail submitted on port 587 with authentication, has been an ISP
> best practice for over a decade.  

Censorship of customer communications is always a "best practice"
according to some people.  Blocking communications based on the port
number in use?  That seems to many people to be heinous, 
"picking winners and losers", discriminating against
traffic based on what the endpoint services are, etc.  Wasn't
Network Neutrality supposed to outlaw all such discrimination?
Or, is it a catchphrase for "only the politically correct people
are allowed to censor or discriminate against traffic"?

The fact that some ISPs covertly built that censorship into a
supposedly transparent network must be why I never get any spam these
days.  But it doesn't matter to zealots whether their methods actually
work or not.  They're mad at spammers, and "Hulk smash" is their main
response.  Reason, principle, protocols, and respect all went out the

Anti-spammers have done far more damage to the Internet than spammers.
Now they are claiming that we can't be permitted to encrypt our
Internet connections because then their censorship scheme would stop
working?  I don't see any spammers claiming that end users should not
be permitted to encrypt their emails nor any other traffic.  To take
the privacy of our communications into our own hands, it is the
anti-spammers who stand in our way, not the spammers.

> Here, for example, is a
> recommendation on the topic that MAAWG published in 2005:
> https://www.maawg.org/sites/maawg/files/news/MAAWG_Port25rec0511.pdf

Exactly -- an anti-spammer group, the "Messaging, Malware and Mobile
Anti-Abuse Working Group", MAAWG.  Hmm, there seem to be more M's in
there than in their domain name.  Perhaps once they started advocating
censorship for one reason ("Messaging"), they found all sorts of
other reasons for it, too.  When you have a censorship hammer, every
problem looks like a need for censorship.

	John Gilmore
       (who regularly, daily, gets his personally typed emails - just
        like this one -- censored without recourse, by the ISPs of
        recipients who rely on unreliable third party censorship

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