Public FreeBSD lists vs. spammers and our private email addresses

Dave Horsfall dave at
Sat Oct 23 23:05:01 PDT 2004

On Sun, 24 Oct 2004, Rob wrote:

> I think spamfilters are doing already a good job here; spam that makes 
> it through to the lists, seems to be fairly small. In addition, I 
> believe it's the policy of the list maintainers, to keep the thresshold 
> as low as possible for participation in the Q&A. You can avoid 
> subscription by following the newsgroup instead (e.g. on gmane).

So it's already filtered?  OK, I guess I'll stay :-)

> However, there's a more serious problem: all emails to the FreeBSD lists 
> are propagated to public newsgroups and archives with the original 
> (private) email addresses unmodified. Since the newsgroups and archives 
> are public, it's a great source of email addresses for spammers.

That is indeed a *huge* problem, and should be addressed.

> Especially innocent people, who just want to ask a question, will 
> suffer, since they may realize too late (if not even never realizing at 
> all!) that the lists are actually advertising their private email 
> addresses on the public newsgroups and archives.

And these are the ones who will tell their friends: "I tried FreeBSD, and 
since then I've got all this spam!"

Not good for the cause.  And in case anyone's wondering, I block by 
source, not by content.

> It would be much better if propagation to the newsgroups and archives 
> would scramble the private email addresses, to make such lists unusable 
> for collectors of email addresses for sending spam.

Trivial to do; just replace "@" with something that a machine cannot 
easily parse.

-- Dave

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