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UBE Working Group Draft ToR 26/04/01

UBE Working Group
Draft Terms of Reference, David Zanetti, Convener
Report to Council 26 April 2001

Unsolicited Bulk Email is a phenomenon of the ability for the Internet to deliver content to individuals for a small per-person cost. Unlike traditional methods of advertising and promotion, UBE has very few costs on the side of the sender, allowing them to easily dump a deluge of email on an unsuspecting population.

There are a number of other names for this effect, "spam" is one of the most common. It's also known as UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email), although UCE doesn't neccecarily cover all of the offending mail volume.

UBE should not be seen as purely commerical email, there are examples of such techniques being used in political battles. For example, in a US congressional election volunteers sent bulk email out to raise the profile of a candidate.
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As a result of the ease and low cost with which UBE can be sent, it will become increasingly more difficult to filter out the junk from legitimate useful email being sent to your inboxes.

The working group is to investigate the methods that are being used to combat UBE. These include, but are not limited to:
Blacklists of

  • open relays
  • "spam friendly" networks
  • "hostile" networks
  • Refusing mail from dialup pools
  • Disposable aliases

The group will identify these methods and develop an ISOCNZ position on each one. Issues to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Reliability of the method
  • Impact on the network
  • Collateral damage
  • Quality of the information making the determination
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