Brad Templeton Home
Reaction to the DEC Spam of 1978
Possibly the first spam ever was a message from a DEC marketing rep to every Arpanet address on the west coast, or at least the attempt at that.
Below is the spam itself. After it you will find a sampling of some of the reaction it generated -- not unlike the reaction to spam today. Look for the celebrity spam-defender! (Of course that was decades ago.)
Einar Stefferud, who was one of the recipients of the spam, provides this note of explanation:
The sender is identified as Gary Thuerk, an aggressive DEC marketer who thought Arpanet users would find it cool that DEC had integrated Arpanet protocol support directly into the new DEC-20 and TOPS-20 OS. I spoke with him to get his reflections on the event.
DEC was mostly an east coast company, and he had lots of contacts on the east coast to push the new Dec-20 to customers there. But with less presence on the west coast, he wanted to hold some open houses and reach all the people there. In those days, there was a printed directory of all people on the Arpanet. Gary spoke to his technical associate, and arranged to have all the addresses in the directory on the west coast typed in, and then added some customer contacts in other locations, including people at ARPA headquarters who did not, according to Thuerk, complain.
The engineer, Carl Gartley, was an early employee at DEC who had been called in to help with promoting the new Decsystem-20. They worked on the message for a few days, going through a few rewrites. Finally, on May 3, Gartley logged on to Gary's account to send the mail.
As you see below, the mail program would only accept 320 addresses. The rest overflowed into the body of the message. When they found some recipients had not gotten it, they re-sent the message to the rest of the recipients. According to Thuerk, they were unaware of the "address file" function in the mail program that would have enabled a mailing list.
Thuerk thought, and maintains to this day that he didn't think he was doing anything wrong -- even though he gets a moderate amount of spam on his current E-mail account. He felt the Dec-20 was really relevant news to the Arpanet community, the first major system with Arpanet software built into it. Indeed, some of those who commented on the message felt it was definitely more of interest than other small mass mailings they had seen, with baby announcements and personal trivia.
Nonetheless, he knew there would be some negative reaction. He primed his boss to be ready for complaint, though he didn't anticipate how strong it would be. The Defense Communications Agency (DCA) which ran the Arpanet, called Thuerk's boss, a former Air Force officer to register a strong complaint.
Amusingly, SpamAssassin scores this as spam. Partly for being in all upper case, but also because the headers of 1978 are now considered invalid.
In those days of 56kb links, the thousands of copies of this message were not an insignificant load, however. Some who didn't get the message felt left out, oddly enough, since it became such a topic of conversation.
Thuerk continues his career selling systems today, but his spam career was very short lived. In many ways, the negative reaction to that spam probably made sure the problem did not arise again for many years.
Here is the message.
Mail-from: DEC-MARLBORO rcvd at 3-May-78 0955-PDT Date: 1 May 1978 1233-EDT From: THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO Subject: ADRIAN@SRI-KL To: DDAY at SRI-KL, DAY at SRI-KL, DEBOER at UCLA-CCN, To: WASHDC at SRI-KL, LOGICON at USC-ISI, SDAC at USC-ISI, To: DELDO at USC-ISI, DELEOT at USC-ISI, DELFINO at USC-ISI, To: DENICOFF at USC-ISI, DESPAIN at USC-ISI, DEUTSCH at SRI-KL, To: DEUTSCH at PARC-MAXC, EMY at CCA-TENEX, DIETER at USC-ISIB, To: DINES at AMES-67, MERADCON at SRI-KL, EPG-SPEC at SRI-KA, To: DIVELY at SRI-KL, DODD at USC-ISI, DONCHIN at USC-ISIC, To: JED at LLL-COMP, DORIN at CCA-TENEX, NYU at SRI-KA, To: DOUGHERTY at USC-ISI, PACOMJ6 at USC-ISI, To: DEBBY at UCLA-SECURITY, BELL at SRI-KL, JHANNON at SRI-KA, To: DUBOIS at USC-ISI, DUDA at SRI-KL, POH at USC-ISI, To: LES at SU-AI, EAST at BBN-TENEX, DEASTMAN at USC-ECL, To: EBISU at I4-TENEX, NAC at USC-ISIE, ECONOMIDIS at I4-TENEX, To: WALSH at SRI-KL, GEDWARDS at SRI-KL, WEDWARDS at USC-ISI, To: NUSC at SRI-KL, RM at SU-AI, ELKIND at PARC-MAXC, To: ELLENBY at PARC-MAXC, ELLIS at PARC-MAXC, ELLIS at USC-ISIB, To: ENGELBART at SRI-KL, ENGELMORE at SUMEX-AIM, To: ENGLISH at PARC-MAXC, ERNST at I4-TENEX, To: ESTRIN at MIT-MULTICS, EYRES at USC-ISIC, To: FAGAN at SUMEX-AIM, FALCONER at SRI-KL, To: DUF at UCLA-SECURITY, FARBER at RAND-UNIX, PMF at SU-AI, To: HALFF at USC-ISI, RJF at MIT-MC, FEIERBACH at I4-TENEX, To: FEIGENBAUM at USC-ISI, FEINLER at SRI-KL, To: FELDMAN at SUMEX-AIM, FELDMAN at SRI-KL, FERNBACH at LLL-COMP, To: FERRARA at RADC-MULTICS, FERRETTI at SRI-KA, To: FIALA at PARC-MAXC, FICKAS at USC-ISIC, AFIELD at I4-TENEX, To: FIKES at PARC-MAXC, REF at SU-AI, FINK at MIT-MULTICS, To: FINKEL at USC-ISIB, FINN at USC-ISIB, AFGWC at BBN-TENEX, To: FLINT at SRI-KL, WALSH at SRI-KL, DRXAN at SRI-KA, To: FOX at SRI-KL, FRANCESCHINI at MIT-MULTICS, To: SAI at USC-ISIC, FREDRICKSON at RAND-RCC, ETAC at BBN-TENEXB, To: FREYLING at BBN-TENEXE, FRIEDLAND at SUMEX-AIM, To: FRIENDSHUH at SUMEX-AIM, FRITSCH at LLL-COMP, ME at SU-AI, To: FURST at BBN-TENEXB, FUSS at LLL-COMP, OP-FYE at USC-ISIB, To: SCHILL at USC-ISIC, GAGLIARDI at USC-ISIC, To: GAINES at RAND-UNIX, GALLENSON at USC-ISIB, To: GAMBLE at BBN-TENEXE, GAMMILL at RAND-UNIX, To: GANAN at USC-ISI, GARCIA at SUMEX-AIM, To: GARDNER at SUMEX-AIM, MCCUTCHEN at SRI-KL, To: GARDNER at MIT-MULTICS, GARLICK at SRI-KL, To: GARVEY at SRI-KL, GAUTHIER at USC-ISIB, To: USGS-LIA at BBN-TENEX, GEMOETS at I4-TENEX, To: GERHART at USC-ISIB, GERLA at USC-ISIE, GERLACH at I4-TENEX, To: GERMAN at HARV-10, GERPHEIDE at SRI-KA, DANG at SRI-KL, To: GESCHKE at PARC-MAXC, GIBBONS at CMU-10A, To: GIFFORD.COMPSYS at MIT-MULTICS, JGILBERT at BBN-TENEXB, To: SGILBERT at BBN-TENEXB, SDAC at USC-ISI, To: GILLOGLY at RAND-UNIX, STEVE at RAND-UNIX, To: GLEASON at SRI-KL, JAG;BIN(1525) at UCLA-CCN, To: GOLD at LL-11, GOLDBERG at USC-ISIB, GOLDGERG at SRI-KL, To: GROBSTEIN at SRI-KL, GOLDSTEIN at BBN-TENEXB, To: DARPM-NW at BBN-TENEXB, GOODENOUGH at USC-ISIB, To: GEOFF at SRI-KL, GOODRICH at I4-TENEX, GOODWIN at USC-ISI, To: GOVINSKY at SRI-KL, DEAN at I4-TENEX, TEG at MIT-MULTICS, To: CCG at SU-AI, EPG-SPEC at SRI-KA, GRISS at USC-ECL, To: BJG at RAND-UNIX, MCCUTCHEN at SRI-KL, GROBSTEIN at SRI-KL, To: MOBAH at I4-TENEX, GUSTAFSON at USC-ISIB, GUTHARY at SRI-KL, To: GUTTAG at USC-ISIB, GUYTON at RAND-RCC, To: ETAC-AD at BBN-TENEXB, HAGMANN at USC-ECL, HALE at I4-TENEX, To: HALFF at USC-ISI, DEHALL at MIT-MULTICS, To: HAMPEL at LLL-COMP, HANNAH at USC-ISI, To: NORSAR-TIP at USC-ISIC, SCRL at USC-ISI, HAPPY at SRI-KL, To: HARDY at SRI-KL, IMPACT at SRI-KL, KLH at SRI-KL, To: J33PAC at USC-ISI, HARRISON at SRI-KL, WALSH at SRI-KL, To: DRCPM-FF at BBN-TENEXB, HART at AMES-67, HART at SRI-KL, To: HATHAWAY at AMES-67, AFWL at I4-TENEX, BHR at RAND-UNIX, To: RICK at RAND-UNIX, DEBE at USC-ISIB, HEARN at USC-ECL, To: HEATH at UCLA-ATS, HEITMEYER at BBN-TENEX, ADTA at SRI-KA, To: HENDRIX at SRI-KL, CH47M at BBN-TENEXB, HILLIER at SRI-KL, To: HISS at I4-TENEX, ASLAB at USC-ISIC, HOLG at USC-ISIB, To: HOLLINGWORTH at USC-ISIB, HOLLOWAY at HARV-10, To: HOLMES at SRI-KL, HOLSWORTH at SRI-KA, HOLT at LLL-COMP, To: HOLTHAM at LL, DHOLZMAN at RAND-UNIX, HOPPER at USC-ISIC, To: HOROWITZ at USC-ISIB, VSC at USC-ISI, HOWARD at LLL-COMP, To: HOWARD at USC-ISI, PURDUE at USC-ISI, HUBER at RAND-RCC, To: HUNER at RADC-MULTICS, HUTSON at AMES-67, IMUS at USC-ISI, To: JACOBS at USC-ISIE, JACOBS at BBN-TENEXB, To: JACQUES at BBN-TENEXB, JARVIS at PARC-MAXC, To: JEFFERS at PARC-MAXC, JENKINS at PARC-MAXC, To: JENSEN at SRI-KA, JIRAK at SUMEX-AIM, NICKIE at SRI-KL, To: JOHNSON at SUMEX-AIM, JONES at SRI-KL, JONES at LLL-COMP, To: JONES at I4-TENEX, RLJ at MIT-MC, JURAK at USC-ECL, To: KAHLER at SUMEX-AIM, MWK at SU-AI, KAINE at USC-ISIB, To: KALTGRAD at UCLA-ATS, MARK at UCLA-SECURITY, RAK at SU-AI, To: KASTNER at USC-ISIB, KATT at USC-ISIB, To: UCLA-MNC at USC-ISI, ALAN at PARC-MAXC, KEENAN at USC-ISI, To: KEHL at UCLA-CCN, KELLEY at SRI-KL, BANANA at I4-TENEX, To: KELLOGG at USC-ISI, DDI at USC-ISI, KEMERY at SRI-KL, To: KEMMERER at UCLA-ATS, PARVIZ at UCLA-ATS, KING at SUMEX-AIM, To: KIRSTEIN at USC-ISI, SDC at UCLA-SECURITY, To: KLEINROCK at USC-ISI, KLEMBA at SRI-KL, CSK at USC-ISI, To: KNIGHT at SRI-KL, KNOX at USC-ISI, KODA at USC-ISIB, To: KODANI at AMES-67, KOOIJ at USC-ISI, KREMERS at SRI-KL, To: BELL at SRI-KL, KUNZELMAN at SRI-KL, PROJX at SRI-KL, To: LAMPSON at PARC-MAXC, SDL at RAND-UNIX, JOJO at SRI-KL, To: SDC at USC-ISI, NELC3030 at USC-ISI, To: LEDERBERG at SUMEX-AIM, LEDUC at SRI-KL, JSLEE at USC-ECL, To: JACOBS at USC-ISIE, WREN at USC-ISIB, LEMONS at USC-ISIB, To: LEUNG at SRI-KL, J33PAC at USC-ISI, LEVIN at USC-ISIB, To: LEVINTHAL at SUMEX-AIM, LICHTENBERGER at I4-TENEX, To: LICHTENSTEIN at USC-ISI, LIDDLE at PARC-MAXC, To: LIEB at USC-ISIB, LIEBERMAN at SRI-KL, STANL at USC-ISIE, To: LIERE at I4-TENEX, DOCB at USC-ISIC, LINDSAY at SRI-KL, To: LINEBARGER at AMES-67, LIPKIS at USC-ECL, SLES at USC-ISI, To: LIS at SRI-KL, LONDON at USC-ISIB, J33PAC at USC-ISI, To: LOPER at SRI-KA, LOUVIGNY at SRI-KL, LOVELACE at USC-ISIB, To: LUCANIC at SRI-KL, LUCAS at USC-ISIB, DCL at SU-AI, To: LUDLAM at UCLA-CCN, YNGVAR at SRI-KA, LYNCH at SRI-KL, To: LYNN at USC-ISIB, MABREY at SRI-KL, MACKAY at AMES-67, To: MADER at USC-ISIB, MAGILL at SRI-KL, KMAHONEY at BBN-TENEX, To: MANN at USC-ISIB, ZM at SU-AI, MANNING at USC-ISI, To: MANTIPLY at I4-TENEX, MARIN at I4-TENEX, SCRL at USC-ISI, To: HARALD at SRI-KA, GLORIA-JEAN at UCLA-CCN, MARTIN at USC-ISIC, To: WMARTIN at USC-ISI, GRM at RAND-UNIX, MASINTER at USC-ISI, To: MASON at USC-ISIB, MATHIS at SRI-KL, MAYNARD at USC-ISIC, To: MCBREARTY at SRI-KL, MCCALL at SRI-KA, MCCARTHY at SU-AI, To: MCCLELLAND at USC-ISI, DORIS at RAND-UNIX, MCCLURG at SRI-KL, To: JOHN at I4-TENEX, MCCREIGHT at PARC-MAXC, MCCRUMB at USC-ISI, To: DRXTE at SRI-KA cc: BPM at SU-AI
Note here how we get to the body of the message and there are still addresses going into it that wouldn't fit!
MCKINLEY@USC-ISIB MMCM@SRI-KL OT-ITS@SRI-KA BELL@SRI-KL MEADE@SRI-KL MARTIN@USC-ISI MERRILL@BBN-TENEX METCALFE@PARC-MAXC JMETZGER@USC-ISIB MICHAEL@USC-ISIC CMILLER@SUMEX-AIM MILLER@USC-ISI SCI@USC-ISI MILLER@USC-ISIC MITCHELL@PARC-MAXC MITCHELL@USC-ISI MITCHELL@SUMEX-AIM MLM@SU-AI JPDG@TENEXB MOORE@USC-ISIB WMORE@USC-ISIB JAM@SU-AI MORAN@PARC-MAXC ROZ@SU-AI MORGAN@USC-ISIB MORRIS@PARC-MAXC MORRIS@I4-TENEX OT-ITS@SRI-KA LISA@USC-ISIB MOSHER@SRI-KL MULHERN@USC-ISI MUNTZ;BIN(1529)@UCLA-CCN MYERS@USC-ISIC MYERS@RAND-RCC DRCPM-FF-FO@BBN-TENEXB NAGEL@USC-ISIB NAPKE@SRI-KL NARDI@SRI-KL NAYLOR@USC-ISIE LOU@USC-ISIE NESBIT@RAND-RCC NEUMANN@SRI-KA NEVATIA@USC-ECL NEWBY@USC-ISI NEWEKK@SRI-KA NIELSON@SRI-KL NLL@SUMEX-AIM NILSSON@SRI-KL NITZAN@SRI-KL NOEL@USC-ISIC NORMAN@PARC-MAXC NORTON@SRI-KL JOAN@USC-ISIB NOURSE@SUMEX-AIM PDG@SRI-KL OMALLEY@SRI-KA OCKEN@USC-ISIC OESTREICHER@USC-ISIB OGDEN@SRI-KA OKINAKA@USC-ISIE OLSON@I4-TENEX ORNSTEIN@PARC-MAXC PANKO@SRI-KL TED@SU-AI PARK@SRI-KL PBARAN@USC-ISI PARKER@USC-ISIB PEARCE@USC-ISI PEPIN@USC-ECL PERKINS@USC-ISIB PETERS@SRI-KL AMPETERSON@USC-ISI ASLAB@USC-ISIC EPG-SPEC@SRI-KA PEZDIRTZ@LLL-COMP CHARLIE@I4-TENEX UCLA-DOC@USC-ISI WPHILLIPS@USC-ISI PIERCY@MOFFETT-ARC PINE@SRI-KL PIPES@I4-TENEX PIRTLE@SRI-KL POGGIO@USC-ISIC POH@USC-ISI POOL@BBN-TENEX POPEK@USC-ISI POSTEL@USC-ISIB POWER@SRI-KL PRICE@USC-ECL RANDALL@USC-ISIB RANDALL@SRI-KA RAPHAEL@SRI-KL RAPP@RAND-RCC RASMUSSEN@USC-ISIC RATTNER@SRI-KL RAY@ILL-NTX FNWC@I4-TENEX BRL@SRI-KL RETZ@SRI-KL SKIP@USC-ISIB RICHARDSON@USC-ISIB RICHES@USC-ECL GWEN@USC-ECL OP-RIEDEL@USC-ISIB RIES@LLL-COMP RINDFLEISCH@SUMEX-AIM OP-ROBBINS@USC-ISIB ROBINSON@SRI-KL JROBINSON@SRI-KL RODRIQUEZ@SRI-KL MARTIN@USC-ISI ROM@USC-ISIC ROMIEZ@I4-TENEX ROSE@USC-ISI ROSEN@SRI-KL BARBARA@I4-TENEX ROTHENBERG@USC-ISIB RUBIN@SRI-KL JBR@SU-AI RUBINSTEIN@BBN-TENEXD RUDY@USC-ECL RUGGERI@SRI-KA RULIFSON@PARC-MAXC DALE@USC-ISIB SACERDOTI@SRI-KL SAGALOWICZ@SRI-KL ALS@SU-AI SANTONI@USC-ISIC SATTERTHWAITE@PARC-MAXC SAWCHUK@USC-ECL CPF-CC@USC-ISI SCHELONKA@USC-ISI SCHILL@USC-ISIC SCHILLING@USC-ISI SCHULZ@SUMEX-AIM SCOTT@SUMEX-AIM CPF-CC@USC-ISI OP-SEATON@USC-ISIB SENNE@LL NORM@RAND-UNIX AFWL@14-TENEX SHEPPARD@LL-ASG SHERWIN@USC-ISI SHERWOOD@SRI-KL SHORT@SRI-KL SHORTLIFE@SUMEX-AIM SHOSHANI@BBN-TENEX MARTIN@USC-ISI UCLA-NMC@USC-ISIE SDL@USC-ISIC SKOCYPEC@USC-ISI SLES@USC-ISI SLOTTOW@UCLA-CCN NOAA@14-TENEX SMALL@USC-ISI DAVESMITH@PARC-MAXC DSMITH@RAND-UNIX SMITH@SUMEX-AIM SMITH@USC-ECL MARCIE@I4-TENEX USARSGEUR@USC-ISI LOGICON@USC-ISI EPA@SRI-KL SONDEREGGER@USC-ISIB SPEER@LL AMICON-RN@USC-ISI SPROULL@PARC-MAXC PROJX@SRI-KL STEF@SRI-KA STEFIK@SUMEX-AIM STEPHENS@SRI-KA CFD@I4-TENEX STOCKHAM@SRI-KA STOTZ@USC-ISIB ALLEN@UCLA-SECURITY STOUTE@MIT-ML STRADLING@SRI-KL STROLLO@PARC-MAXC UCLA-0638@UCLA-CCN CRT@SRI-KA SUNSHINE@RAND-UNIX SUTHERLAND@SRI-KL SUTHERLAND@RAND-UNIX SUTHERLAND@PARC-MAXC SUTTON@USC-ISIC SWEER@SUMEX-AIM TAFT@PARC-MAXC TAYLOR@USC-ISIB TAYLOR@PARC-MAXC TAYNAI@SUMEX-AIM TEITELMAN@PARC-MAXC TENENBAUM@SRI-KL GREEP@RAND-UNIX TERRY@SUMEX-AIM TESLER@PARC-MAXC THACKER@PARC-MAXC PWT@RAND-UNIX TIPPIT@USC-ISIE TOBAGI@USC-ISIE TOGNETTI@SUMEX-AIM TORRES@SRI-KL TOWNLEY@HARV-10 ELINA@UCLA-ATS TUCKER@SUMEX-AIM TUGENDER@USC-ISIB LLLSRG@MIT-MC UNCAPHER@USC-ISIB NOSC@SRI-KL UNTULIS@SRI-KL MIKE@UCLA-SECURITY AARDVARK@UCLA-ATS UZGALIS;BIN(0836)@UCLA-CCN VANGOETHEM@UCLA-CCN VANMIEROP@USC-ISIB VANNOUHUYS@SRI-KL VEIZADES@SUMEX-AIM VESECKY@USC-ISI AV@MIT-DMS VICTOR@USC-ISIC VIDAL@UCLA-SECURITY OP-VILAIN@USC-ISIB RV@RAND-UNIX SDL@USC-ISIC VOLPE@SRI-KL VONNEGUT@I4-TENEX VU@SRI-KL WACTLAR@CMU-10A WAGNER@USC-ISI WAHRMAN@RAND-UNIX WALDINGER@SRI-KL WALKER@UCLA-SECURITY WALKER@SRI-KL WALLACE@PARC-MAXC EVE@UCLA-SECURITY LOGICON@USC-ISI DON@RAND-UNIX WATSON@USC-ISIC WEIDEL@USC-ECL WEINBERG@SRI-KL JLW@MIT-AI LAUREN@UCLA-SECURITY WEISSMAN@I4-TENEX WELLS@USC-ISIC GERSH@USC-ISI WETHEREL@LLL-COMP RWW@SU-AI SCRL@USC-ISI TWHELLER@SRI-KA MABREY@SRI-KL WHITE@PARC-MAXC WHITE@SUMEX-AIM WIEDERHOLD@SUMEX-AIM WILBER@SRI-KL EPG-SPEC@SRI-KA WILCOX@SUMEX-AIM WILCZYNSKI@USC-ISIB WILE@USC-ISIB OP-WILLIAMS@USC-ISIB WILSON@USC-ISIB TW@SU-AI SCI@USC-ISI WISNIEWSKI@RAND-UNIX WOLF@SRI-KL PAT@SU-AI NELC3030@USC-ISI WYATT@HARV-10 LEO@USC-ISIB YEH@LLL-COMP YONKE@USC-ISIB YOUNGBERG@SRI-KA ZEGERS@SRI-KL ZOLOTOW@SRI-KL ZOSEL@LLL-COMP DIGITAL WILL BE GIVING A PRODUCT PRESENTATION OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY; THE DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T. THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY OF COMPUTERS HAS EVOLVED FROM THE TENEX OPERATING SYSTEM AND THE DECSYSTEM-10 <PDP-10> COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE. BOTH THE DECSYSTEM-2060T AND 2020T OFFER FULL ARPANET SUPPORT UNDER THE TOPS-20 OPERATING SYSTEM. THE DECSYSTEM-2060 IS AN UPWARD EXTENSION OF THE CURRENT DECSYSTEM 2040 AND 2050 FAMILY. THE DECSYSTEM-2020 IS A NEW LOW END MEMBER OF THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AND FULLY SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH ALL OF THE OTHER DECSYSTEM-20 MODELS. WE INVITE YOU TO COME SEE THE 2020 AND HEAR ABOUT THE DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY AT THE TWO PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS WE WILL BE GIVING IN CALIFORNIA THIS MONTH. THE LOCATIONS WILL BE: TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1978 - 2 PM HYATT HOUSE (NEAR THE L.A. AIRPORT) LOS ANGELES, CA THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1978 - 2 PM DUNFEY'S ROYAL COACH SAN MATEO, CA (4 MILES SOUTH OF S.F. AIRPORT AT BAYSHORE, RT 101 AND RT 92) A 2020 WILL BE THERE FOR YOU TO VIEW. ALSO TERMINALS ON-LINE TO OTHER DECSYSTEM-20 SYSTEMS THROUGH THE ARPANET. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NEAREST DEC OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXCITING DECSYSTEM-20 FAMILY.
The Reaction to that First Spam
Here's just a snippet of some of the reaction...
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,1491;000000000001 Mail-from: SRI-KA rcvd at 5-MAY-78 1203-PDT Mail-from: SRI-KL rcvd at 5-May-78 0732-PDT Date: 4 May 1978 1635-PDT From: Feinler at SRI-KL (Jake Feinler) Subject: MSGGROUP# 694 DEC Message To: DEC-MAIL-RECIPIENTS: Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 5 MAY 1978 Date: 4 MAY 1978 0452-PDT To: FEINLER at SRI-KL From: DCACODE535 at USC-ISI
YOU MAY HAVE RECEIVED THE MSG SENT OUT BY DEC ON MAY 1 ABOUT WHICH I HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED SEVERAL COMPLAINTS AS YOU CAN READILY IMAGINE. CAN YOU FORWARD THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO ALL ADDRESSES OF THE SUSPECT MESSAGE PLUS ALL HOST AND TIP LIAISONS? THANKS:
NOTE: Please direct your comments, if any, directly to DCACODE535@ISI. Thanks, Jake.
ON 2 MAY 78 DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION (DEC) SENT OUT AN ARPANET MESSAGE ADVERTISING THEIR NEW COMPUTER SYSTEMS. THIS WAS A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF THE USE OF ARPANET AS THE NETWORK IS TO BE USED FOR OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ONLY. APPROPRIATE ACTION IS BEING TAKEN TO PRECLUDE ITS OCCURRENCE AGAIN.
IN ENFORCEMENT OF THIS POLICY DCA IS DEPENDENT ON THE ARPANET SPONSORS, AND HOST AND TIP LIAISONS. IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU INFORM YOUR USERS AND CONTRACTORS WHO ARE PROVIDED ARPANET ACCESS THE MEANING OF THIS POLICY.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.
MAJOR RAYMOND CZAHOR
CHIEF, ARPANET MANAGEMENT BRANCH, DCA
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,2192;000000000001 Mail-from: SRI-KL rcvd at 7-MAY-78 1527-PDT Date: 7 May 1978 1527-PDT From: Feinler at SRI-KL (Jake Feinler) Subject: MSGGROUP# 695 Personal comments on DEC message for MsgGroup To: Stef at ISI cc: feinler Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 7 MAY 1978
I was not going to comment (and add to the traffic) on the issue of the DEC message that was sent out, but after having several conversations with people about and around on this issue I think I will add what hopefully will be useful insight to the problem. NOTE: The comments are my own. They do not represent any official message from DCA or the NIC.
There are two kinds of message that have been frowned upon on the network. These are advertising of particular products and advertising for or by job applicants. I would like to point out that there are good reasons (other than taking up valuable resources and the fact that some recipients object) for not permitting these kinds of messages. There are many companies in the U.S. and abroad that would like to have access to the Arpanet. Naturally all of them cannot have this access. Consequently if the ones that do have access can advertise their products to a very select market and the others cannot, this is really an unfair advantage. Likewise, if job applicants can be selected amongst some of the best trained around, or if the applicants themselves can advertise to a very select group of prospective employers, this is an unfair advantage to other prospective employees or employers who are not on the net.
I have heard some rumblings about 'control' and 'censorship' of the net by the powers-that-be, but I feel in these two particular areas they are leaning over backwards to be fair to the big guys and the small guys alike. In addition, the official message sent out asked us ('us' being network users) to address the issue ourselves. I personally think this is reasonable and think we should lend our support or otherwise be saddled with controls that will be a nuisance to everyone involved.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,3281;000000000001 Mail-from: SU-AI rcvd at 7-MAY-78 2058-PDT Date: 7 May 1978 2057-PDT From: MRC at SU-AI (Mark Crispin) Subject: MSGGROUP# 696 in reply to Jake's message about advertising To: MsgGroup at USC-ISI Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 8 MAY 1978
I agree with Jake about suppressing advertising for many of the same reasons as I disagreed with suppressing subjective messages about QUASAR. The ARPAnet is not, as Jake pointed out, a public resource; it is available to pretty much a select group of people (high school kids regardless!). We are all engaged in activities relating to, or in support of, official US Government business. ARPAnet mail therefore is more of an "interoffice memo" sort of thing than a trade journal, not intended for public distribution although not "top secret" either.
Even MsgGroup is in this class; however inappropriate QUASAR is to MsgGroup's intent (and it was inappropriate) I feel that any censorship can only lead to worse things later on. I am sure that DCA realizes this also; otherwise the ARPAnet would have been curbed long ago. Whether or not QUASAR is a fake is a valid topic to be discussed among the computer science community via the ARPAnet; although it is inappropriate for MsgGroup. If there is sufficient interest, another group should be created whose purpose and interests embrace this issue.
I don't see any place for advertising on the ARPAnet, however; certainly not the bulk advertising of that DEC message. From the address list, it seems clear to me that the people it was sent to were the Californians listed in the last ARPAnet directory. This was a clear and flagrant abuse of the directory!
I am not sure as to how far this should be carried though. I would not mind hearing from DEC about their new products via ARPAnet mail, but I would expect considerably more technical content and considerably less of a sales pitch. Where is the line to be drawn between this sort of thing (if it is to be allowed at all) and advertising? Another point Jake mentioned which concerns me is that of employment hunting (by employee or employer). Is that to be taken to mean that a person cannot establish contacts at another ARPAnet site and poke around about a possible position there? Is this really unfair to non-ARPAnet people? Allow me to point out that at times a job is created in order to have a particular person on the staff, and if that person is unavailable, the job won't exist.
This all seems worthy of examination by the MsgGroup community, as it involves how electronic mail is to be used. Something else; I would greatly appreciate it if all comments about this make a distinction between ARPAnet mail and mail on another (possibly commercial) network. Saying that electronic junk mail is a no-no on the ARPAnet doesn't answer the question. I shudder to think about it, but I can envision junk mail being sent to people who implement Dialnet, and no way it could be prevented or stopped. I guess the ultimate solution is the command in your mail reading subsystem which deletes an unwanted message.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,2250;000000000001 Mail-from: MIT-AI rcvd at 7-MAY-78 2316-PDT Date: 8 MAY 1978 0213-EDT From: RMS at MIT-AI (Richard M. Stallman) Subject: MSGGROUP# 697 Some Thoughts about advertising To: stefferud at USC-ISI Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 8 MAY 1978
1) I didn't receive the DEC message, but I can't imagine I would have been bothered if I have. I get tons of uninteresting mail, and system announcements about babies born, etc. At least a demo MIGHT have been interesting.
2) The amount of harm done by any of the cited "unfair" things the net has been used for is clearly very small. And if they have found any people any jobs, clearly they have done good. If I had a job to offer, I would offer it to my friends first. Is this "evil"? Must I advertise in a paper in every city in the US with population over 50,000 and then go to all of them to interview, all in the name of fairness? Some people, I am afraid, would think so. Such a great insistence on fairness would destort everyone's lives and do much more harm than good. So I state unashamedly that I am in favor of seeing jobs offered via whatever.
3) It has just been suggested that we impose someone's standards on us because otherwise he MIGHT do so. Well, if you feel that those standards are right and necessary, go right ahead and support them. But if you disagree with them, as I do, why hand your opponents the victory on a silver platter? By the suggested reasoning, we should always follow the political views that we don't believe in, and especially those of terrorists, in anticipation of their attempts to impose them on us. If those who think that the job offers are bad are going to try to prevent them, then those of us who think they are unrepugnant should uphold our views. Besides, I doubt that anyone can successfully force a site from outside to impose censorship, if the people there don't fundamentally agree with the desirability of it.
4) Would a dating service for people on the net be "frowned upon" by DCA? I hope not. But even if it is, don't let that stop you from notifying me via net mail if you start one.
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,685;000000000001 Mail-from: MIT-AI rcvd at 9-MAY-78 1528-PDT Date: 9 MAY 1978 1827-EDT From: RMS at MIT-AI (Richard M. Stallman) Subject: MSGGROUP# 698 DEC message [VERY TASTY!] To: Stefferud at USC-ISI CC: Geoff at SRI-KL Redistributed-To: [ISI]<MsgGroup>Mailing.List;154: Redistributed-By: STEFFERUD (connected to MSGGROUP) Redistributed-Date: 9 MAY 1978
Well, Geoff forwarded me a copy of the DEC message, and I eat my words. I sure would have minded it! Nobody should be allowed to send a message with a header that long, no matter what it is about.
Forward this if you feel like it.
[EDITORS NOTE: ACTUALLY, I THINK RMS@MIT-AI NEEDS SOME MORE COPIES. /STEF]
10-MAY-78 23:20:30-PDT,13632;000000000000 Mail-from: SRI-KA rcvd at 10-MAY-78 0921-PDT Date: 10 May 1978 0910-PDT Sender: GEOFF at SRI-KA Subject: MSGGROUP# 699 [THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO: ADRIAN@SRI-KL] From: Geoff at SRI-KA (Geoffrey S. Goodfellow) To: msggroup at ISI Message-ID: <[SRI-KA]10-May-78 09:10:14.GEOFF> Begin forwarded message =========================== Mail-from: DEC-MARLBORO rcvd at 3-May-78 0955-PDT Date: 1 May 1978 1233-EDT From: THUERK at DEC-MARLBORO Subject: ADRIAN@SRI-KL To: DDAY at SRI-KL, DAY at SRI-KL, DEBOER at UCLA-CCN, [SNIP]... [SNIP]... [SNIP]... [SNIP]... [SNIP]... [SNIP]... [SNIP]