Neil Schemenauer's Web Log


May 10, 2004

US troops torture Iraqi Prisoners

From Talking Points Memo:

As I think is already becoming clear, the responsibility for all of this goes right to the very top -- to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Vice President and many others. The point isn't that the president ordered or knew specifically that soldiers in Iraq were setting attack dogs on to naked prisoners or all the other outrages we're about to hear of. But going back almost three years these men made very conscious and specific decisions to disregard or opt out of the various international conventions, rules and traditions governing the treatment of prisoners of war and enemy combatants that are intended to prevent such things from happening.

And later:

Consider this along with the fact that, as many have noted, the now-President's ire has oddly turned on the photos -- that is to say, the evidence -- seemingly more than the underlying facts.

I suspect similarly bad things have happened at Guantanamo Bay and perhaps even worse at Diego Garcia. I don't blame the soldiers. I blame George W. Bush and his aids.

May 07, 2004

Spam filtering during SMTP transaction

Long time no post. :-) Spam has become annoying enough to motivate me into finishing my qmail-smtpd replacement (written in Python, of course). Previously I was doing filtering by replacing qmail-queue. Doing it within the SMTP daemon is a better approach (check out Greg Ward's elspy if you use Exim).

Something I implemented right away was immediate rejection of mail sent to non-existent users. The standard qmail setup creates a separate bounce message. That's totally unacceptable based on the amount of current abuse. Most connections to my SMTP server are from servers trying to bounce messages with bogus envelope headers.

The next thing I implemented was my spam delay idea. That is still proving to be effective. Finally, I added Spambayes filtering of mail to certain users. Previously I was just dumping spam into another mailbox rather than bouncing it. It's gotten to the point where I don't have time to manually review it. Rejecting at SMTP time is really the only option.