Is your email address safe from spam on news.mozilla.org?

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding the new Mozilla news server is whether or not people will need to munge their posting addresses, to prevent spammers from getting their addresses, like they do on Usenet. I’ve never been able to answer that, because I just don’t know. News.mozilla.org is not propagated to Usenet, but is archived on Google; so the question is: How much of that spam is a result being archived on Google, and how much is a result of being propagated to other Usenet servers?

The Good:
I’ve created an email alias specifically for news.mozilla.org, which I only use on news.mozilla.org. If/When I get spam, I can look at the headers, to see if it was sent to my news.mozilla.org address. Currently, 1 month after the server went live, 207 of my news.mozilla.org posts are on Google. I have not received any spam sent to my news.mozilla.org address.

The Bad:
Just recently, it appears one independent news administrator decided to work around the lack of usenet feed, by copying the articles right off news.mozilla.org, and mirroring them on his/her own server. Potentially, he/she could feed the groups to usenet.

The Ugly (profanity ahead):

Any news administrator who decides to do this, is an asshole for doing so. People post messages on news.mozilla.org with the impression that their posting addresses are not going to be propagated to usenet. The Mozilla Foundation consciously decided not to propagate to usenet; and this(these) news admin(s) are completely disrespecting that decision, and being inconsiderate to those using news.mozilla.org. All because one or two people are too spoiled and lazy to set up a second news account in their newsreader (which can easily be done).

February 24, 2006 update: I have just received one spam message sent to my news.mozilla.org address. Probably due to bug 326759

5 Replies to “Is your email address safe from spam on news.mozilla.org?”

  1. Exist bot for scan direction for newsgroup, and then the post with the real email is food for spammers.

    The only temporal solution is add a recon word with is easy identificable for remove to an user for reply to an individual.

    Perhaps it’s not problem from news.mozilla.org.

    gato@gato.cl

    gatoREMOVETHIS@gato.cl

  2. Or, you know, get Thunderbird, which has some pretty decent spam filtering. Honestly, I’ve given up trying to keep my email address secret. There’s little use. One slip and you might as well have not expended the effort in the first place. Not worth my time.

  3. >The Bad.

    How dod you expect the news administrator to know that it’s a MoFo decision not to propagate to the rest of usenet ? How can this information be easily found ?

    >The Ugly

    The bad thing about that, is that people posting to that mirrored news hierarchy expect people from the mozilla community to be able to read and answer their post which is not true.

    Have you mailed that news admin ?

    Regarding spam, once a spam bot will connect to giganews and scan the newsgroup the problem will arise. That can take month, but I’m sure it will come.

  4. Look at the threads on the now obsolete netscape.public.mozilla.os2 since the time of the migration announcement and you will find that there exist newsreaders to which users are apparently married that permit only one news host to be used per account. These people don’t seem to be able to be bothered to try SeaMonkey or Thunderbird even for one newsgroup on the new system.

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