Feeds

ORBS' death: Alan Brown replies

Succinctly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Following the surprise disappearance of anti-spam company ORBS from the Internet, we have received a succinct email from its head Alan Brown over its demise. "I am unable to talk about anything. Alan."

Alan has however been a little more expansive in an email sent to the users of his ISP Manawatu Internet Services. In it he wrote: "The rumour mill is doing overtime, so it is time to make some announcements. 1. Manawatu Internet Services Ltd is closing down. 2. There will be no loss of service for MIS or Flatnet customers."

He states that the stress associated with running Manawatu has taken its toll on his health and so he has decided to sell it. It has been sold to Quiksilver for an as-yet undisclosed sum.

Since ORBS was run by Manawatu, the ISP's sale has coincided with the disappearance of the anti-spam company. Whether ORBS will appear on another ISP anytime soon is unknown, although Brown has not offered its blacklist to any interested parties, as predecessor Alan Hogdson did in 1998 when his ISP refused to carry ORBS any longer.

Brown has been under heavy pressure recently following two court cases and an action for defamation. Last week, he admitted he was in financial trouble. The two court cases concerned Xtra and Actrix, which both claimed they had been falsely added to ORBS' blacklist.

A High Court judge agreed and issued an injunction. When Brown failed to remove the two, he was threatened with an arrest warrant. However, he subsequently made a formal apology and accepted the companies should not be on the list (but not before mis-spelling Xtra as "Extra").

The defamation action - the first of its kind in New Zealand - was taken out by the former head of Domainz (New Zealand's domain registry maintainer) Patrick O'Brien. Both sides' fees were met by Domainz. It was heard last month but the judge has yet to reach a decision. If Brown is found guilty, he faces heavy damages.

With all this going on, Brown has decided to shut up shop, sell Manawatu and hence signal the end for ORBS.

Alan Brown has made a large number of enemies in recent years due to his blunt personality. Many disagree with the policies he has introduced into ORBS, and a Web site was even set up to enable people to vent their spleen - www.stoporbs.org.

If you're interested in knowing more, a big discussion has broken out at news.admin.net-abuse.email, which covers most of what is going on. Either that or go to the spam-l list at lsoft.com (but you'll need to subscribe).

Related Links

A copy of Alan Brown's email to ISP customers

Related Story

ORBS is dead. Again.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.