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blueyonder escapes Usenet death row

UDP lifted, double secret probation

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Application security programs and practises

Internet admins have lifted a Usenet Death Penalty (UDP) sentence from blueyonder after deciding it had done enough to clamp down on the stream of spam emanating from its network.

For weeks Telewest has been criticised in postings to groups such as news.admin.net-abuse.usenet for failing to curb the abuse concerning its blueyonder broadband service, prompting the issue of a Usenet Death Penalty, which was due to become effective on May 16.

To tackle the problem, on May 10, blueyonder blocked the spread of Usenet posts by its blueyonder Internet service subscribers to other news providers - effectively imposing the UDP on itself. It also began taking more active steps to curb the abuse.

This action involved scanning its network for open NNTP (news) relays which could be used by third parties to abuse its customers' service. A review of its abuse policies and procedures has satisfied critics.

In a posting to news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.policy, David Ritz announced the decision to lift the ban.

"With no traffic propagating from news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk, the remedial action sought through this UDP has been achieved. As the purpose of the UDP is to seek remedy, rather than as a punitive action, the called active Usenet Death Penalty is being lifted," he wrote.

Net admins are still keeping a close watch on the levels of spam from blueyonder; and if this becomes a problem within a 30 day probationary period (or is that 'double secret probation'?) the UDP may be imposed on blueyonder without further notice.

This leaves it up to Telewest when to again allow its blueyonder subscribers to post Usenet messages that will reach the wider Internet community (no announcement yet). But the return to normality has been brought forward by the lifting of the UDP. ®

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