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Subject: Spam in ubl-comment mail

Hello ubl-comment subscribers,

I imagine that you're about as irritated as I am with the junk
that's been coming through on this list.  Here's what's happening.

For starters, you should understand that (according to OASIS) the
spam we've been seeing for the last few months has been coming
through the comment form linked from the UBL TC page, not from
subscribers to the ubl-comment list.

In the beginning of the UBL effort, there was no ubl-dev list for
inquiries, so we used the publicly subscribable ubl-comment list
for Q&A.  OASIS frowned on this practice, and when we started up
ubl-dev for Q&A, there was no good reason to try to preserve this
function, so I tried per their requests to quash such discussions
on the ubl-comment list as they arose.  It being nearly impossible
to get people to cooperate with this kind of request nowadays, I
asked OASIS to simply unsubscribe everyone with the exception of a
couple of people the TC would designate to forward genuine
comments into the issues list.  But I was never successful in
getting the OASIS administration to go along with this idea.

When some spam started coming into the comment list from people
who would subscribe for this purpose, OASIS dealt with the problem
not by unsubscribing everyone as originally requested by rather by
disabling subscriptions.  Unfortunately, disabling the ability to
subscribe also disables the ability to unsubscribe.  So now that
the spammers have figured out how to use the comment form on the
TC page for input, we're left with a mail list that has over 300
subscribers, none of whom are supposed to use it for input and
none of whom can unsubscribe.

I have suggested to OASIS yet again that they implement the
original idea of unsubscribing everyone except a couple of
designated gatekeepers.  So now (having basically no other
alternatives) they are actually considering it, but of course that
could take a while.

In the meantime, however, I am informed (I hope correctly) that
you can now unsubscribe from the ubl-comment list and at least get
out from under the spam while OASIS figures out what they're going
to do.  Indeed, if you go down to the bottom of these spam
messages (which understandably no one ever does), you will see
this line:

   To unsubscribe, e-mail: ubl-comment-unsubscribe@lists.oasis-open.org

This being the case (I hope), I suggest that everyone take
advantage of this window of opportunity to unsubscribe *right now*
without waiting another couple of years for OASIS to come to this
conclusion on their own and before they turn off
subscribe/unsubscribe due to some spammer figuring out that
subscription has been enabled again.  I will stay on the list and
promise to forward any non-spam comment we might happen to get.
We should probably keep the current document editors subscribed as
well, since they are generally the ones who have to make sure that
the real comments get disposed of properly.

If you try this and find that you can't unsubscribe after all, DO
NOT COMPLAIN TO ME OR TO THIS LIST because there is nothing that I
or the other members of the list can do about it.  Instead,
complain to scott.mcgrath@oasis-open.org and ask to be removed
from the ubl-comment list manually.

If you can in fact unsubscribe but decide that you don't want to
because you don't trust me and the editors to properly handle real
comments (which appears to be what OASIS is worried about), then
go ahead and stay on the list, but if you choose to stay and
receive the junk mail, please don't complain about it.  And don't
reply to anything, whether a real comment or not, because that's
not what this list is for; take it to ubl-dev.


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