This is a petition requesting UCLA to give back email access to students living off campus. On Tuesday, April 9, 2002, the MAPS RSS (Mail Abuse Prevention System Relay SPAM Stopper) listed the UCLA Bruin OnLine (BOL) mail relay servers on its black hole list. This basically means that since UCLA's email servers are utilized by spammers to send email, that some email servers will shut off access to email sent through UCLA servers.
On Tuesday, April 9, 2002, the MAPS RSS (Mail Abuse Prevention System Relay SPAM Stopper) listed the UCLA Bruin OnLine (BOL) mail relay servers on its black hole list. This basically means that since UCLA's email servers are utilized by spammers to send email, that some email servers will shut off access to email sent through UCLA servers.
What this basically translates to, is that a number of email addresses won't be able to get email sent through UCLA servers until BOL resolves the issue. The problem is that BOL mail servers do not utilize SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) authentication - that is, anyone can send email through the UCLA server without providing a password. Therefore it is very easy for any spammer to send email through UCLA's server from anywhere in the world to any email address they choose. MAPS RSS is right for trying to stop this problem.
However, BOL has chosen a problematic solution for this problem. Instead of implementing regular password authentication through SMTP servers, as is the standard solution, BOL has chosen basically to limit sending email through BOL servers to anyone who happens to be connected to a UCLA LAN. This means that anyone who lives off-campus faces the problem of not being able to send email through their UCLA account.
The "solution" set forth by BOL is not a real solution at all. It still leaves the possibility open that anyone could anonymously spam from any on-campus computers, and it makes life a lot more inconvenient for off-campus students. The real solution would be to implement SMTP password authentication, which would mean that people could send email through their UCLA accounts from anywhere, but spammers could not. This is the scheme in place by most email servers today. In fact, UCLAs email servers are in a small minority of about 5-6% of all email servers that still don't require this password authentication.
This petition asks that Bruin Online incorporates SMTP password authentication into its email servers, which will completely cut off spammers while allowing all students and rightful users to send email from any computer connected to the Internet.
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