The press about Race: At exactly noon, e-mail will stop going.

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So decided the provider " "

Today one of the largest Russian Internet service providers "RTComm.Ru" will block the Internet traffic of 8 thousand customers of the Race Communications system integrator company, including RAO Gazprom and Sberbank of the Russian Federation. So the provider will protest against the use of a black list of spammers on the Race e-mail server, which contains 128 thousand Internet addresses of users. In "RTComm.Ru" believe that filtering emails from these addresses harms the provider's customers. The system integrator denies the charges, claiming that "RTComm." selflessly indulges spammers.

The shutdown is scheduled for 12.00. At noon , e-mail addresses and web sites served by will be unavailable for a number of Race subscribers. This step will surely be noticed by all customers Race, since "RTComm., a subsidiary of Rostelecom, is one of the three largest Internet service providers in Russia.

Representatives of "RTComm.Ru"claim that in the last few months the company has regularly received complaints from its customers who cannot send e-mail to the addresses of customers of the Race Telecom operator, a subsidiary of Race Communications. Engineers of "RTComm." found out that the black list is an obstacle to the passage of letters installed on the Race Communications mail server. In this sleep juice, served by "RTComm.Ru", 256 thousand addresses of the provider's clients have been entered, from which letters to subscribers Race Telecom does not reach. "We tried to negotiate in peace, but failed," says the head of the information protection group "RTComm." Nikolay Fedotov.-This policy creates problems for our clients, including well-known Russian companies, such as Russian Aluminum, and large providers. In addition, it causes us image damage."

To combat the burning on the mail server Race Communications the site blacklist is used . This is one of 30 similar lists that exist on the Internet. Full four-byte IP addresses the computers from which spam emails come can be entered into the registry by both cuuma holders themselves and visitors. Now in the database of bathhouses for spammers several million addresses.

Race Communications Technical Director Dmitry Orlov calls the actions "RTComm.Ru" by gross interference in the information security policy of Race: "We are not a provider, are not bound by any contractual relationship with "RTComm." and we have every right to protect our corporate network from spam. Actions "RTComm.Ru" can be interpreted as pandering to spammers. It's no secret that spam often makes up a significant share of Internet traffic providers and, accordingly, brings them a tangible income." Commenting on the claims of "RTComm." in detail, Mr. Orlov noted that with the help of a database . only the mail that is addressed to Race Communications employees, but not to the clients of the system integrator, is filtered.

In "RTComm., on the contrary, claim that the Race mail server blocks emails addressed to both employees and customers of the company. "If the problem concerned only us and Race Communications, there was no question of any conflict, - says the first deputy CEO "RTComm." Alexander Gorbunov.- But this problem also concerns third parties. Therefore, we believe that the upcoming sanctions against Race Communications are quite adequate." "There is no question of any pandering to spammers! In all contracts with our clients, we provide for sanctions for organizing unauthorized mailings",- Nikolay Fedotov comments on the accusations from Race Communications.

According to Mr. Fedotov, his company's specialists tried to contact the owners directly to ask to remove from it the IP addresses used by the provider 's clients that have nothing to do with sending spam. However, the dialogue did not work out, because in they demanded to disconnect from access nodes "RTComm." whole networks, individual users of which were only suspected of sending spam. In "RTComm." claim that, unlike other blacklists that really protect against spam, it is not such a protection, since it contains not spam sources, "but entire networks of those providers whose policies are objectionable to the list holders." And to pursue the owners it is extremely problematic in court because of their anonymity. In this regard, "RTComm.Ru" recommended several Russian companies that used on mail servers, abandon it, and that's it, except for Race Communications, implemented these recommendations.

So far, the parties have not come to a compromise: Race Communication refuses to delete the list from the mail server, and "RTComm.Ru" - block access to Race clients Telecom to Internet nodes.

Kommersant will monitor developments.

VALERY KODACHIGOV, Kommersant (Moscow) 11.08.2003, No. 141/P, p.5, 7

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