ORBS dead, ALAN BROWN CLOSED IT!!!

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T.N.O.

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Jun 5, 2001, 9:56:48 PM6/5/01
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/19460.html

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).

Duncan Bayne

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Jun 5, 2001, 10:51:49 PM6/5/01
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"T.N.O." wrote:
> 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.

What policies are those? I thought ORBS was simply an open-relay list.

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Tony

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Jun 6, 2001, 12:25:57 AM6/6/01
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"Duncan Bayne" <dhb...@ihug.co.nz> wrote in message
news:3B1D9AC5...@ihug.co.nz...

> "T.N.O." wrote:
> > 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.
>
> What policies are those? I thought ORBS was simply an open-relay list.
>

If it was only that, there never would have been a problem or any court
cases. However it degenerated into Alan's personal little grudge system,
hense all the problems.

Duncan Bayne

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Jun 6, 2001, 12:55:59 AM6/6/01
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Tony wrote:
> If it was only that, there never would have been a problem or any court
> cases. However it degenerated into Alan's personal little grudge system,
> hense all the problems.

What kind of grudges? I last talked to Alan a few years ago while I was
living in PN, and it seemed like a straightforward RBL then. What
changed?

Tony

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Jun 6, 2001, 1:24:48 AM6/6/01
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>
> What kind of grudges? I last talked to Alan a few years ago while I was
> living in PN, and it seemed like a straightforward RBL then. What
> changed?
>

Well, he added a section where he could manually and perminantly add ip
address or blocks of ip addresses to the database at his sole discression.
This is what the Xtra and Actrix court proceedings were primarily about.
Basicly anyone who he did not like, for any purpose could be perminantly
"orbs'd" , no discussion, no appeal and from what I hear possibly even no
reason sometimes. It started out with the best intentions, but it seems the
power went to his head.


Duncan Bayne

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Jun 6, 2001, 1:54:09 AM6/6/01
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Tony wrote:
> Well, he added a section where he could manually and perminantly add ip
> address or blocks of ip addresses to the database at his sole discression.
> This is what the Xtra and Actrix court proceedings were primarily about.
> Basicly anyone who he did not like, for any purpose could be perminantly
> "orbs'd" , no discussion, no appeal and from what I hear possibly even no
> reason sometimes. It started out with the best intentions, but it seems the
> power went to his head.

Damn. Regardless of the motivation, that's no way to implement an RBL.

Patrick Dunford

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Jun 6, 2001, 3:23:28 AM6/6/01
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It has also been discussed in nz.net.admin

--
=======================================================================
Patrick Dunford, Christchurch, NZ - http://pdunford.godzone.net.nz/

[Bless the LORD] who satisfies your desires with good things so
that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
-- Psalm 103:5
http://www.StudyLight.org/desk/?query=Psalm+103:5

Nick Rout

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Jun 6, 2001, 5:31:05 PM6/6/01
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In article <9fk2qn$4l00s$1...@ID-73686.news.dfncis.de>, nolo...@xtra.co.nz
says...

> If Brown is found guilty,
> he faces heavy damages.
>
>
ummm its not a question of guilt. he has not been prosecuted for an
offence. he has been sued.

however you are right in saying that heavy damages can be the result of a
defamation action!

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