To the USENET Community:
In response to the recent UDP call for @Home Network to be removed from interacting on the USENET, we are submitting an official response with a proposal of short term and long term news spam prevention initiatives. Excite@Home is very committed to participating respectfully on the Internet, and we have taken previous requests for action seriously.
We have found that the primary source of our excessive USENET posting history comes from subscribers who have installed proxy software incorrectly. Unbeknownst to the customer, this mis-configuration has allowed outside access to the @Home news servers, and has resulted in our subscribers becoming spam relays. Because these various IP addresses create holes in our network, spammers have taken advantage of this mis-configuration, and have posted thousands of newsgroup messages through our news machines.
As of today, we are stepping up our involvement and taking more aggressive action by performing frequent network wide scans of our customer base to target proxy servers. Once these customers are identified, we are suspending their news service immediately. Re-enabling will not occur until we are assured that their machines are secure. We feel that this proactive effort will dramatically decrease the amount of extraneous news traffic originating from home.com.
We are committed to promoting better Excite@Home participation on the USENET, and we are in the process of modifying our current news product and news architecture. We are also implementing more user education as a parallel initiative.
With these new tactics in place, we are asking for an extension to our USENET access beyond the 18th of January and we are confident that the USENET community will see positive news statistics coming in the next few days.
Manager, Network Policy Management