I've been trying to get a mailing list set up for NEWT. So I subscribed to the ListServ List owner's mailing list (LSTOWN-L). You know, the "read about it, find out what's going on before you wade in and ask for a couple meg of someone's disk space" thing.

Well, this weekend (Mar 2-3 1996) some wag (Acting inDecently in Communication, I assume) attempted to forge subscriptions in the name of president@whitehouse.gov, vice.president@whitehouse.gov, and so on to every list they could find (about 4 000). About 200 forged request names altogether. Most of them got nailed by the software that checks for "spoofing", but I know there are several frustrated listowners clearing their lists, and I assume there are several angry people behind the addresses who are getting 4-10 000 messages an hour on topics ranging from cancer to Airedale Terriers. And one of the names that got subscribed to LSTOWN-L was Newt Gingrich's maildrop.

And so, as is their wont, the LSTOWN-L autoresponder sent a welcome note with instructions on how to do basic stuff. And this letter in response, from Gingrich's autoresponder, got sent to the 4 000 or so of us on the mailing list.

So much for a personal reply, eh? A machine talking to a machine responding to a forger...

Index The Letter