Bringing People Together through Internet Technologies
TCFN is a nonprofit organization that uses Internet technologies to bring people together in communities of shared interest or need. We've been linking the people of Minneapolis, St Paul and neighboring communities since 1995.
and your e-mail.
Unsolicited commercial E-mail solicitations, or "spam," are an annoyance we can all do without. The Freenet cannot eliminate spam, but we CAN do our part to avoid contributing to the problem. Recent efforts taken to reduce spam may have affected your personal e-mail program: here's what happened, and what you can do to restore full functionality.
E-mail is sent and received through the Freenet by two different functions. The receiving functions allow you to fetch your Freenet e-mail, the sending functions allow you to send.
For years, the sending functions on most computers like the Freenet allowed anyone to route any message to anyone else on the Internet. For example, someone from America On Line could potentially send a letter to someone at CompuServe by connecting to the Freenet and routing the letter through its sending services.
Marketers who spam the Internet avoid responsibility for their annoying practices by connecting to these open sending services and relaying their messages to their victims, leaving few electronic "fingerprints."
Recently a spammer used the Freenet to route such e-mails.
The way to prevent this in the future is to restrict who can use the Freenet sending functions. The Freenet was changed so that only persons connected to the Freenet can relay mail through its sending function. Now the Freenet is configured so that you can either send a message to someone on the Freenet, or send a message from someone on the Freenet to elsewhere.
What this means for you is that if you use a POP3 e-mail program, such as Outlook or Eudora, is that you have to set your identity within that program to that of your Freenet account.
There are two effects of this change. First, spammers can no longer route their advertisements through the Freenet. We're doing our part to be a responsible member of the Internet community, and encourage other services follow suit. Were all such "open" senders closed down, spammers would be forced to route advertisements through their own local service, making them much easier to track and shut down.
Second, some users who connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider or through their employer may find themselves continuing to be unable to send mail through the Freenet using a mail program such as Popmail, Eudora, or Netscape or Internet Explorer mail.
Mail programs such as those mentioned above have configuration options indicating where to route sent and received mail. In many cases, these options will be set to point at the same system. For example, if you use Eudora for Windows to send and receive Freenet e-mail, you will find these configurations under the Tools Menu, Options selection, Hosts page.
The options on this page include "Mail server (Incoming)" and "SMTP" (the sending service).
If you are connected to the Internet through an ISP or an employer, these entries should NOT be the same. Instead, if your ISP or employer domain is "FROBNITZ.COM" these entries should read:
Mail server (Incoming): tcfreenet.org
Similar options should be available for correction in other e-mail programs.
These changes will route outbound mail through your ISP or employer, which is the way such communication should actually take place. You will still be able to retrieve your e-mail on the Freenet, and your return e-mail address will still be at the Freenet, but your messages will actually make their way to the Internet through your local server. In fact, there will be no obvious change to how your e-mail has always functioned. What will change is that your e-mail header, the means by which system administrators can trace messages back to their source, will show that your e-mail originated at your workplace or ISP, which is how it should be, and which is the technique by which spammers could be traced back to their source.
Thanks for taking the time to read this message and learn more about the recent changes at the Freenet. We hope that the inconvenience posed by these changes is balanced by the benefit of doing our part to help reduce spam on the Internet.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send an e-mail to the system administrators.
Last updated February 2004 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored in part by: