Ironically, the UDP worked the same way: All messages sent to newsgroups by UUNet customers were being cancelled by the group. The following is the message, complete with a Pretty Good Privacy signature.
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By a consensus of UDP participants, effective 00:00:00 GMT 6 August 1997:
UUNet's spam levels have decreased dramatically since the imposition of the Usenet death penalty on August 1. Factors that have contributed to this drop are:
1. Action taken by UUNet due to the technical considerations described
as being implemented by UUNet VP Mike O'Dell (probably instigated
by the UDP).
2. Voluntary restraint on the part of UUNet's end users.
3. Aggressive cancellation and filtering activities among Usenet sites.
4. Spammers migrating from UUNet to other services.
At this point it is impossible to determine which of these factors predominates.
We propose to give UUNet the benefit of the doubt until we can determine that they have in fact taken action to reduce spam emanating from their site.
Those of us participating in the UDP will refrain from issuing UDP cancels on UUNet-generated news articles as of 5:00 pm PT today, August 6, 1997. Spam cancelers who cancel articles based on the Breidbart Index rule should continue to do so just as they did in the months prior to the UDP. It is important to note that the UDP increased the number of cancels for UUNet-generated articles by only a few percent, and therefore it may not be immediately obvious to some Usenet users that anything has changed.
We promise the Usenet community at large that should the need for such drastic measures reappear either in the near or distant future, that need will be met head on, no matter who the culprit is and disregarding any legal threats and blusters, just as it was this time. When spam levels increase to intolerable levels, there will always be a point at which it becomes necessary for the operators and users of Usenet to step in and deal with the problem using any mechanism that is available and legal.
In this case, we were confronted with a single site that was generating nearly 1 million spam posts per week and rapidly increasing. With these numbers and UUNet's total inability or refusal to deal with the spam, it was inevitable that someone had to do something eventually.
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