Attention AOL users

Brett Dikeman brett at
Fri Mar 3 14:02:46 EST 2006

In the coming month AOL will be requiring bulk email senders to  
certify themselves with Goodlink's CertifiedEmail system.  It is not  
precisely clear what kinds of email traffic will require the sender  
to pay what basically amounts to a "yes, we'll deliver your email"  
bribe, nor is it clear how our ability to send email to AOL users  
will be affected.

If it comes down to Audifans having to pay to send AOL users mail, or  
dropping all AOL addresses, I think you can guess which way the ball  
will roll.  I suggest finding a new internet service provider in the  
next 30 days if you wish to guarantee you will be able to receive ANY  
mailing list mail (ie, not just Audifans), or simply do it on  
principle.  You'll be voting with your wallet against an attempt to  
impose a class system onto what has been a free communications  
medium.  This is a very dangerous path- Yahoo is rumored to have  
signed up with Goodlink as well, and if they do- other ISPs and  
webmail providers will most likely follow.

Groups like Audifans already face challenges when it comes to running  
a mailing list service.  An increasing number of mail servers block  
ANY dynamic IP address ranges at internet service providers, and most  
if not all Internet Service Providers prohibit ANY type of server  
(mail, web, etc) from running off their service.  Some specifically  
ban mailing lists and discussion boards.  Not so scary when you think  
about car enthusiast mailing lists.  More scary when you think about  
lists for organizing citizen, consumer, or employee action, protest,  
etc.  The government isn't the biggest challenge to your free speech  
rights when it comes to the internet. The corporate world is.

This will just be another nail in the coffin.  You can help pull that  
nail out by supporting local internet service providers, instead of  
forking over cast to a giant, useless dinosaur like AOL.  It may take  
a little digging, but chances are you can find a local dialup or DSL  
provider in your area; some towns and cities even have co-op style  
internet service providers.


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