The fight against spam has taken a new turn with the anti-spam list MAPS (mail abuse prevention system) ceasing its free service in favour of a subscriber system.
MAPS, a sometimes bitter competitor with ORBS (Open relay behaviour modification system) describes itself as a "not-for profit organisation". ORBS was run by local man Alan Brown, but he shut down the site following the closure of his ISP, Manawatu Internet Services.
Several ORBS-like services have since popped up around the world and are collectively referred to as children of ORBS or CoORBS.
MAPS says all non-subscription access to MAPS services will cease at midnight on July 31. "Anyone wishing to transfer or query MAPS data must have a signed contract with MAPS," it says in a statement.
"The economic conditions in the industry have hit everyone, including MAPS. MAPS' purpose is to stop spam on the internet. That purpose can only be achieved as long as MAPS can maintain itself as a corporation."
User reaction has been swift in claiming this as the "demise of ORBS" and complaining about having to pay to receive spam and now to not receive it as well.
"You've just cut your own throats,” writes one administrator on the news.admin.net_abuse.email newsgroup. “The effectiveness of MAPS always depended on the number of users, which is now going to be a fraction of a percentage of what it was before.”
The MAPS site was down at IDGNet's deadline.