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Chat network ban

72-hour deadline

A unanimous vote

An ISP divided

Chronology Of Events

Aug 26 rejects offer from TMnet to host local server as it did not meet minimum requirements.

Aug 31
Jaring issues warning to online users that it will scan them to curb the high volume of chat abuse.

Sept 5
Undernet permanently bans TMnet users from its network after a unanimous 20 to none vote, with three abstentions.

Sept 7
TMnet issues stern warning to its 350,000 subscribers against attacking foreign chat networks, threatening "drastic measures" against perpetrators.

Sept 16
From daily logs supplied by Undernet, Jaring identifies a group of hackers from a local university, responsible for attacks and abuse on the Undernet network. It suspends 14 accounts and issues 160 email warnings. TMnet claims it is still attempting to resolve issue.

A 72-hour deadline to respond

Daily logs supplied by since August 22 provided vital clues for Jaring to follow up on uncovering the source of the abuses.

The speed with which Jaring responded to's call for immediate abuse management--and the subsequent lifting of the ban against its users--sharply contrasted with TMnet's lethargic reaction.

According to a timeline provided by the, two TMnet staff had separately responded to the ban only after the initial 72-hour deadline to respond had expired on August 19.

Both replies, however, were misdirected and was uncertain whether the senders were genuine.

Abdul Majid Abdullah, acting chief operating officer and general manager of Internet services for Telekom Multimedia, the division of Telekom Malaysia Berhad which oversees TMnet, admitted that two of his staff made attempts to contact the Undernet administrators. "In their zeal to respond quickly to for the sake of TMnet users, the question of being the authority to speak on TMnet's behalf might have been overlooked," he said.

Abdul Majid was hard put to explain why the proper "authority" for TMnet was so slow to react to the ban officially or to provide a direct contact person for abuse complaints that Undernet required. Instead of abiding by's insistence to put in place a far more reactive abuse management policy, the two TMnet staff had alternatively suggested that the ISP host a local Undernet server to monitor the abuse.

But the volunteer-run was not enthused by the proposal. "Owning and running an IRC server really has nothing to do with the ability of a service provider to monitor the behavior of their customers or take to action against troublemakers. The Undernet does not consider linking a server as a form of abuse management," said the North American Abuse Coordinator for, known only as Angel Moss.

Moss said the administrators promptly rejected the ISP's offer, given its history of abuse and also because Undernet's routing committee had determined that it did not meet the minimum requirements for bandwidth or machine resources.

Surprisingly, Moss revealed that TMnet had applied to host a link six times before and was rejected each time for similar reasons as well as "incomplete applications and insufficient information".



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