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North Star Techinical Services dislikes spam. It's wasteful and is near-worthless as a marketing strategy. Worst of all, it is annoying. No one likes to have their inbox filled with useless messages about products in which they have no interest.

If we find that one of our clients is using our system to send junk mail, we ask them to stop. If they abuse our network a second time, they get disconnected. To date, none of our clients have misused our service.

Our biggest problem is forgeries. People who are trying to be stealthy and clever seem to like using forged addresses like mystery@mystery.com or i_am_not_telling_@it.is.a.mystery.com. We usually can tell when someone has used such a forgery, because we get dozens of complaints about it.

It is simple enough to explain to the complainants that the message did not originate here and is a forgery, but we do not like to stop there. We prefer to find out who originated the forgery and attempt to get them to stop. Should you ever receive junk mail containing references to mystery.com, please forward the entire message, including all of the headers, to abuse@mystery.com.

If you are not familiar with message headers, they look something like this:
   From fiend@example.com  Mon Feb  3 10:55:20 1997
   Received: from foobar.mystery.com (gabe@foobar.mystery.com [])
             by angus.mystery.com (8.8.4/8.8.4) with ESMTP id KAA03030 
             for <gabe@mystery.com>; Mon, 3 Feb 1997 10:54:19 -0500
   Received: (from gabe@localhost) by foobar.mystery.com (8.8.3/8.7.3) 
             id KAA20603 for gabe@mystery.com; Mon, 3 Feb 1997 
             10:53:43 -0500 (EST)
   Received: from angus.mystery.com (angus.mystery.com []) by 
             foobar.mystery.com (8.8.3/8.7.3) with ESMTP id HAA17841 for 
             <gabe@foobar.mystery.com>; Mon, 6 Jan 1997 07:42:14 -0500 (EST)
   Received: from some.non-existant.machine.mystery.com 
             (bogus_address@non-existant.machine.mystery.com [])
             by angus.mystery.com (8.8.4/8.8.4)
             id HAA00248; Mon, 6 Jan 1997 07:42:12 -0500
   Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 07:42:12 -0500
   From: bogus_address@non-existant.machine.mystery.com
   Message-Id: <199701061242.HAA00248@angus.mystery.com>
   To: amazingoffer@example.com
This provides us with information about which computers the message passed through on its way to you. It also provides information about when the message was generated. Although much of this information can be forged, there is often enough valid information present to figure out where the message originated.

By providing us with a complete copy of the junk mail, you help us track down who sent it. If we can find out who sent it, we have a chance of putting a stop to it. None of this is possible without your help.

How to deal with spam

Delete it.

Once you realize you have a piece of electronic junk mail, just delete it. Odds are, the message originated from a forged address, making replies a waste of time.

Ignore any offers to be "removed" from the mailing list. This offer is rarely legitimate. Instead, it tells the junk-mailer two things:
  1. You read the message instead of deleting it immediately (and are likely to do so with future messages), and
  2. Your address is a valid one.
Check with your local service provider for more information on dealing with electronic intrusions such as these.
Boycott Internet spam! MAPS Realtime Blackhole List

Use of NSTS computer and network facilities and the mystery.com domain for the purpose of transmitting unsolicited commercial advertising electronic mail to any user or account on or through NSTS machines is expressly prohibited.