Interamp/Interramp/PSI/Pipeline/MindSpring What?

The interamp/interramp thing and its relationship to MindSpring is worthy of a few words of explanation. PSI is an internet backbone provider. They used to also have dial-up accounts with customers who used the pipeline.com and interamp.com/interramp.com (spelled both ways—no, I don't know why) domains. MindSpring purchased PSI's dial-up accounts sometime in 1996, and the pipeline.com and interamp.com users were transitioning to MindSpring as all of this mess started.

To add to the confusion, MindSpring's contract with PSI included allowing MindSpring users to dial in to MindSpring through PSI's local numbers (PoPs) all over the U.S., making MindSpring a national ISP when they were previously a regional ISP. You started seeing MindSpring users with psi.net and pipeline.com and interamp.com in the headers of their posts and emails, which made it easier for many people to assume that I, a MindSpring user, had indeed posted the sex-wanted ads that came through interamp.com.

That change also made it possible for Hillyard to forge email from another MindSpring user in January 1997 in an attempt to get that person's MindSpring account cancelled. Were it not for major security flaws in PSI's network, MindSpring could have verified the true IP address from which the forgery originated. As it was, they could only determine that it did not, in fact, originate from the attacked person's account. That same security hole presented problem in tracking the origin of the messages Hillyard emailed and posted from an interamp.com account in August 1996. While PSI has long been aware of the problem, they have chosen not to fix it, which is, in my mind, gross negligence on their part.

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Copyright © 1996-2016, Cynthia L. Armistead, All Rights Reserved.

This file last modified 06/02/17