Microsoft, AOL, EarthLink, and Yahoo filed six lawsuits today against hundreds of individuals accused of sending spam (in violation of the “can spam” legislation signed into law on January 1st, 2004). Story at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20040310/ap_on_hi_te/internet_spam.
But honestly, does anyone actually think that this will accomplish anything? Great, shut down a few local spam shops and then operations just move offshore instead. This is just plain silly, both the legislation and the lawsuits.
The only way to kill spam is for end users to never respond to spam. When marketers find that they are not even getting .01% response rate on spampaigns they’ll need to find alternatives. Of course, that will never happen, because too many users do indeed seem to want body parts enlarged or reduced, better interest rates, “long lasting” supplements, Nigerian get-rich-quick schemes, Vicodin, great search engine placement, banned CDs, free porn, free cable, and exclusive access to every MLM ever thought up.
And that is the real problem. It’s supply and demand, as long as idiots demand spam by responding, there’ll be no shortage of suppliers, regardless of legislation and lawsuits.

3 thoughts

  1. I imagine spam is just a numbers game. If they get 0.01% response, they just need to send 1 million emails and they’ll get 1000 responses. If that many responses can pay for the bandwidth used to send the mail and put at least $1 in their pocket, they’ll keep doing it.
    If the lawyers can enforce Spammers to go outside the US, it would help a little. Maybe other countries would follow our lead and ultimately force spammers to work on islands where bandwidth is expensive. Who knows.

  2. I agree that any organization or individual who intends to use bandwidth to send large amounts of unsolicited email, must be required to identify themselves or face prosecution.
    ISPs also need to get tougher. As a prerequisite for service, users should be asked to opt-in or out of spam protection. This would then give the ISPs an opportunity to filter out spam before it even reaches our computer screens, but should placate honest marketers somewhat by helping them better identify those even interested in their stuff.
    We should all support initiatives out there to improve spam detection technology. Right now, the filters behind. What we can immediately discern as spam, trips up mo$t fi+ers 0u+ there.
    But the best solution is ultimately not to buy the stuff these companies / people are peddling. Patronize only those merchants that are willing to be honest and unfront about who they are and what they are selling.

Leave a Reply