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Friday, April 09, 2004

Spammers 4,000,000,000,000 - The little guy 1

We are fighting an uphill battle against the spammers. Congress passed the 2003 CAN-SPAM ("Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003") legislation that, in part, forces spammers to identify their mail as spam (see Section 5, subsection 5A). The result has been more not less spam. It is a natural result of a bad legislation - it's now the user's responsibility to get a spam filter because spam is identified. This is all the more frustrating because Congress passed the bad law just so that they could be seen as caring and "doing something." The worst policy seems to arise when Congress takes the attitude that "any policy is better than no policy."

The difficulty in apprehending spammers is made clear in this (somewhat long and technical) story (link found at this interesting blog) in which an Internet cafe sysadmin discoverd a 419er (the netname given to those who send out the "Nigerian emails") spamming from his place of work and helped in his arrest.

Kudos, Steffen.

Lotsa links on 419
State laws against spam (Alaska's and Wisconsin's are both short and sweet - should get their lawmakers to write laws for Congress).

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