Re: Junk mail and rotting web (SPAM)
Mon, 1 Feb 1999 16:50:19 -0800

Michael S. Lorrey, <>, writes:
> wrote:
> > Michael S. Lorrey, <>, writes:
> > > Using automated systems to mine the net of email addresses of people you do
> > > not know and have never indicated an interest in knowing you or anybody like
> > > you, your company, or your product, nor has indicated any interest in your
> > > customers products is already illegal, it just hasn't been tested yet in
> > > court. All someone has to do is apply the old mail and wire tampering, fraud,
> > > and harassment laws to data miners and spammers.
> >
> > Really? Then I guess I should go to prison. Recently I saw a reference
> > to an interesting-sounding crypto paper published earlier this year,
> > but I couldn't find the paper on the web. I sent unsolicited email to
> > the author asking if he would mind sending me a copy. He did not know
> > me, he has never indicated any interest in knowing me or anyone like me,
> > or my company, or my product, or my customer's products. From what you
> > say, what I did is illegal and I should go to prison.
> >
> > No doubt many more people will end up in the same boat if we continue to
> > criminalize behavior as some people are suggesting.
> Since you were interested in his product, it is obviously not an offense. Get a
> clue.

So it is OK because I (the sender) was interested in his (the recipient) product. Above, you indicated that it was necessary that the recipient be interested in the sender's product. You are changing the rules as we speak.

Spammers are interested in my product - in the money that is in my wallet. By your new reasoning, their spam is OK. I don't think this is what you mean to imply.

The point is, there is unsolicited email which the recipient is happy to receive, and there is unsolicited email which he is not happy to receive. People are trying to propose rules by which the sender should know which of the two categories his email will fall into.

Throwing people in jail because they misjudged the happiness of the recipient is not a good way to solve this problem.