Re: Junk mail and rotting web (SPAM)

Michael S. Lorrey (
Tue, 02 Feb 1999 13:25:21 -0500

"James D. Wilson" wrote:

> Ever hear of Kevin Mitnick? He's been in jail for three (3) years now
> without trial.

Yes, I hear they finally called an arraignment for his case a couple months ago...its funny, people who know a little bit about him either hate his guts or love him, but when you tell them (the haters) that he has been sitting in jail without due process as if he were in jail in Mexico or Turkey for 3 years, they get a bit more sympathetic, and start to get a minimal idea of who it is that is really playing hardball.

> As for authentication solutions etc. this is fine and good but until
> IPng it is not likely to fly because it requires every server to
> cooperate unless you want to isolate yourself from the net.

Yes, packet authentication ought to be established with the new Internet2. I grant that doing so on the present internet would bog it down to uselessness untill everyone can get high speed connections and the backbones are increased by a factor of four or more above their capacity now.

> The law that makes the most sense is one prohibiting the transfer of
> the cost of the mailing from the sender to the intermediate networks
> and ultimately the end recipient. This is why the TCPA junk fax law
> has upheld to date. This type of law (cost transfer) will cover
> future types of situations such as people spamming your palm pilot or
> spamming your digital pager or even spamming your PCS phone. This is
> the type of law which was just submitted to the Texas Congress. Even
> California is considering additional laws because their original one
> just doesn't have enough teeth in it.

I'm not too happy with the Texas government at the moment, since they just banned the use of Quicken software in state since it supposedly amounts to practicing law without a license. (Texas also bans sale of 'cookie cutter' legal forms in business stores, at the behest of the Texas Bar Association, on the same grounds). This is a prime example of raw mercantilism. I wonder what we can do to ban texas on the net....

Up here we have legal precedents that establish that anyone can be an attorney (common law states this), but to be an "attorney at law", you need to be a licensed attorney who has passed the bar.

> The only way you will be able to significantly reduce spam is to make
> it no longer profitable and worth the risk. You will always have some
> clueless chicken-boner spammers out there but we will be able to put
> it to a quick stop be it by LARTing the spammer or by terminating his
> access.

Yes, while extropians are pro-knowledge, they are also for responsible use of knowledge. We can't just throw our hands up and say c'est la vie! If we are to rely on the market, then we need to take matters into our own hands to force the evolutionary curve in terms of responsible use of internet tools. We rely on the market, but don't forget, 'de market iz us!'

> There is no one solution to the problem - it will take a combination
> of efforts to rid the net of +90% of this junk.

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem...