Re: Spam

Michael S. Lorrey (
Thu, 04 Feb 1999 15:24:34 -0500 wrote:

> NetSurfer [] wrote:
> >The spammers killed usenet and will kill email itself if they are not
> >stopped. And if all you do is delete it, you are helping them do so.
> How strange. I read Usenet almost every day, so I can't quite understand
> how the spammers have killed it; in fact I rarely see any spam ad in there
> these days. One reason for that is that rather than arguing for pointless
> laws, people went out and started cancelling the spams. Technical solutions
> to technical problems.

I have found that the spam content on usenet is more a matter of the time of day, and how well administrators/moderators control their group's content. Active administratiors will run frequent cancelbots on spammers. Less experienced or less involved administrators tend to let things run amok. Since bulk emailers tend to mail late at night or early in the morning, they usually mail at least 10-16 hours before the typical casual admin logs on and cleans house. Admins who keep it up on their screens all day tend to run frequent cancelbots.

> >"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
> Indeed. That's why us good men are so concerned about you evil anti-spam
> freaks who don't seem to have a clue as to the effects of your proposed
> laws on non-spammers. You want to sacrifice our freedom and privacy for
> your supposed safety. We don't want that.

That is a load of crap. There is a big difference between mandating that From and Reply-To addresses are real addresses from which the mail actually originated (even if the mailer is an anonymous one), and using fraudulent header information, which is the typical spammer tactic to avoid retribution.

> You cannot stop spam with laws unless those laws are globally enforced
> and all traces of Internet privacy is eliminated. That means no
> anonymity, no encryption, and ID checks before anyone is allowed on the
> Net. That is evil, and you and Mike and the other anti-spam freaks are
> the worst threat to freedom on the Net today.

More crap. Nobody is more pro-freedom than I. I, however, am mature enough, unlike others, to recognize that with power and freedom comes responsibility and accountability. Freedom cannot exist for long without personal integrity.

> I can only assume that aliens have kidnapped Mike and replaced him with
> a government-loving fascist clone, because he's usually far more sensible
> than he has been recently.

If you've read my posts, I do not want government mandates if the market can develop mechanisms to cause spammers to pay their way.

If the market (you, me, and everyone) refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem, or refuses to do something about it in a self regulatory manner, then it is eventually gonna piss off enough powerful people that something is gonna be done at a political level whether you like it or not.

Government has always loved to use abuses in systems as excuses to regulate and take over markets. This only occurs when the parties in the market refuse to do something about a problem.

I want to keep the internet a tax free, free speech, free encryption, and generally do as you please zone. The only way it is going to stay that way is if people start taking personal responsibility and taking action to prevent the sort of abuses of the system which will invite the jack booted storm troopers in the door.

Mike Lorrey