Re: Spam

NetSurfer (
Thu, 4 Feb 1999 13:21:55 -1000 (HST)

First off laws which allow for the prosecution of businesses which advertise via spam has absolutely *nothing* to do with encryption or anonymity with the exception that the use of falsified headers IN SPAM is treated as the fraud it is. If you do not plan on marketing your wares on the net via spamvertizing you have nothing to fear from this.

Are you familiar with the law against junk faxes? When it was first proposed there were people crying out "it is the end of civilization and free speach (tm) etc. etc." Well the law has been in place for a number of years, and has upheld on appeals, and you are still able to practice your freedom of speech (except by sending unsolicited faxes to people) and you still have anonymity and the country has not turned into a police state which makes you implant a tracking chip in your arm.

Legislation is one part of the solution to ending unsolicited commercial/bulk email. Actions by honest ISP's who remove spammers from their network after fining them $200-$1000 on their credit cards is another part of it. Making it unprofitable and to risky to spam and use of the RBL, ORCA, ORBS, DSSL are another tool as is filtering during the SMTP session.

This is simply anti-theft and anti-netabuse legislation. If you are not stealing from people and hijacking other peoples mail servers and network feeds you have nothing to fear. Talk to the owners of the ISP's who have had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to protect their networks from the criminals and ask them what they think of spamming and about laws to curb it. You can start with - they had to spend $500,000 to protect PacBellInternet from the spammers.

As for the ad hominem attack I won't reply with the same. I prefer arguments of logic rather than insulting the people I'm carrying on a dialogue with - its much more effective.

On Thu, 4 Feb 1999 wrote:

Subject: Re: Spam

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.

>"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.

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.

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.


James D. Wilson
"non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem"
    William of Ockham (1285-1347/49)