A Conversation for Spam - the Net Term

Let's rename SPAM

Post 1


I propose that we start up a working committee to rename the nuisance of unwanted emails.
For me, Spam is a pretty disgusting piece of luncheon meat, but I would rather spend my time eating 5 tins a day than have to spend 5 minutes each morning clearing up my email account with news of horny housewives and Nigerians ambassadors needing my bank account as a safe haven for their millions of dollars.

So, what shall we call it...the unwanted emails that is, not the luncheon meat smiley - winkeye

Let's rename SPAM

Post 2

Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it)

One of the official terms is Unsolicited Commercial Email, or alternatively Unsolcited Bulk Email.

This is the preferred term at EuroCAUCE (the European Campaign Against Unsolicited Commercial Email at http://www.euro.cauce.org )

As to the Nigerian problem, I received a message from one particularly clued-up ISP Abuse minion along the lines of 'The account your reported has been terminated, along with today's quota of doctors, engineers, generals, and relatives of dead presidents'. It's a relief to know that there are still some abuse departments out there that actually read and act on problems, and provide a personal reply. Many reply with what has become terms 'Ignorebot' replies.

Unfortunately many, who I won't name here due to there being too many legal types around who think they can make money fighting for 'free speech' and 'legitamate business' (oi! not on MY network you dont!), send spam complaints straight to /dev/null (the unix device file which is the bit-bucket-of-infinite-capacity). I've even had bounces back from some ISP's saying stupid things like '550 Can't write to /dev/null' from particularly ignorant, stupid, and spam-friendly companies. These companies soon find their entire IP space in various DNSbl lists.

Let's rename SPAM

Post 3

Peet (the Pedantic Punctuation Policeman, Muse of Lateral Programming Ideas, Eggcups-Spurtle-and-Spoonswinner, BBC Cheese Namer & Zaphodista)

For about six months, any mail to [email protected] would bounce with a message to the effect of "Cannot deliver; account 'abuse' has exceeded its quota." smiley - steam

At the time (just after Hong Kong was returned to the Chinese) the server seemed to be running unmanned! You could go to a webmail interface and set up any number of accounts; there was no anti-SPAM policy, you just had to agree not to malign the Chinese government... smiley - erm

That, and the fact that they gave free POP access once you had set up such an account meant that they were extremely popular as a working base for SPAM operations. smiley - grr

At the time, I set up an account "[email protected]" just to send joke e-mails to friends... smiley - silly (Note to moderator: I'm allowed to post my own e-mail address here, and even if I wasn't it no longer exists since the domain has been transferred to a slightly more professional setup... smiley - geek)

Let's rename SPAM

Post 4

Caveman, Evil Unix Sysadmin, betting shop operative, and SuDoku addict (Its an odd mix, but someone has to do it)

This is nothing new; many ISP's allow spam because it is cheaper for them to ignore it than to do something about it.

One ISP in Germany is a case in point. I won't name them, but you have probably had mail from one of their customers (some kind of 'research' organisation with a name that sounds like plastic building bricks) who have decided that they have the right to send mail to addresses found in public places (which apparently includes a whole bunch of addresses on my networks that don't exist, or that exist solely to foil usenet address-scrapers, or that lead straight into teergrubes (ironically enough, a german word meaning 'tar pit', which responds sooo sllloooowwwllly when spammers try and send mail to it, that they can be stuck talking to it for weeks)

I think there is a big similarity to the way the rail companies in the UK behaved ten years ago. They sacked all their ticket inspectors, because they didn't think they needed them, relying instead of occasional blitzing of stations by travelling teams. Having your ticket checked became so rare an occurrence that only the habitually 100% honest travellers actually bought tickets.

A BBC(?) TV series called 'Back to the floor', followed the chairman of WAGN rail around, as he worked at the lowest levels in the organisation for a while. He spent a day checking tickets, and was so surpised at the level of ticket fraud being committed, that he finally did the sums, and worked out that hiring 300 staff to check tickets would actually cost a fraction the amount of money lost to people travelling without tickets. I.e. the net result of paying money to these people, is that you end up with more money to pay them with.

The internet is heading the same way, hopefully. With organisations such as SPEWS listing networks that harbour (or don't otherwise deal with) spammers, so that people can block mail from them.

I'd just like to say that:
A) I agree 100% with SPEWS aims and methods. Unlike some people on the net (who usually resort to lawyers as the first and only approach to a problem), I know that I have no right to send mail, and no right to access other people's network. I have the right to free speach, sure, but everyone else has the right NOT TO LISTEN.
B) I am not SPEWS this week.

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