At 11:21 AM 10/23/2003, Bagotronix Tech Support wrote:
> Isn't spam wonderful? ... it makes our lives so interesting. Any day I
> expect that $30 million to be wired into my account, and I get 20%, and
> I had to do was be helpful to this poor relative of a dead dictator.... I
> promise I'll share it with all my friends.... :-)

You have no friends here, only enemies...Oh, wait, did you say $30 million?
Adbul, old buddy, old pal, let's hang out!  ;-)

Aw, its only going to be 6 million, 20%. You don't think I'd cheat that poor Nigerian relative, do you?

The War on Terror, hah!  How about a War on Spam?  Drop commando teams into
spammer operations anywhere in the world, arrest everyone and imprison them
on an island with no food or water, but electricity and computers (no
connection to outside world).  They can survive by selling each other
"enlargements", mortgage refinancing, weight loss pills, etc.

The idea is actually not crazy at all (the isolation part). Okay, imagine a Beyond Politics organization of all (or many) internet users. These users can, of course, instruct their service providers to cut off mail transmission from spam domains. How are spam domains identified? By users, of course.

Every user would have a tool that makes it very, very simple, one-click, to send a spam report with full headers. I think SpamCop may have something like this. The spam report does not automatically cause the isolation of the originating domain, it is far too easy to identify legitimate mail as spam. But if a few reports come in from different users, a staffer is alerted, who looks at some of the mail. If it is spam on the face (not merely commercial email), then the identification of the domain as a spam source is immediately made and the information distributed. That domain effectively gets cut off from all parts of the internet who are participating in the system. A message to the offending domain management is, of course, sent, and there would be all kinds of checks and balances. Mail from the offending domain might go into a temporary spool, it would not be deleted immediately, there would be plenty of opportunity for correction of errors.

But spam would be caught within the first few thousand emails, or faster, saving millions of users the need to deal with it.

All totally voluntary, no coercion, just people acting collectively to protect themselves. Those who like to receive spam could still get it all. Those who want to send it are still free to send whatever they like. But they might lose access to a cooperatively maintained network if they abuse it.

The cost would be small. The "staffer" might be a network of volunteers taking small shifts, the work load on any individual would be small. The system would automatically flag flood mail, large bulk mailings where the mailer has not registered with the network. (When such mail is blocked, the system would notify the sender and a mechanism would be provided for the sender to show that the mail was legitimate. And from then on, that sender would not be automatically blocked just because of bulk mailing.) "Bulk mail" is not many identical messages, it is many messages of whatever kind entering the system in a short period of time from a single source.

I think the spammers would give up pretty quickly, once the organization of users reached a critical mass.

Instead, we wait for "government" to do it, whining and complaining.....

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