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DMA to Control Spam by DMA Members

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the baby-steps dept.

Spam 204

SiliconLawyer writes: "The Direct Marketing Association, the major U.S. tradegroup for companies using direct marketing techniques, will reportedly issue guidelines for how its members may and may not use e-mail as a marketing tool. Hopefully, this will influence other marketers toward more responsible use of e-mail. Details are on CNET here."

cancel ×

204 comments

tell him what you think (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903071)

http://slashdot.org/zoo.pl?op=addcheck&type=friend &uid=7654

Re:tell him what you think (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903096)

I agree with this post

The Direct Marketing Association? (2, Funny)

penguin_punk (66721) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903084)

anything named The Direct Marketing Association should be sent directly to /dev/null

Re:The Direct Marketing Association? (0, Offtopic)

Chundra (189402) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903410)

# hdparm -d1 /dev/null

Self-Moderation (2, Funny)

ewomack (225766) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903089)

Won't this be a little like the wolf looking after the chickens?

"We are still going to spam, but we wil spam nicely."

Spam is Spam is Spam!

Re:Self-Moderation (2, Interesting)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903131)

Ahh, but if they spame nicely then they will have valid return-email addys, won't they? Or optimally, an X-UCE header, or some such.

It's easier to filter nice spam :)

Re:Self-Moderation (2, Insightful)

ewomack (225766) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903167)

I see your point, but I shouldn't have to filter it out to begin with. These are people who use my bandwidth that I pay for to sell their product.

Now, maybe if each piece of spam included a micropayment to my ISP...

Re:Self-Moderation (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903220)

Well what i got from the article was that they wouldn't spam you unless you asked for it. I think thats a good thing, and a step in the right direction. Also, the article has a link to a site where you can get your email removed from all DMA members spam lists (like they do for your phone # and address now). The only thing i don't like about that is that it expires, and requires effort on my part to get my name back on to their exclude list. Ideally, i wouldn't have any effort to keep my name on such a list.

Re:Self-Moderation (1)

jnana (519059) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903409)

I just put all my addresses on their exclude list. The thing I don't like though, apart from it not being permanent, is that this should be opt-in rather than opt-out, i.e., they should have an include list of people that they are *allowed* to spam and not spam anybody else.

The biggest spam problems I have come from China or elsewhere in Asia, and this exclude list will probably have no effect on that spam. Anything the DMA does is only going to be followed by semi-legitimate companies, but the most egregious offenders couldn't care less what the DMA says. They will continue to spam until it is no longer profitable.

Re:Self-Moderation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903222)

These are people who use my bandwidth that I pay for to sell their product.



As I read this I realized that I was wearing a t-shirt with the Reebok logo on it. I paid money to advertise for them...

Re:Self-Moderation (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903290)

What if every email sent cost a fraction of a penny (or insert your own monetary unit)? Those of us that send out 1-2 emails a weeks would not even notice it. But a spammer would.

Of course there would need to be controls around this, but hey, it would move the cost from the spammee to the spammer.

Re:Self-Moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903310)

Are you going to post this every time a spam discussion comes up? It is an impossibility so get off it.

Re:Self-Moderation (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903397)

First of all I did not see this before (or else I cannot remember). I have other things on my mind....

Secondly it is not impossible. It is, however, improbable.

But it would still be a good thing.......

Re:Self-Moderation (1)

jhantin (252660) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903282)

Ahh, but if they spame nicely then they will have valid return-email addys, won't they? Or optimally, an X-UCE header, or some such.

Or, as the California [spamlaws.com] and Colorado [spamlaws.com] state laws require, the Subject header begins with "ADV:", although this is incompatible with some other spam laws [spamlaws.com] .

I still think per-address-pair hash cash [cypherspace.org] is a better solution; see the LAPO hash-cash demo applet [www.lapo.it] for a simple hash cash generator implementation.

Re:Self-Moderation (2)

NiftyNews (537829) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903221)

No, more like the chickens looking after the chickens. One doesn't watch, the other doesn't care.

Re:Self-Moderation (1)

Bourbon Man (76846) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903341)

Not the wolf looking after the chickens, nor the chickens looking after the chickens. It's like the wolves telling the wolves not to eat the chickens, and I doubt it will have any effect on their appetite or number of chickens eaten.

Weird (0, Redundant)

NewbieSpaz (172080) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903090)

This sort of seems like having a known group of criminals regulating crime. "OK, now guys, no stealing anymore ok...?"

Re:Weird (1)

NewbieSpaz (172080) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903123)

OK, mine parent post here is similar to the FP! with the guy talking about wolves and chickens. We must have submitted at (near) the same time, so:
1. Sorry for the semi-redundancy... and...
2. I know it's against the /. code to reply to your own post, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Re:Weird (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903138)

it's against the slashdot code to reply to your own post?

Re:Weird (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903164)

i agree with this post.

Re:Weird (-1)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903306)

Tough shit camel-rammer.
First you're going to get modded down for redundancy. Then your second post is going to get modded down as off-topic.
Better bend over and take it like a man. It won't hurt as much.

Of course, now that I've said this, they're going to mod you up as either insightful or funny.
Isn't Slashdot moderation an amazing thing? *sarcasm*

Ok, Mr. Fox (1)

EFGearman (245715) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903098)

"Despite all the problems you've caused in the past, I'll go ahead and let you guard the henhouse."

Yeah, Riiiiiiiight.

EFGearman
--

Ya right (4, Funny)

sllort (442574) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903099)

This has to be a hoax. Next thing I know you'll be posting a story about how Microsoft is going to "specialize in computer security".

Har de har har.

Re:Ya right (0, Redundant)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903137)

This has to be a hoax. Next thing I know you'll be posting a story about how Microsoft is going to "specialize in computer security".

That already happened [slashdot.org] .

mark

Re:Ya right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903149)

Yes, yes, it was a joke. Sigh.

Re:Ya right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903197)

Oops! I guess my brain had a lapse.

mark

Re:Ya right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903158)

That's the joke.

Re:Ya right (1, Offtopic)

Bonker (243350) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903236)

If we need to have negative moderation on /., how bout a 'Doesn't get it' moderation to get rid of posts like the one above?

Maybe the links will point somewhere... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903104)

When you click the "Remove me from your list" link, it'll point to a real page?

Man, if I was a lawyer, I'd be rich!

I don't like SPAM. (1)

Ironix (165274) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903105)

Bloody Vikings!

I agree 100% (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903107)

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DMA not really the problem... (3, Redundant)

grytpype (53367) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903110)

Most of the spam you get isn't from the established businesses that would be members of the DMA. It's mostly from trailer trash. So this isn't really a big deal.

Re:DMA not really the problem... (0)

Jebus_the_spork (449174) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903166)

yeah, but there is also a lot of almost spam people opt into and find it impossible to get rid of. i know not many people consider this spam, but a lot of it does come from big name companies, and such. if you made it MANDATORY to put that link at the bottom to get out of it easily, then it wouldnt be a problem, (unless you're lazy like me, and just delete them, never opting out)

Re:DMA not really the problem... (5, Interesting)

shamino0 (551710) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903328)

I would like to think so, but they've been proven liars in the past.

Several years ago, when Canter & Segal (the "green card lawyers" who broke the ice for spammers) were abusing the internet, the DMA announced that they would be creating a "global opt out list". Supposedly, you'd add your address to the list, and no DMA member would ever spam you.

Except it didn't work. Many people at news.admin.net-abuse.email decided to test this list. They created virgin e-mail accounts and submitted the addresses to the DMA opt-out list. Within hours, the accounts were spammed. Since the addresses were never used anywhere other than the DMA list, it became obvious that either the DMA was spamming from that list, or they were making it available to spammers.

If they think I'm going to trust them this time around, they're crazy.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

oh..kay (3, Insightful)

Sawbones (176430) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903111)

Maybe I'm in the distinct minority, but most of my SPAM doesn't come from any real reputable marketing firm. Email sent from a company that uses forged headers so I don't know who they are doesn't seem very likely to be an upstanding member of the Direct Marketing Association. It's like saying "Look, we've outlawed guns, now criminals won't shoot people"... but that's a whole other can of worms.

Re:oh..kay (3, Interesting)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903187)

I know it's redundant and karma-whoring, but don't put spam in all caps when referring to UCE.

"SPAM"(tm) in all caps is a trademark of Hormel, who has good humor and grace [spam.com] regarding the term used for bulk-email.

Re:oh..kay (2)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903374)

Yes, but unlike guns, for SPAM to work i.e. make money, they need include real contact info in some form. So, the person/group at that contact is in big trouble if they've broken the law, as the cops can follow it home in many cases.

Illegal guns? You shoot, you run. No id required.

oh yea (2, Funny)

niekze (96793) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903118)

If you'd like more information, please send an e-mail to gullible@dma.org.

We promise this information will be kept private amongst are bajillion members and will not be shared with anyone else that doesn't politly ask.

In other news... (0, Redundant)

spatrick_123 (459796) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903122)

The fox has been named new guard of the hen house.

Not like it matters (2, Informative)

faust2097 (137829) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903125)

I have worked for 2 companies that were DMA members and they were quite careful about sending mail, etc. already. This will have no effect on spammers whatsoever, they have a tendency to not pay thousands of dollars in dues to trade organizations.

E for effort though.

Yeah Right (2, Insightful)

Meridun (120516) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903127)

That's like relying on the Tobacco Companies to issue guidelines on when smoking is socially acceptable and not.

The DMA is all about self-interest, and their particular interest is enabling their members to put as much advertising in front of your nose as possible The only thing they're trying to accomplish here is to look responsive, so that the threat of useful legislation in the area will be less.

Oh, and as for those people foolish enough to sign up for their "voluntary" no-call lists for telemarketers, that's about equivalent to replying to spam; it only confirms that your phone number is legitimate.

Re:Yeah Right (5, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903183)

Their "do not call" lists might be scams, but the state government Do Not Call Registry does work. I'm on the NY one and if a telemarketer calls we simply inform them that we're on the registry and they'll be fined $2,000 if they ever call back. Sure there are loopholes (anyplace you've ever done business with can call you), but it's better than nothing. You'd be surprised how quickly some telemarketers react when they hear "...on the Do Not Call Registry..." :-)

Re:Yeah Right -- my solution (3, Interesting)

Old time hacker (302793) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903292)

I wondered whether any address that I signed up would be spammed anyway. So I created a new address (never before used, and never to be used) and we will see if it gets any mail.

Even if the DMA are honest, their service can still be used to get good addresses. Consider the following scheme:
  • Sign up with e-mps.org for $100.
  • Get one of these 25,000,000 email address CDs
  • Filter it through e-mps.org
  • Diff the filtered results against the unfiltered input.
  • Send out spam to the difference list.
This gives you a list of live addresses -- ones which get less spam than average, and hence which are more likely to read your tasty marketing message.

Great service guys!

Acronym silliness (2, Funny)

Mr_Matt (225037) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903129)

Hmm...Direct Marketing Association...DMA. What exactly do they represent? Spammers, who uniformly sell crap. Thus, they could be the Direct Marketing (of) Crap Associat - thereby becoming the DMCA!

Two evil entities, two similar acronyms. Coincidence? I think not. :)

Re:Acronym silliness (-1)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903204)

ha ha ha ha ha
you are velly funny, loundeye
i so solly i put ejacurate in your lice

If you actually read their policy ... (2)

overshoot (39700) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903130)

You'll realize that the DMA's definition of "spam" is mass-mail from Somebody Else. About the only thing that the DMA policy requires of mainsleaze spammers is that they have "remove" addresses, and nobody trusts them anyway.

Bottom line: this is just another attempt to head off effective legislation by pretending "industry self-regulation."

Won't stop spam (1)

kenneth_martens (320269) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903139)

I'm encouraged to see the DMA taking steps to establish regulations on the commercial use of email, but I can't see my daily spam levels dropping anytime soon. Many of the companies they represent already have fair and decent policies in place, and the companies that are sending me spam now aren't likely to be stopped by the DMA.

However, the DMA is still doing a good thing. One thing that wasn't mentioned in the article was if the DMA will set up a way to lodge complaints against companies that break the regulations. If there isn't an efficient way to report and deal with policy infractions, the policies are next to useless.

Not the Problem (2, Insightful)

xonker (29382) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903142)

Typically, members of the DMA aren't the problem. It's some fly-by-night outfit that is advertising Herbal Viagra or Hong Kong Vacation Discounts or whatever -- people who not only annoy the people who receive e-mail, but usually do so illegally by using open relays, obscuring their true IP/Email address and so on.

Most DMA members understand that opt-in is the best way to keep a happy customer, though some companies might occasionally make mistakes or require opt-out instead, they're not as bad as the ones who won't be affected by this in the slightest. It may not be 100%, but those companies really aren't the biggest problem. I doubt any of the companies who have harvested my email address on Yahoo! and send pr0n spam (with pictures) are members of the DMA.

I think a death penalty for spammers is a good place to start.

Re:Not the Problem (1)

Schwamm (513960) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903261)

I think a death penalty for spammers is a good place to start.

But with that, we'd get no more entertainment from the likes of Bernard Shifman [petemoss.com] .

Re:Not the Problem (1)

xonker (29382) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903331)

But with that, we'd get no more entertainment from the likes of Bernard Shifman [petemoss.com].

Granted, I think that's funny as hell -- though I'd like to see the same thing happen to the SOBs who keep sending me "investment reports" and all the other SPAM that I get on a regular basis. BS is probably getting more flak than even he deserves...

In truth, I'm probably more annoyed by SPAM than I should be -- but I just can't understand how these SOBs live with themselves knowing how much people hate what they do. And, it is (in a small way) theft. Theft of my resources (I pay for my email account and connectivity. SPAM just raises the cost of those services by putting an extra load on the servers) and my time.

Plus, I remember when getting a piece of SPAM was actually funny because it was so rare. Now the SPAM to wanted email is about 1:10. It's just...wrong.

Re:Not the Problem (1)

Schwamm (513960) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903367)

Plus, I remember when getting a piece of SPAM was actually funny because it was so rare. Now the SPAM to wanted email is about 1:10. It's just...wrong.

I used to think people were making up the entire SPAM phenomenon just because I never got any. Now, though... Ugh. Spamcop [spamcop.net] is my friend now.

And I do agree that the whole BS-affair is way overplayed. At some point, he'd go away if we'd just ignore him.

and I keep dreaming...

Re:Not the Problem (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903329)

... advertising Herbal Viagra ...

You mean I can get something to make my herbs stand up? Damn things are wilting.....

Spammers (1)

Geeyzus (99967) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903147)

It is obvious what should and should not be sent via email right now. Just as it is obvious who wants and does not want your advertisement emails (solicited vs unsolicited).

The unwritten rules are being ignored now, why would spammers advertising get-rich-quick schemes, porn, and viagra start paying attention now that they are on paper? This is a big waste of time.

Mark

DMA members aren't the real problem... (3, Interesting)

mfarah (231411) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903148)

... low-life spammers that send stuff like "Make Money Fast", "enlarge your penis", "cable descrambler", "Here is my resumé. Yours truly, Bernie shifman", "25,000,000 e-mail addresses here", "Help me get this ridiculess amount of money off Nigeria", etcetera are.



DMA member Amazon.com said such rules are already in practice at the online retailer. Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith said the company gives customers a myriad of choices related to receiving company communications.

"It sounds like we currently comply with all these rules already," she said.



Generally speaking, I bet most DMA members already have an acceptable spam policy - that, or a policy that needs only minor tweaking to make it policy-compliant.

X..... (-1)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903151)

.X.

Effectiveness? (2, Insightful)

Winged Cat (101773) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903152)

  1. How many of the problem spammers are members of the DMA? Resume spamming services, for instance, probably are not, and thus have no reason to even be aware of the DMA.
  2. Even if a large number of the problem spammers do belong to the DMA, how many will actually abide by DMA regulations? What penalties will (not just can) the DMA mete out to its members who violate these regulations?

I'm sure the DMA wants to avoid regulations hitting their entire industry, but the facts are that they haven't been effective in the past. Junk faxes - including the infamous ones for more fax toner - are still regularly sent (I get a few every week at home). So, why should anyone reasonably expect anything they do to make a difference now?

The big big names (Eddie Bauer) already are nice (0, Offtopic)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903159)

The big names, such as Land's End and Eddie Bauer, as quoted in the article, already spam relatively nicely, lest they offend their customers. On the other hand, I'd love to kill those penis-enlargement ads, but there's hardly even a target to shoot at if I wanted to eliminate those. Hell, even with x10 spam, I can ban x10.com. But the ones I want to get rid of are not reputable, and they already avoid accountability. How will this change that?

It's still not clear... (2, Funny)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903162)

It's still not clear to me how Direct Memory Access is going to keep my inbox spam-free. I mean, will hard drive manufacturers stop the CPU-less transfer of data from C:\ or /mnt/hda1 if they detect such strings as "You've already won", "Free trial offer", or "Wet sex"?

SORRY.....TOO LATE.......That offer has expired! (1)

Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903168)

The wheels are already in motion now.....As I heard/read the other day, this is one of the most popular/hot-button issues with voters today...SPAM and Telemarketing...and since elections are just around the corner, look for this to become one of the places where our "courageous" law-makers can distinguish themselves!

Spammers and Telemarketers...."surrender must be immediate and unconditional, prepare to be boarded or destroyed"

wont help much... (2)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903178)

Majority of DMA members are honest companies that use email marketing ethically - meaning opt-in messages, honoring unsubscribe requests, etc. This wont do anything to curb those "Increase Your Penis Size!" spams.

Spammers... Rules? (2)

Heem (448667) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903180)

When was the last time you knew of spammers that followed the rules?

Boot them out of the DMA? (1)

Lester67 (218549) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903181)

Then what? They SPAM anyway, and don't have DMA dues to pay.

Great idea, nitwits.

In other news... (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903184)

  • Hopefully, this will influence other marketers toward more responsible use of e-mail

In other news, US businesses agreed to stop savagely beating customers who are tardy in payment. Hopefully, this will influence organised crime towards more responsible collection policies.

This is about like... (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903186)

me saying I'll be in charge of keeping page lengthening posts off of shitdot...

If you actually beli

Marketing People: Spam Works (5, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903190)

I recently spent a few weeks trying to persuade my company's marketing bimbo that no, we could not send unsolicited emails to potential customers.

I used the simple expedient of repeating the reasons against spam over and over again until they began to sink in. I even threatened legal action... ie: I told them that people were starting to successfully prosecute spammers for big money.

Even than, I had to answer the question... "Why would this be illegal? I get this kind of thing all the time."

The sad thing was, until I finally convinced the executive VP to bring the hammer down on the project, I was forced to compose graphical HTML-ized spam emails. Thank god they never saw the light of day.

Won't work! (3, Insightful)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903192)

First, they don't allow the removal of a domain.


Second, who trusts the removal links?


Third, what prevents me from grabbing the removal database and using as a verified sucker database?


What would work is that DMA provides an email service that allows a member to submit a list and email to send to them, then they will test the address and if it is ok, then send it.

Re:Won't work! (2)

Catiline (186878) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903358)

Second, who trusts the removal links?
I do, if and only if the mail comes from someone who doesn't spoof headers and send pr0n... in other words, a respectable business who should know better than sending me mass mailings.

the only good spammer is a dead spammer. (1)

evilpaul13 (181626) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903196)

Unsolicited, bulk, (particularly commercial,) email, is and will always be as acceptable as interrupting my dinner to sell me auto insurance.

The difference being, that spam costs me money and costs the sender virtually nothing. Spam is also almost always fraudulent.

But, there's nothing you can really do about it. Some ISPs aren't even in the same country as me and don't give a rat's ass about their users attempts to defraud people.
(Anyone else get "Government Grant E-Books" from Korea on a daily basis in your trash mail folder?)

Responsible use? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903205)

Now, if only Slashdot editors would use moderation responsibly! [slashdot.org]

Redundant (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903207)

Mark all the comments in this article redundant. It's like small talk in the elevator. Same shit, and noone really cares anyways.

DMA is really unfair (2, Informative)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903214)

look on their site. "you can get on our do not call list. up to 16 weeks later you may notice a decrease in phone calls. its five dollars to sign up." is this thing legit? if i were to actually sign up, how do i know i didnt just activiate a "this phone number is valid, spam it" function? (at the isp i work at we always tell our customers not to reply to spam emails for the same type or reason). the five dollars thing is the biggest insult of all. "i'll stop beating your shoulder in every morning for your milk money". why should i believe anything they say? they seem like big giant weasels. ick. ick, ick.

Re:DMA is really unfair (3, Informative)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903407)

Its only $5 if you want to do it over the net. If you print out the form and snail-mail it, its free.

worthless (2, Insightful)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903216)

In case the guys at DMA didn't get the memo, the cat's already out of the bag, pandora's box has already been opened, or .

The majority of the SPAM that's flying around the net isn't even from DMA members. It's all from con and scam artists.

Their move isn't going to change a damn thing in the short or long runs.

-

Re:worthless (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903380)

You think they care what anyone else is doing? Maybe they do, but of course first comes themselves and their own members.

And no, of COURSE this wouldn't change a damn thing outside of DMA.

And in related news (1, Offtopic)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903219)


Microsoft "promise" not to be anti-competative and monopolistic.

The Ambulance Chasing Attorneys of America promise not to pursue nussiance claims, and to only ever present the true facts.

The Defence Department promises all bombs will hit their intended targets.

Arthur Anderson promise they won't let the additional fees for consultancy cloud their auditing judgement.

And of course

The French Waiters Union promises not to treat all customers like plebs

or maybe

Slashdot promises to practice even handed journalism with a good grasp of reality.

:-)

Vision of a DMA convention (1)

Ooblek (544753) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903223)

When I think about any sort of organized group specifically for direct marketing, I get this strange vision of all its members. If they were to have a convention, an outsider would probably see a bunch of guys that all looked the same exhibiting. They would probably all be about 4'9" tall, have a balding crown with wisps of unkempt hair, hunchback, and constantly walking around wringing their hands and repeating, "Yes, my precious," while breathing heavily.

Oh, and all their names are "Igor" or something and they refer to themselves in the third person. "Igor like licking stamps." "Igor has good marketing strategy." etc.

Spam control (4, Funny)

archnerd (450052) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903230)

Two ideas for handling spammers, inspired by User Friendly:
1. Next time you get a "501 compliant spam" that starts off with something like "This is not unsolicited bulk e-mail. Buy me.", flood their server with messages stating "This is not a denial of service attack."

2. The following poem seems to work well:
I got your mail and wrote you back
just so that you'd have no doubt
that if you spam me ever again
your router shall cease to route

Hurray! (1)

NiftyNews (537829) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903243)

Hurray! I'll be getting 10% less spam! Man, does anyone have a pen I can borrow to cronicle this grand day?

Re:Hurray! (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903398)

You're off by one decimal place! And it AIN'T movin to the right!

:P

Preview of the guidelines... (5, Funny)

jmorse (90107) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903252)

I can just see those guidelines now:

  • When indiscriminately sending unsolicited email, please be sure to spoof the mail headers so the mail can't be traced back to you.
  • When mail-bombing the hotmail.com domain, please refrain from sending mail to billgates@hotmail.com or your software liscences may suddenly expire.
  • Please pre-pend the subject lines of all unsolicited email with the ADV: prefix...(uncontrolable laughter ensues)
  • When providing a fake "remove" link in an email, be sure that the address doesn't implicate your company or the DMA. remove262@yahoo.com usually works best.
  • When marketing to a technically-inclined demographic, refrain from inserting the phrase "ALL YOUR PRIVACY ARE BELONG TO US" in the email. It's not only distatsteful, it's downright cliche [wired.com] .

It is funny... (3, Funny)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903259)

When I read this, I feel exactly the same as when Microsoft said they were going to focus more on security...

What do you think that means?

Bad News. (3, Informative)

mlknowle (175506) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903267)

All that this will do is demonstrate to Congress that we don't need government regulation; that the private sector will take care of itself...

... the trouble is, in this case, the private solution will be pitifull; it is, after all, being proposed by a group which claims that their right to call me during dinner time to sell me a time share vacation EVERY NIGHT FOR ABOUT A MONTH is protected by the first ammendment...

Something weird (1)

Samus (1382) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903271)

To get on their national do not call list you can visit their site and opt out. To do it by mail is free but to do it online requires a 5$ fee paid by credit card. The catch for the by mail option is that it could take up to 30 days to process. Where is the logic in this? They have to pay some poor data entry people to process every form that comes in yet it costs very little to have me submit my form to a web server. It doesn't make sense. The only thing I can think of is that they don't want any script kiddies deregistering entire electronic phone books.

This is actually how positive change happens (1)

coltrane99 (545982) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903273)

If the DMA themselves are talking about self-regulating it's because they know they cannot hold the line where it is today. I actually have to respect an organization that will adapt to changing realities (see RIAA for contrasting example).

Now if we can just do something about all this vile paper spam I keep getting...

The DMA should require digitally signed spam (2, Interesting)

Meowharishi (550240) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903299)

I have been long of the opinion that a good weapon in the war against spam and email abuse would be requirements at some level that emails be digitally signed with a certificate coming from a trusted authority like Verisign.

I believe this is the only way we'll ever be able to get the control mechanisms into place that will start reeling in the ever increasing abuse of the Net... accountability.

Ultimately I would hope that most email servers will begin putting into place policies that reject unsigned mail...

Anyone else agree with me?

Email Authorization (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903308)

I personally like the way ICQ handles messages and think that this could be applied to email as well. You could have settings that would require people to request authoriztion to send email to you. Everything else gets filtered. This would make spam a two step process for those involved and hence eliminate a vast majority of unwanted mail.

Granted one might be flooded with a deluge of autoriztion requests, but I suppose that could be set to a timing mechanisms whereas if a request was ignored long enough it's just refused.

Please feel free to poke prod or in any way disassemble this "idea"..or more accurately alteration of a successful method of communication.

Re:Email Authorization (2)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903399)

I personally like the way ICQ handles messages and think that this could be applied to email as well. You could have settings that would require people to request authoriztion to send email to you. Everything else gets filtered. This would make spam a two step process for those involved and hence eliminate a vast majority of unwanted mail.


But would this stop people from faking who the message is coming from? No. The real shitty evil of spammers is that they look for ways to take a Good Thing(tm) like SMTP and turn it in on itself. It would be a matter of time before spoofing brought such a concept to its knees. I personally like the idea of digital signatures for e-mail marketers. It gives something ironclad to opt-out on and filter.

I know they haven't outlined the specifics... (2)

Uttles (324447) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903314)

but the preliminary comments are still way too ambiguous:
"We view spam as sending a commercial e-mail to someone with whom a marketer has not had any prior business relationship and as being sent to someone who has not asked for the e-mail," Cerasale said.

Alright, so if you sign up for a shopping site so that you can browse the contents, does that qualify as having a business relationship with a marketer? I'm pretty sure the businesses think it does. How about email being sent to someone who has not asked for the email? I don't think I've ever asked for an advertisement email, but I know that lots of times you have to scour every inch of the screen to find that little checkbox that says "click here if you don't want to receive promotional emails." The way the article reads, I'm not seeing much improvement here. These companies aren't really the huge spam problem in the first place, it's mostly the diet fad and porno sites, but still I don't think this will reduce their spamming, they'll just come up with new ways to trick you into "having a prior business relationship with a marketer" and "asking for the email."

Spam can be amusing... (4, Funny)

Junta (36770) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903317)

I mean, my wife gets e-mails telling her to enlarge her penis and I get e-mail telling me to enlarge my breasts....

Why was this story posted? (4, Interesting)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903320)

What's the point? A rough guess that 99% of /. readers believe this will do nothing to stop spam. I'm sure reading the article, most of you already knew what the responses would be. So why was the story submitted in the first place?

Who is SiliconLawyer anyway? Well, well, well, wouldn't you know, he's selling something on his website.

Not likely (0)

xbrownx (459399) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903324)

Hopefully, this will influence other marketers toward more responsible use of e-mail

Yea right, with spammers it's always more "yea right" than "hopefully"...

Forward your spam to your congressman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903335)

Make sure you forward all of your spam to your local Congressman. That's what I do.

Thanks / Wait and See, damnit (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903345)

"DMA members will be booted out of the association if they don't follow these rules," said Jerry Cerasale, the DMA's senior vice president of government affairs.

Hmmm. If they put action to those words, then I'll tip my hat off to them. This would be great to see, and restore at least a smidgen of respect for them and their memebers.

Cerasale said the organization's board of directors Saturday approved the new rules, called "Commercial Solicitations Online Guidelines," but that they had yet to notify DMA members.

Heh, how many do you think will jump ship? I'd be surprised if less than 15% did so. Be intersting to see.

Debian distro upgrade (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#2903371)

So I'm downloading the Potato ISOs as we speak; how do I go about upgdating to Woody? I have never used Debian before, just FreeBSD.

SPAM (0)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903384)

Sounds like a bunch of Bologna to me.

They don't really care about the spam problem (4, Insightful)

noser (114367) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903388)

The DMA will also require members that buy access to mailing lists--in which consumers have agreed to receive sales pitches from third parties--to check those names against an e-mail preference roster on its Web site. Addresses on this roster belong to consumers who have chosen not to receive any commercial e-mail.

So one of the ingenious ways they have of preventing spam is by posting a list of addresses on their website... anyone else see a problem with that? It is obvious to me that they don't really care about the spam problem, they just want to look like they are self-regulating so that congress doesn't interfere with their marketing plans.

Here's a good way to block lots of SPAM (5, Informative)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903411)

Add the following to your sendmail.mc file:

FEATURE(dnsbl,`bl.spamcop.net')dnl
then run
m4 /etc/mail/sendmail.mc > /etc/sendmail.cf

Works for me...doesn't block it all, but it seems to help a great deal.

Strategy to eliminate spam (1)

dh003i (203189) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903413)

Here's the strategy I use to eliminate spam. I use this strategy with PocoMail, as its a powerful e-mail prog with complex scripting options...but with thought, it can be adopted to almost any e-mail program...even MS Outlook Express.

I. Things to completely download automatically that almost certainly aren't spam:

1. Anything from a person (e-mail contact) you know and have in your address book.

2. That's it.

II. Things to delete from your server automatically:

1. Any incoming message with a dirty or four-letter word in its subject line. I.e., "fuck", "asshole", "pussy", etc. This includes: (1) Mean words like "fuck", asshole; (2) Pornography words like "pussy", "lesbian", "sex"; (3) Derogatory words like "bitch", "nigger", "spic", "mic", "croat", etc etc. I realize that by the nature of these categories, some of them overlap.

2. Anything that has to do with a money-making scheme, something-for-nothing, a great deal, or free stuff. If something has the "$" character in it, its spam. If something has the word "money" in it, its spam. Furthermore: "rich", "free", "great deal", "deal", "can't afford to miss this", "no risk", "zero risk", etc. I realize that this list is far from comprehensive. Its an ongoing project. As spammers send you more spam, they help you to filter out more such advertisements.

3. Anything from a known spammer; potentially, even, anything from a domain/ISP that doesn't deal with its spam.

4. Anything from microsoft.com (just joking).

Make sure to tell your e-mail prog to download the *Headers* only of these e-mail progs to a folder titled "Junk Mail". Have it then auto-delete the whole thing. Use the downloaded headers as an opportunity to examine new and novel types of spam, so you can better add to your spam-blocking abilities. Remember, the point of blocking spam is to save you bandwidth and time, and downloading headers is trivial in terms of bandwidth/time, and it may allow you to increase your spam-blocking abilities.

III. Things for which to only download the message header/subject line.

Everything not covered under category I and II. Have these messages downloaded to an alternate folder in your e-mail prog, such as "possible spam". Examine the headers...if they appear to be spam, add the subject and sender to your block-list, as well as any words in the subject that are spam-words (dirty, pornography, hateful, or advertisement words). As for messages that don't appear to be spam, you have the option to download them and, if desired, ass the sender to your address book, so that sender can send you mail.

Not the trouble makers (4, Insightful)

Tazzy531 (456079) | more than 11 years ago | (#2903418)

The problem with this is that the majority of the spam mailers do not belong to the DMA. They don't need to follow the rules under this organization. The ones that do belong to this typically (I didn't say always) have an easy opt out policy. Secondly, the corporate spammers have an entity that could be potentially held liable for spam whereas the individual spammers can move and hide easily.
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