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FTC Goes After Spammers

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the not-enough-iron-in-that-velvet-glove dept.

Spam 166

klaun writes: "Yahoo has an article about the FTC launching a crackdown on deceptive unsolicited email. Basically they are after scammers offering easy money quick, not the average 'get porn here' type of spam. There is more info at the in a press release at the FTC's website." TheGreatGraySkwid amplifies, saying that this story "tells of an FTC crackdown on Spammers, that had resulted in charges (settled) against 7 chain-letter ring spammers, and several pending cases. I know I could use some Spam relief..." The settlement, unfortunately, isn't exactly stern stuff: the seven spammers "agreed to refrain from participating in deceptive schemes in the future, or lying about the legality or potential earnings from any such schemes."

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166 comments

The lord has smiled upon me (-1)

TrollForJesus (557139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996358)

And in his name I have posted crap... praise to thee, god of the universe...

Re:The lord has smiled upon me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996434)

That's a nice iron ass you've got there. Are you Elite?

geekporn fp (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996359)

When Lt. Barkley missed his weekly appointment, Counselor Deanna Troi decided to check up on him.?Computer, where is Lt. Barkley??

?Lt. Barkley is in Holodeck Three?came the smooth voice of the computer.Deanna pursed her lips in annoyance.Reg was supposed to be staying away from the holodecks and should have required special permission to use them.On the other hand, Reg was also a very good engineer and could probably bypass any safeguards that were put on them.Troi signed and got up, heading out the door and for Holodeck Three.When she arrived, the computer (as she expected) would not let her in.

?Computer.Command code override Troi Alpha Beta 7 Gamma.?The holodeck doors swept open and closed behind Deanna as she entered.It took a few seconds for her to orientate herself as she emerged into a loud boisterous bar scene out of late 20th century earth.As she grew accustomed to the sounds, she heard moaning and gagging sounds coming from a pool table around which a dozen or so men were gathered.Unable to see what the men were watching, Troi pushed her way through to the front and stopped in shock.

She saw herself lying on the pool table.Naked.More than naked, she had one cock shoved up her ass, another in her pussy and a monster dick being shoved down her throat...hence the gagging sounds she had heard.Even as the astonished Counselor watched, the big dick fucking her duplicate?s face pulled out and a huge load of cum shot all over her face.He was followed shortly by the other cocks fucking her as they emptied loads into the fake Troi while the real Deanna stood watching unable to move.Deanna felt a shiver run through her.....a mixture of disgust and lust as she watched the three men climb off her duplicate, leaving her lying there covered in their cum.

It was about then that the men gathered around the table noticed Deanna.?Whoooeee, the slut has got a twin sister!? said one man rubbing the bulge in his pants.Troi tried to back away from the circle of men, but rough hands grabbed her and thrust her up onto the pool table to lie beside her duplicate.

?Computer end program!? called out Troi as she found herself face to face with her cum slicked twin who was gaping at her in astonishment.

?Unable to comply.Voice overrides deactivated.? came the smooth computer voice.

Oh oh thought Deanna as she tried to scramble off the table.Reg is going to get such a piece of my mind when I find him.

?Hey, where you going honey?? asked one of the men around the table.He pushed her back down beside her duplicate.?Give your sister a kiss!?

Both of the Troi?s eyes bulged out in horror as their faces were pushed together.A soft ?No? escaped both their lips simultaneously just as their lips brushed together.Apparently her duplicate had been programmed to act as much like the real thing as Reg could manage thought Deanna as their lips were mashed harshly together and she found herselfkissing her cum covered duplicate.She felt hands tugging at her uniform and as the two women were forced together, Deanna literally had her clothing ripped off.When all was said and done, she found herself naked and lying on top of her duplicate, kissing her hard on the mouth.The other Troi?s cum smeared breasts felt warm under her and it took Deanna several seconds to realize she was no longer being held in place by the men.They had stepped back a bit to watch the two identical women kissing.Deanna felt her eyes go wide with astonishment as she realized that this was starting to turn her on and below her, her duplicate?s face mirrored that astonishment.

Almost as if it had a mind of its own, Deanna?s mouth began to trail down the neck of her twin until she reached a puddle of cum on the holo-Deanna?s tits which she licked at.

?Stop, we shouldn?t be doing this,? moaned her twin.?This is wrong...it is worse than incest.....ahhhhhh?.

?Yes...yes it is,? agreed Deanna but she didn?t stop licking the boobs of her duplicate.In fact, she began to lick and suck on them with even greater lust.The shiver of taboo swept over her.A small part of her mind nagged at her for lying there naked on top of a holo duplicate of herself, in essence making lesbian love to herself while a bar full of rough looking men watched her degrade herself.Maybe she could have stopped herself yet, but at that moment her duplicate?s fingers slipped into Deanna?s pussy and began to stroke her clit.Deanna gave a loud moan of pleasure and then bent her head back down to lick and suck with renewed enthusiasm at the tits of her twin.

Deanna felt one hand of her duplicate slide in and out of her pussy while the other one cupped her ass and drew Deanna down on top of her harder.Deanna no longer cared how wrong or forbidden what she was doing was, but just wanted to kiss and lick and be kissed and licked by this warm body underneath her.The two women broke their embrace as if with one mind and reformed into a 69 with the real Deanna Troi on top.Her mouth dipped into her duplicate?s pussy and began to lick without hesitation at the mixture of pussy juices and cum she found there.For her own part, she was dripping wet now and her twin was licking furiously at her pussy which sent huge waves of pleasure through Deanna.

Heaving and writhing with ecstasy, Deanna finally came to her climax and she felt a similar shudder run through her duplicate at precisely the same moment.For long shuddering moments, Deanna lay there and then reality drifted back in the form of the men laughing, whistling and clapping.Oh my god, what have I done she thought as she looked around the circle of men, several of them who had their cocks out and were stroking them at the lesbian play of the counselor and her twin.

There was little time for remorse, however, as one of the men grabbed Deanna and pulled her head down onto his cock.The thick head pushed between her lips and Troi gagged slightly as he forced it further down her throat.Out of the corner of her eye, Deanna could see her duplicate being forced to blow another huge cock.Deanna knew the look of fear, mixed with lust and shame was mirrored on her own face as the cock slid in and out of her soft lips.Side by side the two women were forced to swallow the large cocks.Hands held their heads in places and forced them up and down in a steady rhythm on the face choking meat.The man fucking her face was moaning loudly and Deanna knew he was close to cumming.He is only a hologram she tried to reassure herself but then his cum flooded down her throat and it tasted very real.She saw that her duplicate was choking down her own huge load.

The cock pulled out of her mouth with a popping sound and some cum dribbled down her chin as Deanna lay there exhausted.Then she felt hands lifting her and before she knew it she felt herself being lowered onto a hard cock that slid up her ass.Then her breath was taken away as another cock slipped into her pussy and she found her the meat in a cock sandwich.As she opened her mouth to complain, another big sausage was shoved inside and she realized she was duplicating the scene she had first stumbled into.Sure enough, beside her on the table, her duplicate was getting the same triple treatment.The three cocks drove in and out of Deanna with unrelenting force and with uncanny timing as each cock drove to its deepest point at exactly the same time.The cocks in her ass and pussy seemed to be touching on each stroke while the one in her mouth was jammed twelve inches down her throat.The helpless counselor could do nothing but lie there being ravaged by the three hard cocks until finally with a repeat of the scene she had walked in on as the cock in her mouth pulled out and spewed its thick load over her face, followed a moment later by the surge of cum into her pussy and ass.

Deanna lay there on the pool table, table with cum dripping down her face wondering what was going to happen next when she heard a gasp from the back of the room and a figure hurried forward.It was Lt. Reg Barkley and he pushed his way through the crowd of men.Apparently he had been off to the holo-washroom or wherever and had missed the entrance of the counselor.?Oh my,? he said looking down at the two nude women.?Computer, I didn?t order a second Counselor Troi.?

?I?m the real Counselor Troi Reg, said Deanna trying to cover her naked body and then giving up since he had obviously programmed this scene and her nude body was no stranger to him.

?Sigh.Just what I need,? muttered Reg.?A glitch in the holomatrix so the holograms think they are real.I better fix that right away before someone investigates.Computer.End Program.?

The computer was apparently programmed to respond only to Reg and the bar scene faded away into the black walls and yellow lines of the holodeck.The naked and cum covered Deanna was still there.

Reg looked around in puzzlement.?Computer, why is there still one of the holograms present after I told you to shut down the program.?

?The program is no longer running,? intoned the computer.

?Reg!I am the real Counselor Troi,? seethed Deanna.?You missed your appointment and I came looking for you only to get raped by your holoprogram!I will expect you in my office in one hour for a very long session of counseling.You are even more deeply disturbed than I realized!?With that Deanna turned and marched out of the holodeck.In her anger she had forgot she was stark naked and a couple of ensigns got quite an eyeful as she marched past them.A chagrined Deanna looked down at her nude body when she saw their stares.Oh well, she thought, at least the holo-cum had disappeared when she left the holodeck!

For the lazy (3, Informative)

NewbieSpaz (172080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996365)

FTC Launches 'Spam' E-Mail Crackdown
By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal regulators kicked off a crackdown on the junk e-mail known as ``spam'' on Tuesday with an announcement that they had settled charges against seven people accused of running an e-mail pyramid scheme.

The Federal Trade Commission said that the seven defendants had participated in a chain-letter scam that promised returns of up to $46,000 for a $5 payment. Such chain letters are illegal in the U.S.

The chain letter eventually drew in more than 2,000 participants from nearly 60 countries, the FTC said.

While the consumer-protection agency has targeted some 200 Internet-based scams over the past several years, it has not until now gone after spam.

FTC Chairman Timothy Muris said the agency now had e-mail scams in its sights.

``We're going after deceptive spam and the people who send it. We want it off the Net,'' Muris said at a press conference.

The agency plans to settle several more cases within six months, said Eileen Harrington, the FTC's assistant director of marketing practices.

Spam has long been a hot-button issue for Internet users, who often find their inboxes clogged with unsolicited offers for pornography, fake diplomas, and get-rich-quick schemes.

Internet users received an average of 571 pieces of unsolicited commercial e-mail in 2001, a number expected to rise to nearly 1,500 by 2006, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.

Nineteen states have passed anti-spam laws, but attempts to pass a national law have stumbled over opposition from direct marketers who say their activities would be unfairly limited.

FTC officials said they will go after spam using existing laws that prohibit false or deceptive trade practices.

In addition to chain letters, pyramid schemes and other scams, the agency will target spammers who use deceptive return addresses or do not respond to consumer requests to be taken off their contact lists, said Howard Beales, head of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Spammers are not likely to face jail time or large fines from FTC actions. In deceptive-trade cases, the agency can usually only force companies to give back profits and pursue ''structural'' remedies that modify future behavior.

The seven spammers, who had been sent letters of warning by the FTC in September 2000, agreed to refrain from participating in deceptive schemes in the future, or lying about the legality or potential earnings from any such schemes. In addition, the defendants must return any money they take in from the chain letter in the future, can not share their lists of recruits, and must submit to FTC oversight of their actions.

Some 2,000 other participants in the chain letter received a warning letter from the consumer-protection agency.

While the FTC is preparing a national ``do not call'' list for telemarketers, a ``do not spam'' list would probably not be effective, Harrington said.

Harrington said Web users should forward spam to the FTC for analysis, using the e-mail address uce+ftc.gov. The agency has amassed a database of 8.5 million spam messages, and takes in an additional 10,000 per day, she said.

They're getting off too easy... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996366)

If there was any justice in the world, they'd be getting ass-raped with splintered broomhandles for the next fifteen years.

Re:They're getting off too easy... (1)

steveg (55825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996544)

I don't care what anybody says.

Nuclear weapons are an overreaction to spam.

Well, usually, anyway.

We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (5, Interesting)

geek00 (260622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996372)

I think these senators don't comprehend the reality with spam; that is, 99% of it has false origin information and has an opt-out scheme that doesn't work or only results in more spam.

However, I don't believe in making laws against spam. They'll always be outdated and interfere with legimate uses of email, since it can be very hard to define exactly what is spam. (Someone taking my address from a newsgroup posting and trying to sell me printer toner is spamming, but how about an email from a company I bought something from a year ago?)

Adam Back [cypherspace.org] has an interesting proposal called Hash Cash [cypherspace.org]. The idea is that if you want to send me an email, you have to burn some CPU cycles to compute a partial hash collision. I choose how many bits are required. Friends and family can send me email for free. I'll charge a few bits for the store I shooped at last week, and even more for people I don't know. If you're in ORBS or MAPS, perhaps I'll charge even more.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (2)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996440)

personally, I differentiate between different types of spam. Email I get from places like ebay, amazon, etc I dont consider spam because I know they got my address directly from me, and I can opt-out and that they will honor the request. I consider spam to be email from people that harvest addresses from usenet and other websites, spoof email addresses, dont respond to opt-out requests, etc. If you follow my definitions, lawmakers might be able to catch on to what the problem of spam is.

(Note: I dont actually get email from ebay and amazon because I have unchecked those boxes when I registered myself. I just used them as examples of reputable companies)

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (3, Informative)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996710)

But ebay and amazon AREN'T spam. Those are opt-in lists. They also honor opt-out lists. If ebay and amazon sold their contact list, ignoring any opt-out lists, THEN they are contributing to spam, if not nessacaraly sending it themselves. I have some bunk email addresses that I have for public use, and some specific email addresses for mailing lists, and 2 or 3 for private use. I can determine where the spam is comming from based on that, and assist the mailing lists with tracking down the culprit. OR I can just set up a new email address, and change my subscribe address. I have had 2 or more email address for quite a while, at least one for public (email lists, slashdot, contact for e-stores) and one private (personal friends, etc).

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996455)

Interesting but completely impractical. With the wide variety of machines and architectures out there everyone would get a different "price". But still interesting.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (2)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996460)

I think these senators don't comprehend the reality with spam; that is, 99% of it has false origin information and has an opt-out scheme that doesn't work or only results in more spam.

What are you basing this 99% on?

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (1)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996508)

I would base the 99% on the fact that of the 100 or so e-mails I get in a week (about 15-20 a day), only one or maybe two of them are valid e-mails I actually wanted.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (2)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996704)

I would base the 99% on the fact that of the 100 or so e-mails I get in a week (about 15-20 a day), only one or maybe two of them are valid e-mails I actually wanted.
You referred to the percentage which had deceptive opt-out schemes in your original post, not the percentage of your mail that was unsolicited. If the opt-out schemes were provably fraudulent, it would fuel more broad scale anti-spam legislation.

If you (or anyone else) has proof that a large percentage of messages have fraudulent opt-out mechanisms, please share it with slash as well as your state representative. I believe what you originally claimed to be largely true, but I suspect we both have nothing better than a hunch, and so shouldn't be stating it as fact if we want to be taken seriously.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996942)

All of the spam i get comes from either Hotmail or Yahoo accounts with names like 223408asdj@yahoo.com. Obviously meant for spam. When i unsubscribe, i always get a 404, but magically the ammount of spam i recieve goes up by 5 or 6 messages per day.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996514)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the 99% figure is based on the fact that there's a big cock in your mouth.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (5, Insightful)

EisPick (29965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996469)

I think these senators don't comprehend the reality with spam

I think there's a glass houses problem here. Someone who makes no effort to understand how government works has no room to say others "don't comprehend the reality ...."
Neither senators nor new laws are mentioned in this article. This article is about the FTC -- an agency within the executive branch -- applying existing law to spammers.

The FTC is applying the same laws that prohibit mail fraud and phone fraud to email fraud. They're not prosecuting spammers, they're prosecuting people who engage in false or deceptive trade practices, regarless of the medium of communication they use.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (2, Insightful)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996499)

I like the notion of a technical solution to the problem that doesn't rely on simply filtering falsified origins-- since that would eliminate a lot of virtually hosted domains. But another easily implemented technical idea would be to filter all mail based on three criteria: 1) belongs to an allowed list of from addresses (i.e. opt-in lists, friends, family, etc), 2) email contains a valid GnuPG/PGP signature from a key posted to one or more central keyservers, 3) email is encrypted using *my* public key.

we need vengeance and plenty of it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996568)

miles and miles of spammers nailed to crosses and doused with highly corrosive acids, screaming and wailing thru the night. *sigh* what lovely music it would make.

Re:we need vengeance and plenty of it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996733)

Yeahhhhh.... Oh that sounds sooo good.

The only flaw is that the spammers might die too quickly :(

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (5, Interesting)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996578)

I don't think laws against spam will succeed in having a preventative effect on the behavior, but perhaps they could have a punitive effect. Most laws are already like this--just because the laws say that you're not supposed to kill people, drive over the speed limit, doesn't mean you won't be able to do those things. But if you do, and you get caught, you're going to have hell to pay.

Cypherspace.org seems to be /.ed so I can't read the Hash Cash proposal itself, so I'm going based on your summary of it.

The problems I see with such a system:
1. Requires two-way communication between sender and recipient to establish a one-directional message transfer. Potentially could waste more bandwidth than blindly sending out spam does today.
2. Requires end-users to set up "scorefiles" to dictate how much they trust every sender in the world. At best, provides users with no more functionality than existing score-based mail filters/readers.
3. Ties senders' ability to get their message out to the CPU power of their machine. Owners of dual-10GHz Pentathlon systems should not have a louder voice than the hobbyist running sendmail on an old 286.
4. Spammers HAVE CPU cycles to burn--like most of us, their machines rarely run anywhere near 100% load. They will learn to send out their garbage in a slow,steady stream rather than in huge batches so that their machines can handle it--simultaneously making bulk-mailing harder to identify.

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996624)

dual-10GHz Pentathlon

Didn't that system beat Deep Blue in the last summer olymics? :o)

Re:We need technical measures, not laws, for spam (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996714)

I don't have time to look for the link, but california anti-spam law has a great definition of spam.

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996379)

The earth's oceans swelled to 500' today, causing massive destruction and chaos. Angels came down from heaven, the devil apologized, Bill Gates opened the source code for all MS products, and every geek agreed.

I really believed this was something we would never see. This can be filed under the never-thought-I'd-see-the-day archives.

Sounds good to me.

Further information pulled fresh from Google (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996381)

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Re:Further information pulled fresh from Google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996442)

What program / script do you use ?

Names? (2)

L-Wave (515413) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996390)

I think the names of spammers should be released to the public...or at least thier personal email addresses, this way we can retailiate =)

Re:Names? (1)

fishebulb (257214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996418)

atleast the spammers that have been charged/convicted are released (well available) in the USA. with a little effort you can find those 7 people the FCC is smacking down

Here you go: (5, Informative)

mrroot (543673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996473)

Defendants in the FTC cases are: Paul K. Boivin, also known as Paul Bowen, Paul Boevien, Paul Bowvien, and Paul Brown; doing business as (DBA) Destiny 1999, Destiny 2000, and Destiny 2001. The defendant is based in Clearwater, Florida and the case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. Chad Estenson and Megan Estenson, DBA CMJ Enterprises and Rockin' E Marketing. The defendants are based in Warwick, North Dakota, and the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota. Fernando Pacheco, also known as Frank Pacheco, DBA E-Solutions and E-Solutions 101. The defendant is based in North Providence, Rhode Island and the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Arnold W. Larsen, also known as Arnold Larson. The defendant is based in Sarasota, Florida, and the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. John Lutheran. The defendant is based in San Diego, California. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Dario Va. The defendant is based in Weston, Florida. The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (4, Interesting)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996395)

I had a fax spammer hit our Chicago office about a dozen times last fall. They were a discount travel brokerage out of Baltimore, MD. Despite repeated attempts to get them to stop, we had to resort to a cease and desist letter from our attorneys to stop them. Previous calls to them generated abusive language and hang-ups. Sent emails to the contacts at the FTC with no response. None.

Maybe they will actually fund and staff the elctronic incident center, but I doubt it. If they won't deal with spammers in the U.S. what is the chance that they will contact overseas abusers?

My two cents.

Re:The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996443)

Fax Spam is illegal, I can't remember the law, but it is a crime(wire fraud perhaps?).

--piggy in the mirror

Re:The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (0)

headchimp (524692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996488)

The law is called:
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991

For more info:
http://www.junkfaxes.org/federal_law.htm

Re:The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (2)

mrroot (543673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996490)

At least with Fax spam you can find out who it is from easy enough by their phone #.

Re:The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (2)

mosch (204) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996804)

And how do you get that when CNID information is easily spoofable? Oh wait, you don't, unless you're the FBI or the phone company.

Re:The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996587)

The FTC doesn't represent individual complainants in the way you would expect them to. There needs to be a FEDERAL case and as such this usually only happens with a substantial number of complaints across numerous states.


Additionally if you check here [ftc.gov] you'll notice that there isn't an e-mail channel for complaints; only telephone, fax, US mail and web [ftc.gov].

Re:The FTC sucks at dealing with fax spam (1)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996604)

Fax spam is dealt with by your state Attorney General. Look up the law that outlines computer generated fax spams.

Let's get 'em all... (5, Funny)

ekrout (139379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996399)

Basically they are [going] after scammers offering easy money quick, not the average 'get porn here' type of spam.

I personally feel that the porm spam can be just as deceptive as the EZ $$$ NOW! scams.

I mean, let's be honest -- I'm sure we've all received dozens and dozens of emails saying that someone's site has a ton of free pics and videos of the hottest girls. But generally that's a blatant lie, and the lewd site is a reseller of explicit pornography. They simply tell a fib to get you to click on over to their site, which upon being rendered throws a half-dozen pop-up windows on the desktop.

Let's aim higher rather than just taking out the con artists alone.

Listen To My Latest Recording @ EricKrout.com [erickrout.com]

Re:Let's get 'em all... (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996745)

Just becaust the picture aren't what you expect, there still there.
Porn sites ads are almost alway technically true.
Free for three days is still free.
now what I want to see is the ability to turn off automatic pop-ups and redirects.

the problem with saying "Spammer must be stopped" is the fact that different typs of spammer may violate different law.
Get rich quick spammers are different then un wanted e-mail spam, which would be protected differently then religous or political emails.

I'll believe it... (4, Informative)

Heem (448667) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996401)

I'll believe it when my junk email is reduced by even 1% over the course of a month. Even without engaging in 'spam-risky' internet behaviour, ie - using real email address on newsgroups, web boards, signing up for free porn etc, I get a very large load of spam daily. One program that has been great is Mailwasher [mailwasher.net]. This little utility allows you to bounce, blacklist and delete your spam before you download the actual message from your server. I then monthly take the blacklist it generates and add the email address or sometimes a whole domain to my email servers reject file... But still spammers get craftier and craftier. If only I could make a filter that would filter out anything like 12k3jhk213 and asdfl231.. hmm..

Freedom! (3, Funny)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996402)

> agreed to refrain from participating in deceptive schemes in the future, or lying about the legality or potential earnings from any such schemes

... in fact, they were encouraged to visit an FTC hyperlink where they could enter their email addresses opt-out of receiving any warnings or punishments in the future. ;)

Just got this spam today.... (5, Funny)

tsmit (222375) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996403)

Just got a spam message today that was in the format of a returned mail message. Even from Mail Delivery Subsystem. The attachment was an ad for pr0n.

I hate spam as much as the next guy, but, damnit, that's almost ingenious.

Me too, but . . . Re:Just got this spam today.... (3, Insightful)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996523)

I assumed that me email address had been used BY the spammer as a fake "From:" address.

That worried me more than actual spam. I'd hate to get falsely accused of sending out "HOT SCHOOLGIRL, GOAT, AND LHAPSO-APSO ACTION!" messages.

Re:Just got this spam today.... (2)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996533)

Are you sure it wasn't a real bounce generated by someone sending out porn spam with your email address forged as the return address? I have unfortunately had that happen to me before.

Re:Just got this spam today.... (1)

br0ck (237309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996551)

Ingenious? My guess is that someone has been using your address as a reply-to for sending spam, and the message you got was the first undeliverable.. Guess that tsmit addy was getting old anyway.

Re:Just got this spam today.... (5, Interesting)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996642)

Yes, you can use the Microsoft.com mail servers for this purpose. In fact, you can use any Exchange server for this purpose. They all accept mail before determining whether it can be delivered, have no capability to block recipients, and generate a new messages for the bounce, with the original attached. Perfect for all your spamming needs:


mail from:<targets@address.com>
200 ok
rcpt to:<nosuchmailbox@microsoft.com>
200 ok
data
Subject: pr0n served fresh daily

.
250 ok

Slap on the Wrist (4, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996406)

This is just a slap on the wrist for spammers. What they need to do is impose a per-email fine per recorded spam from a particular company, and if the violations keep stacking up, blacklist them from ISPs or start posting names/addresses of the spammers involved. All of those would be good. Ruin their reputation even more, take away most of their earnings, and make it damn hard for them to get decent internet access again. And if they do get internet access, it should be monitored for large amounts of outgoing mail. Maybe a per-day quota could be set up for the spammer.

Re:Slap on the Wrist (5, Informative)

Misch (158807) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996506)

Actually, we do have something very similar (sans fines), it's called Spamhaus [spamhaus.org]. It collects evidence of spamming by companies, finds those companies that own those netblocks, and lists the top spam-friendly hosts in the ISP business.

Sitting at the top of the list is media3, which hosts 5 known spammers has known about them for at least 2,163 operational days (operational days for all 5 spam sources), and acts covertly to support them. Their "score" is thus listed as 5*2163*4 = 42,720, nearly 8 times more than the closest spammers. If you want your spam to decrease significantly, you gotta take out those spammers at the top right at their source.

-Misch

Re:Slap on the Wrist (3, Flamebait)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996613)

Most of those operational days were accumulated while media3 was listed at Spamhaus. Fat lot of good the Spamhaus listing did. Are you trying to actually do something, or are you just keeping score?

Re:Slap on the Wrist (3, Insightful)

Matt - Duke '05 (321176) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996724)

This is just a slap on the wrist for Napster/Morpheus/[Insert P2P program here] users. What they need to do is impose a per download fine per copyright infrigement from a particular P2P user, and if the violations keep stacking up, blacklist them from ISPs or start posting names/addresses of the downloaders involved. All of those would be good. Ruin their reputation even more, take away most of the music/pictures/movies that isn't theirs, and make it damn hard for them to get decent internet access again. And if they do get internet access, it should be monitored for large amounts of incoming and outgoing traffic on the ports used by P2P programs. Maybe a per-day quota could be set up for the file sharer.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either the Internet is regulated or it is not. You can't ask the FTC to penalize and enforce the law on spammers when in the next breathe, you ask the government NOT to penalize and enforce the law on intellectual property/copyright.

You feel this way because someone is breaking a law designed to protect you, so you feel violated. Now, the innocent little P2P users may not be hurting you, but they are certainly infringing on laws designed to protect someone else.

Your logic is a great example of the selfish me-me-me whining prevalent in a majority of slashdot posters. Pirated software, MP3s, movies, etc are good because they benefit me!! Don't enforce the laws against this!! Spam is bad because although someone else is getting a free-ride, I am not. Enforce the laws against this!!

Now, I'm not saying by any means that P2P users are evil or should be prosecuted. I just think that before people run around asking for any statutory regulation of the net, they need to think about the flipside of the situation as well. Do you want the net regulated or don't you? You can't have the both and allowing any sort of regulation and enforcement (i.e. spam) only leads the government to further believe that the net should be regulated and all laws fully enforced.

Just my two pennies...

Most pr0n ones are probably deceptive too (1, Redundant)

gorilla (36491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996409)

Most of the pr0n spam I get seems to be deceptive too. Grabbing one from my spam box, I find "Wanna See Britney Spear's Teenage Pussy getting fingered by an OLDER Fan??? ". I've not been there, but I'm 99.99% sure, that's not what I'm going to find there.

Re:Most pr0n ones are probably deceptive too (1)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996453)

It's all true, send me $5 and I'll give you the site and password.

Sometimes I wish I were "average" (2, Funny)

juggler314 (556575) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996413)

"Internet users received an average of 571 pieces of unsolicited commercial e-mail in 2001" so there are several hundred folks out there that get absolutely no spam at all to account for the 10,000 or so pieces I get a year...

important!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996419)

stop the cancelation of futurama

sign the petition [petitiononline.com]

Re:important!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996565)

fuck futurama. futurama's just groening failing to recapture the glory of the early years of the simpsons.

family guy is where it's at. funniest show on television. period.

Re:important!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996597)

family guy is just a vent for your aggressive homosexual tendencies

not possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996421)

its just not possible to get all the bastards... sorry, it just cant be dont to get the most annoying ones

Crackdowns Unsuccessful (1)

SolidCore (250574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996422)

Crackdowns on spam have been largely unsuccessful, partly because they pit concerns about privacy against free-speech issues. In addition, although many states have adopted anti-spam measures, spammers have argued that there is usually no way for them to know an e-mail recipient lives in a certain state where some types of junk e-mail are illegal.

Re:Crackdowns Unsuccessful (2, Informative)

Maditude (473526) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996463)

Here's a decent article [startribune.com] article about how, even when someone DOES successfully sue a spammer, trying to collect is pretty hopeless. (Not too surprising that spammers aren't exactly rolling in cash)...

Re:Crackdowns Unsuccessful (2, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996645)

Crackdowns on spam have been largely unsuccessful, partly because they pit concerns about privacy against free-speech issues.
I agree with the counterargument that, while you have the right to free speech, you don't have the right to force people to listen. In this case, often enough, the spammers coerce through deception into reading their message. Of course, I personally delete anything from anybody I don't know, but even then there have been spoofs from within my company (email seemingly from someone from my company). That guy stole my time, and even the ones I don't read have stolen my time to delete and add them to filters. When we start to realize that time is more valuable then money, that's when these time theives will get the punishment they deserve.

Frankly, telemarketers and spammers should be considered time thieves. I guarentee you that one of these guys, given six months to live, would want to waste their time with spam.

In addition, although many states have adopted anti-spam measures, spammers have argued that there is usually no way for them to know an e-mail recipient lives in a certain state where some types of junk e-mail are illegal.
That's why it should be illegal everywhere.

Did someone in Congress finally get SPAM? (5, Funny)

eaddict (148006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996423)

I wonder which Congress person got burned on the pyrmaid thing THEN screamed it was SPAM.

Re:Did someone in Congress finally get SPAM? (2)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996503)

I wonder which Congress person got burned on the pyrmaid thing THEN screamed it was SPAM.

When you find out, let me know. Make sure you get their e-mail address so I can forward all of my spam to them.

Re:Did someone in Congress finally get SPAM? (2)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996596)

Pyramid scheme? That would be the Enron mess.

Now it all falls into place!!

help (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996426)

If anyone has info about how I can increase my penis size by 1 to 3 inches without surgery or how to increase my ejaculation by 651%, please email me.
bgates@microsoft.com

Re:help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996552)


If anyone has info about how I can increase my penis size by 1 to 3 inches without surgery or how to increase my ejaculation by 651%, please email me.
bgates@microsoft.com


Shouldn't that be billg@microsoft.com?

Re:help (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996590)

Heck, I got 58 copies of that spam today alone!! You'd think someone was trying to tell me something.

court briefs (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996428)

rfn had it earlier this morning, but hey ....

I like the court briefs for the various spammers they have alreadfy acted against. And I also link them going after more than a thousand more. although it is more in the realm of real crime (chain letters, etc) vs just ordinary spam, what ever that is.

don't forget to forward your spam with full headers to uce@ftv.gov.

the only good spammer is a jailed spammer. although I would love a huge obscene fine to beat them with.

Normally, a cease agreement is sufficient (1, Troll)

sphealey (2855) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996429)

In the normal world, a cease and desist agreement with a federal agency is enough to get a person or organization to stop doing something. However, Microsoft had an agreement with the Justice Department not to break any more anti-trust laws and we can see how well that one got enforced. So I guess the precedent for the information processing industyr is set...

sPh

Re:Normally, a cease agreement is sufficient (2)

mrroot (543673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996509)

I knew somebody could tie Microsoft into this somehow :)

A lot of the spam originates in China, so... (5, Funny)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996436)

The Chinese government just ordered all ISPs in China to start monitoring
email for subversive phrases and the like, so just reply to
Chinese spam with little replies of the form at the end of this spam.
Might be a useful tactic on companies who think that unsolicited
email is "just regular advertising".

Bill

"Jack(export manager)" wrote:
>
> Dear Sir
> How are you .
>
> We are a lighting factory in China ,It is glad
> to introduce ourselves to you:
>
> I am XUBIN (Jack) , XUBIN is my chinese name , you can just
> call me Jack !! , I am export manager of [deleted] ,
> China, our group have four factory
[snipped]
>
> Here is our company profile :
>

[Rest of sales talk snipped]

(And now, the reply)

Thank you for your coded order. The weapons and ammunition
will ship by way of the usual route in ten days, and you
already know our secret Swiss bank account number to
wire the payment to.

It is a pleasure doing business with you for so long,
and I hope your cause will prevail. I am new to this
particular computer, so I hope the encryption is
working and the monitoring authorities cannot read
what I am sending you.

Long live the Falun Gong! Free Tibet!

Best regards,
Your arms supplier

Re:A lot of the spam originates in China, so... (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996683)

Here's one we got from Korea:
Attn: Mr.CEO, General Manager / To whom it may concern


How are you doing Gentlepersons ?

We came to have your esteemed company details from one of information
services or internet web sites.

We are pleased to introduce ourselves as a manufacturer ,converter and an
international supplier of special , unique textile items related to
such as blankets , throws ,comforters ,pillows and cushions and so forth.

We are located in Seoul ,Republic of Korea.

Taking this opportunity, we sincerely wish to have a chance to serve your
esteemed company with our up-to-date material products for reciprocal benefits
and prosperity.

The following items are what we are presently supplying for our customrs
and I believe you are also to be interested in one of the following items.

1) pure acrylic mink blanket - 1 ply or 2 plies etc
( a variety of sizes,designs, styles , and weights )
2) 100 % super-soft micro polyester blankets and throws ( 2 side velour style)
( made of ultra thin , soft and polymer modified raw material )
3) 100 % high density down proof cotton fabric covered and micro gel fiber
filled ( blow filled or pad quilted ), "natural shaped" orthopaedic pillows,
comforters ,cushions etc.
( This is like that of 100 % goose down cluster filled products )
4) The above 3 catagories with ' anti-bacterial , anti-fungal , anti-dust mite
treated ' to give a hygienic concept to the products.
As you know ,blanket is liable to be a hotbed of dust mites.

We have been supplying the above items for some of our business partners
in a few countries but not for your country, yet.

We believe that our prices would be competitive or reasonable reflecting on
the quality as our items quality is stable and 2nd to none.

We sincerely hope to be able to build up and keep a long term business
relationship with your esteemded company .

Please feel free to contact us , once you need to know more detailed
information on the above items and/or other related items which you have
in mind.

If you have got a mind to give us inquiries ,
please be more specific about sizes, weight per size , quantity ,
delivery and destination ports required etc details.

Also if you have got any counter samples for our very firm offer ,
it would be better to initiate our business fast .

Look forward to hearing from you soonest.

Best Regards ,
[removed]
Looks like they gave it the "babelfish + thesaurus" treatment :^)

Old news (1)

rbgaynor (537968) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996437)

Seems to me this is old news, I submitted the FTC spam crackdown announcement almost 2 weeks ago...

Speak for yourself (4, Funny)

mrroot (543673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996454)

From the FTC press release:

Chances are you will receive little or no money back on your "investment." Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich.
Speak for yourself. I made over $46,000 dollars in 90 days, and you can too! and it's totally legal. To learn how, just mail me $5.00.

I hate spam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996457)

Do you wish for eternal happiness, and a greater purpose in life?

If so, mod this post up.

Eternal happiness and a feeling of fulfillment of life are guaranteed.

Re:I hate spam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996706)

Hahahaha!! It's funny, but the funny thing is that nobody will moderate it up, because they would feel stupid

my understanding from the FTC press release (3, Interesting)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996466)

You can read it here [ftc.gov].

My understanding is that they are going after the chain mail and pyramid schemes, not trying to shut down all the porn email (oooooh, hot girls waiting just for ME!!! WOW!!!) So it won't do anything about the deluge of unwanted email pouring into your inbox, just keep people that are dumb enough to answer the ads from hurting themselves. Like putting nerf corners on the world of email for them

I would rather see some kind of legislation that holds spammers accountable if their "remove' methods do not work. I think a "do not call" type of list would be better than nothing. Filters don't always work, no matter how well you configure them. Maybe a new version of the SMTP protocol that would require a secure connection or authentication by you to be able to send you an email

--insert comment to the effect of "what has slashdot come to posting this type of story
--insert comment to the effect of "if you weren't such a loser you wouldn't get spam"
--insert comment to the effect of "jane you ignorant slut that's not what it says at all"
--insert comment to the effect of "this is all the fault of M$ and their monopolistic practices"

Re:my understanding from the FTC press release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996498)

The biggest problem with anything short of a widely-accepted international treaty is that a lot of spam gets bounced off of international relays. Frankly, I'm ruthless enough to ban entire countries from my e-mail on a whim, but there are people for whom such measures are a bad idea.

Re:my understanding from the FTC press release (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996770)

The biggest problem with anything short of a widely-accepted international treaty is that a lot of spam gets bounced off of international relays.

The laws should hold responsible the people who send the spam. If Billy Bob causes 500,000 pieces of spam to be sent, then Billy Bob should go to jail. I don't care if he sent the spam himself through AOL or paid some company to send it through mail servers in China.

The important thing to remember about spam is that there is always a path to the spammer. He may have a P.O. box or a web site or a phone number in the spam, but there's always something that law enforcement could use to find his identity.

amazing (3, Funny)

negativethirsty (555244) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996480)

Ok follow along, I'll go slowing for the gov't FTC workers... FTC: "you spammes are thieves and liers! Quit pulling these scams." spammer: "You are right, we are liers." FTC: "So does this mean you'll stop?" spammer: "Sure"

Sorry, I don't see what's wrong with it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996484)

People advertise all over the place with similar scams.. TV, papers posted on street signs and grocery stores.. How is the net any different? Free speech motherfuckers. If the government goes after us, we will go after them.

Re:Sorry, I don't see what's wrong with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996877)

Your "free speech" ends at my inbox, dickhead. You fuckheads came after our resources - now we're coming after you. Squeel little piggy.

What I've started doing.... (1)

CTalkobt (81900) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996485)

is posting / allowing to be posted an account from which I periodically 2-3 times a week send out responses to spam mail I receive to administrators etc who host these sites. I've seen several closed down due to my tracepath'ing, etc...

If at least 10% of people gettting spam did this 2-3 times a week I gurantee that the people hosting these sites would quickly close up shop on these guys due to the amount of extra work involved. It would be the equivlent of a Slashdot mass-email bomb but would be legit.

Actually it'd probably work with 2% of the receipients following up with the hosting companies.

Make them identify commercial email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996492)

Any commercial (i.e. they want your money) automated email that solicits your attention to a service or product should say so in the email header.

My solution (1)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996522)

My simple ten steps to bitchslap a spammer.
1) look at the source
2) find the domain of the sending server (nine times out of ten it's hotmail or yahoo in my case)
3) select the spam and hit the forward button
4) paste the entire message source along side the original
5) send it to abuse@whateverdomain.com it came from.
6) delete the message
7) delete the reply from the isp when you get it
8) there is not eight
9) go back to what you were doing before
10) ummm...er that's it.

Not gurentied to work everytime, but it at least requires that they get a new mail account generally. With practice the whole process should take about 5 seconds per message, depending on your mail client. Of course you could just write a script, if you're lazy.

Maskirovka

My spilling sux. git uver et.

How do we prevent it? (1)

Random Bystander (548230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996524)

Personally, I don't think having the FTC involved will make any difference to the number of spam emails being sent and received.

The only solution I can imagine is somehow preventing it at the receiving end, because of the number of mail servers (something like 5%, IIRC) that allow relaying. Till that becomes 0%, there won't be much relief there.

Sadly, the chances of this happening are slim to none, since there is no registered emailing system, such that only emails from registered sources will be accepted, and all otheres routed to /dev/null. I don't see this happening in the future either.

Also, the current options are relatively easy to circumvent. Most involve checking that your email is in the "To" field of the message header. Doesn't help much to people that already have your address, and insert it in there as part of the email. Not exactly a fortress of security there.

It would be to hear some constructive solutions in this thread somewhere amongst the ways we would love to punish spammers.

I never really had that problem... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996530)

No really, I lie and register under false names every thirty seconds so most of the stuff lands up in dozens of my bogus mail accounts.

I've always wondered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996531)

How exactly does one become a spammer? And does it pay well? If so, why wouldn't I take my Linux box, registered domain, and a couple of scripts to automatically take care of business for me and make some extra money? Is it really that bad?

Deceptive Advertising... (5, Funny)

Chris Parrinello (1505) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996541)

I think the FTC needs to crack down on these so called "Nude Teen Cheerleader" websites. If they're nude, how do you know they're really cheerleaders?

I am demanding that the FTC require (under penalty of large fines) that all nude teen cheerleaders be photographed with their high school ID showing their date of birth and their high school yearbook turned to the page where their cheerleading squad group picture is.

I think if the web site says "cheerleader" and then the model was actually in the pom-pom or flag squad, the fines should be TREBLE.

Re:Deceptive Advertising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996616)

Ever notice how close pom-pom and porn-porn look when reading in a Times-like font?

FTC Sends Out "Fake Spams" (5, Funny)

euphline (308359) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996571)

Washington, DC-- In a move likely prompted by the SEC's recent creation of fake investment scam sites, the FTC began a campaign today to send out masses of electronic mail (known as "spam") to millions of unsuspecting internet users. Apparently, the messages, with subjects such as "Get Rich Quick", "Work From Home", and "Hi, Joe" have quickly filled user's mailboxes. When a user clicks on the link, they are taken to a web site that, upon further inspection, attempts to educate the user about the fake get rich schemes.

When a user clicks on the "unsubscribe" option, their email address is logged by the FTC. The FTC sends an autoreply indicating that using the "unsubscribe" option on spams is dangerous.

-jbn

that's small peanuts (1)

oo7tushar (311912) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996657)

Yes Spammers and what not are pretty annoying but the real problem is the new JavaScript messages. Us g33ks find SPAM quite annoying but usually no more (it just takes a tap of a key to delete it). The real problem is to the non-l33t who have a windows machine that will cause JavaScripts to popup. That is "harmful" to their machine as the email can cause the computer to crash. What will the policy towards these people be? Methinks that they may be branded terrorists (while some of you may agree) but that is too harsh a title.

A new policy MUST be drafted that outlines what the governments' (all of them) response will be to any email or computer threat. The main problem is that we need competent (computer competent) lawmakers, yet most lawmakers represent the average constitient and thus does not fully understand what new law/policy to make (thus branding many as terrorists).

Perhaps the best solution is for us not to write letters but to report spammers as quickly as possible or inform the less informed on how to block unwanted email.

Kudos to anyone killing spammers ... (0, Flamebait)

fferreres (525414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996673)

I'd volunteer myself. Replying to spam is not a solution. Only hitting them hard in the head will work.

indecision and inaction (5, Insightful)

gioan (263208) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996747)

Wonderful. People committing clear financial fraud have to "play nice in the future." Oh great. I feel so much better. It's clear that uce@ftc.gov has less productive output than /dev/null.

This isn't about free speech, or "corporate right to send me ads if I opt-in." Don't worry, those companies make sure they pay someone to remind your senators that their god-given-right to send you ads should be permitted. Too bad the rest of the spam won't really let you work part time from home making $10,000/month while watching a legal cable descrambler, happy with a clear credit record, a really large penis, limitless virility, instant weight loss on demand, and the occasional degree from a prestigious unaccredited school.

There are two reasons spam continues. Welcome to economics:

a) there's still no effective financial deterrent to sending spam, regardless of whether it's ambiguously relevant direct marketing, or utter fraud
b) there is some financial benefit for the senders, regardless of amount

There are plenty of other things you could debate...such as when did spam become accepted? Was it when you -- yes YOU! -- made the unconscious decision that "just deleting" the message is OK. You don't have the time to follow up on the headers. If you're in one of the states that actually ban it, you don't have the time to do something...hell it's not worth the effort. It's just an email, right?
Think of this in another way: If random people each stole one cent out of your bank account every month, would you consider it worthwhile to pursue them? Would you want your bank to develop filters to block all small transactions? Would you think such a loss is unacceptable?

Quite honestly, the actions of civil libertarians and "we'll fix this with technology" advocates has not helped. I filter, you filter, we all delete. Guess what, spammers will continue to find ways around filters, so long as conditions A & B hold true. And every online provider will continue to spend lots of money trying to stop this crap. And every user will continue to hit delete. And people will constantly change email addresses to avoid it, spam filters will continue to mislabel valid email as spam. Stop dealing with the symptoms, deal with the problem!

This isn't a technology issue. You will never get every mail server, client, system, whatever to comply to a block-spam standard. Just look at how long it's taken to get even the basic don't-relay habits in place. This isn't a "but what if I want Amazon to send me my favorite buy-me-now specials." This is an issue that someone in power doesn't give enough of a damn to do something effective to create a financial deterrent that makes it preferrable for these people to steal your money some other way. And yes, unfortunately, we're talking legislation, otherwise you will not send a clear message or provide an effective deterrent. Inconsistency on this means ineffective.

Wow, looking back I'm feeling sorry for the rant. It's simply that this kind of cluelessness annoys me. Time to go delete a couple more messages.

hrmmmm (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996780)

Basically they are after scammers offering easy money quick, not the average 'get porn here' type of spam

so basically some ijit (such as a congress-critter) fell for this scam and got burned and threw the FTC on the case... right... gotcha.... waytago...

Why? (2)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996824)

Nineteen states have passed anti-spam laws, but attempts to pass a national law have stumbled over opposition from direct marketers who say their activities would be unfairly limited.

Why do we listen to the complaints of these direct marketers.. No where in the constitution, do it say you have the right to annoy the piss out of random people and force solicitations down their throats. There is no such thing as good direct marketing. We need to end this bs and outlaw spam at the federal level.

I know on /. everytime something about spam comes up, people are quick to say that we shouldn't fight this with laws, we should fight it with technological means, but that obviously isn't working. I don't care how many people post procmail filters or whatever. Even if you filter it, your bandwidth is still wasted.

view of a geek marketer (1)

dubiousmike (558126) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996861)

I must say that as a person who is responsible for email marketing, that we also need to be careful that any laws we pass aren't so vague that some of the get rich quick FROM spammers schemes don't start surfacing. I had one person (who actually claimed he was a Slashdotter and had previously posted his plan to stop spam at some point), who I found was trying to scam my company. He downloaded our software, provided a fake email address. When we marketed to him, he wouldn't opt out of the email list, would only autoreply with a message that said if you send us any emails, we will take you to court. If you reply to this email, we will take you to court. In the mean time, the word "fee" was his user name for his email account.

I am all for not getting unwanted emails, but everyone is up in arms about spam, when I STILL get 5 pieces of junk snail mail a day. You know what I do with those, I throw them out. If you post your email address anywhere, you are leaving yourself open for spam. Just like by listing your address in the phone book, you are leaving yourself open for phone solicitation and junk snail mail. At a certain point, the anti spamming movement becomes similar to the recording industry's efforts to stop music sharing. Let's pass laws to punish people that can and will get twisted and actually prompt abuse that goes further than actual spam. Geesh! If you had to do anything more than hit delete to get rid of an unwanted email, I could see getting angry about it. Why don't you just use filters like I do?

FTC and the DOJ (2)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996864)

The settlement, unfortunately, isn't exactly stern stuff: the seven spammers "agreed to refrain from participating in deceptive schemes in the future, or lying about the legality or potential earnings from any such schemes."
Well, if a lame-ass non-punishment like that ("hey, you're guilty; just don't do that any more, okay?") is good enough for Microsoft, it's good enough for spammers, I guess.

Sigh.

-me
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