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Laurence 'Green Card' Canter Has No Regrets

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the father-of-the-modern-spam-has-a-nice-ring-to-it dept.

Spam 342

madmagic writes "News.com has an interview today with the surviving lawyer who spammed Usenet with multiple "Green Card Lottery" posts in '94." And today we can get spam in 20 different languages. Hurray.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227594)

EFF is a donor-supported membership organization working to protect our fundamental rights regardless of technology; to educate the press, policymakers and the general public about civil liberties issues related to technology; and to act as a defender of those liberties

Enough is enough, first non-AC post (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227596)

I've had it. Why don't you all just go away and leave me alone on slashdot? It would be much better as a one-man kind of thing.

Re:Enough is enough, first non-AC post (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227775)

Thanks, you really desserved this second (but first in our logged-in hearts) post. :-)

Normally... (0, Flamebait)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227602)

Normally I don't feel anyone should burn in hell, but he's up there with Hitler as far as I'm concerned. But, I suppose if they hadn't started it, some other cretin would have. Still, all spammers have earned my eternal ire.

Re:Normally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227632)

He sent a bit of spam. Get over it. Comparing him with Hitler just makes you look like an ignorant prick.

That's correct (-1, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227725)

Hitler strived for racial purity. Canter and Siegel's sole aim was to reduce the racial identity of Our Fair Nation even further by making it easier for all kinds of filth-sodden godless vermin to 'legally' enter the country.

It is no surprise that several of the terrorists that were involved in 9/11 were able to enter the country via this very scheme.

Canter deserves to be executed for treason.

Re:Normally... (1)

Horne-fisher (220861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227655)

all spammers have earned my eternal ire.

I know what you mean; my 'good' (read, non-yahoo) email address is administered through the University I attend, and, as I use a Unix based mail client, I cannot block addresses. I try to combat the negative effects by never giving this address to anyone but people I know, but I still get spammed.

It doesn't help that the University seems to be selling a list of its addresses.

As a matter of oddish trivia, the weirdest spam I ever recieved had the subject line 'Make Yourself More Attractive to Men' and had to do with the increase of one's bust size.

I'm male.

Very straight.

Funny?

Re:Normally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227714)

Procmail

Re:Normally... (5, Informative)

reynaert (264437) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227717)

as I use a Unix based mail client, I cannot block addresses.

On Unix, filtering mail is normally done by Procmail, not by your mail client. See this excellent tutorial [ii.com] .

Re:Normally... (3, Informative)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227787)


Once you've learned how to use procmail, you may want to use the Spam Stopper perl script you can download from one of my friend's website [ivarch.com] .

Very nifty spam stopper indeed.

NB: Sorry Andy! If you get slashdotted, I'll buy you some beer!

-- Pete.

Re:Normally... (1)

Horne-fisher (220861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227854)

Thanks for the advice, I'd considered using Procmail, but the Network adminstrators are not happy with that idea.

Re:Normally... (1)

Megs (75547) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227731)

I'm male.

Very straight.

Funny?

No, not really.

Your average spammer doesn't seem to be making any effort to discriminate by sex, much less sexual orientation, among their marks. Makes sense, since they usually just have wads of addresses with no information about the addressees.

I get sex-inappropriate spam every time I flush my hotmail account. Today it was "Urgent information for all men" and two herbal Viagras.

Happily, my university addess gets NO spam.

Meghan

Re:Normally... (1)

Mark Round (211258) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227777)

Ask me about Loom(TM).



Ok. Tell me about Loom(TM)! Are you by any chance referring to the classic LucasArts game?

Re:Normally... (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227763)

As a matter of oddish trivia, the weirdest spam I ever recieved had the subject line 'Make Yourself More Attractive to Men' and had to do with the increase of one's bust size.

I'm male.

Very straight.

Funny?

Slashdot sold your address, which is why you got that spam.

I question your manhood.

You are a slashbot so I know you are gay.

Not funny

By the way, getting some big man-tits made Cowboy Neal a lot more attactive. Just ask Katz.

What really makes me angry... (2)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227658)

...is his smug attitude about the whole thing.

Re:What really makes me angry... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227686)

...is his smug attitude about the whole thing.

Exactly. No remorse for starting this plague, for starting the whole mess in USENET, relentlessly pursuing spamming readers, effectively funding advancement in spamming. It's the plague we'll have for the rest of our lives, will cost businesses billions, clogs up my email so bad when I'm on vacation that I miss important mail, and he's just fine with that. Truly all of hell can only look on this individual with admiration.

We know where he works... (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227756)

And we can find out where he lives.

And we have guns.

He DESERVES to die.

Who's with me?

Re:Normally... (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227709)

...I would object to someone comparing a group of people to Hitler, but not in this case...

If I sometime meet someone who say they work with mass-mailing others I will spit them straight in the face and not care about the consequences...

I really, really, really hate spammers!!!

Re:Normally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227735)

AFAIK Hitler didn't kill people (if we don't count suicide), it's his soldiers who killed people.

Re:Normally... (2)

arivanov (12034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227804)

Not really. Like any other "brilliant idea" it would have come to other "ingenious minds" as well.

He actually suggested tagging comercials and other stuff which speaks in his favour. He also acknowledges the inherent right of the individual to filter out what he does not like. This does not even compare to the current b***. They declare any filtering to be a violation of their right of free speach. If they send you an ad on P*** Enlargement by 27 inch you must read it!!!

creative penalties (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227832)

at least this one should have to shake the hand of eveyone one ever pissed by spam, or something.

He should have publicity. Lots of it. He should be well known as the man who invented spam,complete with photos, etc.

There should be dartboards with his face on it.

People would probably boycott him on this basis. I know I would.

Join the Navy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227605)

Your mother and I have had it up to here with your lying around the house. You must take responsibility for your life. Son, you need to get up off your backside and join the freakin' Navy!

The word "monkey" is of uncertain origin; its first known usage was in 1498 when it was used in the literary work Reynard the Fox as the name of the son of Martin the Ape. "Monkey" has numerous nautical meanings, such as a small coastal trading vessel, single masted with a square sail of the 16th and 17th centuries; a small wooden cask in which grog was carried after issue from a grog-tub to the seamen's messes in the Royal Navy; a type of marine steam reciprocating engine where two engines were used together in tandem on the same propeller shaft; and a sailor whose job involved climbing and moving swiftly (usage dating to 1858). A "monkey boat" was a narrow vessel used on canals (usage dating to 1858); a "monkey gaff" is a small gaff on large merchant vessels; a "monkey jacket" is a close fitting jacket worn by sailors; "monkey spars" are small masts and yards on vessels used for the "instruction and exercise of boys;" and a "monkey pump" is a straw used to suck the liquid from a small hole in a cask; a "monkey block" was used in the rigging of sailing ships; "monkey island" is a ship's upper bridge; "monkey drill" was calisthenics by naval personnel (usage dating to 1895); and "monkey march" is close order march by US Marine Corps personnel (usage dating to 1952). [Sources: Cassidy, Frederick G. and Joan Houston Hall eds. Dictionary of American Regional English. vol.3 (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1996): 642; Wilfred Granville. A Dictionary of Sailors' Slang (London: Andre Deutch, 1962): 77; Peter Kemp ed. Oxford Companion to Ships & the Sea. (New York: Oxford University; Press, 1976): 556; The Oxford English Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press, 1933; J.E. Lighter ed. Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang. (New York: Random House, 1994): 580.; and Eric Partridge A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. 8th ed. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company): 917.] "Monkey" has also been used within an ordnance context. A "monkey" was a kind of gun or cannon (usage dating to 1650). "Monkey tail" was a short hand spike, a lever for aiming a carronade [short-sight iron cannon]. A "powder monkey" was a boy who carried gun powder from the magazine to cannons and performed other ordnance duties on a warship (usage dating to 1682). [Source: The Oxford English Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press, 1933.] The first recorded use of the term "brass monkey" appears to dates to 1857 when it was used in an apparently vulgar context by C.A. Abbey in his book Before the Mast, where on page 108 it says "It would freeze the tail off a brass monkey." [Source: Lighter, J.E. ed. Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang. (New York: Random House, 1994): 262.]

It has often been claimed that the "brass monkey" was a holder or storage rack in which cannon balls (or shot) were stacked on a ship. Supposedly when the "monkey" with its stack of cannon ball became cold, the contraction of iron cannon balls led to the balls falling through or off of the "monkey." This explanation appears to be a legend of the sea without historical justification. In actuality, ready service shot was kept on the gun or spar decks in shot racks (also known as shot garlands in the Royal Navy) which consisted of longitudinal wooden planks with holes bored into them, into which round shot (cannon balls) were inserted for ready use by the gun crew. These shot racks or garlands are discussed in: Longridge, C. Nepean. The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships. (Annapolis MD: Naval Institute Press, 1981): 64. A top view of shot garlands on the upper deck of a ship-of-the-line is depicted in The Visual Dictionary of Ships and Sailing. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1991): 17.

"Brass monkey" is also the nickname for the Cunard Line's house flag which depicts a gold lion rampant on a red field. [Source: Rogers, John. Origins of Sea Terms. (Mystic CT: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1984): 23.

You forgot the GERMAN NAVY!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227657)

You forgot the German navy: go here [deutschemarine.de] ,here [bundesmarine.de] or here [kultpower.de] .

African Green Cards? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227609)

SLASHWIFE
News for negroes. Stuff for darkies.

WATERMELON UNDER THE GPL

POPEYES SELLING CUSTOMER DATA

BREW YOUR OWN 40s OR STEAL THEM

PORCH SITTING PIONEER DEAD AT 54

BOOK REVIEW: READ? FUCK DAT!

ASK SLASHWIFE: GOOD CRACK FOR CHEAP?

YOUR RIGHTS ON WELFARE: BUYING SMOKES WITH FOODSTAMPS

DNA TESTING NARROWS FATHER TO 1 IN 150

It was inevitable (2, Interesting)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227610)

I guess we shouldn't be too hard on this guy. If he hadn't "invented" spam, lots of others would have. It was inevitable. We have to resign ourselves to the fact that it's just part of life on the net. I don't think any amount of legislation or technology will ever totally eradicate spam, it's here to stay.
.

Re:It was inevitable (0)

Profane Motherfucker (564659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227634)

Right fucking on! There's this prissy attitude that "oh, if only he had never done that, people would have never figured it out." Well, here's my fucking comment: If one cockfaced lawyer can figure it out, a bunch of computer dorks can figure it out. Pretty fucking simple.

Oh HE started it.... (5, Funny)

secondsun (195377) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227611)

Does anyone have his email address; I want to tell him about this new penis surgury...

Re:Oh HE started it.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227621)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

The main problem here, folks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227615)

There are those folks who exist that are simply too stupid to run a Unix-like operating system. You know who they are; in fact, many of them frequent this very site with their IE browsers and MSN Messenger rip-offs of applications that were too innovative for Microsoft to come up with themselves even though they spend more money on R&D than any other company in the history of the world.

My friends, co-workers, and I refer to these individuals as people with TSTR*, or Too Stupid To Run *nix syndrome.

Do you know anyone suffering from this? If so, please make a note of it and remind them of their simple minds whenever they mumble some "*nix isn't ready for the desk top" while you're using KDE 3 and Evolution, which are a superior desktop environment and mail client, respectively.

Spam (4, Funny)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227616)

Well, I didn't know who started it, but now I know who to forward it all to.

Quote from the interview (2, Interesting)

Ayon Rantz (210766) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227617)

"I myself probably get 300 (spam e-mails) a day. I don't even attempt to read them. I just delete them all right away."

I guess there's justice in the world after all :)

Anyone know his email address? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227633)

I think it might be nice if everyone forwarded him a copy each piece of spam they receive today. Just as a thank you.

Spamming is a right (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227626)

Sending spam is right that we all have as users of open distributed systems.

If that right is revoked, what is next? Your freedom to browse whatever website you want?

People need to wake up or they will come for YOU next. At its core, this is a basic civil rights issue.

Re:Spamming is a right (1)

V1m Fuego (448973) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227732)

Yeah, and freedom of speech allows me to send you commercial mail that you have to pay the postage for? I think not, thief.

Spamming is theft of facilities and is no more covered by freedom of speech than rioting is protected by freedom of association.

Re:Spamming is a right (3, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227744)

This is NOT a civil rights issue. Since you are causing financial harm to receivers of your message, you are not protected by the first amendment.

SPAM is comparable to if I had to pay the postage on all the junk mail I received from the post office, BEFORE I get to see who it's from, what it is, or even if it is junk mail. When you send SPAM you are infringing on my rights a lot more than I am infringing on yours by trying to stop you. By the way, the state of Indiana just passed an anti-telemarketer law not too long ago, and I don't see it being declared unconstitutional by anyone. Maybe that could be seen as some sort of precedence?

Go back to your bridge you silly troll.

Re:Spamming is a right (1)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227808)

Your "right" to send spam ends where my private property (my servers and bandwidth) begins.

The same holds true for ALL those who own/operate Internet-connected hosts.

In other words, you can send anything you want. There is no law that forces anyone to listen, or even to receive your crap.

Get a life, spam-boy!

Invented? Pah! (2, Funny)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227628)

Back in 1987 we mass-mailed everyone at the university I was studying at to offer them floppy disks for sale. We gathered the names from the mail system usage tables on our Multics system.

Needless to say we got dragged up before the head of school, and severely told off.. but in those days they didn't have any rules against spamming, so that was all they could do.

That was 15 years ago. I guess we weren't the first then either.

We never did sell any floppy disks though! :)

Re:Invented? Pah! (2)

gazbo (517111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227818)

So you mailed a small list of people to sell floppies, and got no sales. This guy sends out mail to every usenet group his script could find, successfully generating between $100,000 and $200,000 despite the fact that the cancelling of their account meant that they could not read tens of thousands more emails. He proved it was commercially viable, and thus spawned a myriad of copycats. Gee, I wonder why they wrote the article about him not you ;-)

/changes subject

Okay, so spamming is a royal pain in the arse. but some people are vilifying this man to a stupid extent, like the poster who said he was like Hitler (and I think he was being serious) Please try not to lose perspective of how relatively trivial this matter was. Yes, I said trivial and meant it; every day atrocities happen that are far worse than this - spam is annoying and very little more. Besides, it's evidently creating business for advertisers, and created an industry of providers, so it's not all bad...

Re:Invented? Pah! (1)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227855)

Hmmm.. we did a couple of thousand addys, but we deliberately restricted the circulation so it DIDN'T get out onto Usenet and across different institutions.

I'm pretty certain I remember EMPs on Usenet before then.. but the point I wanted to make is it's no big deal.. it's an obvious use of the medium and frankly he's right when he says that someone else would have done it if he hadn't.

IMHO the really evil bastards are those who write email-addy-gathering spiders that scrape email addresses of web pages.. those things are the bane of my life I can tell you!

live and learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227629)

Some time ago, I saw an article in slashdot of two spammers who had been found dead from their workplace.
They had been shot in the head - why I haven't seen this kind of news lately? It was a good start, why stop now?

Do you have any links? (0)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227743)

A detailed account of this righteous culling, along with pathologist photographs, would make a perfect emailable counter response to "XxXxXxXXxX VIAGRA NOW!!! xXxXxXxXXXxX modmfadpf"

Because after all, Spammers love HTML mail too, right?

Find them and destroy them (3, Funny)

skroz (7870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227630)

Oh, there's a special place in hell roped off for this guy. His role in hell? He'll be running satan's mail servers, hunting down open relays that will mysteriously never close. He'll spend hours per day blocking OTHER open relays, only to find twice as many open up. He'll have nightmarish visions of "Free XXX Adult Action," "Over 60 and still HOT TO TROT" and "FREE $$$ HOME MORTGAGES ON THE CHEAP!"

Hopefully all of this will come with a white hot poker in his ass.

Re:Find them and destroy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227746)

over 10,000 never had a bath and still HOT TO TROTT you men a?

Re:Find them and destroy them (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227765)

No doubt.

But I comfort myself with the thought of their perdition being an eternity of having to read all of it.

"Oh look, my first day here and I already have email!"

Free daily dirty pics

Got debt?

No pills diet plan, shed pounds

$*(#$^@!@)(&$%

Sex Zoo

Mortgage rates have never been lower!

Russian woman want to meet you

Viagara over the internet

*@!#)(#&^!~

Dirty teens getting nasty
.
.
.

Is your green card about to expire?

375,122,934,350,124,228 messages in mailbox (Delete has permanently been disabled)

Re:Find them and destroy them (4, Funny)

Bowfinger (559430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227803)

Oh, there's a special place in hell roped off for this guy. His role in hell? He'll be running satan's mail servers, hunting down open relays that will mysteriously never close. He'll spend hours per day blocking OTHER open relays, only to find twice as many open up. He'll have nightmarish visions of "Free XXX Adult Action," "Over 60 and still HOT TO TROT" and "FREE $$$ HOME MORTGAGES ON THE CHEAP!"

Wouldn't the ads be more like "FREE ice water!!!!!" and "Make your own air conditioner - absolutely legal", with maybe an occasional "Hidden heaven cam, hot teen angels! (34231)"?

Hey, apparently! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227637)

acc. to the article, one of the geezers are dead..
only one more to go....

fun with spam... (0, Redundant)

bje2 (533276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227639)

have fun with spam, like this guy [thespamletters.com] does....

Where their is a sucker... (0, Redundant)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227640)

...there is someone willing to suck it. However, I associate spam with the serious start of the current corporate trend to screw over and piss off its customers as a means of increasing profits. How appropriate its a lawyer, don't you think?

Re:Where their is a sucker... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227813)

Of course it's a lawyer, don't you know anything by now? ;-)

Yeah, I know, that's practically flamebait, but it so reminds me of Jon Lovitz portrayal of unethical lawyers. Yet, Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel have made a Sisyphus of each and every one of us.

Spammer reminisces (1)

grinwell (138078) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227648)

Do you think spam plays a useful role in today's Internet?

To some extent, we probably welcome advertising. The problem with the incredible volume of unsolicited e-mail that we get today though is that, unlike junk mail that you receive in your snail mailbox, it's not immediately apparent that something is junk mail. With e-mail, you have to at least read the subject or who it's from to determine that it's junk and you don't want it. And the fact that it's so easy and, for practical purposes, costs nothing to send is resulting in considerably greater volume.
Is it useful? There have been times when I've gotten an unsolicited e-mail ad that was of interest to me.


Undoubtably he needs penile enlargement, burn DVDs, and to refinance his home mortgage with random internet companies.

Re:Spammer reminisces (2)

Peyna (14792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227675)

I've had more devious snail mail than e-mail (like it comes in a security envelope labeled 'confidential' or 'time sensitive' or something like that.) Most SPAM is pretty obvious, since they always have those silly numbers at the end of the subject line, or other clues.

Also, how often do you get snail mail for pyramid schemes, porno, and other such rip offs? Most snail mail junk mail is from well known companies or local businesses. (Capitol One sends me a new credit card thing every week, grr). Anyway, I think I'm much more likely to find something of use in my snail mail box junk mail than in my e-mail. Afterall, you sometimes find a good deal/coupon among that mess. I don't know if I can say that for 99% of the spam I've received.

Re:Spammer reminisces (4, Insightful)

B1 (86803) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227786)

To some extent, we probably welcome advertising. The problem with the incredible volume of unsolicited e-mail that we get today though is that, unlike junk mail that you receive in your snail mailbox, it's not immediately apparent that something is junk mail.

Ugh... this guy doesn't get it!

The REAL problem with unsolicited e-mail is that the cost of delivering it is ultimately borne by the carriers and the ultimate recipient, not the sender. The sender just has to pay $20 or so for a throwaway dialup account, and he can blast out thousands of emails before he gets shut down.

The recipient's ISP has to pay for extra storage capacity, bandwidth costs, and larger SMTP servers, so that his infrastructure doesn't collapse under the deluge of spam. The open relays between the spammer and ISP also incur significant bandwidth and processing costs, with no compensation.

At least with junk mail, the sender pays a bulk mailing rate and covers the costs of delivering it. He can send as much as he likes, but now there's an incentive to control his costs and make some attempt to target his mailings.

If there were a way of passing the true costs of spam back to the original sender, we would probably see a sharp reduction in volume.

Maybe this is a dumb question... (1)

neirboj (567806) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227651)

but why is it that we despise spam so much more than other mass marketing techniques? It might be that there's simply more opportunity to rail against spammers. For some reason though, people who send UCEs are called devil-spawn whereas companies that engage in mass marketing via snail-mail (for example) are just a mild nuisance most of the time.

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question... (1)

mosch (204) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227667)

Get a connection where you pay for your bandwidth and you'll see. The recipient pays for spam. The sender pays for snailmail. Additionally snailmail tends to be reasonably well-targeted, due to the expense involved, whereas email spam just gets sent to fucking everybody. After all, your eight year old daughter might be really interested in naked co-ed sluts!

Yeah, it is dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227679)

People who send snail-mail marketing paid for the
stamp and the printing. They've borne the majority
of the cost of the advertising.

With e-mail spam - we and the networks the spammer
exploits bear those costs.

That said, snail-mail junk also sucks, but it does
not exploit the same kind of economics spam does.

T.

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question... (1)

andrewscraig (319163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227694)

The main problem with Spam over other forms of mass marketing is that the person who receives it effectively has to pay for it. With say TV advertising, billboards or snail-mail, the marketer has to spend large €€€'s getting it to the end-user, whereas for the spammer they pay a little bit for a long long list of emails - or write their own crawler to do it for them - and then send all the mails over time.
Snail mail is generally better targeted as well - I don't care much about getting Green Cards for living in the US given that I live thousands of km's away from it, but the fact that Tescos has a special offer on donuts could be quite useful.

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question... (3, Insightful)

Indras (515472) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227702)

but why is it that we despise spam so much more than other mass marketing techniques?

No matter how full your snail-mail box is, it only takes a couple seconds to empty it and sort through it. You don't pay anything for that junk (except for maybe the garbage collection fee, but that's a flat rate no matter how full your dumpster out back is).

E-mail, on the other hand, is something people pay dearly for. If you're on a slower than broadband connection, like a modem or cell phone, you're usually paying by the minute, and with many spam messages reaching 50k or larger, it can take more than ten seconds each to download. How many here get more than twenty a day? That's over three minutes of your money going to waste. And no matter what connection speed you're on, it takes time to go through and delete them all (no more than sorting snail mail, I guess). And what about the people that get e-mail at their pagers? Many pay money per e-mail.

Spam isn't just evil, it's expensive!

You don't have a physical entity which to contact (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227768)

with most other forms of annoying advertising you could contact someone and tell them to go to hell (more or less).

This is not the case with email spam. Sure I could fake a credit card numer (this is illegal though) and order lots of their products?

Any other ideas besides just trying to filter and deleting spam?

I did get hold of one company sending SPAM to me and also the persons mobile phone number who where responsible... Let's just say there are a lot of free services from where you can send SMS *evil smirk*

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227796)

I hate telemarketers more than spammers right now, but that's because I get more telemarketing calls than spam email lately.

(changing my email address and not giving it out really cuts down on that stuff)

The issue is time and expense. Taking a g**d**n telemarking call takes time out of my life. Listening to a computer recording on my answering machine to see if there are any messages AFTER takes time out of my life.

Telemarketers and spammers should be roasted live over hot coals with the spit rammed through their anus.

Don't tell me that everyone needs to earn a living, and telemarketers are just trying to get by. I would live on the street eating out of trash cans before I would telemarket to people.

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question... (1)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227806)

I can't speak for anyone else, but i hate spam more than the other methods simply because of the "scumminess" of those doing the spamming.

With telemarketing, for instance, I get phone calls about donating money to my local police force, or perhaps buying a newspaper subscription.

My daily snail mail includes the run-of-the-mill credit card offers and carpet cleaning offers.

I have never received a phone call or snail mail concerning "hot young sluts" or anything like that.

Re:Maybe this is a dumb question... (1)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227836)

The only "dumb" question is the one you keep to yourself.

I think I can best respond by pointing you to a few of my favorite links. Between the lot of them, you should be able to get a very good idea of why spammers are truly nothing more than common thieves.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

http://imarketingsolutions.com/why_spam_is_bad.h tm

http://uk.spam.abuse.net/spam/spambad.html

http://www.twowriters.net/spam.htm

He's not just a bad guy (0)

jukal (523582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227660)

like: "As a matter of fact, we made a proposal in 1994 with Usenet to (filter spam) by simply starting it with the word 'ad.' Because almost any program can filter things out. So if you don't want it, you can get rid of it. That would be one simple solution. I'm always very hesitant to suggest that we should have any kind of censorship."

Based on this interview it seems that his idea is that spam is bad only when it gets to mailbox of those people who did not want it.

"I think there should be some mechanism in place to make it easy to not receive it or to filter it out before it ever arrives at your computer. "
"There should be some kind of regulation. I'm not sure that the regulation of e-mail should be, or needs to be, different than the regulation of any other form of communication. "

The biggest culprits are those that can make regulations on these matters, and did not do that in time. If it was done in 1994, the spamming culture might be totally different. Have we learnt the lesson yet? :)

Playing fast and loose with history ... (5, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227662)

This guy definitely has a slender hold on reality. He describes 1994 as a time when the "Internet was new", and talk about using Compuserve, which was a "precursor to the Internet".

If this is what passes for factual history in his world, there's no apparent reason that we should listen to anything else he has to say.

What's disappointing is that the reporter apparently saw no need to comment on the accuracy of such "facts".

Re:Playing fast and loose with history ... (0, Offtopic)

md_doc (8431) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227720)

The reporter was just trying to get people to visit the CNET.com site which they seem to have done by getting this article posted on /. Personally I think no one should go visit or even read the thing and e-mail CENT.com and tell them they are idiots for even talking to the guy.

Re:Playing fast and loose with history ... (5, Interesting)

khendron (225184) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227779)

I'd actually have to let that one slide.

Back in 1994 the Internet *was* new, from the general public perspective. Sure, it had been around for years, but but wasn't in the news that much. A better way of phrasing it would be to state that something new was happening *to* the Internet: the average person was climbing on board. For the first time in history a large number of average citizens were accessible via electronic means.

To most people, Compuserve *did* come before the Internet. Back in 1984 I paid a reasonable monthly charge to access Compuserve. I couldn't do the same with the Internet until 1993.

That said, I still find his smug "if we didn't do it somebody else would have" attitude annoying.

Eh? (2, Insightful)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227861)

"To most people, Compuserve *did* come before the Internet"

Quack quack quack.

Spam by any other name... (1, Insightful)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227668)

The problem is most poeople who complain about smap in fact Opt-in to this spam when the sign up for wonderful free services like Yahoo mail and the what not. And then fail to remove themselves of the mailing list properly. Granted, there are a lot of spammers out there stealing emails, but at the same time, your average OE/IE using user doesn't take the time to read the Agreement that says "We are going to sell your info, oh yeah!". So when they get the spam, too bad for them. Yeah, it sucks, but is it really spam?

Of course, this was talking more about those spammers stealing emails however they could get it. I just notice that the average person who gets "SPAM" doesn't have a clue that yes, there are companies who actually "spam" legally. If you signup, and don't read the agreement, you get what you asked for, literally. =)

They spammed Usenet, not your mailbox (1, Informative)

andyr (78903) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227672)

In case people don't read the article :-) remember they spammed Usenet. Usenet occupied a much more central role in geek life back then, but Usenet is definitely an Opt-in environment - you expect to find kooks on Usenet.

I think they even crossposted - meaning that a good newsreader would mark the message as already read in cross-posted groups.

But you could not crosspost to all groups - so one did read the same message too many times - hence all the vitriol .. They were the folks people loved to hate ..

Cheers, Andy!

UUCP + dialup = usenet spam pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227712)

So when you're downloading 30% spam using uucp, and you're paying through the nose for that service (it is of course, 1994), YOU'RE PAYING FOR JUNK MAIL.
You can't see it's junk mail until you read it, and you can't read it until you download it, and thus, pay for it. This is why all these people need to be set on fucking fire.

Re:They spammed Usenet, not your mailbox (1)

andrewscraig (319163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227719)

He didn't crosspost, he used a perl script to hit each group one at a time - there would be no link between each message other than the name woudl be the same I doubt any newsreader would detect that it was the same message (as the ID would be different).

Re:They spammed Usenet, not your mailbox (4, Informative)

blancolioni (147353) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227745)

I think they even crossposted - meaning that a good newsreader would mark the message as already read in cross-posted groups.

No, they didn't crosspost, they sent one individual message to each newsgroup. This is what annoyed people.

It was a weird day. Each newsgroup I went to (and I was a student, so I read a lot of them) had this message. I'd never seen anything like it before, and I certainly didn't pick it as the thin end of the wedge.

Re:They spammed Usenet, not your mailbox (5, Interesting)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227863)

It was a weird day. Each newsgroup I went to (and I was a student, so I read a lot of them) had this message. I'd never seen anything like it before, and I certainly didn't pick it as the thin end of the wedge.

Nobody really knew - usenet was small enough that people knew a good chunk of the personalities across the entire list of groups. I'm still pissed I never bought a Segar Ardic (sp?) t-shirt. At least I have Fidonet, kibo and Nets on the Net tshirts.

Also, *nobody* had any filters set up to kill crossposts - crossposts were still useful. People were complaining about Delphi users being stupid and ignorant of netiquette (and netiquette was the rule, not the exception). Lots of tradition was lost as the delphoids, then Compuserve, then AOL, and finally Prodigy users came to usenet, each stupider and a larger mass of ignorance than the preveious group.

It was a different era after about 1991. Remember, this was before the web existed, and the internet was much more agressively peer to peer - ISPs tossed you a leased line, not a dialup. You could watch raw, uncompressed streaming video from MIT at Duke simply because there was nobody else using the bandwidth. No DoS attacks, no skriptkiddies, l337speak was still B1FF, and the trolls only hit appropriate threads, and were graduate students or professors tossing in as many inside references and jokes as possible.

It really was a different time - open to abuse simply because there had never really been any, and, like a society with no thieves doesn't make locks, the internet didn't really grow to handle abuse.

Lest you think it was too nice, there was no google or gnutella - Archie was nice, but there wasn't *that* much out there. No CNN, no BBC, no Slashdot, no instant messaging (of course, now there's no finger or write).

In such a different day, this really was a novel, new thing. Nobody except a few farseeing people thought it was anything but a single incident, not to be repeated. I certainly didn't - of course, I thought Mosaic was "neat, but much less useful than gopher". :)

--
Evan

Re:They spammed Usenet, not your mailbox (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227810)

Actually, they didn't crosspost-- they individually posted to every single group.

Before the full-scale war started, people tried to explain to them why 1) spamming was bad, and 2) why spamming in this fashion was _really_ bad. C&S never seemed to understand that real bandwidth (= money) was being wasted.

Not only did C&S not relent, they mocked the Usenet users in the press and published a book on how to reproduce their efforts. They started a company (Cybersell) and used aliases to post ads for others.

When they started spamming, C&S included their physical address, phone, and fax numbers. Once the ground war started, they quickly learned better. It was discovered that S had been disbarred in Florida, IIRC, but could still practice in Arizona. Other publicly available information about C&S was collected and disseminated.

Sure, somebody else would have done it, but until C&S, nobody had on the same scale.

Re:They spammed Usenet, not your mailbox (1)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227835)

Someone please mod the parent up please.

There's way too many comments about spam referring to email spam, which this guy did *not* do.

If you're going to hate him, fine. Just know why you hate him, and make sure that you know what you're talking about. Remember, he didn't spam anyone's mailbox.

I wonder if he gets angry (2, Funny)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227685)

When he comes to work at 8:00 am and has 30 pieces of spam in his mailbox....

Is it any suprise that he has no regrets? (2)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227696)

After all, he is a lawyer so scummy, that other lawyers disbarred him.

I think I'm turning Japanese. (-1)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227703)

I think I'm turning Japanese.

I really think so.

Well, at least ONE of them is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227704)

Sickening to see this jerk still getting publicity.

Lucky he "survived"... (1)

CaptainAlbert (162776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227710)

> ...interview with the surviving lawyer who
> spammed Usenet with multiple "Green Card
> Lottery" posts in '94."

...makes me wonder what happened to all the other lawyers who spammed Usenet in '94? Were they thrown in a tar-pit or something?

I think this submission scores "Flamebait" from the outset. No rational discussion to be had here. Move along, please. :)

This just in!!! (5, Insightful)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227713)

We have determined the caveman who is responsible for the first murder of another human being on planet Earth. Feel free to blame him for all subsequent murders.

Gimme a break. This guy is *NOT* responsible for all of the spam the we deal with today. A society made up of a bunch of money-hungry-but-too-lazy-to-get-off-their-asses-a nd-earn-some-money assholes is responsible for this.

If this guy is responsible for the spam plague, then why do we bother complaining to spammers / ISPs / web-hosts about our spam...Why not just send all of our complaints to this guy, since he's responsible, right?

Re:This just in!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227774)

I think we can blame the first "first post"er for all the fp trolls we've got around today, though =]

Re:This just in!!! (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227819)

What you say is correct, someone else would have done it if he had not.

That doesn't change the fact that the guy is still a sleezy spammer that is just "waiting for the right chance" to spam again.


So, you're not sending unsolicited e-mail anymore?
I haven't been, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't at some time.

Do you think spam plays a useful role in today's Internet?
To some extent, we probably welcome advertising.


What a fucking dick.

Re:This just in!!! (2, Interesting)

nochops (522181) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227859)

Funny isn't it...how you quote what you want, but fail to notice:

As a matter of fact, we made a proposal in 1994 with Usenet to (filter spam) by simply starting it with the word 'ad.' Because almost any program can filter things out. So if you don't want it, you can get rid of it. That would be one simple solution.

There should be some kind of regulation. I'm not sure that the regulation of e-mail should be, or needs to be, different than the regulation of any other form of communication.

Re:This just in!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227822)

Gimme a break. This guy is *NOT* responsible for all of the spam the we deal with today. A society made up of a bunch of money-hungry-but-too-lazy-to-get-off-their-asses-a nd-earn-some-money assholes is responsible for this.



Er, actually, he wrote a book telling other people how to do what he did. He PROMOTED spam.

Yeah... Whatever. (0)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227843)

And Bin Laden isn't responsible for 9/11. It's the actions of random Terrorists, right.

Remember, that in the eyes of the subhuman loathsome, desperate wretches that attend Mass Marketing Seminars, Canter and Siegel are worshipped as GODS!

Mass Marketing, Pyramid Schemes, Green Card ventures, all boil down to the one thing... MEMETIC CULTS! Is it any wonder that the first big Spam was related to Green Cards? What are Canter and Siegel doing with all these foreigners, new to the country? WHERE ARE THEY???

I'll tell you where they are. They're on the end of your telephone, demanding that you change service provider when all you want to do after a hard day's work is eat your dinner and spend time with your family.

They're the low-brow ignorant video store clerks, keeping you waiting for half an hour while they try to find the original tape of "Ass Pounders 7" to slip into the case of "Monsters Inc." you've been wanting to rent for your kids.

And they're at the other end of the gun pointed at your children.

This is Canter and Siegel's hidden army. In league with Anti-Americal interests, they have been allowed into this country, underskilled and unable to learn how to assimilate themselves into our fine culture.

They grow bitter, despondent. They seek vengence on the very values this country thrives on. You honestly think Scientology is the problem? Do you?

Spam is the spearhead of an attack on our virtues. NOBODY replies to Spam. The purpose isn't for 'marketing' at all, no matter what the seminars would have the gullible and desperate believe.

The purpose of Spam is to eat away like a cancer of everything that is decent. Advertising filthy pornography and degrading acts. Clogging up company networks so that they are unable to do business. Demoralising the individuals who receive thousands of these mails a day. Making a travesty of our legal system by demanding rights of 'free speech' when their sole purpose is to drown out all other forms of legitimate communication.

THIS is the legacy of Canter and Siegel. And it is by these means that they seek their Power and Dominion over their fellow man. The vanguard of an assault on everything that is decent.

They deserve to be executed. To set an example. Cut off the head and the serpent shall wither and die.

They are responsible for a terrorist cult far, FAR worse than the Branch Davidians.

We must be vigilant, and we must be prepared to strike back.

User: "John Peterson" Passwd: "f5rin;" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227716)

User: "John Peterson" Passwd: "f5rin;"

should charge one cent per email (2)

peter303 (12292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227729)

Either ISPs or a government tax should charge one cent per email. The average user who probably sends less than a dollar's worth per day would hardly notice the charge. The spammer would be paralyzed.

But so would (2)

Karen_Frito (91720) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227790)

legitimate businesses who use email for a variety of purposes.

I get my phone and internet bill through email -- so I can pay online from work instead of trying to weasel time in at home.

I am on several mailing lists that go out to hundreds of people -- if I send an email that goes to hundreds, is that one cent, or hundreds of cents? Who gets billed? Me, my ISP, the host of the list?

There -ARE- legimate email-marketing businesses. Who do opt-in, double-subscribe, instant unsubscribe lists.

---

Why should we penalize EVERYONE for the actions of some assholes who can't remember how to get permission first?

Spam and the First Amendment (0, Troll)

John Peterson (569034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227738)

People who want to ban or regulate spam try to undermine our Freedom of Speech. I say, we have to defend our American freedoms! This guy is a hero!

Then fuck the first Amendment (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227798)

If your first amendment gives someone the "freedom" to pester me with endless spam, then I suggest you change it and replace it with something better...

Must control fist of death... (3)

martin (1336) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227771)


I gotta say my first reaction was ahah so that's the (expletive deleted) who started all this.

But then if it wasn't them then it would have been someone else. I get junk mail through my letter box so thid is just the logical extension for the internet.

Sure it's a pain in the bum, a total waste of bandwidth etc but given that the problem lays with ISP's allowing this stuff to go on (ie the spammers are their customers!) I can't see any solution to it (apart from ignoring and deleting it).

Just my 2 pence worth.

Lessening Spam (2)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227782)

How do you think spam will affect the way we use the Internet in the future?
It's not going to stop us from using (e-mail) because it's such a marvelous form of communication. But something does have to be done to eliminate the unbelievable volume (of spam) that many people get. One would think that it would lessen itself because it's not as effective.


Not as effective?

Not as effective?

Spam costs virtually nothing to send when compared to reaching the same numbers of people with the same message via any other media that even if you get only 1 response per million I'm sure its still an order of magnitude more cost effective than, for example, running an add during the Super Bowl. Anyone have any stats on this? How much does it cost per email to send spam?

Re:Lessening Spam (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227831)

Spam isn't all that effective really though - you lose good will of your spamees - the spam is more of a scatter gun approach that direct mailing - and for one I've never clicked on a spam link or brought any thing off spam...

Effectivness = more than just the price of the mailing...

Look... (5, Funny)

xtermz (234073) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227784)

...Stop harping on the guy. If it wasnt for him, I'ld still be bald, my wang wouldnt be 20-30% bigger, my vast real-estate empire would be nothing, and my hot willing wife from asia would still be over there picking rice...

God bless the spam...it changed my life

Surviving Lawyer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3227791)

I missed one? Not for long.

Moral justification (5, Interesting)

briggsb (217215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227802)

Do you have any regrets about sending the spam?
I don't think so. Given the same set of circumstance--the same time, the stage of the Internet--I'd probably do the same thing. Somebody would have done it, if we hadn't done it.
Great moral justification - no surprise that this came from a lawyer. "But judge somebody was gonna steal that money if my client hadn't."

Siegel died? (5, Interesting)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227811)

and Siegel died in 2001
Is this true? I went looking for the obituary, but could not find it. I'd have thought there would be some notice. I wondered if the obituary would have mentioned her as the "co-inventor" of spam (what a thing to be remembered for, in one's life ...)

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

email spam is just 'new' method for old marketing. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227828)

ever got advertisiments in snail-mail? i bet you did.. i bet you did get spam there before you even had email.. not to mention phone spam.. phone spam is the WORST kind of spam, since you have to pick up the phone to hear some guy trying to sell you some useless mags..

I despise spam, too, but... (3, Insightful)

mlas (165698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227840)

...it's really irrelevant who cast the first stone. Looking back, the commercialization of the Internet (incl. Usenet, email, the Web) seems more like a historical inevitability. If it wasn't Canter and Siegel, it would have been someone else two weeks later, guaranteed. The network was simply too rich and too full of potential at that point in time to not be mined for profit.

Don't forget, the "unwritten rules" of the Internet as a non-commercial venue included the Web(!) at first; there were always "dot-com" addresses, but outright advertising was seriously frowned upon. However, had this fundamentalist purity somehow miraculously stayed intact, most of us would probably be out of a job today. I know I would.

Canter and Siegel's place in history will be less on the magnitude of Jimi Hendrix, and more like the name of the first concertgoer through the gates at Woodstock-- a piece of trivia at a historical event.

Old lesson... do unto others... applies here. (5, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3227842)

Canter wrote: But something does have to be done to eliminate the unbelievable volume (of spam) that many people get.

Apparantly his parents were lacking in teaching him morals. My parents always taught me "Before you do anything, think about what the world would be like if EVERYONE did that thing. Before you toss that gum wrapper out of the car window, think about what the street would look like if everyone did it. Before you say something nasty to someone, think about how you'd feel if the rolls were reversed."

It's pretty basic stuff. I can't tell you how many spammers I've confronted via email (I report every spam I get) only to be told "Lighten up jerk! It's only one email. My response is always "Yea, but what if every business on the planet did what you did?"

I'll never understand spammers. They seem to be almost universally lacking in the ability to tell right from wrong. That Canter's excuse is "if I hadn't done it, someone else would have, so it's OK" only shows that he too is lacking in that ability.

-S

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