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Following the Spam Trail

CmdrTaco posted about 11 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Spam 232

An anonymous reader writes "MSNBC's Bob Sullivan doggedly follows a spam trail from Alabama to Argentina to find out who actually benefits from spam. The beneficiaries aren't necessarily the pasty faced, high school drop out industrial spammers we have gotten to know, but well known companies."

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232 comments

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Tea bagger (5, Funny)

mao che minh (611166) | about 11 years ago | (#6650765)

The reporter wrote this story as if he actually broke it.

MSNBC: we have known about the relationship between spam, lead generators, and legitimate businesses for years now. For example, when I filled out an add to enlarge my penis 3 years ago, I got all sorts of emails from GNC and other well known health and fitness companies.....oh wait, I mean, when I clicked on the "See Britney Nude XXX HOT Angelina J-Lo-XXX-HOT!" offer I got an ad from her record label and WareHouse Music in the mail. Yea, that's it.

FP

BMC Software lays off 25% of US employees 900 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650929)

Just wanted to point out that BMC Software completed laying off 25% of the USA workforce or about 900 people.

http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/200 3/ 08/04/daily51.html

Re:BMC Software lays off 25% of US employees 900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651083)

Good!

Their stuff was getting too expensive anyway. Some Indian R&D should spruce it up and allow them to sell it at a discount here.

Re:Tea bagger (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650977)

You're a stupid motherfucker. You're going on my foe list for the "FP" comment at the end, faggot.

Gosh, I can't connect to LWSMortgage.com! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651082)

Wonder why...

CLIT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650766)

Yeah, another one for the Community of Logged In Trolls! I did remember to log in, right?

Andrew Huard has a clit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650788)

Support the GNAA!

Re:CLIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651278)

YOU FAIL IT! btw, it's Cabal. Back to the masturbation community with you.

Mario is a fucking bastard for doing this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650773)

Check out the amazing Yoshi girl [bayou.com] and her playful tentacle friend! Rides starting soon at $29.99 (Saddle not included).

More pictures soon, be patient /.'ers. In the meantime try these other quality sites for all your horny geek fanboy needs:

Lara Croft Land [goatse.cx]
Natalie Portman covered with hot grits [tubgirl.com]
RMS gone wild! [stallman.org]
CowboyNeal: behind the blubber [cowboyneal.org]
Taco's new .com venture [orbitz.com]



# Important Smurfs: Please try to keep posts on Smurfette.
# Try to spooge on other people's comments instead of starting new threads (of semen.)
# Read George Bush's subliminablble messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. (Like George W and his Dad)
# Use a clear lubricant that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be NAZI-Fied. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the Loser Rights Page)
# If you want replies to your trolls sent to you, consider logging in or creating a trolling account.

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to Hitler [tiscali.dk]
# Important Smurfs: Please try to keep posts on Smurfette.
# Try to spooge on other people's comments instead of starting new threads (of semen.)
# Read George Bush's subliminablble messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. (Like George W and his Dad)
# Use a clear lubricant that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be NAZI-Fied. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the Loser Rights Page)
# If you want replies to your trolls sent to you, consider logging in or creating a trolling account.

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to Hitler [tiscali.dk]

# Important Smurfs: Please try to keep posts on Smurfette.
# Try to spooge on other people's comments instead of starting new threads (of semen.)
# Read George Bush's subliminablble messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. (Like George W and his Dad)
# Use a clear lubricant that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be NAZI-Fied. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the Loser Rights Page)
# If you want replies to your trolls sent to you, consider logging in or creating a trolling account.

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to Hitler [tiscali.dk]

following the penis trail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650780)

... right into CmdrTaco's puckered asshole.

Get Spammed Thru An Anti-Spam Article! (4, Interesting)

webguru4god (537138) | about 11 years ago | (#6650794)

If you look towards the bottom of the MSNBC page linked in the story, there is a form that allows you to submit your spam stories, which asks for your name, hometown, phone number and e-mail address. Now what does MSNBC need with that information, in relation to your experiences with spam? Seems fishy to me...

Andrew Huard supports spam! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650829)

As my Speak-N-Spell would say:
That is correct, next spell asswipe.

Another score for the AAHAA (The Anti Andrew Huard Association of America [geocities.com] ).

Re:Get Spammed Thru An Anti-Spam Article! (4, Insightful)

aengblom (123492) | about 11 years ago | (#6650856)

Now what does MSNBC need with that information, in relation to your experiences with spam? Seems fishy to me...

Well, if they want to do a story on them, they might actually want to be able to CONTACT you. And let's hope that major news organizations require that people who report things to them are actually, REAL PEOPLE. Not just random e-mail addresses signed by Haha G. Ottcha

Re:Get Spammed Thru An Anti-Spam Article! (1, Redundant)

dJCL (183345) | about 11 years ago | (#6650874)

I filled it out with a custom e-mail address, only ever entered on their site at that message. If I get any spam from that address, well we know where they stand from there... heh.

Yoshi Yoshi Yoshi Yoshi (-1, Troll)

Linux-based-robots (660980) | about 11 years ago | (#6650797)

Check out the amazing Yoshi girl [bayou.com] and her playful tentacle friend! Rides starting soon at $29.99 (Saddle not included).

More pictures soon, be patient /.'ers. In the meantime try these other quality sites for all your horny geek fanboy needs:

Lara Croft Land [goatse.cx]
Natalie Portman covered with hot grits [tubgirl.com]
RMS gone wild! [stallman.org]
CowboyNeal: behind the blubber [cowboyneal.org]
Taco's new .com venture [orbitz.com]



# Important Smurfs: Please try to keep posts on Smurfette.
# Try to spooge on other people's comments instead of starting new threads (of semen.)
# Read George Bush's subliminablble messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. (Like George W and his Dad)
# Use a clear lubricant that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be NAZI-Fied. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the Loser Rights Page)
# If you want replies to your trolls sent to you, consider logging in or creating a trolling account.

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to Hitler [tiscali.dk]
# Important Smurfs: Please try to keep posts on Smurfette.
# Try to spooge on other people's comments instead of starting new threads (of semen.)
# Read George Bush's subliminablble messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. (Like George W and his Dad)
# Use a clear lubricant that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be NAZI-Fied. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the Loser Rights Page)
# If you want replies to your trolls sent to you, consider logging in or creating a trolling account.

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to Hitler [tiscali.dk]

# Important Smurfs: Please try to keep posts on Smurfette.
# Try to spooge on other people's comments instead of starting new threads (of semen.)
# Read George Bush's subliminablble messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. (Like George W and his Dad)
# Use a clear lubricant that describes what your message is about.
# Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be NAZI-Fied. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the Loser Rights Page)
# If you want replies to your trolls sent to you, consider logging in or creating a trolling account.

Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to Hitler [tiscali.dk]

Who benefits from SPAM? (0, Offtopic)

didjit (34494) | about 11 years ago | (#6650813)

I benefit from SPAM!

Re:Who benefits from SPAM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650992)

I Like HAM

Pick up the phone. (5, Informative)

pontifier (601767) | about 11 years ago | (#6650825)

If you can nail down a domain that seems to profit, use the whois information and call them on the phone. I usually dont get spam after I have complained to a person. If the phone number is bogus you can report them at http://reports.internic.net/cgi/rpt_whois/rpt.cgi

Not everyone lives in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651159)

Which makes telephoning expensive.

If you mention what your email address is to a spamer, they *may* stop sending you spam, but now that you have legitimized an address, build an ark and wait for the flood!

Re:Pick up the phone. (4, Informative)

Yanna (188771) | about 11 years ago | (#6651252)

Notice how the guy that spams is in Argentina. First, I do not think that your calls will bother him more than they will cost you. Second, this guy is a real mercenary. This is his way of life.

I ran a little query and found that he actually registers his domains under the following address:

Entidad Registrante: Zonda Sistemas S.A.
Direccion: Callao 1253
Ciudad: Buenos Aires
Codigo Postal: 1024
Pais: Argentina
Telefono: 4803-3824
Fax: 4803-3824
Actividad Principal: Sistemas

Persona Responsable: Alberto Roberto Meyer
Direccion: Callao 1253
Ciudad: Buenos Aires
Codigo Postal: 1024
Pais: Argentina
Telefono: 4803-3824
Horarios Contacto: 10-18

Fecha de registracion: 20/01/2003
Entidad Administradora: Zonda Sistemas S.A.
Direccion: Callao 1253
Ciudad: Buenos Aires
Codigo Postal: 1024
Pais: Argentina
Telefono: 4803-3824
Fax: 4803-3824
Actividad Principal: Sistemas

Contacto Tecnico: Alberto Roberto Meyer
Direccion: Callao 1253
Ciudad: Buenos Aires
Codigo Postal: 1024
Pais: Argentina
Telefono: 4803-3824
Horario Contacto: 10-18
Fax: 4803-3824

Servidores de Nombre de Dominio
Servidor de Nombres Primario:
Nombre: ns.super-zonda.com
Direccion ip:

Servidor de Nombres Secundario:
Nombre: ns1.super-zonda.com
Direccion ip:

Tercer Servidor de Nombres:
Nombre: ns2.super-zonda.com
Direccion ip:

Cuarto Servidor de Nombres:
Nombre: ns3.super-zonda.com
Direccion ip:

Sorry that it is in Spanish, but the only way to find this guy is by running queries in nic.ar. Were you in a position where you could actually phone this criminals, you need to add +54 11 to the listed telephone numbers (54 being the country code for Argentina and 11 the city code for Buenos Aires).

Good luck!

Re:Pick up the phone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651260)

If you can nail down a domain that seems to profit, use the whois information and call them on the phone.

I recommend contacting their upstream first and trying to get them disconnected. The goal is not to get them to stop sending you, an individual, spam; the goal is to completely shut them down.

Huh? (4, Funny)

MoeMoe (659154) | about 11 years ago | (#6650831)

What "well known" company offers penis pumps? Has Gates been up to more no good?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650848)

that would've been perfect for a goatse link

Support the GNAA.
Borught to you by the AAHAA.

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

Salgak1 (20136) | about 11 years ago | (#6650872)

It's probably in Sweden. That's where they make the brand Austin Powers endorses. . . (g)

Statement of the obvious (3, Interesting)

Gherald (682277) | about 11 years ago | (#6650834)

The beneficiaries aren't necessarily the pasty faced, high school drop out industrial spammers we have gotten to know, but well known companies.

Wow, like we hadn't figured that out already.

All commercial advertising, SPAM included, benefits companies.

Individual spammers are just pawns like their more respectable counterparts in the legitemate marketing industry.

Re:Statement of the obvious (-1, Offtopic)

Shmew (693245) | about 11 years ago | (#6651023)

Fight SCO!!

State the case with an anti-SCO tux t-shirt!
http://www.cafeshops.com/politinerd

SCO's NOT LINUX!!!!!!!
http://www.cafeshops.com/politinerd

but? (5, Funny)

chloroquine (642737) | about 11 years ago | (#6650835)

But what about us pasty faced social misfits? I mean, I deserve my slice of the pie as well.

This article is written for an ignorant audience. I'm an ignorant audience and its smug tone of condescension even pisses me off.

Re:but? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 11 years ago | (#6651219)

The fact is, "pasty faced social misfits" who send spam don't make a product. They need to either buy something from some supplier, or be feeding into some sort of lead generation program like the article lays out. So, something does ripple through the economy...

Pot... meet Kettle... (0, Flamebait)

ErikTheRed (162431) | about 11 years ago | (#6650853)

Great, we get a bunch of moralizing from a bunch of jackasses who allow FUI banner ads on their site.

Re:Pot... meet Kettle... (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | about 11 years ago | (#6650964)

Great, we get a bunch of moralizing from a bunch of jackasses who allow FUI banner ads on their site.

Banner ads? I didn't see any banner ads [taz.net.au] ...

Obviously (4, Interesting)

dragonfly_blue (101697) | about 11 years ago | (#6650862)

Someone must be benefitting if they can afford to make me this kind of offer.

Greetings,

We need a vendor who can offer immediate supply.

I'm offering $5,000 US dollars just for referring a vender which is (Actually RELIABLE in providing the below equipment) Contact details of vendor required, including name and phone #. If they turn out to be reliable in supplying the below equipment I'll immediately pay you $5,000. We prefer to work with vendor in the Boston/New York area.

1. The mind warper generation 4 Dimensional Warp Generator # 52 4350a series wrist watch with z80 or better memory adapter. If in stock the AMD Dimensional Warp Generator module containing the GRC79 induction motor, two I80200 warp stabilizers, 256GB of SRAM, and two Analog Devices isolinear modules, This unit also has a menu driven GUI accessible on the front panel XID display. All in 1 units would be great if reliable models are available

2. The special 23200 or Acme 5X24 series time transducing capacitor with built in temporal displacement. Needed with complete jumper/auxiliary system

3. A reliable crystal Ionizor with unlimited memory backup.

4. I will also pay for Schematics, layouts, and designs directly from the manufature which can be used to build this equipment from readily available parts.

If your vendor turns out to be reliable, I owe you $5,000.

Email his details to me at: info@federalfundingprogram.com

Please do not reply directly back to this email as it will only be bounced back to you.

Anyone else get this one? =P

Re:Obviously (5, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | about 11 years ago | (#6650953)

Several times. I couldn't figure out what the scam was so I did some googling. Apparently the guy sending them out is a bit... different. He really seems to believe that some time-traveling bad-guys ruined his life and caused him health and other problems. He seems to believe there are actually many time-travellers on earth at the moment, and wants to get a machine so he can travel back in time and undo the horrid stuff they did to him as a child.

Numerous folk have corresponded with him and he's made the deal many times, but somehow the bad guys always seem to nab his seller at the last moment. Poor guy.

Re:Obviously (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | about 11 years ago | (#6650979)

Oh yeah, I assume they either want you to visit federalfundingprogram.com out of curiosity to see WTF is going on, or have you send an email to info@federalfundingprogram.com which will surely come back with some kind of additional spam and confirm your address is working. Either that or they want you to google for the stuff they mention--presumably the stuff the sell is near the top of the Google list and it's a way to get you to see it even though you think you're doing a service for someone else.

Anyway, been there, seen that, been filtered by my Bayesian. :)

Re:Obviously (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | about 11 years ago | (#6651001)

Greetings,

We need a vendor who can offer immediate supply....

It's a wonder he didn't also spec an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator while he was at it...

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651090)

Illudium PU-36 Space Modulator, Earthling! Get it right!

Re:Obviously (2, Interesting)

Mustang Matt (133426) | about 11 years ago | (#6651096)

Here's mine... I was thinking it was revenge on the person at the email address listed in the parent post. I have to admit, I found it kind of humorous.

I got the one from the parent post as well.

>>>>>>>>>>
Hello,

I'm a time traveler stuck here in 2003. Upon arriving here my dimensional warp generator stopped working. I trusted a company here by the name of LLC Lasers to repair my Generation 3 52 4350A watch unit, and they fled on me. I am going to need a new DWG unit, prefereably the rechargeable AMD wrist watch model with the GRC79 induction motor, four I80200 warp stabilizers, 512GB of SRAM and the menu driven GUI with front panel XID display.

I will take whatever model you have in stock, as long as its received certification for being safe on carbon based life forms.

In terms of payment:
I dont have any Galactic Credits left. Payment can be made in platinum gold or 2003 currency upon safe delivery of unit. Please transport unit in either a brown paper bag or box to below coordinates on Sunday July 27th at (exactly 3:00pm) Eastern Stand Time. If you miss this timeframe please email me.

42.4845467 & Longitude -71.1576157 and the ground is 101.3' above sea level.

Although those coordinates are a secure guarded area, these channels through email are never secure. Unfortunately it is the only form of communication I have right now. There is a good chance that sombody will try to redirect the signal. The unit must be teleported directly in a way
that nobody will be able to interfere with the transference.

After unit has been sent please email me at: *address withheld*
with payment instructions. Do not reply directly back to this email.

Thank You

squeak

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651172)

I got that one, even wrote a haiku about it.
I guess he waits until someone sends a jokey reply saying they can comply, then sues them for breach of contract when they can't fulfill.

Re:Obviously (1)

terraformer (617565) | about 11 years ago | (#6651183)

I got one from him as well and he had posted a drop location for something and he gives a lat/long pair (see below). I geocoded it and the location is Woburn, MA on the corner of Willow and S Bedford streets. Now I live in Watertown Ma nearby and I was really tempted to go there an fuck with him. Unfortunately I did not have the time...

Subject: Dimensional Warp Generator Needed wyvid ecasoylxcu

Hello,

I'm a time traveler stuck here in 2003. Upon arriving here my dimensional warp generator stopped working. I trusted a company here by the name of LLC Lasers to repair my Generation 3 52 4350A watch unit, and they fled on me. I am going to need a new DWG unit, prefereably the rechargeable AMD wrist watch model with the GRC79 induction motor, four I80200 warp stabilizers, 512GB of SRAM and the menu driven GUI with front panel XID display.

I will take whatever model you have in stock, as long as its received certification for being safe on carbon based life forms.

In terms of payment:
I dont have any Galactic Credits left. Payment can be made in platinum gold or 2003 currency upon safe delivery of unit.

INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY:
Please transport unit in either a brown paper bag or box to below coordinates on Wednesday August 6th at (exactly 5:00pm) Eastern Standard Time on the dot. A few minutes prior will be ok, but it cannot be after. If you miss this timeframe please email me. I will not be there prior to 4:45pm EST, so do not transport before then.

Item is to be delivered at (out of service tennis court) located at: Latitude N 42.47935 & Longitude W 071.17355 and the Elevation is 119.
WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRANSPORT ITEM BY REGULAR MEANS OF TELEPORTATION. THEY ARE MONITORING AND WILL REDIRECT THE SIGNAL!!
I DO NOT CARE HOW YOU HAVE TO GET IT HERE, JUST DO IT IN A WAY THAT NO SPYING EYES WILL POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO REDIRECT THE TRANSFERENCE. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU BE ABLE TO MONITOR THE TRANSFER.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SEND IT SO THAT THEY CANNOT REDIRECT IT??? If in doubt do not transport actual unit until your method of transfer can be confirmed as a success. You just might need to send a intergalactic courier to deliver item safely to me. If so be VERY careful at how they approach me IN MY WHITE CAR.

After unit has been delivered please email me at: info@federalfundingprogram.com
with payment instructions. Do not reply directly back to this email.

Thank You

what I want to know is.... (4, Interesting)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 11 years ago | (#6650866)

how many "middle men" are in the typical spam food chain, playing the percentages. Extra bonuses for network names, IP addys, hosting providers, etc. And also, why don't these large companies have the balls to just do it directly, themselves? /me thinks they are much like the Wizard of Oz, in this regard.

Re:what I want to know is.... (3, Insightful)

dJCL (183345) | about 11 years ago | (#6650915)

If the big business did it directly, you would have an easy target and could hit them pretty hard and fast to stop it. This way they have a large number of layers of seperation(deniability) available. As the one company in the article said, they canned the account of the person who spammed to get the lead, but that person was probably already signed up under 15 other names and loses accounts once or twice a week. But that company has deniability, and can claim they took action, knowing that it was worthless...

Re:what I want to know is.... (3, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | about 11 years ago | (#6651290)

If the big business did it directly, you would have an easy target and could hit them pretty hard and fast to stop it. This way they have a large number of layers of seperation(deniability) available. As the one company in the article said, they canned the account of the person who spammed to get the lead, but that person was probably already signed up under 15 other names and loses accounts once or twice a week. But that company has deniability, and can claim they took action, knowing that it was worthless...

Read that a couple times and think mafia, not spam.

A while back their was a poll on /. about who was the most powerful with multination corps being one of the choices. Hmm........

We're off to see the wizard... (0)

fussman (607784) | about 11 years ago | (#6650924)

Pay no attantion to the man behind that firewall!

Who benefits from spam? (4, Funny)

Linux-based-robots (660980) | about 11 years ago | (#6650875)

The mystery is revealed. It is the The Hormel Food Company! [spam.com]

Re:Who benefits from spam? (2, Funny)

Gherald (682277) | about 11 years ago | (#6650897)

And their SPAM museum! [hormel.com]

Don't forget Spam Haikus! (1)

CycleMan (638982) | about 11 years ago | (#6651221)

Die SCO, die.
Spare us from all the lame jokes.
Worse than porcine snouts.

If you buy Hormel,
SCO and IBM
Won't sue your tail off.

Write your own and submit them to:
http://www.spamhaiku.com/spamhaiku/site/

Re:Who benefits from spam? (1)

magsymp (562489) | about 11 years ago | (#6650942)

No... no... You have it all wrong! It's SCO!

Spammer (-1, Offtopic)

seeksoft (579626) | about 11 years ago | (#6650878)

When I was kicked out of high school my mom gave me one choice, goto an alternative center or get a job. I chose to get a job but I didnt want to really work. So I got into the spam game. I had an old copy of visual basic and I learned how to program. Making 1000$ a month at 1st, then 3000$ a week, then 80 thousand a year. I have stoped spamming in the past 6 months because well its too hard and legal issues are a tougher thing to face. I do know some kids who make around 5 thousand dollars a day spamming and have never really worked a day in thier life. However the way they spam is highly illegal and its a matter of time before they get caught. As far as products, we used to advertise anything and everything from credit cards to penis pills. I know you ask yourself who actually buys this stuff? Well we would get a sale every 1-5 minutes, spamming about 5 million people a day. As products got older the pornography came back into play. As we call them "dialers". You download an ative-x plugin and it dials a 1-900 number over sea's. I could never picture myself into buying anything I ever advertised, or anything I ever got inside my mailbox (except unlimited long distance back in the late 90's) However, that little dialer program pulled in about 1-3 dollars a minute. I'd get over a thousand minutes a day. I had paypal payments sent to me every night at midnight. If you need proof I have scanned some of my old checks. Fed-x would be at my door monday, wednesday and friday with checks from people all over the world. I've now moved into the ebay market selling electronics I get from over sea's (if you have ever been to japan you can get stuff nearly 80% cheaper then in the states) I buy in bulk, hundreds of units have it delivered and I sell it on ebay. I make over 60% profit and thats pulling in about 250-400$ a day. Easy work considering I wake up at noon, play video games, prepare my fed-x pick-up and play some more xbox. Oh yeah, then sleep.

Re:Spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6650981)

Guess the IT work for the board of education didn't work out eh?

Re:Spammer (0)

seeksoft (579626) | about 11 years ago | (#6651259)

It's summer time. I go back to work/school in another 11 days.

Who benefits from spam? (2, Interesting)

Omkar (618823) | about 11 years ago | (#6650879)

Hormel, or course. Free advertising.

But seriously, does anyone here actually think people will care enough to boycott these companies?

Re:Who benefits from spam? (1)

Gherald (682277) | about 11 years ago | (#6650918)

No, the reporter was just desperate for a story.

Re:Who benefits from spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651122)

I don't think it's a matter of boycotting them. The offerings from those companies are so bad that you'd have to be a complete idiot to buy from a spammer anyway, and those idiots won't boycott anyway.

Re: (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | about 11 years ago | (#6650881)


Such is the messy world of affiliate marketing. Jeff Hain, director of marketing for LoanWeb, blamed his firm's involvement in the spam on an affiliate who acted outside the company's policies. The Internet is full of such arrangements, first popularized by Amazon.com years ago. Small Web sites that push traffic and business toward a larger firm get a small slice of the profits. It is often tempting for affiliates to send out spam to create such profitable traffic.
"We have thousands of affiliates out there," Hain said.

- Amazon.com still uses the affiliates programs to a great extent and Google searches often lead to sites that are nothing but links to Amazon's site in disguise. Wish Google searches could see through such tactics....

An entirely separate set of companies also benefits from the spam economy -- Internet service providers who carry their traffic.
Well-known spam nemesis Ron Scelson filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and a review of bankruptcy documents shows he owes Bell South $56,463 for "circuits" and Cable & Wireless another $4,407 as his "Internet provider." Neither company responded to requests for information about the bills.
But it's hardly the first time a big-name Internet provider has been caught in a deal with a spammer. In an embarrassing incident for both AT&T and PSINet three years ago, both firms were caught as participants in secret "pink contracts" with spammers. Long suspected in the spam world, the revelations exposed pink contracts as sweetheart deals for the Internet firms, designed to protect spammers. ISPs get premium, well above normal rates, to sell bandwidth to known spammers. In exchange, the ISP agrees to suffer more than normal complaint rates. In PSINet's contract, revealed on News.com, the firm received an upfront payment of $27,000 from Cajunnet, a marketing firm based in Slidell, La. In exchange, PSINet agreed to permit Cajunnet to send unsolicited email "in mass quantity" through PSINet's lines.

- Is there no legal way to stop ISP's from doing that ?

Re: (2, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | about 11 years ago | (#6650985)

- Is there no legal way to stop ISP's from doing that ?

No, and it would be dangerous if there were.

The inhibiting factor for most is simply the risk of being blackholed by the rest of us if they do.

Sadly there are a few that have such a huge chunk of the net under their thumb they are basically immune to this threat. I think that's the number two contributor to the spam problem (number one being fools that buy from spamvertisers.)

Well, kind of... (1, Informative)

Dimensio (311070) | about 11 years ago | (#6651246)

SPEWS can be used to pressure spam-friendly ISPs into dropping their spamming customers. It's perfectly legal, but then you'll get a bunch of whiners who think that they shouldn't be blocked just for giving money to an outfit that they know is run by criminals.

IC Marketing - InfoClear Marketing ? (5, Insightful)

Thinko (615319) | about 11 years ago | (#6650886)

After IC Marketing received our data, it sold our information to a firm named Infoclear Marketing in Dallas, which then sold it to Mleads, which in turn sold it to Quicken, according to Newman.
Infoclear immediately terminated its contract with IC Marketing when it heard about the spam offense, said Patrick Thurmond, who identified himself as a founder of Infoclear.


Doesn't it sound a lot like InfoClear and IC (coincidence?) are actually the same company, but can appear to 'sever ties' whenever anyone anti-spam starts nosing around.. sounds like a nice setup to me, and the investigators won't implicate poor infoclear when tracing this back.
Just my $0.02.

Thinko

"I have challenged the entire quality assurance team to a bat'leth contest. They will not concern us again."

Re:IC Marketing - InfoClear Marketing ? (1)

Newtonian_p (412461) | about 11 years ago | (#6651028)

Good observation but why would they want to make it so obvious?

I mean, they could instead set up a front company named 'Starglass Inc.' and then set up IC Marketing as an affiliate.

Backbones like spam? Whoa! (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 11 years ago | (#6650887)

What's that you say? Backbones don't police spam across their networks, spam that sucks up huge amounts of bandwidth, which they can charge people for? Whoa!

Next at 11, employees who are responsible for self-policing timecard policies are ripping off employers!

(seriously though- it's time we started taking major networks to task, like refusing to route packets coming from them, or refusing to send traffic to them. Watch how fast UUnet takes care of spammers, when customers find they suddenly can't get to sites. Pretty much the ONLY thing these days that separates backbones is how reliable they are- even a slight decrease in reliability, even just perceived or threatened, could have an astounding effect. Think of all the fuss SCO is causing to see the possibilities.)

Re:Backbones like spam? Whoa! (1)

kapok_tree (670008) | about 11 years ago | (#6651121)

Thing is, how could that be implemented? All told, there aren't all THAT many backbones to work with. Take out UUNet, or AT&T, and you've blocked off a very big part of the market. From a business standpoint, it would be equivalent to deciding not to sell to anyone in, say Great Britain. Principle's fine, but that's going to cut into profits. I worked for Sprint for a while, and their network is severely overengineered. The fibre backbones are generally only using 10% of their capacity. So long as that's the case, the beancounters are going to continue to search for ways to get more money out of that resource. They'll keep looking for - and finding - loopholes that allow them to sell their bandwidth. They'll keep doing this so long as they don't have anything better to sell their bandwidth for.

From a related link. (3, Informative)

spumoni_fettuccini (668603) | about 11 years ago | (#6650893)

The spam dam [msnbc.com] Spam isn't that big a problem. A noisy, wired minority, the report said, has overexaggerated the spam jam-up. In fact, only 15 percent of workers surveyed say they have to deal with more than 50 e-mails a day. And nearly three-quarters said "only a little" of their work e-mail is spam.

How many Sysadmins are running spam filters to catch that crap so the end user never sees it?

Re:From a related link. (3, Funny)

realdpk (116490) | about 11 years ago | (#6651009)

Let's officially proclaim Monday No Spam Filter day, so people can better see the problem when they're most bitter - having to show up after a fun weekend to sit around in the office and delete spam!

Re:From a related link. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651072)

LMAO! Man I thought that was funny. I think I might get called on the carpet Tuesday though :)

fighting back (4, Interesting)

gclef (96311) | about 11 years ago | (#6650927)

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the only effective way to fight back is to spam the spammers. Not via email, but via their customer databases. Take the example of from this article: the spammers get paid for every lead they generate. But, if just 1% of the people who got the spam went to the site and *lied* about their identity, and their interest, the value of the list containing their info would go down so much as to make it worthless. Even if .1% of the people did this, it would dramatically reduce the value of such customer lists. That's the only way to stop spam, from what I can see: make it no longer economically viable.

Re:fighting back (1)

PurpleRabbit (673444) | about 11 years ago | (#6651179)

Problem with diluting the information pool, as you describe, is that the absolute total of good data remains constant: there remains money to be made on the genuine replies.

The article says that good data is worth $20 on a prospective $1000 profit on a mortgage lend. You'd have to add a lot of bad enquiries to make the process unprofitable. A 1% phony reply rate is barely going to hurt at all, unfortunately.

Re:fighting back (1)

gclef (96311) | about 11 years ago | (#6651212)

You're right, but I'm not hoping for a 1% phony rate...I'm aiming much higher.

Basically, I'm counting on the real reply rate for spam being very low to begin with, so any measureable response by an annoyed populace will almost by default be at or near the real response rate. From what I've read so far, the real response rate for spam is on the order of 0.05% or so. They make money from volume, obviously. So, if 1% of the people who recive the spam respond falsely, that's a 200:1 ratio of bad:good data. Clearly, that's not going to happen, but given that the real response rate for spam is very low to begin with, I don't think it will take that much active dilution by people like me to cause real headaches for the spammers.

Re:fighting back (1)

robogun (466062) | about 11 years ago | (#6651235)

True... but if the guy has to sort for eight hours thru false data, that $20 doesn't look so good any more.

Plus, the mortgage company is going to get pissed off at all the false data the spammer is passing along, and probably fire the spammer for trying to get paid for faked leads.

The key is to generate really good fake data (i.e. area code matches state, zip matches city, and the numbers add up). Scripts exist for that. Simply stuffing the form with random characters, after turning off javascript won't do the trick (unless you like to re-write the form removing MAXLENGTH arguments, and send ~1meg form responses).

1 percent phone reply rate would drown them (1)

GGardner (97375) | about 11 years ago | (#6651288)

If you could somehow get a 1 percent phone reply rate, the spammers would drown -- the current reply rates are something like 1 in 10,000. With a one percent bogus reply rate, there would be 100 bogus responses for every good one.

That could be effective, if the spamvertised product or service requires some human time or money to process. Mortgages, for example. If each mortage application that looks remotely serious takes 30 minutes of some human's time to process, a relatively low bogus reply rate could swamp them, and make it unprofitable.

If there is no time or money required to process the orders (for example, some medicinal product the spammer never intended to send anyway), then a high bogus return rate won't make a difference.

Re:fighting back (4, Informative)

rediguana (104664) | about 11 years ago | (#6651247)

Ah that will pale into insignificance when compared to the aging of the customer data already in the db. I did a Certificate in Direct Marketing (never used it in the end) 4-5 years ago, it was quite interesting. One of the points we were taught by our national DMA was that in a given year, approximately 25% of the customer records in a database will become outdated - I'm sure it is even higher in Internet time. The relevance to spammers is that they must continually be creating new databases to guard against obselete customer data.

Re:fighting back (1)

kramer2718 (598033) | about 11 years ago | (#6651264)

Great post. Actually that was the first thing that I thought of when I read the article.

We could go one step further, though. We could write a mail filter that would statistically classify spam and then reply to it using fake information. Everyone has three or four addresses on Yahoo!, right?

I'm not exactly the best programmer, but I imagine starting with the source to spam-assassin or similar would be the way to go.

This could be huge. Of course, to really make a dent, we'd have to write a filter for Outlook Express and AOL mail and then install them on relatives computers, but it could be done. Anyone interested?

Re:fighting back (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | about 11 years ago | (#6651265)

This is something I have been advocating for a while. Create a distributed app of some sort (think SETI@Home) which goes out and slowly fills these databases with real looking fake data. Its has to look real but be semi random, a couple of huge name lists which are used to randomly pick first, last, middle names etc. It would have to be updated occasionally to include new web locations for the forms, and to delete dead ones (possible have a central server which houses the lists). And expand the name lists. Sadly, I am not, and will never be a programmer, so I am not able to do this myself, but anybody else who is willing to put the time into it is free to use my idea, and I will download and sign up for immediatly.

Re:fighting back (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | about 11 years ago | (#6651301)

I had a similiar idea about the SCO problem. I was wondering if (the royal) we could all mail 1 letter a week to SCO.

The letters would be totally legit, requests for pricing information, comments on the situation, etc. It would be sort of a distributed DOS attack using the post office (I'm sure someone has done this before).

MSNBC Got lots of people canned (3, Interesting)

Cade144 (553696) | about 11 years ago | (#6650930)

According to the story, it seems like MSNBC was responsible for the termination of at least three business relations between "Legitimate" companies and spammers.
If only more news outlets traced their spam the same way, it could put a dent in the demand for spam.

Who am I kidding? Those spammers, er "lead generators" will go right back to work, selling to anyone who will buy, no questions asked. As long as businesses will pay for personal information, there will be plenty of weasels to sell it to them.

I would be willing to donate money (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | about 11 years ago | (#6651123)

I would put money into a cause that went after spammers that attack me in hopes of enforcing state laws and potentially winning a lawsuit against them.

I benifitted from spam! (5, Funny)

andy666 (666062) | about 11 years ago | (#6650949)

paying attention to the spam i got, i managed to get a great morgage on a house, marry a beautiful russian bride, and i pleasure her every night with my enlarged, viagra powered penis.

now, if only i could get some printer toner...

Re:I benifitted from spam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651137)

But have you made in any friends in Nigeria?

Re:I benifitted from spam! (1)

andy666 (666062) | about 11 years ago | (#6651173)

how did you know that ? you see the money from the house came from this amazing thing that happened to me!

i was contacted by this nigerian guy, who had 10 million dollars, but....well to make a long story short, i lent him a couple grand, and he split the 10 millon with me! What are there chances of that ? What a decent human being.

SPAM will end when... (3, Interesting)

ansak (80421) | about 11 years ago | (#6650965)

The really telling remarks came in the final paragraph:
"The only thing that's going to make spam go away is if people do not respond," he said. "When e-mail first started, you could send out 50,000 e-mails a day and make money. Now you have to invest a lot of money and time, you get a return rate of less than one-tenth of one percent. One day it will become so you can't send enough to make any money. And that's the only thing that will stop spam."
0.1% and it's still profitable... sheesh! Won't it be nice when it becomes 1 part in a trillion and the race comes of age in e-mail usage.

and it's always about the money...ank

Re:SPAM will end when... (1)

kevinatilusa (620125) | about 11 years ago | (#6651138)

It'll be harder and harder to get that to work though. I remember a story in the LA Times that said (don't necessarily trust me on the numbers) that one of the large spammers was still doing well at 10 responses per million. When we get down to numbers that small, it'll become harder and harder to convince each remaining person to stop responding, as we've reached the committed core who think spam really IS good for them.

Re:SPAM will end when... (1)

Mike Van Pelt (32582) | about 11 years ago | (#6651158)

Spam will go away when no one responds...

... Or, when everyone responds, with bogus contact information, so that the spammer or whoever hopes to make money off of spam must follow up on thousands or millions of false leads in order to find the one bite from a real pigeon.


Downside, a few people spamming on behalf of "legitmate" companies will reap a windfall when they get to sell a whole lot of leads. But that will dry up quick when the companies paying for these leads find that the leads are all bogus.

The obvious solution to that downside... (2, Funny)

kevinatilusa (620125) | about 11 years ago | (#6651181)

Start your own "spam" company as part of the slashdot program to end spam. Solicit e-mail addresses from willing slashdotters who provide the desired false leads. You get both the benefit of bogus leads and the windfall from all the extra false leads

Re:SPAM will end when... (1)

ansak (80421) | about 11 years ago | (#6651195)

So perhaps the thing to do is to have CAUCE and other such groups fight fire with fire. How many interns or welfare re-trainees do you think they could afford to pay to sit there generating bogus responses to spam?

ooohhhh. I feel a shell script coming on...

All this, and my pre-ordered Babylon-5 Season 3 just shipped! (small pleasures)...ank

See, I told y'all (5, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | about 11 years ago | (#6650984)

we do have computers in Alabama.

And electricity.

And indoor plumbing.

The way out is through? (5, Insightful)

rmarll (161697) | about 11 years ago | (#6650996)

Interesting, if what the article says about the 20 dollar fee is true. Perhaps we can end spam by answering it.

Facinating.

Re:The way out is through? (1)

Omega Hacker (6676) | about 11 years ago | (#6651136)

In selected cases, yes. Answering the loan spams would cause all the loan vendors to start looking a lot more closely at the lead rates they get, and probably start investigating why the rates suck for certain suppliers. That assumes of course that a given lead company is predominantly spam-generated or not.

ISP connections (2, Informative)

abhisarda (638576) | about 11 years ago | (#6651021)

"ISPS MAKE MONEY, TOO
An entirely separate set of companies also benefits from the spam economy -- Internet service providers who carry their traffic... In exchange, the ISP agrees to suffer more than normal complaint rates. In PSINet's contract, revealed on News.com, the firm received an upfront payment of $27,000 from Cajunnet, a marketing firm based in Slidell, La. In exchange, PSINet agreed to permit Cajunnet to send unsolicited email "in mass quantity" through PSINet's lines."

Maybe this might drum some sense into somethingawful.com's heads.

I made a comment 2 days earlier [slashdot.org] about this. If you do business with ISP's that work hand in glove with spammers, don't go around whining that SPEWS is the one to blame.

Re:ISP connections (1)

Agent R (684654) | about 11 years ago | (#6651227)

Gotta love their trolling on NANAE though. Piss off that many more admins that'll toss those bozos into their permanent blackhole list.

Get Your NERD POLITICS On! (0, Offtopic)

Shmew (693245) | about 11 years ago | (#6651041)

It's time to speak out! The political views of NERDS are usually very liberated. Start wearing your views! Speak Out!!!

Nerd Gear:
POLITINERD [cafeshops.com]

Mortage quota (1)

rf0 (159958) | about 11 years ago | (#6651056)

Read the article about mortgage rates. Guess what a popup advertised? Yup mortgage rates

Fantastic

Rus

SPEWS and SomethingAwful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651074)

In case you haven't already heard, you may be interested to hear the story about SPEWS needlessly blacklisting out SomethingAwful's IP space due to a spammer on the same ISP.

Rather than reiterate what they said, go to http://www.somethingawful.com/ [somethingawful.com] and read up.

In the end it's the Consumers fault. (5, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about 11 years ago | (#6651097)

The story ends with the conclusion that the existence of spam is the consumers fault. The assertion is that if spam didn't generate responses and, in turn, revenue, these business interests wouldn't bother causing it to be created, however indirectly.

That logic is hard to argue with, but I have an additional way to fault the consumer. Why does the consumer continue to tolerate the open sewer that is contemporary email? It's not just spam. Millions of these sheeple have been infected with viruses sent via email. Spam and viruses, and a seaming endless ability to tolerate large quantities of both...

One would think that after enough of this crap occurred, consumers would eventually consider dealing with it. RTFA to discover that you can't count on ISPs to deal with it. They value spammers and the extra money they're willing to pay. RTFA to discover that respectable companies participate via a web of indirection and plausible deniability. The only thing we have is the end user. If the end user isn't willing to deal with the problem, no one will.

If the end user was willing to deal with the problem, then it becomes a simple matter. All that would be needed is a requirement that senders provide a verifiable signature in all messages, and easy to use white lists to remember the 'ok' parties. If the end user were willing to a.) obtain a cert that allows them to sign and b.) tolerate the need to not blindly open mail that hadn't been placed on their white-list previously, spam would not exist.

The key here is the end user. Until they come around spam is inevitable.

Re:In the end it's the Consumers fault. (2, Insightful)

CycleMan (638982) | about 11 years ago | (#6651315)

When I can convince my grandmother to establish a challenge-response system on her AOL account, I'll consider blaming stubborn end-users.

Fortunately, she hasn't purchased any penis pumps or Russian brides yet. It can't just be the consumer solving this problem any more than we can ask every human to go certify organic farms or kosher sausage factories. It's a question of time, a question of costs to benefits, and with verifiable signatures, a question of creating a binding international law that would have most /.ers foaming over privacy concerns.

Awareness, education, and group pressure are the tricks we need here. Just as Upton Sinclair's book "The Jungle" caused Teddy Roosevelt to investigate the sausage factories, saying that "radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed," so we need powerful individuals and organizations to take committed stands on spam at the source. Otherwise our individual protection efforts will only divert the spam to the inbox of someone less savvy.

No spam no spam (4, Informative)

Brian Kendig (1959) | about 11 years ago | (#6651107)

I don't see what the problem is. I don't get spam any more.

Now, granted, I run my own mail server: Exim, attached to SpamAssassin via SA-Exim. And this combination is highly effective. I have it set up to be more aggressive than most people would want their spam filter to be; if an incoming message even *smells* like spam, my server refuses to accept it and instead gives a failure message with an alternate non-filtered address to use if the email wasn't actually spam. In a year of running it, it's rejected 100 spams per day on average, with only one known false positive in the entire year (it was someone forwarding a spam to me). And if a spam is sent to one of the addresses which I haven't used for years, then I perform the added courtesy of tarpitting the spammer.

But there are a lot of tactics that an ISP's mail server can use to cut down on a huge amount of spam without risking false positives. Check the mail against Razor and the other services which keep track of mass-mailings which have been reported as spam, for example. Refuse mail from a server which pipelines its SMTP commands then drops its connection without waiting for a response. Verify that the sending mail server's address actually can be resolved.

ISP's could go a long way towards making spam much less of an annoyance if they'd just use software to filter out the obvious spams. Hook the mail server up to SpamAssassin, set the threshold high enough to avoid false positives.

Re:No spam no spam (1)

realdpk (116490) | about 11 years ago | (#6651224)

I do not want my ISP deciding what is and what isn't spam for me. Others may be comfortable with that however. At most, ISPs could offer it as an option.

Microsoft & others want to spam too - legally (4, Interesting)

leoaugust (665240) | about 11 years ago | (#6651115)

as this was a a mortage related spam - aka respectable spam - as opposed to the unrespectable spam like "enlarge ..." spam, it is not too off track to show how the big corporations are lobbying for the ability to send spam directly rather than thru these layers ...

It is also very interesting that the big companies like Microsoft are paying lobbyists for laws that shall allow them to send spam, on the pretext that if only their spam is identified as spam it is no longer spam. I might give my email id to a Microsoft division, and then without my permission it is available to all the divisions of microsoft - even if I have no interest in all their products save one for which I gave my email - so isn't all the unrelated email they send me now spam ???

What the big companies want to do is to send spam themselves, but prevent others from sending it. All knowing that spam is dirt cheap tool for sales, but there is only so much spam a consumer can take before the backlash hurts all spammers ...

it is pure and simple application of game theory - when it becomes lucrative enough for the politicians, they will step into it too ...

The only real solution (1)

mabu (178417) | about 11 years ago | (#6651163)


People still don't get it....

No new spam laws are needed to stop spam.

99.9% of the spam on the Internet already is illegal and many cases criminal, involving the theft of computer resources and bandwidth, mail relay hijacking, forged headers, etc.

The problem is the Feds won't enforce the existing laws on the books. Unless there is X amount of damage involved to a specific politically-connected corporation, they turn the other cheek.

People need to ask their local District Attorney to start prosecuting these cases. A friend of mine had a spammer break into his computer and he filed a report with the FBI. They identified exactly who the spammer was and had all the logs and everything, and the DA refused to prosecute or pursue the case. This is the problem! Law enforcement authorities aren't enforcing the laws!!

Re:The only real solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651236)

Well, yeah. Law enforcement is only for the rich. Welcome to America!

Fight spam by replying to it? (5, Interesting)

owlmon (696565) | about 11 years ago | (#6651168)

The article describes how "affiliates" get paid for supplying information gleaned from people who respond to spam e-mails.

This suggests that the economics of spamming could be disrupted rather easily if large numbers of folks would helpfully supply the information that the spammers seek.

Think about it. What would happen if every time a slashdotter got a spam, he responded with all the personal information (randomized, of course) that the spammer requested? The article used the example of a web form that the spamee was invited to fill in with his mortgage information.

A perl script could generate a lot of fills to the web form in a short period of time.

In the short term, affiliates would make extra money by selling truckloads of (phony) personal information. But within a few monthes, the large companies that pay for that information would wise up. That's when the spam economy would start to suffer.

This strategy is only interesting to those of us that have good spam filters in place. I'm getting very good results with bogofilter now. I believe that I could "survive" the major spam wave that would result if I employed this strategy. But this strategy would be a lot more effective if I had some company.

Suprise... err ... no (2, Insightful)

BelugaParty (684507) | about 11 years ago | (#6651210)

In advertising there are divisions much like the white red black hats of hackers. Often times a company will submit a block of money to an advertising group, which will then employ dozens of different strategies. Often times, these techniques are not follow known or endorsed by the sponsoring company.
Take for instance when IBM launched a "edgy" campaign where peace signs were spray painted on the sidewalks of SanFran. Or some TV show that quietly advertised by sending a non-existant football team to various locations claiming to have one state finals, when in actuallity, it was a ploy to get name recognition.
Spam is simply a new form of information dissemination. It is not Microsoft or any other giant who is actively pushing this, but marketing and advertising firms who are supported by them. So you have to make a distinction because the big advertisers are linked to just about every big company.
Anyway...
Dream on.

Spam solution (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6651263)

In NY, it is illegal to post posters on private property without the owner's permission. This includes the movie posters on construction site wood 4x8 panels protecting the site, and on city owned telephone poles.

The problem NYC used to have is that they rarely caught someone in the act of posting the poster.

So they changed the law.

What NYC did, was make the company in the advertisement responsible for the fines for illegal posting.

Simple.

Effective.

So why can't we do the same for spam? While the real reason we have spam is that the big spammers, like aol, ms, time warner, and others are fiercly protecting their right to "email market" their companies, so they are deeply funding lobbyists to protect spam. So since you can't outlaw spam for one legit company, while allowing it for another (selling "viagra" isn't illegal for pharmacies), so we have an exploding spam problem, and legislators that don't give a shit, but "lament" about the problem in public, but resigning themselves that they can't do anything about it.

And that do not spam list is a sick joke. As one spammer actually testified in Washington, he would view that list as a "target rich environment". Which part of this don't the stupid legislators understand? Look, voters, I did something about spam. Yeah, I know you are getting even more now, but at least I did something. And I feel your pain.

What needs to be done: Make the companies mentioned in the spam responsible for stiff, per spam, fines.

Since we can't block all spam thanks to the deep pockets of ms, aol, tw and others, we can do it this way:

Make the companies and individuals advertising via spam (not the sender, the company benefitting from the actual spam) liable for $50 per spam x2, $500 per spam x2, collectible by both isp providers, and by the recipients. You can set a maximum fine, but make the fine high, and per day, not total. Then make the maximum as two seperate maximums, one for the isps, and one for the recipients, so the isps don't bankrupt the company by taking all the money.

Who gets fined? Any company/individual in the spam that relies on a spam mailer that uses a forged header, that uses an open relay, that uses a fake return email address, that uses a mail server that doesn't reverse resolve, that uses robots to harvest email addresses off the internet or usenet, that fails to immediately remove someone who opts out.

Make the company/individual in the spam the responsible party for the email list. If that company shares any opt out email recipient with another company (or the spam mailer, as the company's authorized agent), or another division, or for another product, after that recipient has requested removal, make it another violation, then double the penalties on any additional penalties that the spammer is charged with.

Fixing spam is easy. Nail the company/individual that benefits from the spam, regardless of who sends it. And forget about hiding. Any company has to be registered. Even those that wish to remain private, the government can find out the info. And individuals can be tracked down even easier.

Make the violations criminal as well as fines.

Then add the laws to treaties with every other nation.

At a minimum, this will drive out of business the spammers in south florida. And elsewhere in the US and other trading partners.

There's no excuse for spam. Something can be done. Saying nothing can be done, and you are part of the problem, not the solution.

one name like C...!

Only way to stop spam (1)

Robawesome (660673) | about 11 years ago | (#6651309)

I think the only way to stop spam is to ban selling of email address lists. For any purpose. Except, of course for the protected solicitaions; charities, non-profits, etc. Spam on the client side is nearly impossible and a losing proposition to stop. If the selling of addresses is illegal, then companies cannot spam you. Of course this has some slight problems, like email scrapers, but that could come under simpler laws.



Die, SCO, DIE!
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