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Is the CAN-SPAM Act Working?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the i-highly-doubt-it dept.

Spam 280

DynaSoar writes "Lance Ulanoff of PCMag.com offer his opinion on the success, or lack thereof, of the CAN-SPAM Act. It doesn't appear to be working, though spammers have noticed, in that they try to make their spam look "legit". What might make a real difference, according to US Senator Conrad Burns, co-author of the bill, is international standards and enforcement."

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280 comments

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Join the GNAA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331924)

GNAA (sung to the tune to Y.M.C.A. by the Village People)

Black man, there's no need to feel bad.
I said, black man, c'mon don't be so drab.
Don't let those bloggers ruin your day.
There are still pla-ces to be gay.

Black man, there's this place you should see.
I said, black man, fire up IRC.
There's this channel, that I'm sure you will like.
Every-thing is gonna be all-right.

It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!
It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!

You can go as you please,
Feel your hair in the breeze,
Crapflood Live Journal with ease!

It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!
It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!

You can write a good troll,
For the next Slashdot poll,
You can jerk off to goatse's hole!

Black man, why be here all alone?
I said, black man, you can get yourself boned.
I said, black man, you can get on teh spoke,
With thou-sands of gay nigger blokes.

Black man, are you down with this funk?
I said, black man, why you touching your junk?
Just go there, go to #gnaa
And apply for membership today!

It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!
It's fun to hang with the G-N-A-A!

You can go as you please,
Feel your hair in the breeze,
Crapflood Live Journal with ease!

G-N-A-A ... you'll find it at the G-N-A-A.

Black man, there's no need to feel bad.
I said, black man, c'mon don't be so drab.

G-N-A-A ... you'll find it at the G-N-A-A.
Black man, are you down with this funk? I said, black man, why you touching your junk?

Re:Join the GNAA! (-1, Troll)

homeobocks (744469) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332316)

Unfortunitly, the CAN-SPAM act doesn't apply to slashdot.

spam (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331928)

why all the complaints about spam? i think it tastes great! -my kung-fu is good

fp? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331932)

fpfphooray

No. (3, Funny)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331935)

I get as much SPAM as ever, and it's not even fried with cheese between two pieces of bread.

Faster than ever (4, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332062)

I recently signed up for an AOL 'free trial.' It took about five minutes before spam started showing up in the mailbox. I was amazed.

(BTW, if you're on a Mac, don't bother--the Mac software for AOL doesn't appear to have been upgraded for a couple years--commercials be damned.)

AOL for Mac OS X upgraded (was Re:Faster than ever (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332364)

but you're right, AOL for Mac OS 9 or less, is still at v5.

So, update your Mac, then try out AOL for Mac OS X --- it's Carbon, not Cocoa, so no Services &c. but is serviceable enough --- I'm even able to use it to get a 'net connection on my wife's PowerBook for it to share over its AirPort card so that I can do the wireless web surfing thing on my pen slate.

And to get back on topic, AOL for Mac OS X offers the same ``Report Spam'' button on the incoming mail dialog list as the Windows version does. Sure wish the mail controls offered subject-based filtering though....

William

Re:Faster than ever (3, Funny)

lcde (575627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332416)

what shocked me is when my mother logged on to AOL, she started getting popup windows (not IM's) that were for sexy webcams and such.

Getting more SPAM (0)

GuyinVA (707456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332168)

Our office probably gets more SPAM than ever. Just wish those SPAMers stop sending it to old user e-mails...
Hmm, maybe if I send the SPAMers an e-mail to take off the old addresses, that may work...


It's easier to say what you want, when you realize that your opinion is Flamebait to someone without a sense of humor.

Re:No. (1)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332419)

and that damn all caps NIGERIAN MONEY SCAM spam is still around!!! I get about 2 of those a month!

Re:No. (0)

GuyinVA (707456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332449)

You should have replied to those. I did, and I made a killing. %25 of some dudes assets. And all I had to do was give 'em your bank account number...

That sounds like a classy meal for a classy man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332461)

[touchedmyjunk.com]
Maybe you'd be interested in a free Rolex Replica?

can I... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331937)

Yes, I can First Post!!!

Oh, the irony. (1)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332251)

Actually, no... you can't. Spammer. (Oh, the irony.) ...

(Double irony, even, since you can't first post on your self-proclamation of your ability to first post in response to an anti-spam article.)

No (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331938)

No, politicians are too corrupt.

Early Post

YAY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331940)

I stretched CowBoyNeal's anus to the diameter of Mr. Goatse.

XBox rules!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331946)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

Join the fun!!! [slashdot.org]

Do you know gamespy.slashdot.org??? [slashdot.org]

I'd say so (-1, Offtopic)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331948)

It's much tougher to get spam out of a bottle than a can.

War on Poverty, War on Drugs (5, Interesting)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331950)

It seems to be working about as well as the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs.

The only thing I have noticed is that spam to my junk Hotmail accounts has dropped to almost nothing. I think this is due to a change in MSN's filtering, and has nothing to do with the legislation.

Re:War on Poverty, War on Drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332066)

> It seems to be working about as well as the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs.

But it IS working much better than the War on Terror!

Re:War on Poverty, War on Drugs (4, Interesting)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332133)

You forgot the War on Terrorism and the War on Steriods.

I've noticed a decline in spam in my Hotmail account as well. Hotmail still gives me false positives. In contrast using Yahoo! mail, I've recieved legitimate emails from real people that I know but haven't added to any address list. These emails have always been marked as legit. I recently have gone so far as to not check my bulk mail for false positives. I've also received one false negative. Right now, I think Yahoo! has an edge over Hotmail.

Re:War on Poverty, War on Drugs (1)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332145)

Hotmail's new filters have also deleted several legitimate messages sent to my account. I sent them an email detailing the problem, but they probably deleted that one too.

Re:War on Poverty, War on Drugs (3, Informative)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332172)

and I've recently noticed that all email from my domains is blocked by Hotmail. I guess thats one way to stop the spam -- just block everything.

Re:War on Poverty, War on Drugs (-1, Offtopic)

SonCorn (301537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332275)

Off main topic but on topic with what this poster is claiming.

A little perspective [heritage.org] for you on poverty in the United States.

Understanding Poverty in America
by Robert E. Rector and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Backgrounder #1713

January 5, 2004 | Executive Summary | |

Poverty is an important and emotional issue. Last year, the Census Bureau released its annual report on poverty in the United States declaring that there were nearly 35 million poor persons living in this country in 2002, a small increase from the preceding year. To understand poverty in America, it is important to look behind these numbers--to look at the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor.

For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. But only a small number of the 35 million persons classified as "poor" by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity. Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago. Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest-income one-fifth (or quintile) of households equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.1

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.

Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.

Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier that the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

While the poor are generally well-nourished, some poor families do experience hunger, meaning a temporary discomfort due to food shortages. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 13 percent of poor families and 2.6 percent of poor children experience hunger at some point during the year. In most cases, their hunger is short-term. Eighty-nine percent of the poor report their families have "enough" food to eat, while only 2 percent say they "often" do not have enough to eat.

Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

Of course, the living conditions of the average poor American should not be taken as representing all the poor. There is actually a wide range in living conditions among the poor. For example, over a quarter of poor households have cell phones and telephone answering machines, but, at the other extreme, approximately one-tenth have no phone at all. While the majority of poor households do not experience significant material problems, roughly a third do experience at least one problem such as overcrowding, temporary hunger, or difficulty getting medical care.

The best news is that remaining poverty can readily be reduced further, particularly among children. There are two main reasons that American children are poor: Their parents don't work much, and fathers are absent from the home.

In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year--the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week throughout the year--nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty.

Father absence is another major cause of child poverty. Nearly two-thirds of poor children reside in single-parent homes; each year, an additional 1.3 million children are born out of wedlock. If poor mothers married the fathers of their children, almost three-quarters would immediately be lifted out of poverty.

While work and marriage are steady ladders out of poverty, the welfare system perversely remains hostile to both. Major programs such as food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid continue to reward idleness and penalize marriage. If welfare could be turned around to encourage work and marriage, remaining poverty would drop quickly.

What Is Poverty?
For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. For example, the "Poverty Pulse" poll taken by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in 2002 asked the general public the question: "How would you describe being poor in the U.S.?" The overwhelming majority of responses focused on homelessness, hunger or not being able to eat properly, and not being able to meet basic needs.2

But if poverty means lacking nutritious food, adequate warm housing, and clothing for a family, relatively few of the 35 million people identified as being "in poverty" by the Census Bureau could be characterized as poor.3 While material hardship does exist in the United States, it is quite restricted in scope and severity. The average "poor" person, as defined by the government, has a living standard far higher than the public imagines.

Ownership of Property and Amenities Among the Poor
Table 1 shows the ownership of property and consumer durables among poor households. The data are taken from the American Housing Survey for 2001, conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau, and the Residential Energy Consumption Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy.4

As the table shows, some 46 percent of poor households own their own home. The typical home owned by the poor is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths. It has a garage or carport and a porch or patio and is located on a half-acre lot. The house was constructed in 1967 and is in good repair. The median value of homes owned by poor households was $86,600 in 2001 or 70 percent of the median value of all homes owned in the United States.5

Some 73 percent of poor households own a car or truck; nearly a third own two or more cars or trucks. Over three-quarters have air conditioning; by contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the general U.S. population had air conditioning. Nearly three-quarters of poor households own microwaves; a third have automatic dishwashers.

Poor households are well-equipped with modern entertainment technology. It should come as no surprise that nearly all (97 percent) poor households have color TVs, but more than half actually own two or more color televisions. One-quarter own large-screen televisions, 78 percent have a VCR or DVD player, and almost two-thirds have cable or satellite TV reception. Some 58 percent own a stereo. More than a third have telephone answering machines, while a quarter have personal computers. While these numbers do not suggest lives of luxury, they are notably different from conventional images of poverty.

Housing Conditions
A similar disparity between popular conceptions and reality applies to the housing conditions of the poor. Most poor Americans live in houses or apartments that are relatively spacious and in good repair. As Chart 1 shows, 54 percent of poor households live in single-family homes, either unattached single dwellings or attached units such as townhouses. Another 36.4 percent live in apartments, and 9.6 percent live in mobile homes.6

Housing Space
Both the overall U.S. population and the poor in America live, in general, in very spacious housing. As Table 2 shows, 70 percent of all U.S. households have two or more rooms per tenant. Among the poor, this figure is 68 percent.

Crowding is quite rare; only 2.5 percent of all households and 5.7 percent of poor households are crowded with more than one person per room.7 By contrast, social reformer Jacob Riis, writing on tenement living conditions around 1890 in New York City, described crowded families living with four or five persons per room and some 20 square feet of living space per person.8

Housing space can also be measured by the number of square feet per person. The Residential Energy Consumption survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy shows that Americans have an average of 721 square feet of living space per person. Poor Americans have 439 square feet.9 Reasonably comparable international square-footage data are provided by the Housing Indicator Program of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, which surveyed housing conditions in major cities in 54 different nations. This survey showed the United States to have by far the most spacious housing units, with 50 percent to 100 percent more square footage per capita than city dwellers in other industrialized nations.10

America's poor compare favorably with the general population of other nations in square footage of living space. The average poor American has more square footage of living space than does the average person living in London, Paris, Vienna, and Munich. Poor Americans have nearly three times the living space of average urban citizens in middle-income countries such as Mexico and Turkey. Poor American households have seven times more housing space per person than the general urban population of very-low-income countries such as India and China. (See Appendix Table A for more detailed information.)

Some critics have argued that the comparisons in Table 3 are misleading.11 These critics claim that U.S. housing in general cannot be compared to housing in specific European cities such as Paris or London because housing in these cities is unusually small and does not represent the European housing stock overall. To assess the validity of this argument, Table 4 presents national housing data for 15 West European countries. These data represent the entire national housing stock in each of the 15 countries. In general, the national data on housing size are similar to the data on specific European cities presented in Table 3 and Appendix Table A.

As Table 4 shows, U.S. housing (with an average size of 1,875 square feet per unit) is nearly twice as large as European housing (with an average size of 976 square feet per unit.) After adjusting for the number of persons in each dwelling unit, Americans have an average of 721 square feet per person, compared to 396 square feet for the average European.

The housing of poor Americans (with an average of 1,228 square feet per unit) is smaller than that of the average American but larger than that of the average European (who has 976 square feet per unit). Overall, poor Americans have an average of 439 square feet of living space per person, which is as much as or more than the average citizen in most West European countries. (This comparison is to the average European, not poor Europeans.)

Housing Quality
Of course, it might be possible that the housing of poor American households could be spacious but still dilapidated or unsafe. However, data from the American Housing Survey indicate that such is not the case. For example, the survey provides a tally of households with "severe physical problems." Only a tiny portion of poor households and an even smaller portion of total households fall into that category.

The most common "severe problem," according to the American Housing Survey, is a shared bathroom, which occurs when occupants lack a bathroom and must share bathroom facilities with individuals in a neighboring unit. This condition affects about 1 percent of all U.S. households and 2 percent of all poor households. About one-half of 1 percent (0.5 percent) of all households and 2 percent of poor households have other "severe physical problems." The most common are repeated heating breakdowns and upkeep problems.

The American Housing Survey also provides a count of households affected by "moderate physical problems." A wider range of households falls into this category--9 percent of the poor and nearly 5 percent of total households. However, the problems affecting these units are clearly modest. While living in such units might be disagreeable by modern middle-class standards, they are a far cry from Dickensian squalor. The most common problems are upkeep, lack of a full kitchen, and use of unvented oil, kerosene or gas heaters as the primary heat source. (The last condition occurs almost exclusively in the South.)

Hunger and Malnutrition in America
There are frequent charges of widespread hunger and malnutrition in the United States.12 To understand these assertions, it is important, first of all, to distinguish between hunger and the more severe problem of malnutrition. Malnutrition (also called undernutrition) is a condition of reduced health due to a chronic shortage of calories and nutriments. There is little or no evidence of poverty-induced malnutrition in the United States.

Hunger is a far less severe condition: a temporary but real discomfort caused by an empty stomach. The government defines hunger as "the uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food."13 While hunger due to a lack of financial re-sources does occur in the United States, it is limited in scope and duration. According to the USDA, on a typical day, fewer than one American in 200 will experience hunger due to a lack of money to buy food.14 The hunger rate rises somewhat when examined over a longer time period; according to the USDA, some 6.9 million Americans, or 2.4 percent of the population, were hungry at least once during 2002.15 Nearly all hunger in the United States is short-term and episodic rather than continuous.16

Some 92 percent of those who experienced hunger in 2002 were adults, and only 8 percent were children. Overall, some 567,000 children, or 0.8 percent of all children, were hungry at some point in 2002. In a typical month, roughly one child in 400 skipped one or more meals because the family lacked funds to buy food.

Not only is hunger relatively rare among U.S. children, but it has declined sharply since the mid-1990s. As Chart 2 shows, the number of hungry children was cut by a third between 1995 and 2002. According to the USDA, in 1995, there were 887,000 hungry children: by 2002, the number had fallen to 567,000.17

Overall, some 97 percent of the U.S. population lived in families that reported they had "enough food to eat" during the entire year, although not always the kinds of foods they would have preferred. Around 2.5 percent stated their families "sometimes" did not have "enough to eat" due to money shortages, and one-half of 1 percent (0.5 percent) said they "often" did not have enough to eat due to a lack of funds. (See Chart 3.)

Hunger and Poverty
Among the poor, the hunger rate was obviously higher: During 2002, 12.8 percent of the poor lived in households in which at least one member experienced hunger at some point.18 Among poor children, 2.4 percent experienced hunger at some point in the year.19 Overall, most poor households were not hungry and did not experience food shortages during the year.

When asked, some 89 percent of poor households reported they had "enough food to eat" during the entire year, although not always the kinds of food they would prefer. Around 9 percent stated they "sometimes" did not have enough to eat because of a lack of money to buy food. Another 2 percent of the poor stated that they "often" did not have enough to eat due to a lack of funds.20 (See Chart 3.)

Poverty and Malnutrition
It is widely believed that a lack of financial resources forces poor people to eat low-quality diets that are deficient in nutriments and high in fat. However, survey data show that nutriment density (amount of vitamins, minerals, and protein per kilocalorie of food) does not vary by income class.21 Nor do the poor consume higher-fat diets than do the middle class; the percentage of persons with high fat intake (as a share of total calories) is virtually the same for low-income and upper-middle-income persons.22 Overconsumption of calories in general, however, is a major problem among the poor, as it is within the general U.S. population.

Examination of the average nutriment consumption of Americans reveals that age and gender play a far greater role than income class in determining nutritional intake. For example, the nutriment intakes of adult women in the upper middle class (with incomes above 350 percent of the poverty level) more closely resemble the intakes of poor women than they do those of upper-middle-class men, children, or teens.23 The average nutriment consumption of upper-middle-income preschoolers, as a group, is virtually identical with that of poor preschoolers but not with the consumption of adults or older children in the upper middle class.

This same pattern holds for adult males, teens, and most other age and gender groups. In general, children aged 0-11 years have the highest average level of nutriment intakes relative to the recommended daily allowance (RDA), followed by adult and teen males. Adult and teen females have the lowest level of intakes. This pattern holds for all income classes.

Nutrition and Poor Children
Government surveys provide little evidence of widespread undernutrition among poor children; in fact, they show that the average nutriment consumption among the poor closely resembles that of the upper middle class. For example, children in families with incomes below the poverty level actually consume more meat than do children in families with incomes at 350 percent of the poverty level or higher (roughly $65,000 for a family of four in today's dollars).

Table 5 shows the average intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals as a percentage of the recommended daily allowance among poor and middle-class children at various age levels.24 The intake of nutriments is very similar for poor and middle-class children and is generally well above the recommended daily level. For example, the consumption of protein (a relatively expensive nutriment) among poor children is, on average, between 150 percent and 267 percent of the RDA.

When shortfalls of specific vitamins and minerals appear (for example, among teenage girls), they tend to be very similar for the poor and the middle class. While poor teenage girls, on average, tend to underconsume vitamin E, vitamin B-6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc, a virtually identical underconsumption of these same nutriments appears among upper- middle-class girls.

Poor Children's Weight and Stature
On average, poor children are very well-nourished, and there is no evidence of widespread significant undernutrition. For example, two indicators of undernutrition among the young are "thinness" (low weight for height) and stuntedness (low height for age). These problems are rare to nonexistent among poor American children.

The generally good health of poor American children can be illustrated by international comparisons. Table 6 provides data on children's size based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Data Base on Child Growth: Children are judged to be short or "stunted" if their height falls below the 2.3 percentile level of standard height-to-age tables.25 Table 6 shows the percentage of children under age five in developing nations who are judged to be "stunted" by this standard.

In developing nations as a whole, some 43 percent of children are stunted. In Africa, more than a third of young children are affected; in Asia, near-ly half.26 By contrast, in the United States, some 2.6 percent of young children in poor households are stunted by a comparable standard--a rate only slightly above the expected standard for healthy, well-nourished children.27 While concern for the well-being of poor American children is always prudent, the data overall underscore how large and well-nourished poor American children are by global standards.

Throughout this century, improvements in nutrition and health have led to increases in the rate of growth and ultimate height and weight of American children. Poor children have clearly benefited from this trend. Poor boys today at ages 18 and 19 are actually taller and heavier than boys of similar age in the general U.S. population in the late 1950s. Poor boys living today are one inch taller and some 10 pounds heavier than GIs of similar age during World War II, and nearly two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than American doughboys back in World War I.28

Poverty and Obesity
The principal nutrition-related health problem among the poor, as with the general U.S. population, stems from the overconsumption, not underconsumption, of food. While overweight and obesity are prevalent problems throughout the U.S. population, they are found most frequently among poor adults. Poor adult men are slightly less likely than non-poor men to be overweight (30.4 percent compared to 31.9 percent); but, as Chart 4 shows, poor adult women are significantly more likely to be overweight than are non-poor women (47.3 percent compared to 32 percent).29

Living Conditions and Hardships Among the Poor
Overall, the living standards of most poor Americans are far higher than is generally appreciated. The overwhelming majority of poor families are well-housed, have adequate food, and enjoy a wide range of modern amenities, including air conditioning and cable television. Some 70 percent of poor households report that during the course of the past year they were able to meet "all essential expenses," including mortgage, rent, utility bills, and important medical care.30 (See Chart 5.)

However, two caveats should be applied to this generally optimistic picture. First, many poor families have difficulty paying their regular bills and must scramble to make ends meet. For example, around one-quarter of poor families are late in paying the rent or utility bills at some point during the year.

Second, the living conditions of the average poor household should not be taken to represent all poor households. There is a wide range of living conditions among the poor; while more than a quarter of the poor have cell phones and answering machines, a tenth of the poor have no telephone at all. While most of America's poor live in accommodations with two or more rooms per person, roughly a tenth of the poor are crowded, with less than one room per person.

These points are illustrated in Table 7, which lists the financial and material hardships among poor households in 1998.31 During at least one month in the preceding year, some 20 percent of poor households reported they were unable to pay their fuel, gas, or electric bills promptly; around 4 percent had their utilities cut off at some point due to nonpayment. Another 13 percent of poor households failed, at some point in the year, to make their full monthly rent or mortgage payments, and 1 percent were evicted due to failure to pay rent. One in 10 poor families had their phones disconnected due to nonpayment at some time during the preceding year.

Overall, more than one-quarter of poor families experienced at least one financial difficulty during the year. Most had a late payment of rent or utility bills. Some 12 percent had phones or utilities cut off or were evicted.

Poor households also experienced the material problems listed on Table 7.32 Some 14 percent lacked medical insurance and had a family member who needed to go to a doctor or hospital but did not go; 11 percent experienced hunger in the household; and around 9 percent were overcrowded, with more than one person per room. Slightly less than 4 percent of poor households experienced upkeep problems with the physical conditions of their apartments or homes, having three or more of the physical problems listed in Table 7.

Overall Hardship
Altogether, around 58 percent of poor households experienced none of the financial or physical hardships listed in Table 7 These families were able to pay all their bills on time. They were able to obtain medical care if needed, were not hungry or crowded, and had few upkeep problems in the home. Another 20 percent of poor households experienced one financial or material problem during the year. Around 10 percent of poor households had two financial or material problems, while 12 percent had three or more.

The most common problem facing poor households was late payment of rent or utilities. While having difficulty paying monthly bills is stressful, in most cases late payment did not result in material hardship or deprivation. If late payment problems are excluded from the count, we find that two-thirds of poor households had none of the remaining problems listed in Table 7. Some 22 percent had one problem, and 12 percent had two or more problems.

While it is appropriate to be concerned about the difficulties faced by some poor families, it is important to keep these problems in perspective. Many poor families have intermittent difficulty paying rent or utility bills but remain very well-housed by historic or international standards. Even poor families who are overcrowded and hungry, by U.S. standards, are still likely to have living conditions that are far above the world average.

Reducing Child Poverty
The generally high living standards of poor Americans are good news. Even better is the fact that our nation can readily reduce remaining poverty, especially among children. To accomplish this, we must focus on the main causes of child poverty: low levels of parental work and high levels of single parenthood.

In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year--the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week through the year--nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty.33

The decline in marriage is the second major cause of child poverty. Nearly two-thirds of poor children reside in single-parent homes; each year, an additional 1.3 million children are born out of wedlock. Increasing marriage would substantially reduce child poverty: If poor mothers married the fathers of their children, almost three-quarters would immediately be lifted out of poverty.34

In recent years, the United States has established a reasonable record in reducing child poverty. Successful anti-poverty policies were partially implemented in the welfare reform legislation of 1996, which replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a new program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

A key element of this reform was a requirement that some welfare mothers either prepare for work or get jobs as a condition of receiving aid. As this requirement went into effect, welfare rolls plummeted and employment of single mothers increased in an unprecedented manner. As employment of single mothers rose, child poverty dropped rapidly. For example, in the quarter-century before welfare reform, there was no net change in the poverty rate of children in single-mother families; after reform was enacted, the poverty rate dropped in an unprecedented fashion, falling from 53.1 percent in 1995 to 39.8 percent in 2001.35

In general, however, welfare reform has been limited in both scope and intensity. Even in the TANF program, over half the adult beneficiaries are idle on the rolls and are not engaged in activities leading to self-sufficiency. Work requirements are virtually nonexistent in related programs such as food stamps and public housing. Even worse, despite the fact that marriage has enormous financial and psychological benefits for parents and children, welfare reform has done little or nothing to strengthen marriage in low-income communities. Overall, the welfare system continues to encourage idle dependence rather than work and to reward single parenthood while penalizing marriage.

If child poverty is to be substantially reduced, welfare must be transformed. Able-bodied parents must be required to work or prepare for work, and the welfare system should encourage rather than penalize marriage.

Conclusion
The living conditions of persons defined as poor by the government bear little resemblance to notions of "poverty" held by the general public. If poverty is defined as lacking adequate nutritious food for one's family, a reasonably warm and dry apartment to live in, or a car with which to get to work when one is needed, then there are relatively few poor persons remaining in the United States. Real material hardship does occur, but it is limited in scope and severity.

The typical American defined as "poor" by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

But the living conditions of the average poor person should not be taken to mean that all poor Americans live without hardship. There is a wide range of living conditions among the poor. Roughly a third of poor households do face material hardships such as overcrowding, intermittent food shortages, or difficulty obtaining medical care. However, even these households would be judged to have high living standards in comparison to most other people in the world.

Perhaps the best news is that the United States can readily reduce its remaining poverty, especially among children. The main causes of child poverty in the United States are low levels of parental work and high numbers of single-parent families. By increasing work and marriage, our nation can virtually eliminate remaining child poverty.

Robert E. Rector is Senior Research Fellow in Domestic Policy Studies and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., is Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellow in Statistical Welfare Research in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation.

20 things I hate about you (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332422)

As with the WOD (war on drugs) it's what's called pork barrel spending during prime time (around election time). Pork barrel being many will try to cash in either financially or politically one way or the other. The act although it sounds good on paper or coming from the mouth of some guy in a nice suit with the subliminally place red tie to convey trust. But taking a step back to look at it, and anyone can answer the question for themselves... Can the US dictate what should be law in another country such as Brazil, or China?

Aside from trying to set law in another country, to dare ask if the United States can 'force' (because that's the only means they can use to accomplish the act) countries to comply, if US politrixters think some war torn poor country is going to focus on cracking down on people who are actually making money for their country via taxes, or whatever the case, those politrixters must be on the Rush Limbaugh oxycodone bandwagon.

As for filtering, companies try and try, and the more they try, the more spammers adapt and find other means to send messages. Section 1(a)(b(d)c)) of subsection 2(4)a(v(z)) states no one can send text messages unsolicitied. Know what? The spammers will send jpegs and so on and so on. Nothing more than playing the psyche of the people for votes. Spam has been an issue for a while now, so why is it come crunch time, they're rushing to pass laws.

I, for one (4, Insightful)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331955)

am getting more spam than ever before. Since the spammers are operating out of foreign bases, I fail to see how the Act will do anything.

well duh! (4, Insightful)

seriv (698799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331956)

It is hard to shut down a worldwide, decenteralized group of people in a single country! It is a good thought, but it is not practical.

Re:well duh! (5, Interesting)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332140)

In actuality, a lot of spammers are located within the US. They only use remote facilities to mask their identities and cover up what they are doing. No, 'international enforcement' would not likely even have much of an effect either.

I wonder if they called him (-1, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331959)

Cunt-Rod Burns in high school?

I would have.

Re:I wonder if they called him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332216)

Yes, we did.

How can it? (0, Redundant)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331966)

It was written to ensure that we CAN be spammed into senslessness. Mine has doubled since the bill took effect.

Re:How can it? (1)

red floyd (220712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332433)

Damn skippy. It's working. It means that the spammers CAN-SPAM us into oblivion! What do they mean it isn't working?

Ill tell ya what will work. (0, Redundant)

Peden (753161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331967)

The heads of all caught spammers on a sticks in the town square!

Re:Ill tell ya what will work. (0, Flamebait)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332184)

I was thinking of something similar, but it involves gang raping them first.

Usable snailmail addresses? (5, Interesting)

Igloodude (710950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331973)

My Bayesian filters are starting to pick up on the snailmail addresses the compliant spams contain...
So maybe there was one minor positive point to the law after all. Unless they're simply fraudulent, it's a lot tougher to change a snailmail address than an email or URL address.

hmmm (3, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331974)

What might make a real difference, according to US Senator Conrad Burns, co-author of the bill, is international standards and enforcement.

Bring back public floggings or at least the stocks for offenders for god sakes.

Re:hmmm (2, Funny)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332041)

It's been a while since we've had public hangings in the Western World, and I can't think of a better way to bring them back.

Or maybe we could put them in an arena with some lions...

Re:hmmm (2, Insightful)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332169)

come on, spam isn't THAT bad. Yes, its annoying, yes it takes time away from real things, but is it really so bad that you'd actually want to flog someone publicly?

I get thousands of spam messages per day and I don't consider it anything more than a very slight annoyance.

there are a lot of things that should recieve legislative attention long before spam recieves it. think about that next time you complain that your favorite cause isn't getting enough attention.

Re:hmmm (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332450)

come on, spam isn't THAT bad. Yes, its annoying, yes it takes time away from real things, but is it really so bad that you'd actually want to flog someone publicly?

Spammers steal billions of dollars per year.

Flogging is too good for them.

It doesn't work, but... (5, Funny)

StuWho (748218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331976)

You can buy your solution here for only $29.99.

Free viagra with every order

Or better yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331977)

Geek Vigilante-justice with cluebats and larts.

More wasted bandwidth (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331980)

Now I start receiving spams that come with a nice big attached image which tells me that particular email is complied with the Can-Spam ACT.

Re:More wasted bandwidth (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332042)

Now I start receiving spams that come with a nice big attached image

At least you have something to train your filters to recognize...

Can we start public exections of spammers now? Pretty please?

Re:More wasted bandwidth (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332229)

Heh, you might be surprised how much a filter for <img> will help cut down your spam.

What will work... (4, Interesting)

Audent (35893) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331982)

is producing legislation that takes the power away from the spammer and puts it in the hands of either the end user or their ISP so we can filter the crap out.
If it's legit email then they can discuss it. If it's not we should be able to block it. I'm sick of paying for this rubbish.

this SPAM thing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8331986)

what's it all about? is it good or is it whack?

Another... (2, Insightful)

good(k)night (754537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331989)

Yet Another message about Spam... I don't like spam. I don't even like to read about it...

Well... (5, Funny)

enderanjin (753760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8331998)

It's working in the meaning of the word that means "not doing anything."

Re: Your post regarding what we talked about (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332011)

Hi <?$name/>,

About what we talked about in the meeting yesterday.

You can get v.i@gra for 50% off <a href=http://fiftypercentofviagra>here</a>.

Chuc k.

US gov do something right? (2, Insightful)

Monty845 (739787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332013)

Who actually thought that the US goverment would sucsesfully regulate spam? Its ludicrious, how hard is it for a spammer to set up a server in a country that doesn't enforce such laws?

No... (1, Informative)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332027)

The only chnage I've noticed is that my filters are no longer as effective, now that some of the spams are trying to look legitimate.

Don't wait for the government to fix it (5, Informative)

indros13 (531405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332032)

I know it gets mentioned in every spam discussion, but getting an email forwarding account from Spamgourmet [spamgourmet.com] is a great way to avoid spam. You can create "fake" email addresses that will forward a predetermined number of emails to your main account. After the number expires, the remaining emails sent to that address are canned. Oh, and did I mention it's free?

Re:Don't wait for the government to fix it (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332379)

Some mailer configurations allow you to specify a "mailbox" in the e-mail address, for example username+mailbox@example.com. This is delivered to username@example.com. Your mail client could then be configured to examine the recipient address and do something meaningful with it.

Re:Don't wait for the government to fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332469)

Mod parent down, people have been using this same post in other discussions about spam. Free karma for trolls.

Did anyone really think... (4, Insightful)

aconn (709312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332034)

...that this bill would do anything? Email as we know it is going to get spammed, end of story. What we have now cannot be fixed through legislation or taxation. Spending a moment even considering that these might work is an utter waste of time.

Eventually people will start using an alternative that is a little more spam-resistant.

weakened bill (4, Interesting)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332283)

California had a decent (first pass) bill with some guts to it. It was to go into effect Jan 1.

This bill, as federal, superceded it. Lamely.

Which is pathetic and sad. /me wants to see a spammer get REAL jail time for
stealing computer resources on high-jacked machine
pushing scams that are ALREADY illegal

Real jail time in a real jail with real property seizure. Loudly.

Filtering out spam and black listing email servers (3, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332040)

There was an article about a new spam filter just a couple of hours ago, they were supposed to remove 50% of spam emails. 50% of spam stopped sounds good, but what if 50% is 350 Billion email messages? Spammers only have to double their messages to go around this 'filter' to produce the same volume tomorrow as they produce today.

What I would like to see is a spam signature sharing, Spam Detection Servers SDS would collect hash per spam email sent within a time period. An email will have to be stopped on any email server and verified against an SDS to see if it is not spam before sending it further. How would these SDSs collect the signatures? Feedback from email users, black lists, good filters etc. All email servers will have to register with SDSs, or they become black listed.
But you probably can tell me why this is not going to work, can you?

Re:Filtering out spam and black listing email serv (1)

TillmanJ (223874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332141)

My license plate reads SOLARIS - I am a die-hard Stanislav Lem's fan.

That's Stanislaw Lem...

Re:Filtering out spam and black listing email serv (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332386)

Well, since I read most of his stuff in Russian, I read his name as Stanislav (where the last letter is pronounced fully.) So the English translation of his name is immaterial.

Re:Filtering out spam and black listing email serv (2, Insightful)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332288)

There are existing solutions that work like this. Brightmail comes to mind. These types of solution still do not stop all spam, because spammers insert random characters into their emails so that each email will 'hash' to a different value.

Re:Filtering out spam and black listing email serv (2, Informative)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332412)

What I would like to see is a spam signature sharing, Spam Detection Servers SDS would collect hash per spam email sent within a time period.

What I would like to see is some kind of convenient exothermic chemical reaction, which would convert abundant materials -- such as, say, wood, or possibly carbonaceous minerals -- into glowing gases we could use to heat things up with. This would be of great use in preparing food and keeping warm in the winter.

Little hint: Before you say "I wish a thing like this existed," you might want to do some research in the field. As a matter of fact, a few projects along the lines of what you describe already do exist. Google for "Distributed Checksum Clearinghouses" (DCC, created by Vernon Schryver) and "Vipul's Razor" (created by Vipul Ved Prakash).

What would help (3, Funny)

tuanjim_2001 (534921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332059)

What would really help would be placing a $10K bounty on spammers head. As in you bring in the proof of spamming on an individual and you get 10K and their head on a pike on your front lawn.

Re:What would help (2, Funny)

maliabu (665176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332261)

$10K? but "YOU CAN EARN $3000-$8000 A WEEK BY WORKING FROM HOME" sending spams FOR these spammers :)

Man, what an idiot. (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332071)

The suggestion that a law designed to contain a problem could actually be helping it grow stunned me.

Did this guy pay the slightest bit of attention when the law was drafted?

Then again, this is the same "tech" columnist who bitches about taxi lines [pcmag.com] at CES, clearly a major issue in the world of computing.

Stronger Enforcement (0)

Mellzah (649115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332074)

Anti-spam laws would work so much better if, say, they started chopping off the fingers of those involved.
Then we could coat the fingers in chocolate and sell them as 'delicacies' in hollywood.
Vengeance AND revenue!

Huh? (4, Interesting)

singularity (2031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332080)

What might make a real difference, according to US Senator Conrad Burns, co-author of the bill, is international standards and enforcement.

I thought one of the big problems with CAN-SPAM act was that it said that no one could set "standards" for what UCE was required to contain.

No [ADV] or anything at the beginning of the subject line. Spammers know that requiring them to do that would make it significantly easier to trash Spam at the ISP level. They must have lobbied hard to make sure that the bill says that the FCC is *not* able to set "standards" for that identifying marks Spam must have.

If you are going to write a law that tries to fight Spam (questionable intentions in the first place), at least give it some power to set "Standards".

Re:Huh? (1, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332368)

IIRC, the law does empower the FCC or FTC to set these standards. It requires spam to have a subject tag, and indicates that the F[TC]C should choose one within a certain number of months.

So it didn't say "all spam must start with [ADV]," but "all spam must start with a tag to be chosen by the FCC within x months of this law going into effect."

What's the point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332105)

What's the point of having this anti-spam law in the US anyways? The real point I mean. Is it an attempt to make American citizens or the people of the world think that the US is tough on spam or something? I mean all that stuff about real address and markers for porn are nice and all, but without the rule of opt-in, you may as well not bother having an anti-spam law at all.

An anti-spam law ought to ensure that people do not receive spam. Period. It doesn't matter if the addresses are real or not. It does not matter if they are marked for pornigeraphic content or not. They should not be receiving that kind of e-mail in the first place, and it should not be a burden upon the people to ensure non-receipt of spam. And if for some reason someone or other wants this kind of e-mail, they should explicitly consent to itsreceipt.

No. (5, Funny)

Vainglorious Coward (267452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332106)

Big unsurprise, no CAN-SPAM isn't working (assuming by "working" you mean reducing spam).

A sample from my spam-bucket this morning (one of those logo design offers) :

[snip]This mailing has been performed by Internet Marketing Solutions, 1719 University Avenue, Bronx NY 10453 USA,
in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003,
approved and signed by the president of
The United States of America on Dec. 16, 2003.
For this reason, this email cannot be considered SPAM.

Dear Fr13nd, This is a *L3GIT* Oppertunity (3, Funny)

H8X55 (650339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332134)

Dear:US Senator Conrad Burns,

Mr. Habeeeb Von Dusseldorf who has been in exile in South Africa for the last twenty-three years has recently passed away, his estate is interested in transferring US$450,000 into an american account for use in the fight against the resistance in the colonies. Please reply w/ your Banking information including ABA routing number and account number. following will be vital information for which to you to transfer the money. Your reward for said actions will be 20%.

Thank-you, Have a great day.

Col. Maj. Fariziq Mouselli Achmed.

HAHA YOU DID THE NIGERIA JOKE LOLOMGWT[NO CARRIER] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332164)

How about enforcing the fraud laws? (4, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332148)

Follow the money trail. Get the people committing outright theft (ie, no product), selling fraudulent products ("your dick a yard long in 24 hours"), or otherwise illegal products ("valium overnight"). Make a few RICO cases where you can ensare anyone even remotely involved in the business. Send them all to jail for 20 years with millions in fines.

Why is this so hard? This will put an immediate dent in spam. I'm not naive enough to think it will end it forever, but if enough people get nailed hard enough (including ISPs, banks, and others through a RICO prosecution) it will be damn difficult and daunting to even BE a spammer, let alone make any money at it.

Instead we'll waste countless hours talking about making spam illegal, when it's the smallest of all the crimes involved in a typical spam message.

Re:How about enforcing the fraud laws? (2, Interesting)

dankney (631226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332279)

Enforcement of any SPAM (or other e-crime) laws is hampered by one big problem. The Internet doesn't fall into the jurisdiction of any single legislative or law enforcement agency.

Passing US anti-SPAM legislation is rather like passing laws that prohibit the importation of Cuban cigars into Canada. We'd love to have that sort of control, and we're capable of throwing a lot of political/economic weight around to try and force compliance.

But if a foreign power doesn't feel cooperative(or lacks enforcement resources), Capitol Hill is just plain out of luck.

Re:How about enforcing the fraud laws? (2, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332454)

Even though "the internet" doesn't fall into any single local jurisdiction, it's trivial to argue that spam is largely a federal enforcement issue from even a small sampling of it.

As I said in my previous post, I know this won't get operations that are exclusively overseas -- but even following the money trail on this *can* hinder the ability of overseas spam/fraud gangs from getting money out of the US.

How laws can work (4, Interesting)

RT Alec (608475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332167)

Follow the cash. How does spam work? It works by getting someone to give the spammer money. Go after the money. Unfortunately, the CAN-SPAM act makes this more difficult, since individuals cannot go after the spammers, only ISPs.

Here's what we need to have in law:

  • Hold those relaying spam responsible. You have an open relay? You are liable for any spam coming from your server. No more "pink" contracts.
  • ISPs should be held accountable for zombies on their network. Block egress port 25, or else he held responsible for spam spewing from your system. Wake up and administer your system, or pay someone that knows how.
  • If you sell a product or service via spam, even if you hire a third party do do the dirty work you will be held responsible.
  • Allow individuals to file civil suits. Unload the army of american lawyers on spammers, and create a bounty system as suggested by Larry Lessig.

Of course it doesn't work (0)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332176)

It was just a pathetic attempt by the politicians to show that they have done something in an ellection year to the newbie voters in computing. The only thing that would work is what microsoft propozed, which is to have to pay a fraction of a cent, to solve a puzzle which would take 10 sec of computing time.

Provisions for political spam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332190)

Doesn't this act allow certain types of political spam as well?

What if spammers just had one person run for public office (oficially on paper but not seriously) and then just say, I'm running for blah blah... and P.S. Is your penis too small? I'm here to help. *SPAM*

I fact the political statement could be a tiny bit of text at the bottom under the 'opt out' link.

Re:Provisions for political spam. (1)

Kevitt (640555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332249)

Doesn't this act allow certain types of political spam as well?

It might, but I don't!

My spam is canned !! Statistics Follow (3, Interesting)

deathcow (455995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332211)


My spam is canned and put on pallettes now and delivered by semi truck.

Before CAN SPAM.. my SpamKiller trap had about 3100 spam per month.

After CAN SPAM... my SpamKiller trap has about 4200 spam per month. Steadily growing, as always.

Re:My spam is canned !! Statistics Follow (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332403)

Yeah, I'm hitting 400 pieces of spam per day now. It's actually causing problems for my provider - SA is taking up a LOT of CPU time now, especially when it comes time to expire all of those poison tokens that spammers have been stuffing their spam with. As was previously mentioned, all thes spammers have to do is redouble their effort, and we'll get hammered :(

What amazes me is these vermin are going to all this effort to push crap that people are ACTIVELY trying to ignore. Any salesman in real life going to these extremes would have long been charged with assault, battery, harassment... and yet the spammers are running around free.

Most spam is international ... (4, Interesting)

calmdude (605711) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332219)

I don't know anyone from Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, etc., so I blackhole [blackholes.us] their addresses (along with ISP's dynamic IPs). This can sometimes cause problems, but as far as a home solution, it's great.

I block the addresses at my firewall so I automatically eliminate most of my spam as well as most port scans and scripted exploits (since a lot of them are foreign/rooted systems).

I wouldn't do this at a large company, but you can probably get away with it at a small domestic U.S. business that doesn't need international communication through the Internet.

War of Futility (0, Flamebait)

$lingBlade (249591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332222)

In my not so humble opinion these types of laws & legistlation,
is just about as effective as curbing spam distribution as screendoors
would be at stopping water from coming in on a submarine

I love being a pessimist and this is one thing that I see
no easily stoppable solution for.

I wish I had an idea of how to stop spam being sent out
rather than a lot of people who try to fight it on the receiving side.

Not that it's a bad thing to fight, or that we should just accept
it as the norm, it's just getting to the point of complete futility.

I'm not trying to encourage anyone to throw their hands up and submit
But seriously, without a total "re-do" of the internet and it's connected
servers/services, there's nothing that can stop them because they're simply
too hard to track down and more importantly prosecute effectively.

As usual, I'm reminded of a movie quote, this time, from
Apocalypse Now where at the beginning the General is telling
Martin Sheen's character about Colonel Kurtz and how he's had a break with
reality/sanity, he mentions "...there's a struggle within every human between the rational and the irrational, good and evil... and good does not always win..."
That's my point, even those of us who hate spam more than we hate our own lives
are on the *right* side, we're just not going to win...

No. (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332242)

Need I say more?



Grr... Okay, the lameness filter has forced me to say more. Fine.

I receive roughly one thousand spam messages per day.

Since the passage of the CAN SPAM act, that has not decreased in the slightest. I have noticed only a single difference, which actually has benefitted me, but won't work for everyone - The proportion of messages coming from "suspicious" foreign domains, like .il, .cz. .ru, .tw, etc, has increased quite a bit. So, since I block all of them, the amount of spam I actually see has dropped. Otherwise, no change in the total volume.

CAN-SPAM Death Penalty? (5, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332245)

There is law, and then there is enforcement. I'm sure there is still a no-jaywalking law in New York City. Does anyone care? No, because there is no penalty. When some spammer does Kevin Mitnick-style time for his crime, the law will mean something.

Why would I buy Viagra from someone who can't spell it?

Yahoo's Spamguard (5, Insightful)

Beg4Mercy (32808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332259)

Yahoo has been doing a fantastic job of filtering spam. Of the hundreds (a thousand?) spam messages I get each week, only a handful make it to my inbox. The rest get put in the bulk mail folder. However, without their excellent filtering, email would be unusable.

I don't get spam.. (4, Interesting)

Visaris (553352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332268)

Most people I know say they get tons of spam... I really just don't see how. Are you posting it to the web somewhere? Are you giving it away to pr0n sites? Do you still insist on useing that aol, earthlink, hotmail, etc address for no good reason? I never get any spam. I don't work too hard for it either. I create a new email account when I want to order something online, and then delete it when my order ships. I have an account for ebay, and paypal and the like. To be honest, that one gets 1-4 spams a week. And then I have a personal account that NEVER gets any spam. I don't have a filter, I don't do anything special really. Can someone tell me how they manage to get so much?

Re:I don't get spam.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332322)

Perhaps this will help you understand: visaris@rainbox.hn.org

Re:I don't get spam.. (1)

Visaris (553352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332371)

lol! That would have been really funny if it was my address. :)

Re:I don't get spam.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332472)

i have one account. i created it about five years ago and have never used it. it was originally going to be a work related account.

one (1) local spammer ran a bot script against the domain name of my isp account and i reported this spam to his isp and to his boss (it was a real estate spam).

his isp (roadrunner) refused to punish him. he kept his account and had a valid list of addresses to sell the big spammers of the world.

within four months of that first spam, the junk in that account grew.

it's now at 20+ spams per day. almost all are hosted on chinese or korean servers and almost all use such bad grammar and spelling that only a moron would do business with them.

exposing spammers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332273)

exposing spammers' real-life addresses on slashdot has worked wonders in the past against some notorious spamkings...

i think we should double our efforts.

Can we use the DMCA to our advantage here? (2, Interesting)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332278)

Spammers are also blending approaches; for example, they might take the required snail-mail address and place hidden characters between letters. "Houston, TX" might appear on screen as "H o u s t o n, T X" where each space is filled with, say, a white, invisible x. In this case, the text filter, which some anti-spam engines employ, sees ""Hxoxuxsxtxoxn, TxX." The filter sees only nonsensical words, but the address still looks real on your PC. The result: There's no way for the filters to capture a traceable address, but end-users still think they're seeing a real mailing address.

Maybe we can use the DMCA here -- they're trying to circumvent SPAM detection technology...sure it's a pretty serious stretch, it'd be applying a bad law to a bunch of bastards. Bad law (applied to) bad people is just like multiplying two negatives to equal a positive, right?

Better than real junk mail (0, Flamebait)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332341)

I don't know why people complain about email spam. It's still a thousand times better than real junk mail in your house mailbox.

-Do you need a new credit card
-You have won 1 million dollars
-Missing child, help donate
-Important please open: Do you need a new credit card

At least email spam is creative.

Re:Better than real junk mail (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332415)

Yes but you can get off junk mailing lists rather effectively. I signed myself up here [dmaconsumers.org] and my junk mail went to nearly non-existent in a few months (down from around 3-5 a day, every day.) There is nothing similar for email.

here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8332345)

go to an internet cafe

reply to an offer of viagra pills delivered overnight, and pay with a credit card, and give a fake address.

wait for the spammer to process the charge.

call credit card company and ask "WTF is THAT charge all about?!"

You'll never learn. (5, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332348)

Why anyone thinks a law against spam will some how slow it down, or for that matter have any effect is using their backside (the one you wipe) to think with.

Until the spammers money flow is cut off no amount of laws making it illegal will have any effect. What should be happening and I find this RARELY addressed is holding the businesses that spam links to responsible.

Passing laws like that is nothing but a show folks. Put on by our inept governmental leaders (that's a stretch of terms) to say they are working on the issue. Until those businesses that use spam to sell their products are held accountable my tax dollars (once again) are being pissed down the toilet.

I think that it does work... (3, Insightful)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332351)

I've had more than one piece of unsolicited junk hit my inbox with the justification that it is "CAN-SPAM" complaint. Given that the law was essentially written by the DMA so that they could get the whores in congress to legalize theft by conversion as an advertising model, it looks like it's working. Working to encourage spammers and spam-friendly ISPs, that is.

Of course it's working! (3, Insightful)

rixstep (611236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332392)

Of course the law is working! Look at the evidence:

1. Everyone is getting just as much as ever - if not more.

2. The spammers are basically protected now. They can do what they want, and corporations have to accept it. And they can't sue either - the US fed govt reserves that right (and will not exercise it, except for show, when the peanut gallery gets a bit too suspicious).

So it's pretty obvious then, that it's working? So what is everybody worried about?

Use the law as our weapon of choice (4, Interesting)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332402)

What we need are a bunch of lawyers who are techy/geeks (like us). They form an LLC partnership. All of us submit to them our spam, they prosecute under the law for us. We give them a cut of the money once it rolls in. A legal lawfirm with lots of good lawyers, adept at what they do, can make the spammers pay. If they don't pay get an injunction on the spammer's assets--which we sell at auction--splitting the proceeds with the lawyers. Since spam isn't going to get better, this would be a perpetual motion machine...and just might make a couple of bucks at the same time.

Hell, it's never been tried, so it has a chance, although I still predict failure.

CAN-SPAM works some if you are careful (4, Informative)

juggler314 (556575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332429)

I was getting about 230 spam messages/day. A few weeks after the new year I decided to take the plunge and see if I could decrease it a bit.

I basically tried to sort out which spams were legitimately adhering to the law (which wasn't too hard), and if anything was iffy I would fill out the unsubscribe link with a throwaway e-mail to see if I got spam from it.

long story short 4 weeks later I'm getting about 170 spams/days. A decrease of 60 messages/day or about 25% less. Not a huge decrease, but noticeable.

The big benefit though is that the spam that is left is more "spammy" than before - hence my bayesian filter has achieved a slighly higher success rate which is good.

We won't know until November! (5, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8332485)

If the congresscritters that sponsored it get re-elected, than it worked! What... you mean is it working to eliminate spam? Do you really think that was it's purpose?
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