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Spam and the Law Conference Report

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the frank-and-open-exchanges dept.

Spam 145

Cowards Anonymous writes "The Guardian has a story about a spam and law conference, recently held by the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy, in San Francisco. The conferences are usually attended by anti-spammers, from the major ISPs, and spammers; and are an attempt to bring the two sides together. The article's author notes 'It's oddly intimate, watching the spammers and the anti-spammers mill around each other like this. It feels like a temporary ceasefire in a vicious war that to most of us seems to be a stalemate.' Also in attendance was infamous spammer Scott Richter, or 'high volume email deployer' as he wished to be called on his recent Daily Show appearance. Surprisingly the anti-spammers didn't tear Richter to pieces with their bare hands."

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810749)

First post! My first first post attempt, too!

I've got lots of ammo.... (4, Funny)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810751)

And I'm waiting for spammer season! :)

Re:I've got lots of ammo.... (2, Funny)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812710)

I wonder if we can install Linux in a dead spammer. It wouldn't be environmentally unfriendly, & it wouldn't be disrespectful.

just what we need (-1, Troll)

laugau (144794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810754)

A bunch of people talking about problems instead of fixing them.

Viagra, anyone?

Re:just what we need (1)

Wanderer2 (690578) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810776)

At least it's better than hoping the spammers will simply decide to give up.

Make love not Spam!

Re:just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810789)

kick in the teeth, anyone?

Have any ideas to share? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810756)

Scott wants to hear from you. Drop him a note [mailto] !

Yeah, I do... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8812594)

What's the future of spamming? There's enough effort now being expended that spamming won't continue. So where's the future? What's the sustainable model?

A lot of bad shit happens in this world. For some reason, it never makes the front page. Hell, it's unusual for it to make any page in the US papers.

What's the story on 9/11? Sounds like the US really fucked up. We knew about the threat in advance. Just didn't respond to it. You can read all about it in the UK papers, back long before the US papers picked up the story...

What about that drug raid at a high school a few months back. High school kids handcuffed and thrown on the ground with a gun to their head if they didn't "cooperate" fast enough? Over a hundred kids abused. Video footage available. No drugs found...

The list goes on and on. Ashcroft's porn views. The "lets confiscate all their property and drive them out of business" technique for suing companies. IRAQ. (Need I say more?) What about that guy who spoke against invading IRAQ, and was courtmatialled for it. Or the recent decision to allow arbitrary searches (withOUT cause) of gas tanks belonging to citizens, including removing them from the vehicle by underpaid, underskilled government employees. The Patriot Act? How the Patriot Act II was slipped through congress? Or the efforts currently underway to re-active the draft in 2005?

IN THE US, WE HAVE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. But that only holds true when you own the press.

EVENTUALLY, INEVITABLY someone will discover spam as a means of publishing "alternative" viewpoints. Probably with google-style text ads. And they'll make a mint...

The (c) BILL NEILL Solution to SPAM (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810763)

This letter and proposal has been sent to Google, Microsoft, and
Yahoo.

I get too much SPAM!!!

It came upon me that there is a SIMPLE SOLUTION to the 180 or so e-mails I receive every day and have to spend several hours
determining which are important and which ones are junk. This is a PERFECT SOLUTION with NO WORKAROUND BY SPAMMERS

This is an invasion of privacy and I have the solution that provides pretty good privacy: it is to include a KEY ACCESS ALPHA-NUMERIC (includes HEXADECIMAL CODE) NUMBER within the E-mail as shown below:

My proposal, THE NEILL SOLUTION, would solve ALL SPAM problems.

As "Bill Neill" billneill#123BFD456@google.com another example
is "Bill Neill" billneill#Family124@google.com where the #123BFD456 or #Family124 is an alpha-numeric (or hexadecimal) number or word THAT IS assigned BY ME and can be changed at will BY ME, and is known as the ALPHA-NUMERIC NUMBER CODE (ANC) KEY.

ANC KEY is the BEST SOLUTION by far. If you send an e-mail to me with the wrong ANC KEY (#123BFD456) OR (#Family124) your e-mail will not be received in my INBOX/Sub Box, but will go to a PENDING BOX that would allow me to read it, if I think it is possibly important and then respond with the current E-mail ANC KEY for further communications. This effectively expands
my existing e-mail box into several sub boxes or none at all, if I
should so choose not to use it.

ANC KEY SOLUTION is preferred over much more complicated attempts to solve the problem because it is simple, easy to program, it is in control of the user, it costs nothing to implement, and is EXCLUSIONARY not INCLUSIONARY.

Attempts to exclude e-mail from a source exposes the test to all the computers in the world, but including the ANC KEY code expressly grants delivery access for this message.

In high security applications for the government and such, the ANC can be extended (made longer, so harder to pick, limited only by the 256 network limitation) and generated on the fly (using a random number generator) or made to follow a particular and predictable algorithm with more keys, and ultimately, we see that this approaches security similar to encryption and digital signature software that provides pretty good privacy.

Since I can change the ANC KEY whenever I want to, without changing my actual e-mail account (billneill@google.com), unlike attempts to invoke a blocked list or some other "list" of the "do not send to me" type, both of which are circumvented by relocating off shore, out of reach of the law or simply send a batch and vanish, by changing the source of the sender, will NEVER WORK in todays world. This is a world-wide problem that contaminates the web and slows transmission to a crawl.

With ANC KEYs, I am able to keep the SPAMMERS out of my IN BOX as below:

INBOXES
SENDER FILTER:

Bulk Box Mail here is filtered as to SENDERS being known as a spammer to the server.

RECEIVER FILTERS:

Private Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected private ANC KEY, #34C56, or #private69

Business Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected business ANC KEY, #4444D, #office34

Family Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected family HEX NUMBER KEY, #1A937, #family22

Public Box: Mail here is filtered as to my selected public ANC KEY, #9FF999. It comes from my answering a public question requiring the entry of an E-mail account for verification or access.

Pending Box: Mail here is not filtered using any ANC KEY or using a KEY of #? or * where the question mark signals to allow ANY OLD, OBSOLETE KEYS AND SO ON, to gain access and is the same as a person sending with NO NUMBER KEY( # ) AT ALL.

Bounce the Message:
NONE OF THE ABOVE: BOUNCE THE MESSAGE, have a nice day SPAMMERS. Notice that no E-mail address is in fact changed from what it is today, just add an account maintenance page to allow selection of the ANC (alpha-numeric) KEYS, and allow me to change them when needed to make the SPAM message bounce.

Example of procedure:

EXISTING AND NEW SIGN UP OF ALL E-MAIL CLIENTS AS:
-Bill Neil- -billneill@google.com-

ASK IF YOU WANT TO USE ANC KEYS IF NO END.

IF YES THEN:
ENTER THE NAME OF THE FOLDER YOU WANT TO ASSIGN:
Family: ENTER AFTER THE # THE ANC KEYS TO BE USED FOR THIS FOLDER: #34familyf7, #BOB57

NEXT OR END.

ENTER THE NAME OF THE FOLDER YOU WANT TO ASSIGN:
Office ENTER AFTER THE # THE ANC KEYS TO BE USED FOR THIS FOLDER: #86, #office2

END.

RECEIVED AS EXAMPLES ARE PLACED IN BOX:
-Bill Neill- -billneill@google.com- -to General Inbox
-Bill Neill- -billneill#bob57@google.com- -to Family Inbox
-Bill Neill- -billneill#34familyf7@google.com- -to Family Inbox
-Bill Neill- -billneill#86@google.com- -to Office Inbox
-Bill Neill- -billneill#office2@google.com- -to Office Inbox

Example WHEN billneill#86@google.com to Office Inbox is
compromised and some SPAM is being received, simply change #86 to #90 or whatever and inform known senders of your NEW address. All email sent to #86 will now be REFUSED, BOUNCE MESSAGE or be placed in HOLD Inbox for you to decide if you want to read any of them or simply delete all of them.

Consider set up a dynamic ANC KEY. It is the date plus random number. billneill#200404051212@google.com ENTER AFTER THE # THE ANC KEYS TO BE USED FOR THIS FOLDER: *DATE*1212 where *DATE* inserts todays date

And so on. I hope you will consider implementing my proposal, THE NEILL SOLUTION which would solve all SPAM problems. Keep in mind that if the sender of SPAM gets no response, his advertiser will stop paying to have them sent to us, ending this mess very quickly.

Kindly forward this to your staff for consideration and evaluation.

Re:The (c) BILL NEILL Solution to SPAM (1)

laugau (144794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810968)

Hmmm sounds like procmail

Re:The (c) BILL NEILL Solution to SPAM (0)

jb_davis (732457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812690)

Why is this marked Flamebait?

"High Volume Email Deployer" (4, Funny)

Slashdot Hivemind (763065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810767)

Wow. Spam AND bullshit management speak. How many reasons to kill(sorry, terminate with extreme prejudice) him do we need?

Re:"High Volume Email Deployer" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811081)

To kill you need an alligation of WOMD.
To exterminate you need to be a member of the majority and him a mannority.. A money making mannority dosen't count.
An offical accadent however only needs 5 good excuses or 4 good reasons.

Targeted for Termination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811159)

It's at time like this we wish we have Terminator (TM)...

"Scott Richter, you have been targeted for termination..."

"Scott Richter, I'll be back..."

What i do with spam (2, Funny)

ANTRat (751579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810772)

i let it gather to about 100 emails in my inbox, then i forward each of them individually to every address that sent it.

Re:What i do with spam (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810800)

Congratulations! you're not only completely missing the spammer who sent the emails, you're clogging up your ISPs (and everyone elses!) with MORE spam as you go!

Congratulations for being today's slashdot dumbfuck of the day. Your prize will be in your email (titled "free viagra" or some shit)

MOD parent up insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810820)

I do the same. Sooner or later the spamers are going to see that it is'nt worth there time to keep spaming when their spamed back.

Re:MOD parent up insightful (1)

platipusrc (595850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810838)

Right...I'm sure you especially enjoy it when your email is forged as the sender of a round of spam and several people pull the grandparent's trick.

Re:MOD parent up insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810906)

Remember spammers need access to a false email address to forge it properly in the first place. I run a pretty good firewall (actually I run two of them) and am diligent so they do not get access to my email in the first place.

Those who run lax system security deserve all they get.

Re:MOD parent up insightful (2, Insightful)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811033)

No, no they don't. They can forge the address easily, it doesn't require any access to anyones system, nor does it even require the forged address to exist. I have gotten spam from forged non-existant users on my system, and I, on rare occasions, also get bounces from spam sent with forged headers claiming my address, yet my mail server and home computers are quite secure, and have not been compromised.

Re:What i do with spam (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810837)

I set up my machine and everyone elses I know who I maintain to automatically bounce back every spam I have when it gets to a large amount to each of the addresses it comes to

for example if I have 100 spam emails then I send ALL ONE HUNDRED OF THEM back to each address in each of the 100 mails. It takes some time but eventually they will all get the message.

WE DONT WANT SAM

Re:What i do with spam (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810859)

I mean we dont want spam.

Re:What i do with spam (5, Insightful)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810903)

You do realize that it's easy for spammers to forge the From address, right? So you might be spamming innocents.

Re:What i do with spam (1)

MisterFancypants (615129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811354)

So you might be spamming innocents.

You almost certainly are. My email address is xxx@yahoo.com, where xxx are replaced by three other letters. Presumably because of the short length and the popular yahoo domain I constantly get artifacts in my mailbox that point to my address having been used by spam-bots.. usually in the form of bounce messages or auto-responder messages to people I'm certain I've never emailed, particularly not with subject lines containing words like "CHEAP V1AGR4!!!".

Re:What i do with spam (2, Insightful)

Desert Raven (52125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810949)

You know, you'd better hope that you never get one with any of my email addresses forged in it. Because if you forward *me* 100 copies of your spam, I'll be on the phone to your provider to have *your* account closed for being a spammer.

Re:What i do with spam (1)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810950)

Hey now.... Sam's a good guy.

Re:What i do with spam (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812752)

I hope you "bounce" the spam to someone who thinks exactly like you.

Re:What i do with spam (5, Informative)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810884)

I don't understand...what good does this do? Virtually all reply-to email addresses in spam are bogus. The only thing in the entire message that is real is the link to the site they are promoting. If you want to DOS the spammer, go after the site, not the bogus email address.

Re:What I do with spam (3, Insightful)

azav (469988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810952)

As long as SOME reply-to addresses are bogus, it means that the method is useless.

Also, since these spammers are proceeding with illegal activities in the first place, why would we even THINK that they would obey the new opt out rules and not resort to "they replied so it's a valid address to spam"?

Re:What i do with spam (2, Informative)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810916)

i let it gather to about 100 emails in my inbox, then i forward each of them individually to every address that sent it.

No you don't. You don't know the address that sent your spams.

All you can do is reply to some forged address that the spammer wants you to think the email is from.

Re:What i do with spam (2, Funny)

ANTRat (751579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810923)

its funny that i wrote this hoping to get a funny mod point...and so far its got 70% Insightful 30% Interesting anyone with a mod point want to achieve a goal of funny,interesting,and insightful?

that might be effective (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810932)

if the return addresses were actually valid and the person who's e-mail address you just blasted had any possible means to prevent someone from "spoofing" their e-mail address.

Ben

Re:that might be effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810944)

if the return addresses were actually valid and the person who's e-mail address you just blasted had any possible means to prevent someone from "spoofing" their e-mail address.

Easy. Never let your email address out online. Do not let it into newsgroups, email lists, on webpages, bulletin boards, forums or slashdot. If nobody has access to your email address then they by defanition cannot spam you

Re:that might be effective (1)

droleary (47999) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811106)

If nobody has access to your email address then they by defanition cannot spam you

Also by definition, nobody can email you. Not a great solution. And if you think you can keep it private by only giving it to select friend, you had better make sure none of them ever touches a Windows box, uses a CC instead of a BCC, ever uses a mail portal to check their messages, or does any number of things that can potentially put your email out in the wild. Anyone with a real solution to spam should be able to give back access of their address to everyone without concern.

Re:What i do with spam (1)

txviking (768200) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811137)

i let it gather to about 100 emails in my inbox, then i forward each of them individually to every address that sent it.

Unfortunately this just increases the spam that an innocent bystander gets. A lot of spammers use forged but real e-mail addresses they have picked-up as the sender address. You would now spam that unrelated person and not the spammer.

Secondly, if the spammer uses his own address as sender than you have just confirmed to the spammer that you exist, and they have even more reason to spam you.

Unfortunately it seems, the best way is to ignore spammers.

Re:What i do with spam (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811139)

What you need to do is forward all of them to uce@ftc.gov. If you live in the US, let your taxes work for you. They have filed charges against some spammers.

Pictures? (1)

chadjg (615827) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810784)

I'd be interested in still pics or short video clips of Richter and his buddies. Did anybody snap any?

Re:Pictures? (2, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810852)

I'd be interested in still pics or short video clips of Richter and his buddies. Did anybody snap any?

Do you own a dartboard?

Re:Pictures? (3, Funny)

chadjg (615827) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810905)

No, but I found a guy that can print images on long thin strips of soft paper.

Re:Pictures? (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812748)

No, we own guns & baseball bats. Why do you ask?

Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810796)

Well, true, spammers are among the lowest forms of human life and deserve the status. However, at least Scott Richter is willing to do something that most other spammers won't... admit that he does it and is willing to talk about it.

Let's face it, he's willing to explain his motivations and disclose his tactics. Most spammers take great lengths to hide their identity, and are scared to even tell their family what they do for a living. Even if we don't like what he does, at least he's willing to help us attempt to understand the problem. If anybody proposes an anti-spam system, he'll at least do us the favor of pointing out how it's not going to work before we waste our time on it.

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (3, Funny)

Naffer (720686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810829)

Yesterday I received 144 pieces of Spam. Taking into account that there are 1440 minutes in every day, I get a piece of spam every 10 minutes.
My current total is 18,212 pieces since 11/19/2002. 8,000 of which arrived just since the begining of January. If it wasn't for SpamBayes, I probably would have abandoned email altogether by now. These guys are rubish.

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811028)

I receive a piece of spam every couple of days from the GOP. That's a great way to get votes, yep!

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811942)

Hah! I get more than 1 spam per minute. That's right, I got at least 1 spam in the time it took to post this here post.

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (2, Insightful)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810875)

Ok they need to be able to send spam... Make them pay for it... fire up a mail hub that spammers user to relay mail from... charge them for bandwidth and "remote" storage of their mail to be givin to ISP's that do not reject spam in general (Wanting it to stop because it takes up significant resources rather than for customer service reasons)... Right now its a Screw the ISP deal for sending Spam... ISP's loose out in the spam war from costs to "deal" with it.. Would he object to this rational? Probably because it may be enough of a burden to ruin profits... but it could slow the spam down... Its very common to see the same spam mail in the junk box 5-10 times a day... what need is there for this? None!

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (1, Insightful)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811058)

However, at least Scott Richter is willing to do something that most other spammers won't... admit that he does it and is willing to talk about it.

What are you talking about? Lots of spammers are willing to admit what they do, to an extent. They admit that they send unsolicited email advertising. They won't admit, however, that they break a number of laws when doing it, because they don't care that they're breaking the law. They won't admit that they deliberately circumvent spam filters so that people who don't want their garbage receive it anyway. They won't admit that they are harassing and trespassing on private property. They will use the most absurd and obvioius lies to "justify" their criminal acts. All of the above are true for Scott Richter.

Scott Richter deserves to die. So does every other email spammer out there. If I ever met Scott Richter, I would kill him with whatever means I had available. He deserves horrible, painful death. That is the ONLY way to stop spammers; they are sociopaths and there is no way to convince them to change their illegal business practices short of a crowbar to the skull or similar alternative.

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (2, Insightful)

tx_kanuck (667833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811121)

I don't like spammers anymore then you do, but are you sure you want to make a death threat? That just opens you up to a huge host of problems that you might not want to deal with. If I was Scott Richter, and I read this, then I would not take a death threat lightly. It wouldn't matter how many I got, I would still report it to the cops, just in case. If he died, how would you like the cops knocking on your door the next day?

Think carefully about what you post, this will stay around for a long time.

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811187)

I'm sick of pussying around with spammers. They've enraged me to the point where I will make serious statements like that. I mean it. I do believe that he and all other email spammers deserve to die. However, I am not going to actively seek out Mr. Richter, Alan Ralsky or any other known spammer. I have better things to do with my life.

Yes, I'm a little psychotic about it. I have my reasons.

As for what happens if he dies tomorrow, I'm never in a situation where I wouldn't be able to show that I was nowhere near him at the time of his death without committing perjury or forcing anyone else to commit perjury.

Good, bad, and ugly (3, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811388)

In some ways (SOME!) I actually see spam as something that could be useful ... in a weird way. See, I classify spam as good, bad, and ugly. Ugly is easy, it's the viruses and phishers. Bad is the stuff with forged headers, misleading subject lines (account canceled, your resume). These two deserve no sympathy whatsoever. They are fraudulent and ought to be dropped in the ocean and fed to the fish.

But the other spam, well, calling it good is pretty optimistic. I would say only that it is not as bad as the other stuff. When I see a spam whose subject is actually correct, even if for viagra or teenage nympho web sites, my blood pressure doesn't get quite as high as with the fraudulent stuff.

But I get 400-500 a day ... 80% is pure trash, with invalid users (I have my own domain), non-ascii in the subject. The rest I have to look at sooner or later just to see what should not have been classified as spam.

You know, if I only got 10 legit spams a day, real advertising for real products, it wouldn't be so bad. But these idiots send it to webmaster, postmaster, root, faxmaster, every sort of imagineable name, and that puts it in the bad category, it is fraudulent. No way has any admin account ever signed up for anything. And sending spam to the admin accounts is just plain deceitful, instantaneous self-indictment of their fraudulent intentions.

I wish spam actually were a useful, cheap advertising medium. I might actually see something once in a while that was useful. But hundreds a day, for pills or porn or loans, that is not useful.

Re:Good, bad, and ugly (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811716)

You know, if I only got 10 legit spams a day

Parse error: Oxymoron.

Spam results in a net theft of billions of dollars per year. It doesn't matter if a spammer is selling penis pills or computer parts, it's still theft of service and trespass to chattel.

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (4, Funny)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811436)

Most spammers take great lengths to hide their identity, and are scared to even tell their family what they do for a living.
<<Cue violins>>

Man: Mom... I... I'm sorry. I can't hide it anymore. I... I'm a spammer.

Mom: I... was afraid of that. I mean, I suspected but... I just didn't want to find out. Didn't want to be sure. I had hoped... it would never come to this. I'm sorry.

<<She reaches into her handbag, pulls out a revolver>>

Man: Mom! No! NO!

<<BANG>>

Re:Scott Richter: A "Good" Spammer? (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811457)

But did you hear the kind of talk he used? He said that anti-spammers are terrorists because they hide their identity when they flood his box and harrass him.

Oh Scott Richter (3, Funny)

hambonewilkins (739531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810798)

Scott Richter, or 'high volume email deployer' as he wished to be called on his recent Daily Show appearance.

Where, it might be noted, it became clear he didn't have a whole lot of experience with the "clitorious."

The best was hearing Rob Corddry say "clitorious" back to him, and Richter not batting an eye. Perhaps the solution to getting this guy to stop spamming is to get him some lovin'? Preferably human?

Re:Oh Scott Richter (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810826)

I think money is his main motivation... and he's realized that there's more money in the anti-spam industry than the actual spamming industry. He's willing to go turncoat if there's money in it... being a spammer is already lower than being a turncoat. :)

How to avoid spam. (1, Informative)

rkz (667993) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810814)

1) Have a good adress for personal email.
-> only give this to real people
2) Have a shopping adress for websites who ask for it when you buy shit
3) Have a registration email for websites you sign up to like slashdot.

2 and 3 will get spammed to hell but you wont miss anything important if you redirect them to /dev/null unless you know you have a order confirmation. or a welcome email coming for you.
The one for friends wont get spammed.

Re:How to avoid spam. (3, Informative)

Caseylite (692375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811343)

Even better: Have a domain. When you own a domain, you can forward all mail not addressed to a valid email address into a common mailbox. I give email addresses based on who I am giving them too, for example: yahoo-list@... microsoft-seminars@... symantec@... When/if I get spam to an address, it is much easier to figure where the leak was. Once an address is completely compromised, I create an actual mailbox for that address, set a size limit of 1, and let the messages bounce.

Re:How to avoid spam. (2, Insightful)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811956)

That's a nasty thing to do, sending Bounce messages to random innocent people who happen to be in the forged From address. Getting lots of false bounced junk messages myself, I say you are part of the problem.

Re:How to avoid spam. (2, Interesting)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812545)

I only maintain two post offices. I have one that I don't care about that I give out to people who run MS Outlook/Express, since I know that their address books are going to get heisted on a fairly routine basis. Then I have another one that I give out to fellow Linux users. The former is constantly full of get-rich-quick penis-pill mortgage contest car job ads, while the latter remains virtually empty except for the occasional message conveying worthwhile information from people I care about. I'm almost convinced that I need to get an additional spam address as the original is starting to overflow regularly between my weekly janitorial reads.

Must remember to check and see if I've won that 53-inch HDTV yet. I wonder if I can take it with me on my 1st-prize Mediterranean cruise....

Wow (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810816)

I don't think I could possibly control myself at such a conference. I'd love to serve court papers at a gig like that. :)

I'd serve something else... (0, Flamebait)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811080)

Shotgun slugs, to every spammer's head.

I'm surprised that no email spammer has been killed yet. Well, I heard about two who were involved in criminal dealings apart from spamming, but the murder was apparently over the other criminal dealings rather than from someone fed up with the spamming (note that it should never be surprising to find that an email spammer is also involved in other illegal dealings, as all spammers are criminals by definition).

Re:I'd serve something else... (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811582)

I'm surprised that no email spammer has been killed yet.

We might be fed up with spam, but we have not yet reached the point where we can simply take action and consequences be damned. Killing a spammer will get you in prison. I don't think a court would admit it as legitimate defense or buy a story of temporary insanity on account of spamming.

So, the most we will do is yell, bitch and blacklist, until a solution is reached. We will not succeed in convincing spammers to stop spamming. In the end, we might have to kill anonymous e-mail (that is, from non-validated servers).

Has anybody killed a telemarketer (for telemarketing)?

The first step to getting rid of spam (5, Interesting)

Slashdot Hivemind (763065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810822)

Is admitting it comes from America. A quick glance at any spammer blacklist shows a clear majority of them live in Florida, but American politicians and lawmakers still push the line that it's an African and Asian problem.

Re:The first step to getting rid of spam (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810943)

Florida has an interesting power of attracting rich-yet-lowlife characters who have managed to be declared scum yet have avoided being put in jail.

The key is that unlike other states, Florida has no value limit on what you can claim has your "homestead" [lawoffice.com] when you are claiming bankruptcy. That is to say, you could own a multi-million dollar home and have billions in unpaid debt. You won't be able to own much else in your own name, but you can keep your homestead. With only a few exceptions, creditors simply can't force you to sell your homestead in that state.

That's why spammers live in Florida. Pass all the civil liabity laws you want... you can't touch anything they have. You have to make spamming a crime in order for them to be worried.

Re:The first step to getting rid of spam (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811055)

And here I thought I was the only one who's noticed that pattern. Whenever possible, I avoid doing business with any company or person from Florida, unless its a very reputable name.

Re:The first step to getting rid of spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811185)

"I still say we nuke the state from orbit, that's the only way to be sure..."

I dont think you can eliminate spam (0, Flamebait)

weekendwarrior1980 (768311) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810831)

I mean come on. You're talking about restricting our desires to promote what we have. It just goes against human nature. And getting angry because of spammers is overrated because how hard is it to use the 'delete' button?

Re:I dont think you can eliminate spam (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810914)

its really hard to press delete.. i run popfile to filter my spam to a spam folder, but i still have to go through it to make sure it didnt mark any important email as spam, so i have to go through each item one at a time, usually just reading the subject is enough, but soemtimes i have to read the email to make sure.. i used to get 400 emails a day, i cancelled a domain and now i "only" get about 200 a day, but its still a pain in the ass to delete spam.

Fuck spammers, id say they're worse than terrorists. At least if a terrorist does something to you you're dead, but with a spammer you survive and have to relive the event each day when you check your email

Where's the fuzz? (4, Insightful)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810841)

If spammers have connections to virus writers and do all these malicious things, why weren't there cops waiting to arrest them when they showed up? Were they granted immunity to visit the conference or something?

Not enough "damage" (1, Flamebait)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811298)

Unless the virus takes down a major website, like Yahoo or CNN.com or a government website, the feds could care less. They don't care if a known criminal hijacks your computer and uses it for criminal activity, so long as no businesses or government agencies are inconvenienced.

Think I'm joking? Look up reports from people who have reported known computer breakins to the FBI. The FBI ignores them, the police ignore them.

Richter is a funny guy. (3, Funny)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810860)

Surprisingly the anti-spammers didn't tear Richter to pieces with their bare hands

I wonder if Richter is bigger than they expected or will there be a mysterious freak mishap in San Francisco involving rapidly expanding gases in a container when he start his car? All in all he is funny for going ya know...

Re:Richter is a funny guy. (1)

bee-yotch (323219) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812621)

Nah, the anti-spammers don't want to tear him apart, after all, he helps to keep them employed. ;-)

Sometimes... (4, Insightful)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810892)

Sometimes I wonder just how much money these spammers really make from the spam. I've never even looked at a piece of spam in serious contemplation of buying whatever "product" they are selling

Re:Sometimes... (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811230)

Spam now falls into two categories:

A: To sell something illegal/immoral. Any doctor who is writing any perscription for somebody who has never been to his office is on the wrong side of the ethical line, and in most cases steps over the legal one as well. Scammers love the lack of tracablity.

B: Lead generation. There's no actual product, but they collect the list of signups to send direct mail or phone marketers your way from more-legit companies. Of course, the more-legit companies don't want leads created this way, but they have no way of telling the difference from the ones they do want.

Very brief on Scott Richter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810904)

This article misses a few key points that are summed up nicely here [spamhaus.org] (requires a click to accept policy and then REFOLLOW the link).The link to Spamhaus provided includes not only a brief description of his transgressions, but addresses from his domain registry etc. The one thing to remember about this person is that he has been careful to follow the first rule of spammers for years.

Rule 1: Spammers lie
Take a look at a few of his quotes here [yahoo.com]

An old BBC article on him is what scares me. "We are very excited [about the new CAN-SPAM law]," said Scott Richter, the president of OptInRealBig, an e-mail marketing firm in Westminster, Colo. "All of our clients had been worried about the California law. In the last two hours we have been booking a lot of orders for January." This guy is the kind of guy that would piss in your pool. Now that he's got the internet, he gets to piss on millions of people at a time.

I live near San Francisco... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8810938)

If I had known about this conference, there would have been a few dead spammers in the audience.

Or at least a few broken arms, legs, hands, feet and necks.

Next time (4, Interesting)

azav (469988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8810987)

Next time we know a meeting like this is coming up, we send a representative and photograph each of the spammers and post a "Most wanted" web page with each spammer's photograph and address.

Then put up forms that can be printed out ala "wanted poster" style and have volunteers post the wanted posters all over the spammers' towns.

Expose them and run them out of where they live. Make their lives as hard as they make ours.

Re:Next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8812457)

Being that we actually suffer more if we condone vigilantism, this is a very good a legal way for citizens to "speak up".

They bitch like hell but can't do anything else. Let the news know about the posters and how the neighboors feel about him. Makes for a good story that media loves picking up.

Increase the hosts score!

Well? (3, Funny)

Chris Acheson (263308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811014)

Surprisingly the anti-spammers didn't tear Richter to pieces with their bare hands.

Well, what kind of weapons did they use, then?

What spammers should do (2, Insightful)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811040)

Byond the typical laundry list starting with "opt in," and ending it "don't sell illegal items" I'd like to suggest "clean house".

I've opted in to some spam and had to opt back out again.

Let me make myself perfictly clear. UCE* is what we are bitching about. With the huge volume of UCE the few items of SCE* are lost in the wake.
I have to set up filters for each type of S?E* and a few UPE*.

The fact of the matter is UCE is hurting SCE by flooding it out of existence.

Back in the start Spamford made a play at cleaning the situation up. By play at I mean he actually e-mail bombed anyone who complained and only PRETENDED to handle complaints.
(I should have sued his butt for that)

If your lagit add a code.. Ohh brain drain.. I forget how it works but I use such codes to help me partition e-mail lists I'm on into proper compartments.

I'd like to add a nifty additional suggestion....
As a form of tripple check,
Most Spam is sent in HTML with images downloaded over the web. That means when your target reads the e-mail his computer contacts you.

This is good advice even for the e-mail vetters, harvesters and violaters of the Can Spam act..
If your target dose not conact you in 24 hours (dosen't download the image by reading the e-mail) he isn't reading your message. Your being dumpped into a filter bin.
Just erase that e-mail from your list automagicly or slip into your filter system.
It may also be the person isn't reading e-mail as often as you send it and getting 20 e-mails from the same guy (for any reason) is just dam annoying and instantly earns you a place in the perment filters.

*Translations:
UCE: Unsolicited Commertal E-Mail. (V!agra)
UPE: Unsolicited Personal E-Mail. (I love your website, Wana swap links? I like your artwork. Baka Kitty? Couldn't you be more original or is that all the Japanise you know?)
SCE: Solicited Commertal E-Mail. (Yes please tell me when the new Yugi cards come out. Horray I won an eBay auction. Oh joy someone bought some more "Voodoo computer" pin dolls from me.. Time to ship)
SPE: Solicited Personal E-Mail. (It's your mother. Your computer is making noises. Are you experementing again?)
S?E: All solicted e-mail
U?E: All unsolicted e-mail.

Making it expensive for spammers (4, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811042)

Aside from from the bandwidth (which who knows what kind of bulk rates they get on that) the most expensive part of spamming is buying domains.

And the kicker is that HTML doesn't allow you to obfuscate an URL. The best you can do is character codes but that's one to one so not effective.

What I do is harvest URLs from spams and then add them to the rule file for my mail server. It's a mostly automated process to avoid accidently filtering out non spam domains like w3c.org or yahoo or whatever that occasionally end up in spam e-mails along with real spam domains.

You can click the link on my sig and then there's a link from there to see the current rule file my server uses. Since I added in web-mail with spam reporting, this is going to be even easier since spams will have a unique subject line and a to address that has no legitimate uses.

Instead of trying to sort out which e-mails to my real addresses were spam or not, I just log in, report them and then it's a simple sort by to address to find all the spam to filter links out of. There's probably around a thousand filtered domains which equals several thousand dollars worth of domains.

If you're worried about people snooping around on your connection, OpenSSL is comming soon for web-access.

If you have a fully TLS enabled e-mail client you can do secure POP3 and SMTP already. Thunderbird has TLS capabilities for SMTP but not POP3 for some reason. Pegasus Mail is fully compatible. Apparently there's no clear standard as to whether the client should just use the standard 110,25 ports with encyption (what my server supports) or use alternate ports. Thunderbird is quite convinced you absolutely must use a fixed alternate port for POP3.

For most people, it'll probably end up that the web access is the most secure way to use Indie-Mail.

Ben

Re:Making it expensive for spammers (1)

int2str (619733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811945)

How do you filter these? promailrc?

standard expression filters (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812112)

using Mercury Mail.

I have my own custom software that rips through all the e-mails and yanks out the links along with the subject, from and to. I then manually update the filter.

Ben

The obvious solution that everyone's missing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811070)

First, we string Alan Ralsky up in the stocks. Then, we make a chain of volunteers that stretches across the nation "Hands Across America" style. Then, instead of swaying and singing along like a bunch of faggot hippies, the chain of volunteers will one-by-one fuck Ralsky up the ass without the benefit of lube until he's so chafed from the aforementioned-fucking that his little sphincter gives way and all of his innards pour out of him like an over-ripe can of Dinty Moore's Beef Stew. Then, we stand Scott Richter in the middle of the pool of gore and offal that was once Ralsky and the line will reverse direction as we one-by-one kick him squaw in the nuts. Eventually his pelvis will powder and give way and his innards will join Ralsky's in our rapidly-growing pool of filth. Then we start dragging in Super-Zonda and that goddamned spamming grandmother and force them to start eating while on their hands and knees.

All of this, of course, will be pay-per-view, and the proceeds will be used to buy a generator that will be wheeled house-to-house and plugged directly into the cable outlets of all those retards whose zombied broadband accounts make all this fucking spam possible. One by one, we will cause their pc's to explode into screaming, flaming shrapnel, and as they run screaming from their homes we will fling warm gobs of shit at them and pelt their homes with Debian distros.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Re:The obvious solution that everyone's missing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811112)

I'm glad to see you're not bitter

How Richter survived (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811138)

"Surprisingly the anti-spammers didn't tear Richter to pieces with their bare hands."
Because that would've let him off the hook to easily...

what date was it on? (1)

LinuxGeekMobile (700015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811205)

I frequently see The Daily Show posted on suprnova... anyone know what date to look for?

Re:what date was it on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811282)

www.badmonkey.ca /files/show.wmv

What ceasefire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811279)

"It feels like a temporary ceasefire in a vicious war that to most of us seems to be a stalemate."
The real question is who is winning. The spammers, especially due to the "can spam act"

Death is too good for Richter and his ilk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8811386)

I myself would have no problems with my conscience in killing him. The only thing that would deter me is that murder is illegal. Likewise Alan Ralsky, Eddy Marin, and all the penis pill gangers led by Elmar Brunenieks in Eastern Europe.

I found my solution (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 10 years ago | (#8811712)

I use TMDA. Sure, it sends one e-mail back to the alleged sender of the message, attempting to verify their authenticity, but it's effective. I went from ~1000 spam messages a day, and a virtually unusable e-mail account, to 0 spam messages a day. And to anyone that worries about the complexity of TMDA from the end user's point of view -- my own 80 year old grandmother figured out how to get an e-mail to me by following TMDA's instructions. Then I whitelisted her... oops :-)

Jesus Christ People. (-1, Troll)

ThePuD (743548) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812080)

Put things in perspective, and have a gander at the 1st ammendment sometime. Ok, so someone sent you an email, or a hundred, or a thousand. Deal with it. Email is a powerful communication medium. Usually, when someone invents a way to communicate easily (like the telephone, wireless telegraphy, paper, etc.) people use it. You know, like what it was invented for. It serves its purpose. That's the point of an email - to communicate an idea to someone else. Interestingly, that's the same idea behind snail mail. Email is a latecomer to the game. Do you get letters/bills/christmas cards in the mail? Yes? Then you would agree that it is a useful to get an idea to someone else. I would also assume that if you recieve that type of mail, you also recieve unsolicited snail mail. People call it junk mail. It's been around a while. To stop it would mean infringing on free speech. Hell, I agree the junk mail/spam is annoying, but there has been talk of PHYSICAL VIOLENCE in this discussion. Obviously you jest, but put things in perspective. I'm pulling this put of my ass, but I'm guessing that half a million emails would use maybe a one or two watts of energy, if that. Contrasting that, 500,000 paper junk emails -- even small ones -- would waste a not insignificant amount of life-sustaining, oxygen-producing pine trees.

Re:Jesus Christ People. (4, Informative)

shostiru (708862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812333)

The first amendment does not guarantee that I have the right to say what I wish to you and make you pay for it. The cost of junk mail, telemarketing, etc. is paid by the sender. The cost of email is paid primarily by the recipient (and her or his ISP). And, of course, there is substantial precedent that limiting commercial speech is constitutional.

Oh, and your estimates of the waste of energy involved in spam are off by several orders of magnitude. Back of envelope calculations based on incoming mail volume, power consumption (which I've measured), and cluster size has 100,000 emails per day costing at least 10KWhr, and that's just on the receiving mail server cluster (it would be lower without redundancy, of course). Once you add in the sender and all intermediate hops I wouldn't be surprised if that figure doubled. And that's just the beginning; of all network services we run, email is by far the greatest suck of money, brains, and time.

Before you claim free speech in defense of spam again, perhaps you should spend some quality time with systems and network engineers, and see how un-free this "free speech" really is. I'd be glad to do so myself over the telephone ... I assume given your argument you do take collect calls from everyone, right?

Re:Jesus Christ People. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8812431)

Email is a powerful communication medium.

Without my filter rejecting 99% of everything I get, email would be useless to me. I would have closed my account and gone back to using the telephone. Spam is destroying a useful thing.

I do get junk mail. The ratio is much, much lower, and it is easily dealt with within the overhead time of going to the mailbox in the first place. Plus, it's targetted. I get things I might be interested it. I even use the pizza coupons sometimes. The Spams I get that I might be remotely interested in are few and far between. Plus, if you send certain things in the mail, the postal inspectors will come lock you up. I get all sorts of illegal things through spam.

Hell, I agree the junk mail/spam is annoying, but there has been talk of PHYSICAL VIOLENCE in this discussion. Obviously you jest, but put things in perspective.

You think I jest? I did a very quick calculation, and came up with several hundred dollars a year I lose to spam, in the hours it takes to delete it all. These assholes are taking my time to get rich, and I get nothing in return. Parasites deserve to die. Welfare mothers contribute more to society.

Unfortunately, unlike the spammers, I obey the law, so I can't do anything but blacklist them.

Re:Jesus Christ People. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8812474)

Nice TROLL!!

Re:Jesus Christ People. (3, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812645)

Spamming is very impolite. The objections aren't really about electricity, or even bandwidth and disk space (for which the costs do begin to mount up) or even the time it takes (which can be a serious imposition.)

The core objection is about impoliteness. Spammers are _very_ impolite on am immense scale. A little bit of impoliteness annoys you. A person pumping out a million pieces of impoliteness an hour...well, that adds up to genuine rage. Especially when it is clear that he knows he is annoying you and hopes you don't care, which is the case with the guy hoping that v1@gr@ will slip past your spam filter.

There's a limit to how loud one is allowed to speak. Beyond that, one is disturbing the peace. A violation of politeness becomes a crime. It's unfortunate when we have to regulate politeness, and it's unfortunate that you can't play your stereo as loud as you'd like, but that's how we live together.

"Courtesy is the lubricant of social interaction," Heinlein said. Spammers are sand in those gears, and that grit is annoying out of proportion to how much actual damage it does.

Is violence justified? No, but I do have to keep reminding myself of that.

AOL & MS are "good" guys in the war on spam?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8812410)

This is just yet another popular media article where AOL and MS are suggested to be "good" guys in the war on spam. I wish the popular media would state the real facts:

- AOL only considers spam a high priority problem when AOL accounts *receive* spam
- AOL considers it a low priority or someone else's problem when AOL accounts *send* spam
- AOL snail junk mails offers for up to 1099 hours $free$ online for spammers to issue spam from

- MS considers spam a high priority problem only when MSN/Hotmail account *receive* spam
- MS provides free hotmail accounts for spammers to issue spam from and are slow to react to reports of abuse
- MS considers *ALL* email addresses as having opt-in for MS bCentral.com email until they opt-out (despite there being no actual opt-in request)

AOL, Hotmail and MS-bCentral account for around 10% of the spam I get. If MicroSoft and AOL really consider spam a problem, why don't they get a little more responsive to all they dish out?? Why is it they expect the rest of the Internet to be responsive to their whining instead of following the AOL/MS example of being unresponsive a**holes?

I am going to sue spammers (2, Interesting)

triclipse (702209) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812658)

I talked it over with my partner this week. We are going to pick a few companies that have sent spam to me (and my three-year-old son) and we are going to sue the bastards.

Our plan is to sue those companies which are pitching products that will make them more amenable to suit in California, and that may have some assets to go after. I am thinking the companies that are pitching mortgage loans ("Mor|tgage rates tumble - Refinance today ozg w9l") and insurance are prime targets. I realize, of course, that these companies may not be sending out the spam themselves, but I really don't care. If these companies are marketing themselves so irresponsibly, they are just as culpable as if they were pressing the "send" button. Through the discovery process, I certainly do plan on finding out who is pressing the "send" button.

Not being an uber-geek, but only a humble lawyer, this is the role I can play. And I must express my appreciation to /.ers who have inspired me. I plan on keeping a Slashdot journal of the process.

Jobs security (1)

Pascal666 (514343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8812665)

>Surprisingly the anti-spammers didn't tear Richter to pieces with their bare hands

Why would they? He keeps them in business. Anti-spam is big money. Without spammers, they're out of a job.
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