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UN Takes Aim At Spam Epidemic

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the send-in-the-blue-helmets dept.

Spam 363

clester writes "CNN reports 'The United Nations is aiming to bring a "modern day epidemic" of junk e-mail under control within the next two years by standardizing legislation around the world to make it easier to prosecute spammers, a leading expert said Tuesday.' The full story reports that as much as 85 percent of all e-mail may be categorized as spam and that the problem is rapidly spreading to cell phones in the form of text messages..."

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MARY-KATE OLSEN, 1986-2004 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627416)

I hate to see drugs take a young life.

The UN?!? (5, Interesting)

Samir Gupta (623651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627420)

Even a cursory follower of international affairs probably knows just how, ahem, "effective" the paper tiger that is the UN has been in accomplishing their intended goals and ensuring their resolutions are adhered to in places such as Iraq, Palestine, etc, while not being bogged down in internecine politics...

Although spam is different from war and peace, I see the same issue here. If one rogue nation chooses to defy UN law, there's not too much they can do...

Re:The UN?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627435)

dunno.. we haven't had a world war in half a century..

besides, just claim that there's some oil/terrorists in that rogue nation and kablam.

Re:The UN?!? (5, Insightful)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627673)

dunno.. we haven't had a world war in half a century..

That is not due to the UN but to the arsenal of nukes which backed up the Cold War. It was only the threat of total annihilation that prevented WWIII.

Re:The UN?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627721)

un was/is instrumental in keeping people just talking instead of turning into taking action(like in spreading the knoweledge that hey, the other side has nukes as well).

that's the biggest benefit of un, that they don't get anything done!

Re:The UN?!? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627519)

the Iraq had no WMD, so the UN resolutions have been ensured and adhered.

Once the last resisting country (USA) adheres to the UN resolutions as well I think there's a good chance for this to work as well.

Re:The UN?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627572)

I say fuck the UN. Let's dissvole it. The US and the EU should start a new arms race and then bomb the shit out of each other. If the fucking Americans want it that way, they can have it.

Re:The UN?!? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627593)

You didn't actually read David Kay's report, did you?

I'll assume not because you've jumped on the mass-media hyped lack of huge stockpiles of WMD and come to the conclusion that Iraq was in compliance with all 18 or 19 UN resolutions.

Saddam's Iraq was chock full of illegal rockets, weapons research programs, and had never stopped shooting at UN forces enforcing the no-fly zones.

And if Saddam didn't have stockpiles of WMD when the US and about 20 or 30 other countries invaded, that meant he failed to comply with the UN resolutions that required him to account for the stockpiles he certainly had during the Iran war and the first Gulf War - when we did find them.

The fact that Saddam used the Money for Food program to subvert and corrupt the UN (and other countries...) is just evidence to stay far, far away from them when importand things are on the line. Just like Bill Clinton did when he opted to stop the genocide in Bosnia - another non-UN invasion by the US.

Re:The UN?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627637)

and about 20 or 30 other countries

Wow, those banana republics were promised some pathetic compensation by the US and then sent, like, 50 soldiers each. But "20 or 30 countries" sure sounds like a helluvalot, doesn't it?

Re:The UN?!? (0)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627668)

There was no UN forces enforcing the no-fly zone; those were American and British only. The no-fly zones had nothing to do with the UN Resolutions.

Re:The UN?!? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627713)

There was no UN forces enforcing the no-fly zone; those were American and British only. The no-fly zones had nothing to do with the UN Resolutions.

Actually, there were French [idpproject.org] forces, too [google.com] .

There might have been other countries, too. The no-fly zones were enforced under the authority of the UN resolutions that provided the legal basis for the invasion of Iraq in 1991 that forced Saddam to pull out of Kuwait.

Re:The UN?!? (1, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627821)

Once the last resisting country (USA) adheres to the UN resolutions as well I think there's a good chance for this to work as well.

There's more than one. I can think of Israel off the top of my head.

Re:The UN?!? (4, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627543)

Yes, cause who would listen to a part of the UN that is pushing this? the silly ITU.(International Telecommunications Union). These are the guys pushed the standards for telephones, like dialing internationally, and equipment working together.. Bet your local telecom and cell companies all followed the ITU's mandate to the letter, or else they wouldn't interconnect with the rest of the world.. Which is a pretty good idea, if you ask me.

Re:The UN?!? (4, Insightful)

nsayer (86181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627555)

If one rogue nation chooses to defy UN law, there's not too much they can do...

That doesn't mean that nothing can be done... I and everyone else with a firewall in front of a mailserver can blackhole those nations that choose to tolerate spam.

I can't wait for IPv6... It should be even easier to throw away traffic from entire nations than it is now.

Re:The UN?!? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627787)

Indeed. With a pinnacle example of failure to abide by the UN's rulings given to us by the good old US of A (when they went ahead and invaded Iraq _without_ UN approvial), without any consequence, I can't say I see the UN being terribly effective at enforcing anything anymore.

Re:The UN?!? -get it done by going the other way. (1)

waldonova (769039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627818)

The UN should be shown that more spam will be better for all. Bring every spammer out there to the podium and let them sell the need. We can count on the "Rwanda effect" to have the result of this new mandate be the elimination of spam. Rwanda proved that showing an eminent need (civilians are being butchered.... wait... yes, this is a geonicide. We have armed peacekeepers here ready to serve, we await your instructions) will result in rather counterproductive policy from the UN (have all your peacekeepers lay down their weapons. Talk them out of killing each other. Keep in touch!) Umph. The report was great until I thought about it.

Re:The UN?!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627825)

ensuring their resolutions are adhered to in places such as Iraq, Palestine, etc,

That "etc" stands for "The USA" and "Israel", right?

Fair & Balanced(tm)!

Good (1, Flamebait)

IWantMyNickBack (791167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627423)

I hope the legislation has teeth, and not just false promises, like some of the UN security council resolutions against Saddam...

The UN, the good guys? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627426)

Finally, all of those tin-foil wearing Slashdot conspiracy theorists will be GLAD to see the black helicopters crusing all over American airspace, hauling spammers off to be tried at the Hague...

Re:The UN, the good guys? (1)

jtev (133871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627715)

Well, as one of those tin-foil wearing Slashdoters I'd have to say that this is an example of yet more Limbo Journalism by the editors, how low can we go folks? Letting the UN step all over free speach this way?

Legislations Effect (5, Insightful)

maeltor (679257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627428)

How much will legislation actually do though?

Until a method is found that kills or significantly makes spam nearly impossible to send or makes the profits significantly less than the costs of operating, all legislation will do is drive the spammers further and further underground...

Re:Legislations Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627459)

Until a method is found that kills or significantly makes spam nearly impossible
I think you meant "Until a method is found that kills or significantly makes spamers nearly impossible...", didn't you?

Re:Legislations Effect (4, Insightful)

bmw (115903) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627474)

all legislation will do is drive the spammers further and further underground...

I agree with you but the article did mention that there are known major spammers that they are unable to prosecute. So maybe we do need a few more laws. I think the key here is to get these anti-spam laws passed in (nearly) all countries so that spammers have fewer places to hide geographically.

Re:Legislations Effect (0)

maeltor (679257) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627681)

Good Point...

Re:Legislations Effect (3, Insightful)

lp-habu (734825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627827)

I think the key here is to get these anti-spam laws passed in (nearly) all countries so that spammers have fewer places to hide geographically.
"Fewer" doesn't help; all they need is one. Expecting a United Nations sponsored legal solution to help here is equivalent to saying that there wouldn't be any problems in the world "if we could all just get along". There are only two ways to restrain people from doing things we don't like: social ostracism or physical force. Spammers are not likely to respond directly to social ostracism.

Re:Legislations Effect (1)

lessthanjakejohn (766177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627480)

What we need is a revised system.

The best method I have heard by far is not one that uses actual currency, but one that uses computer time as a fee for sending an email so that it would not be profitable for spammers to send mass amounts of email. Of course that would only the backbone of it, todays techniques could also be put into place.

What would happen is that you send an email and in order to send it your computer must solve a problem for every recipient of your email that would only take a part of a second so that you wouldn't notice it, but a spammer, who must send tons of email, would. The logistics is quite difficult, but MIT's Tech Magazine has had several interesting articles on the subject.

Making SPAM illegal is not going to do anything.

Re:Legislations Effect (2, Informative)

lessthanjakejohn (766177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627500)

Here is the article

People love e-mail because it's easy and cheap. People hate spam--junk e-mail--well, because it's easy and cheap. At roughly a hundredth of a cent per message, a spammer can blast a million e-mails promoting ways to make money for a mere $100 initial investment. With such an economical advertising medium, it's hard for spammers not to recover their money. Unless, of course, they have to pay more for their trouble--a concept now being pursued at Microsoft.

Tools aimed at stemming the tide of electronic junk mail have proliferated recently, and most approaches rely on various filtering techniques. One common method is to search the subject line for certain words and such phrases as "eliminate debt" or "work from home." But those filters can also screen out legitimate e-mail that happens to contain the trigger words and can send critical e-mail unread to the "junk" folder, costing businesses dearly. That's why programmers have been looking for spam-blocking techniques that don't depend on message content.

Microsoft's concept is simple: make the sender's computer devote processor cycles to solving a mathematical problem. Incoming e-mail from an unknown sender gets delivered only once the recipient's computer verifies that a specific problem has been solved. "Computer time is money," says Cynthia Dwork, a Microsoft researcher who helped originate the idea while she was working at IBM. This cost won't overload legitimate mailers, who send only a few messages at a time, but it could be daunting for a spammer.

Over the last year, Joshua Goodman at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, has been working on ways to implement Dwork's idea. The challenge assigned by the recipient's computer, says Goodman, might be to solve a mathematical function that uses inputs such as the sender's name, recipient's name, time, and the content of the message itself as variables. Such an operation would typically take 10 seconds of computer time, says Dwork. That would limit a computer to sending some 8,000 e-mails a day--plenty for an individual but not enough to make it worth a spammer's while. For legitimate mass e-mail such as newsletters, subscribers could create rosters of known senders whose messages would be allowed through without their having to punch the computational ticket.

A similar project called Camram is under way in the open-source software community, says coordinator Eric S. Johansson. Goodman says, "We want to drive up the cost of using e-mail--not for the ordinary user but for the spammer."

Re:Legislations Effect (2, Insightful)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627576)

Spammers have already made strides in bypassing any such limits on their spamming. Accepting e-mails from untrusted senders only after they've done computation, only means that spammers will go after faster computers (to spam more serially), and deliver from multiple IP addresses (as they do already, to increase throughput by spamming in parallel.) To avoid instant blacklisting via honeypot addresses, spammers routinely make spamming runs from dozens of machines at the same time, in order to use the shotgun effect to their advantage.

Besides, the spammers don't care how much work the machines do - they're not their machines. The price could be storing data on the local hard drive, or having a bounty taken out on the IP, and the spammer could care less what happens to the zombie.

Re:Legislations Effect (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627509)

THe logistics are difficult? If I recall correctly, the server sends the client (somethign like) the product of a few random primes, and the client factors it and sends back the primes. That's a 5 or 10 second calculation, for each email. Only strain is on the spammers.

Re:Legislations Effect (1)

lessthanjakejohn (766177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627517)

Simpler than I thought, its been a while since I thought through it.

Re:Legislations Effect (1)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627528)

Exactly, legislation will only work if the main problem countrys enforce it. And this will only truly work when we fully educate the people who actually reply and buy from spam about its nefarious nature.

To be honest, I still fail to understand the mindset of the people who buy products mentioned by the spam. Are they really that easily influenced by the (rather poor) marketing invloved?

Re:Legislations Effect (1)

Admiral Llama (2826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627664)

Until a method is found that kills or....

Active Spam Killer sure kills spam. Does that count as a method?

Meseems... (1, Interesting)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627432)

... not many spammers are actually brought to court (at least not that I've heard about), so making it easier to prosecute them isn't going to do much. Am I mistaken?

Re:Meseems... (4, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627564)

because the spammers that send 15 million emails to people in country 1 are not breaking the law in country 2. And Country 2 refuses to do anything about it. The ITU (the UN Group) wants to standardize legislation, making it much more difficult to hide in other countries and continue to break the laws of other nations.

Re:Meseems... (2, Insightful)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627699)

Great, just what we want... an international organization imposing its views of what is and isn't considered permissible to send via email.

The goals are great, but quite frankly I'm very concerned about where this could take us. It's scary enough when the U.S. Congress tries to make things better by deciding what can and can't be sent via email--having this decided by an international organization just makes me shudder. Today it's just spam, but what happens when that international organization decides that discussion of terrorist planning can't be conducted via email... and what happens when the definition of "terrorist" starts expanding.

I'm all for getting rid of spam, but we need to watch this very carefully.

Re:Meseems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627569)

or maybe they are not being taken to court BECAUSE it is too hard to prosecute them.

Shouldn't they... (3, Insightful)

lukateake (619282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627440)

be stopping real travesties like war and disease?

Re:Shouldn't they... (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627475)

be stopping real travesties like war and disease?

That would require courage. Don't hold your breath. They are too busy trying to block investigations into abuse from the "oil for food" program.

Mod it down or whatever, I don't care, but the UN is working very hard to fulfill GW's statement, that they are irrelevent. They COULD be very powerful and effective, but the individual players (and yes, often us as well) are too busy with their own little power trips and rip offs.

Re:Shouldn't they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627523)

it doesnt matter, the failure would be the same.

Re:Shouldn't they... (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627620)

Shouldn't they...
be stopping real travesties like war and disease?


They can work with more than one thing at once.

Re:Shouldn't they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627707)

in the case of the UN they can fail at multiple things at once

In typical UN fashion... (5, Funny)

calags (12705) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627442)

... the chairman of the anti-spam committee will be the representative from Nigeria.

Re:In typical UN fashion... (1, Funny)

danharan (714822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627617)

Yeah, didn't they can have the US heading the disarmament committee?

Re:In typical UN fashion... (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627656)

... the chairman of the anti-spam committee will be the representative from Nigeria.

Come, now. Spam is much too important to be subjected to the usual UN circus show.

(Unlike unimportant things such as human rights...)

Thank goodness (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627445)

I for one was worried about how to stop the spam epidemic. I'm glad the UN has finally stepped in to fix things. I'll bet the spammers are shaking in their boots, and cursing the UN's decision to put an end to their evil ways.

Not. I don't think the UN will do anything more
than waste billions of dollars on projects that are not needed. Why not spend the money on AID
research or prevention?

Re:Thank goodness (1)

xOleanderx (794187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627454)

If 85% of email is spam i say we just give up on email... Move on and make a new form a communication.

Re:Thank goodness (2, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627504)

If 85% of email is spam i say we just give up on email... Move on and make a new form a communication.

I have been theorizing about a method of communication where you write your message on paper, put it in a paper cover and someone delivers it for you. If enough people were to use this method, you get the price down to like 37 cents or so per message. ;)

Re:Thank goodness (1)

xOleanderx (794187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627515)

We need to go into business together.

Re:Thank goodness (1)

bwy (726112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627764)

What is worse, the UN will establish a Spam council and invite a few people to sit in who are some of the worlds biggest spammers.

P.S. If you don't get the analogy, I'm referring to the fact that Syria is on the UN security council to spite the fact that they are one of the biggest state sponsors of terrorism (much more so than Iraq ever was)

Unfortunately... (3, Insightful)

canadian_widget (794559) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627448)

...the UN won't be able to do anything about spam. As hard as they try, the war against spam will not be won with legislation. As more legislation comes around, the spammers move to countries where nobody cares about the legislation and it all starts again.

The war against spam will be won by smart filters!!

Re:Unfortunately... (4, Insightful)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627635)

The war against spam will be won by a new mail protocol. Filtering is good and all, but it doesn't catch everything no matter how well trained the filter is. SMTP needs to be replaced with something better, and Spam is just the thing to kick people into working on the problem.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

canadian_widget (794559) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627697)

You are correct. I had been thinking about my post after I wrote it, and a new protocol is needed. Spam works well because we still use an old protocol that doesn't need authentication of any sort.

I could write a spam program if I had a list of email addresses. Connect to mail server, HELO blalblah.com, RCPT TO, BODY... rinse and repeat. You can tell an SMTP server whatever you want to, and it takes it!

I see the issue of secure programming come on on slashdot a lot. And what's the easiest way of making sure data is correct? Validating it... never trust what they give you!!

oh yea (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627451)

Oh jesus h. christ, NOW I feel better that the UN is involved. I am sure the spammers are cowering in fear right now. I am sure after a year of debate, the security council will pass a resolution (9-6) that says spam is bad, but only after concessions are made regarding human rights to enough countries to get the full 9 votes....

If I know the UN... (3, Insightful)

retro128 (318602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627455)

...They'll pass a resolution against spam and that's the last we'll hear of it.

Re:If I know the UN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627537)

Until years later a us president decides to scour through them for a flimsy excuse of war against *spam* while totally oblivious to other violators.

Re:If I know the UN... (4, Insightful)

t1m0r4n (310230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627541)

...They'll pass a resolution against spam and that's the last we'll hear of it.

Not quite. First there will be at least one innocent person who has his life ruined because of some far reaching interpretation of the policy. However, blatant spam with procede uninterupted.

Re:If I know the UN... (2, Insightful)

GuestFox (748345) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627542)

You've hit the nail on the head. If the U.N. would not/will not do anything about Saddam and other terrorists (i.e. the U.N. itself) then who actually believes that they'll do anything about spammers. As a U.S. citizen, I say let's stop paying the U.N. dues and put that amount towards paying off the U.S. debt.

Cheers!
=-=GuestFox=-=

bleh. (2, Insightful)

the gnat (153162) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627458)

Intergovernmental cooperation in regulating the Internet is a recipe for disaster. An effective set of world-wide anti-spam policies will simply be a precedent that the US Congress can point to when pushing even more invasive laws like the DMCA. Or, to be fair, the rest of the world can use it as a precedent for pushing their ridiculous censorship rules.

I'm not a hardcore libertarian, but I just don't think we need a new set of laws to deal with every little annoyance, and I'd rather see the Internet be as unregulated as possible. Instead of pushing our leaders to pass more unenforcable laws that will expand government regulatory power, let's go after ISPs (and entire national networks, if need be) that tolerate spammers. If the Internet can't be self-regulating, it's ultimately doomed to failure or Balkanization.

Re:bleh. (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627530)

How do you go after ISPs if spamming is still perfectly legal?

Re:bleh. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627597)

you boycott them

make a consumer alliance and boycott any ISP that fails to curb spam

boycott the hell out of them

Re:bleh. (5, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627567)

Instead of pushing our leaders to pass more unenforcable laws that will expand government regulatory power, let's go after ISPs (and entire national networks, if need be) that tolerate spammers.

Go after ISP's using what? New laws? No laws? Vigilante teams? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Just what do you mean by "go after" if it does not involve passing new laws to prosecute violating ISPs with? You do realize that no law prohibits an ISP having a spammer as a customer, don't you?

So how shall we "go after" ISP's with no new laws?

Re:bleh. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627814)

Go after ISP's using what?

Ever hear of the Usenet Death Penalty (UDP)? So you go after the ISP's upstream. If they spam is flowing without restraint and complaints mount, and the ISP in question is doing nothing, the upstream connectivity provider may get enough complaints to warrant looking at the ISP's behaviour in light of the AUP the ISP has agreed with. Failure to abide by the AUP may result in termination of service.

Few ISPs will risk that...not for one chickenboning spammer who's actually costing them more than what s/he's paying.

More than anything else, tho, we need to pull the plug on the "bullet-proof" web hosting sites.

i think... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627460)

i think i would rather deal with the spam then with the UN getting into my computer...

Why is it that everytime some glitch comes along the first thing ppl want is for government to solve thier problem....hey i don't get spam. SHould i have to suffer draconian UN regulations beocuse some idiot can't install spam assassin??

stendec@gmail

Finally... (4, Funny)

thelenm (213782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627461)

Finally!! An organization with a backbone, a clear vision, and a strong determination to do something about the problem... er, what? The UN? Crap.

Cure (1, Flamebait)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627465)

I have a better idea, find and raid half a dozen spammers (or the companies that hired them) and get from there computers the details of everyone who ever bought something from a spam email. Then just quietly have everyone you know redirect all their spam on to these people. Without spam being effective, they will just give up.

12 step program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627470)

Of should I say, keep passing resolutions, until someone decides to really do something?

war on spam (1)

A_GREER (761429) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627478)

we will not see the UN do anything till 12 resolutions have been passed and never enforced and the US presedent declairs a war on spam.
France and Gremany will oppose and we will later discover their intriquet tie-ins with the spam cartels.
Why rely on the UN, they can feed the children and distribute medicine, food and first aid , but leave tech to the geeks, not the government(s).

Re:war on spam (0, Offtopic)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627625)

And then a year after the war is over, we'll find that there was no spam after all, only spam-related program activities.

Move along, people. Move along (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627483)

Weeeeeeel now,

since the UN is on the case we can rest at night, assured that there will be no more Spam. The UN has done away with war, hunger, and disease, so they have moved on to the next pressing thing.

So, then I can safely assume that starting next week, my Spam problem will be permanently resolved, via the great spam treaty of 04!

(Of course, it will have a secret clause that states we will attack yugoslavia should they mount a cavalry offensive against westphalia, and that will start world war 3. Small price to pay, though...)

Well now that the UN is involved (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627486)


We're all saved right?

The big pink chunk 'o mystery meat strikes again.. (1)

flamechocobo (792168) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627493)

You never REALLY know what's in those things, do you? *gets whispered to* Oh, not that kind of SPAM? Pardon me... On topic, the whole cell phone text message thing could become a huge problem. Since most cell phone carriers charge 10 cents a message (recieved, too), you can bet that would add up if mass spam gets directed to phones. The only way the're really gonna tackle this is by throwing the good old mystery meat at spammers... Or they could just pass legislation and hunt them down.

No Kidding... (1, Troll)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627494)

...the problem is rapidly spreading to cell phones in the form of text messages...

Freaking AT&T. These bastards have been spamming my phone with their stupid "updates" since I got the service. It's "opt out", of course, even though I never "opted in" and the bastards STILL haven't moved on the request to knock it the hell off. Nothing is more irritating than when I'm doing something, here a text come in, drop what I'm doing to check it, and it turns out to be some stupid sales pitch from AT&T.

Here's some "standard" protocol a lot of people would probably back: shoot any marketeering moron who is ever responsible in any way for any unsolicited pitch EVER.

BIG BROTHER (2, Insightful)

A_GREER (761429) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627498)

1984, read it and wheap...si-fi foreshadowing life.

The solution (1)

LagDemon (521810) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627502)

Well, if the enforcement is well-funded and supported by member nation's police, I think this would solve THE major problem with any of the currently proposed spam solutions. No longer would you be able to hide in a remote nationa and fight extradition. Even non-member nations would have to bend before the power of the United Nations.

Spammers Rejoice! (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627524)

> The United Nations is aiming to bring a "modern day epidemic" of junk e-mail under control within the next two years by standardizing legislation around the world to make it easier to prosecute spammers, a leading expert said Tuesday.

...and the initial makeup of the UNCOS (U.N. Commission On Spam) are the ambassadors from the Independent Federation of Cyberpromo (S. Wallace), the People's Republic of Optinrealbig (S. Richter), the Neoconfederacy of Telodigm (A. Ralsky), the Principality of Ratsmouth, South Florida (E. Marin) and the Democratic Republic of Horse-Fuckers from Yellowsun (You Don't Wanna Know).

Spam Vs. S/Mime (2, Interesting)

MacDork (560499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627525)

Imagine if everyone used encryption. Would spam not then be a relatively small problem? If Bob spams Alice, then he gets his key revoked when Alice forwards it to his certificate authority. Now his key can be blacklisted by email clients. Carol receives Bob's message after Alice had it revoked, and as a result her email client sends the message straight to her junk mail box. Unsigned mail is not broken by this scheme, and a small charge for a signed certificate should be enough to prevent Bob from generating an endless numbers of keys at no cost. Again, assuming the majority is using encryption, unsigned mail is probably spam, but filtered to an unsigned mail box. No worse than what we have today. Revoked keys could be sent directly to the junk mail box, and all validly signed mail is whitelisted. This is by no means a new theory, and would require very little work to implement for a company like Microsoft or Apple. Would anyone care to explain why this is not in use? Would a dollar per certificate not be worth secure email and a relatively spam free existence?

Re:Spam Vs. S/Mime (3, Insightful)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627611)

The problem with paying for the certificate is that then all e-mail certificates are controlled by a central authority. Also, there is no way that the encryption scheme used for the encryption could be open, as if it was, then why pay for the certificate? Good plan, but I don't see how it would work.

3.141 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627808)

Part of the reason this would be a bad idea is that alot of spam comes from zombie computers.

Why should my Grandma not be able to send email because she doesn't know that her computer is infected? (Not that it is. I'm a good grandson.)

10 bucks says ... (2, Insightful)

phoxix (161744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627527)

A) The UN doesn't get it (they never do)

B) The spammers themselves will be on this panel (ie: Sudan being on the Human Rights board)

C) The few non-spammers on this panel will have no idea what spam is. They'll be more interested in joining the mindless anti-Isreal propaganda the UN loves to engage in (Somehow anti-Isreali spam will be allowed by the UN, just watch it)

D) This panel will report to another panel, which in turn will report to some other panel, and thereby getting nothing done (their website has an amusing pic about just this)

E) Even if this panel wanted to get something done, there would be much infighting and mindless bickering between a bunch of guys who continue to treat the UN as the mindless boys-club it has grown to be

Sunny Dubey

Re:10 bucks says ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627558)

F. They'll declare spammers as "REFUGEES" and hug and kiss them if they strap explosives to themselves and blow up innocent people, who are mostly refugees from other Arab countries and europe.

Re:10 bucks says ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627615)

C) The few non-spammers on this panel will have no idea what spam is. They'll be more interested in joining the mindless anti-Isreal propaganda the UN loves to engage in (Somehow anti-Isreali spam will be allowed by the UN, just watch it)

How much 'Israel propaganda' do you need before you think people realize what they're doing is WRONG? How many hundreds of UN resolutions does Israel have to defy before the US stops protecting their invasion of Palestine? People like you who further promote the ridiculous idea that the UN is useless, without calling attention to the fact that if the United States didn't stonewall and veto half the stuff at the UN, it would be a lot more capable!

If the UN has no balls, BLAME THE UNITED STATES! And then ironically, the US uses the UN as an excuse to invade Iraq. And to top it off you sprew ignorant generalizations about the UN. It's totally sick.

WAIT A MINUTE (3, Funny)

A_GREER (761429) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627531)

...If spamming is a criminal act, then only criminals will spam!!!

UN Resolution on Spam is coming... (2, Funny)

XavierItzmann (687234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627536)



Spammers of the world, begin to shake on your boots!



Actually, you can start shaking once we hit anti-spam resolution #18. No need to shake before then.



UN involvment (4, Interesting)

manabadman (589984) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627539)

I didn't realize that the UN was involved in this kind of thing. It is good though. I wonder if they will have a stronger influence than they have had with other issues (like war).

Now there is additional unified governmental support. Here [computerworld.com] is another article that talks about governmental cooperation to fight spam. This is in addition to cooperation we read about between Microsoft, Yahoo! and others. It'll be interesting to see how the spammers counter. They are a particularly strong bunch. Like cockroaches I suppose.

"Now the problem is rapidly spreading to cell phones. Nine of every 10 spam messages in Japan are now directed to mobile phones as text messages, Horton said."

Thats the scary part. How do we stop spam on phones? They easiest way would probably involve filtering by our service providers. But do we trust them to do that? And would they do that? I don't know about USA or Japan, but here in Jamaica, the majority of unsolicited text messages that I get actually comes from my cellphone providers (I have phones from two telcos).

J2ME, SMS enabled versions of spamassasin?

It's an (2, Funny)

Muttonhead (109583) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627561)

engineered U.N. power grab?

Only way to stop spam... (3, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627589)

Is to punish the ones that hire spammers and spammers themself.
Everybody can read who's advert it is and where the owner of the advert resides.

*sigh* (3, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627609)

Everyone seem to take aim against spam nowadays, but it doesn't seem like their guns are working.

The UN should be disolved... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627632)

Ya there going to control spam. They can't even keep
one country from invading another or enforce the 1945 Geneva Convention. If they try to control spam instead of 80 percent of all email being spam, it will be 99.9 percent.

great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627633)

Now the US will stonewall efforts with faith-based demands accompanied by further non-payment of dues, and by bizarre end-runs to get NATO involved.

Film tonight on South Park.

I'm not sure how they'll managed to bomb coalition partners with drug-jacked pilots this time, but there's ample room for innovation. Whups, I mean Justice. (Can we get a curtain for this statue? My willie hurts.)

This is not good news... (3, Insightful)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627643)

Email savvy people can't come up with a palatable solution. Most non-tech savvy have solutions that throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I imagine the great minds who make up the UN will support the idea that generates the most money for the lobbists of thier supporting country. So it looks like we are going to get a sender-pays-Microsoft or sender-pays-Verisign antispam solution.

Before the ignorant flame fest begins (5, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627649)

.. take some time and know what you're talking about [un.org] . Don't dismiss the United Nations because a bunch of right wing idiots on TV like to make it their whipping boy. The UN does a lot of good all around the world. And if anything, the US is more responsible for crippling the UN's effectiveness than anyone else.

Re:Before the ignorant flame fest begins (3, Funny)

N1KO (13435) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627815)

I dismiss the UN because a single country is able to cripple its effectiveness.

Re:Before the ignorant flame fest begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627824)

"if anything, the US is more responsible for crippling the UN's effectiveness than anyone else."

Exept for the fact that the US pays for most of the UN's funding....but yeah it is the US's fault for all the bad things the UN does but it takes none of the credit for all the good things....that sounds about right. All the problems in the world stem from the United States...all the solutions come from the EU.

It has become such a knee jerk response that it is almost imposible to tell my sarcasm from everyday unmidigated US bashing.

stendec@gmail.com

The Spammers will just move offshore (2, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627653)

Spammers will just move to places like this [katzglobal.com] or setup a boat that can connect wirelessly [slashdot.org] from international waters.

My solution? Filter 'em out...PERMANENTLY! (1)

iamcf13 (736250) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627688)

Full details here [slashdot.org]

This was just on the James mailing list (1, Interesting)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627695)

This topic was just on the James (Apache mail server) mailing list. I'm just copying this from the email I sent

From the article:

Top priority is "pornographic material ... that may come to the attention of
children," said Horton, who is chairing the meeting.

Define pornographic material. There are a lot of countries who would like to
ban pornographic material altogether, while the US Supreme Court struck down
the Communications Decency Act because it limits the rights of adults to
access said material. (http://www.epic.org/free_speech/CDA/)

And not to get in a flame war with anybody, but this is the same body that
elected Libya to chair the UN Human Rights Commission
(http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/new s/825808/pos ts) and is not very
sympathetic to the US and it's allies (i.e. Britain, miscellaneous Eastern
European countries, and so on)

From Serge Knystautas Email:

"Anyone want to place odds on this helping?

I'll give you 9:1 that the UN does jack shit about the spam problem.

And 100:1 that the UN is just using this to try to take control of the
Internet.

-Vinny

--------------
Vinny Herr

Original Message
From: "Serge Knystautas"
To:
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 1:37 PM
Subject: UN against spam

> http://tinyurl.com/2ak9m
>
> Anyone want to place odds on this helping?
>
> --
> Serge Knystautas
> Lokitech >> software . strategy . design >> http://www.lokitech.com
> p. 301.656.5501

FYI, I was referring to a Yahoo article (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627706)

Yahoo article [yahoo.com]

Right on target (4, Insightful)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627701)

standardizing legislation around the world to make it easier to prosecute spammers

Must have been asleep, but I didn't realize that it was within the power of the UN to 'standardize legislation' in any given juristiction upon the planet.

Bitter sarcasm: This should come as a great relief to the countless vitims of murder, genocide, torture, displacement, starvation, disease, opression and the myriad other insults, which more than half of humanity fears on a regular basis.

What was the mission of the UN? Ladies and gentlemen, get a real job..

Re:Right on target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9627754)

Well ya ... but at least you won't get spam anymore.

So... (1)

Sociodemographic (759285) | more than 10 years ago | (#9627773)

I take it they gave up on the AIDS Epidemic.
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