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UK ISPs to Shut Down Spamvertised Websites

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the LART dept.

Spam 299

JebuZ writes "The Register is currently reporting that UK ISPs are targeting ecommerce websites run by spammers in a new 'get tough' policy on junk mail. ISPs belonging to the London Internet Exchange (LINX) have voted through a code of practice which gives them the mandate to shut down websites promoted through spam, even if junk mail messages are sent through a third-party or over a different network. The move is intended to remove the financial incentive to send spam." There's also a BBC story.

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How long... (4, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013536)

... until people start spamming using their competition's address to facilitate them getting thrown off their host?

Re:How long... (2, Insightful)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013572)

My thoughts exactly. This seems like a good idea as long as the ISPs take a serious look at the accusation to make sure the site was really spamvertised and not just the target of some malicious competitor or a customer with a grudge, etc.

Re:How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013782)

Hmmm...

Re:How long... (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013860)


"No! I swear I've been framed! I would *never* send out spam for my site. I'm totally legit! We here at xhegfr.24873xx.pills4u.com are a 100% above-board business!"

Re:How long... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013882)

...seems like a good idea ...

Next they'll block P2P. Still a good idea?

Then they'll block people running their own mail servers (helps spam again).
Then they'll block people running any server (like the old cable modem guys). after all, you could serve obscene copyrighted pr0n from a web server.

Do we really want ISPs running around blocking whatever they don't like and scanning/filtering on content (need to easily bust P2P guys). I think this is just a first stop to locking down more of the internet.

Re:How long... (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013585)

.. until people start spamming using their competition's address to facilitate them getting thrown off their host?

Or

Address of 0wn3d computer

Offshore server

Doesn't do any good for those which run scripts on open or 0wn3d servers and forward email, i.e. phishing

Re:How long... (1)

NickFitz (5849) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013870)

RTFA:

...the mandate to shut down websites promoted through spam, even if junk mail messages are sent through a third-party or over a different network

In other words, no matter how the spam for getcheapviagra.co.uk is distributed, getcheapviagra.co.uk is going to be denied hosting by LINX members. Ergo, they can't sell anything.

Obviously they can host their site offshore, hence the additional comment in TFA that "...the success of this new initiative depends on LINX pressuring ISPs overseas into adopting more rigorous practices". It may only be a first step, but every little helps...

Re:How long... (1)

Khasmo (659750) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013891)

Actually that's exactly what it is good for. The point is that it doesn't matter where the email is coming from, you block the site being advertised by the spam. At some point they have to direct you to a website that will accept your credit card. Block that site and they can't make money.

Of course, they can just provide you with an 800 number instead. No way to stop that short of stopping the initial spam. Then again. providing an 800 number is nice clue for spam filters that it IS SPAM.

Biggest flaw in this idea is that it requires some sort of overview process to avoid what the grandparent suggested.

Re:How long... (3, Interesting)

gregmac (629064) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013943)

Then again. providing an 800 number is nice clue for spam filters that it IS SPAM.

Of course, like most of the people I deal with at work, my email signature includes our 1-800 number.

Re:How long... (4, Insightful)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013627)

I'd assume that they'd check things out first. Besides, spamvertised websites are rather easy to recognize: I think 95% of all *.biz and *.info sites are spamvertised sites. There's also this whole thing about using fake names, no contact information, companies based in countries where the law isn't taken very seriously or where the law allows spamming, etc.

Re:How long... (3, Funny)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013629)

It's going to be investigated, not just automatically booted off their host by a postfix script who grepped the URL from an email... :)

Re:How long... (4, Insightful)

osgeek (239988) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013634)

Not long. Not long at all.

Worse yet, spammers will put random innocent web sites in spam just to poison the process.

They'll do it. It's an obvious way to get ISPs to stop blocking web sites.

Re:How long... (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013733)

That would also work to get non-spamming businesses to warm up to spam. Think about it; who'd turn down free advertising?

(Until, of course, they start getting hate mail, both electronic and postal.)

Another nail in the spam coffin then (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013884)

Spam is already becoming unreadable with the leet spelling and insertion of random words and phrases. Now they are going to link to random sites as well? So the customer, already not very bright, will now have to first do a enigma style decoding to get the sales messages and then do a guess as to wich link to click?

The harder spam becomes to send the better it is. There is no instant cure, stop watching Oprah you american. The real world requires you to work had on multiple fronts to solve a problem. This is just one tiny drop on the hot plate. But together with all the other little drops it is making a difference.

Re:How long... (5, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013693)

... until people start spamming using their competition's address to facilitate them getting thrown off their host?

They have been doing that for years. It's called a joe job [everything2.com] , after the first victim of such a scam. These are generally quite easy to detect, though, so they do not generally lead to the victim's website being shut off. The main damage is in the annoyance and the bounces and responses received by the victim, which constitute something akin to a DDoS attack.

In any case, the existence of joe jobs is no reason to penalize actual spammers and stop them from profiting from their spam runs. The only way to do that is shutting off their websites.

Re:How long... (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013875)

This happened to me once. Fun times. :(

Correction (2, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013910)

Woops... I wrote:
In any case, the existence of joe jobs is no reason to penalize actual spammers [...]

This should have been: the existence of joe jobs is no reason not to penalize actual spammers.

Re:How long... (3, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013917)

They have been doing that for years. It's called a joe job, after the first victim of such a scam

Not quite. Assume sites X and Y, spammer S that is hired by X (or may be X), user J, and another spammer, T. J is not connected with X, Y, S, or T. A joe job is when S sends mail advertising X, setting the from address to J.

What the original poster is talking about is the case where Y hires T to send spam advertising X. If T sets the return address to J, then that will also be a joe job, but that is not relevant here.

Re:How long... (2, Interesting)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013968)

What the original poster is talking about is the case where Y hires T to send spam advertising X.

I know, but that too has come to be known as a joe job (at least in the news.admin.net-abuse.email newsgroup), since it's done with the same objective: to get X shut down or to harrass them away from the net. It's generally equally ineffective.

Re:How long... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013750)

You would be pretty pissed off if your competitor actually gained loads of sales because of it!

Spam Whiners: Shit or get off the pot (2, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013756)

I've noticed that many of the people who bitch the most about spam are also the first one to produce simplistic and pedantic retorts to steps people make to do something about it. "But somebody might not get their email for a day."

Spam Whiners: Shit or get off the pot.

Either somebody does *something*, however imperfect or flawed, or they do nothing. The whining and the complaining and the doing of nothing adds up to exactly nothing but noise.

I want actions taken, and I want them taken *now*. Collateral damage? Unavoidable -- any solution strong enough to work is going to cause collateral damage. This isn't a kernel bugfix, the patch doesn't have to be formally proved at an academic conference, it has to be implemented and adjusted as needed for maximum effectiveness.

If you're not making mistakes, you're not making anything, and not doing anything about spam has been how effective?

Re:Spam Whiners: Shit or get off the pot (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013818)

"Collateral damage is just fine--Until I'm the one being damaged."

Re:Spam Whiners: Shit or get off the pot (5, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013854)

Either somebody does *something*, however imperfect or flawed, or they do nothing. The whining and the complaining and the doing of nothing adds up to exactly nothing but noise.

It wasn't a whine nor a complaint. And it can have very serious reprocussions. How happy would you be if your legitimate, non-spamming online business was blacklisted because someone else forged fake spam?

I want actions taken, and I want them taken *now*. Collateral damage? Unavoidable -- any solution strong enough to work is going to cause collateral damage.

Wonderful attitude. "Fuck the innocent as long as I'm happy (and it doesn't happen to me)"

This system could be useful, but considering there was no detailed mention of how they're going to deal with this potential problem its a valid question.

BBC link to UK story (-1, Offtopic)

llansamlet (792911) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013764)

Before anyone else says it:

The BBC is publicly funded but independent.

We don't have advert breaks unlike your dumb American networks. Meaning that an episode of '24' lasts 45 minutes.

The currency acronym for the British pound is UKP not GBP.

We pay three times more for our gas than Americans.

What else have I missed?

Re:BBC link to UK story (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013834)

Who cares?

So, to shut down my competitor... (-1, Redundant)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013538)

...all I have to do is send spam advertising his website?

Great idea, England!

Re:So, to shut down my competitor... (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013565)

Based on the phrase "given authority", I gather that law enforcement will investigate the situation before forcibly shutting down the site. Failing to do so could result in a counter-suit claiming that law enforcement did not do their job.

Danger of Joe Jobs (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013541)

A spammer can include someone else's website in their spam and have a chance of getting it shut down (depending on how careful the ISPs are). This is a very powerful/dangerous thing when not used carefully.

all my base are belong to me (0, Troll)

laserbeak (794029) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013549)

But I want my penis enlarged 12"....

Re:all my base are belong to me (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013800)

Those that want or claim to have a 12 inch penis annoy the hell out of those of us that actually have one.

Mod point frenzy! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013964)

About ten of the first replies to this topic all come up with the genius suggestion of spamvertising the competition, revealing they have not read the article (which admittedly does not addresss how to stop it), and got modded Insightful 2-5.

What is this, some sort of circle jerk?

DOS possibilities are endless (-1, Redundant)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013551)

So if you want to shut down a web site hosted by these guys, all you have to do is send out a spam message with their URL. This is trully "DOS for Dummies"

-Em

SDOS (1)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013555)


SDOS

Spam Denial Of Service?

Okay, that acronymn is pretty crappy. What can YOU come up with?

Re:SDOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013650)

FreeDOS! Because it's free...after all, the costs of spam are borne by recipients, not senders.

Teehee.

Re:SDOS (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013657)

Okay, that acronymn is pretty crappy. What can YOU come up with?

ReVDoS - Reversed Vigalante Denial of Service?

Re:SDOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013675)

Okay, that acronymn is pretty crappy. What can YOU come up with?
STD -- Spammed To Death. :P

Re:SDOS (1)

dsbaha (798669) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013680)

SCer: Spam Cooker!

Re:SDOS (1)

The UberDork (689979) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013846)

MSDOS Malicious Spam Denial Of Service

Re:SDOS (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013935)

Withdrawal of UBE Spam Site -- WUSS.

Re:SDOS (2, Funny)

2sheds (78194) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013976)

Multiple Spammed Denial of Service?

And this is interesting how? (4, Insightful)

toygeek (473120) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013558)

The Web Hosting company I work for has been doing this for years. You spam, you lose. Simple. From our AUP [amhosting.com] :
# UBE ("spam"): sending unsolicited bulk e-mail, using UBE, even if not sent from American Internet, to advertise (spamvertise) your site, providing any service to spammers such as mailboxes or Web sites.

Is this just now catching on? Shocking.

Re:And this is interesting how? (5, Interesting)

toygeek (473120) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013636)

To those of you saying how bad this is because you could basically DoS your competitor by spamvertising their site, here is a basic explanation of how it should work.

Complaints start rolling in. If its not caught soon, dsbl lists will start blocking the ISP. Is the spam legit? Lets contact the owner of the site. Not legit? Prove it. Usually, it IS legit. We investigate thoroughly and determine the source of said spam, and if its truly not legit spam, done by someone else (this *has* happened with us) then we notify spamcop or whatever list needed that an investigation has been done and its taken care of.

So, with due diligence when it comes to enforcing policies such as this, and not a "shoot first ask questions later" attitude toward shutting off sites, then it becomes a reasonable policy.

Re:And this is interesting how? (1, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013788)

Except the more agressive (and popular) anti-spam organizations do take a "shoot first, ask questions later" policy.

Oh, and

"I don't even have a little dog Toto..."

Re:And this is interesting how? (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013841)

Lets see. Legitamate spam is illegitamate. Right?

Of course they are going to investigate (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013919)

They are closing of their own paying customers. You can bet they are going to check, this is not the bubble anymore when ISP's ruled.

Re:And this is interesting how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013930)

Damn... and I was considering ALL spam as legit.

Re:And this is interesting how? (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013982)

Not legit? Prove it

Ahh, the old guilty until proven innocent.

You do know that it's usually logically impossible to prove a negative?

Ie; Prove to me you have not used google.com today. Logs and caches dont mean anything, anyone could delete google references in them. Just because google's logs dont show your IP doesn't mean you didnt use a proxy or anonymizer, etc..

Re:And this is interesting how? (2, Insightful)

MBAFK (769131) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013858)

From the article: "Many UK ISPs already close 'spamvertised' websites under their terms of service", the same way you have apparently been doing it, so no they aren't 'just catching on'.

Also from the article: "The new BCP (Best Current Practice) will raise the baseline, making the worldwide acceptable minimum standard tougher. We will be working to spread this standard beyond the UK and asking for support from the UK government at WSIS"

This is the interesting bit - I seems like a step in the right direction. If enough ISPs band together like this it will be increasingly difficult (sure not impossible - but harder) for ISPs to offer shelter to spam outlets.

Third-partying (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013560)

1. Start up competitor to /.

2. Send out spam promoting /.

3. See /. shut down.

4. Profit!!!!

Re:Third-partying (5, Funny)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013912)

1. Start up competitor to /.

2. Send out spam promoting /.

3. See /. shut down.

4. Have your site DOSed by a hoard of angry slashdotters

5. Bankruptcy

Shut down your competitors (-1, Redundant)

Falrick (528) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013561)

Sounds like a neat way to shut down your competitors site.

Hey, you guys are selling WAY more than we are, I think that I'll hire someone to send out spam on your behalf.

Good idea, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013564)

what will just happen is that these fine folks (cough) will just move elsewhere. It's not like they haven't done it already.
Since there is apparently less than 100 people worldwide responsble for sending out the spam, just find them and shoot say, half of them as a warning to others.

This will only be marginally effective... (5, Interesting)

datastalker (775227) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013571)

...as they're likely to have the same kind of site hosted in multiple places to avoid this problem. :( At best, it will drive up the costs of maintaining said sites, but those costs aren't that high to begin with.

Furthermore, this does nothing to the spammers whose hosters are in collusion with them, and who are profiting themselves.

Re:This will only be marginally effective... (3, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013658)

It will do something to those spammers - the ISPs can (and will) block the IP addresses. We're not talking about a citizen's action group here, but a collaboration of every major ISP in Britain.

excellent (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013578)

I'm going to send out spam advertising slashdot.

Put that in ur pipe and smoke it hippies.

How tolerant? (2, Funny)

mopslik (688435) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013583)

I suppose it all depends on how much investigation ISPs are required and/or willing to do.

gives them the mandate to shut down websites promoted through spam

So in theory:

  1. Pay spammer $N to include competitor's website in massive deluge of email
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

Re:How tolerant? (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013778)

You just paid to advertise a competitor?

Thanks!

Very interesting... (-1, Redundant)

Misch (158807) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013591)

I'm kind of glad that this is being done. The only thing I'm worried about is a reputable business being shut down over a black hat spamvertising gampaig... like.. for example... one store paying hacker to spamvertise for a competitor... or a group like Scientology "spamvertising" for xenu.net [xenu.net] . (Of course, how do you spamvertise a non-profit website?)

It's good, but there's some potential for abuse.

Re:Very interesting... (1)

ekw (261433) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013895)

> It's good, but there's some potential for abuse.

Good reason to forget the whole idea.

Same for the Internet.

Three cheers for idiocy... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013596)

Spam is a pain and we all know it, but shutting down websites advertised in spam is not a good way to stop people from spamming.
What it is good for is making sure that your competitor's web presence gets taken offline.

This is the way it should go (5, Interesting)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013602)

Fighting with spammers is not going to work ever, as long as they can make even a single penny of profit from their sleazy operations. If their income source is forced to dry, their flow of spam will follow the trend.

IMHO, the companies, who sell their products through the spamvertized channels should be put into the same tight squeeze. I want to see Pfizer sweat for those Viagra ads I receive day in and day out in hundreds.

Nothing new.... (5, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013604)

My company had one of its accounts suspended briefly last year when one of our clueless clients hired a US company to send e-mails for them to "1 million opt-in UK addresses".

BTW: how gullible can you get? A single opt-in list with about 5% of the Internet-connected population on it? Wow.

Re:Nothing new.... (0, Redundant)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013812)

... to "1 million opt-in UK addresses".

BTW: how gullible can you get? A single opt-in list with about 5% of the Internet-connected population on it? Wow.


Wow, indeed! The internet has only 20 million users?

I think parent means in the U.K. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013909)

That's all.

Re:Nothing new.... (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013955)

Note the 'UK'. :-)

Start sending spam from Microsoft and SCO (1)

StDave (13072) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013605)

This is the solution to all of our troubles. Spam as a DOS attack.

I think this is a pretty stupid way to regulate spam. I had a freind that simply set up a dialer to dial the 800 number in the spam 24 hours a day. This seems like a better disincentive to me.

Re:Start sending spam from Microsoft and SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013744)

Albeit illegal, but since when has that stopped anyone from doing something?

... and thus the casualties begin ... (4, Insightful)

Montreal Geek (620791) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013608)

I can see it now...

You have a competitor in UK? Eating through your market share?

We can take care of that! We, at SPAM, inc, will simply do a wave of aggressive spamming "touting" the virtues of your competitor, and arrange for a few hundred copies of that mailing to reach the sysadmin of the hosting ISP. Say "Goodbye!" to your competitor's web site!

And, for a small extra, we'll even include some advance fee fraud or otherwise illegal contents to the spam. Watch in glee as your competitors are harrased by the authorities to boot!

Hmmm. Sounds like a really, really good idea now doesn't it?

-- MG

Re:... and thus the casualties begin ... (1, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013687)

Give them some credit - I'm sure they actually thought about it. Sheesh. They're a bunch of ISPs. Not just one pokey little one with no clue, but many large ISPs. The police are pissed off with spammers just as much as anyone else, so investigating the spammer and the sites involved will be high on everyone's list.

Re:... and thus the casualties begin ... (0)

dmayle (200765) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013759)

Hmmm. Sounds like a really, really good idea now doesn't it?

We really can't have it both ways. This is a good thing, and the fact that there may be companies who will try to take advantage of it in reverse doesn't change that fact. The amount of money in reverse spam is sure to be lower than in normal SPAM, decreasing the number of people who are interested in it...

Re:... and thus the casualties begin ... (2, Insightful)

BigDu (806507) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013772)

This is indeed possible which is why it's important that whoever is in charge of actually shutting down the sites conducts proper due diligence (i.e. makes a case that any reasonable person could follow). That being said, I think this is also good because it's at least a start--if we want to get rid of spam (not that I'm saying that's possible) the ISPs and companies will have to work together which is what this is starting to do--companies may find that they can work with Linx to follow best practices or some such that will make it more difficult for competitors to do what you're talking about. As the sayings go--you have to start somewhere, and this is as good as anything yet.

Re:... and thus the casualties begin ... (1)

adamh526 (725423) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013817)

This is just another reason as to why it's near impossible to regulate technology with policy. The technologists don't understand (or don't care about) policy and the policy makers don't understand (or don't care about) technology. If things are ever going to get better, both sides are going to have to somehow start mixing and working together.

Re:... and thus the casualties begin ... (1)

danharan (714822) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013819)

ISPs could bundle AV software with their service, close down open relays, etc...

This however is lame, exactly for the reason you pointed out. Until people can be protected from joe jobs, the only people that will be victims will be innocent, while the rest already get bullet-proof hosting somewhere overseas.

Re:... and thus the casualties begin ... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013995)

Bah! Sounds like a pretty rare scenerio to me. Certainly too rare for a spammer to actually advertise this as a "service." For one thing, sites being advertised via spam are generally pretty small time. I doubt they have any sense of a particular competitor taking a significant portion of their market share. Do you really think one penis enlargment pill pusher gives a shit about another penis enlargment pill pusher? Do you think one porn site really has it in for another porn site? There are just so many of these organizations out there. Unless there was something personal between the two competetors, I doubt they care what each other does. I know the Internet is becoming a commercial wasteland, but come on, it isn't anarchy.

-matthew

So will ISPs shut down Hotmail... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013614)

...for sending me all of those "increase your storage" emails every week?

i can imagine all kinds of complications here (3, Insightful)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013667)

In theory it sounds nice. However, there are several problems here. First, the offending web site may be hosted by an ISP that doesn't give a damn. It may be overseas. It may be in Russia, or North Korea for that matter. If it is in a non-british jurisdiction all they can do is block access to it. There is no way to take it down. The link may be a referral. As others have already noted, the linked address may be that of someone the spammer doesn't like, resulting in the shutdown or blocking of an innocent web site. With so many potential problems, I doubt whether this initiative has a chance of succeeding.

Get a B1GGER p3nis with L1N UX! (here you go) (5, Funny)

Qinopio (602437) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013668)

Dear friend, The only operating system proven by science to enlarge your penis and make you wealthy is Linux, powered by SCO Technology. visit SCO.com to learn more! refrigerator penguin lovely tang information fr4556631

Spam is hillarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013874)

Yesterday I got one with the title "Got beer? Homeless."

It was one of those "g 3t Y u0R h1gh sc h0 0l d1 p10 m a !!1" ones. You know, those things are starting to get harder to read even though I read l33tsp34k at a college level!

About time.. (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013670)

As long as they investigate correctly to make sure that the web site in question isn't being framed by someone else, this is excellent.

I'm fairly tired of sites, particularly 'meds and pharms' sellers in Canada. Quite a few seem to have an associate program where 'associates' get paid for the referalls they send. Of course spamming is an ideal way to get these referalls.

Sites using these spam privateers deserve to be shut down.

*applause* (5, Interesting)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013671)

Could we do that in the United States, too?

But what about repeat offenders? Those that open up a new website and advertize by spam on that site, too? Setting up a webpage isn't too hard these days, and one could always send one's servers offshore. This needs to be an international policy.

Not just shut down. (4, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013677)

Not just shut down the site, but set up a page saying they were shut down and have the real data on the spammer, and some of the original page.

That allows the people who have been spammed to identify and track the spammer.

is that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013681)

You seem to forget that even though a spammer may use that to shut down another spammer, at the end of the day it's still one less spammer in the world.

I consider that a good thing(TM).

Good thinking (2, Interesting)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013701)

Other than the obvious abuse possibilities, this is a good way to remove the incentive to spam people. Until I started getting too much junk mail to keep up with, I would go to the website that was advertised (stripping out the personal identifier junk-text string) and e-mail the webmaster saying that I would never buy their product because of their advertising techniques and that I would actively warn people away from them. I doubt that they took me seriously, but it was nice to rant anyways, and yes I did follow through in my threat for many of those advertisers.

Also, if the spammers are getting a [very low percentage] click-through number, I wonder how many of those are people who have never gotten spam before. The number of people on the internet is growing so quickly, I'd imagine that many of the click-throughs are actually people who have never seen a "bulk unsolicited e-mail" before.

Other than the obvious abuse possibilities (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013888)

The first line is more important than your headline.

Killing the patient is the wrong way to stop a diesease.

i need you help (4, Funny)

coshx (687751) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013704)

DEAR SIR,

i want assure you this no spam i found you email by search web i son very important buznes man who in some politcal truble now rite and need you help get money out bank
in case you no believe you go see please his site SCO [sco.com]

PLEASE TO HEAR YOU RESPONSE.

N!GTXBALU GNTEMBI


darn filter won't let me submit in all caps :(

Code of practice not law... (5, Informative)

Numen (244707) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013706)

Please note the article is refering to a code of practice not a law. There will without doubt be different ways in which ISPs might and will implement it. If a competitor is spamming "on your behalf" then you're going to get a warning from your ISP saying that they're considering yanking your plug... you'll then get to address that and show circumstance.

Then if the chaps framing you are in the UK there's legal action you might take against them.

This is a good thing. It's not a draconian law, it's a business consortium agreeing that they they to focus on an issue and deciding common policy on how to address it.

Code of practice, not law.

Re:Code of practice not law... (1)

BigDu (806507) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013867)

^^Ditto this. As I noted in another comment above, this isn't necessarily a perfect system, but its a good start, and especially so if it is adopted in other countries, as some of Linx's other policies evidently have been.
Linx's former policy, drawn up in May 1999, has been widely adopted in the web world as a model of best practice.
This system gives a good logical starting point to help eliminate at least some of the spam that is distributed each day.

Re:Code of practice not law... (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013887)

Right, and what happens when someone who really does want to purchase a year's supply of "Colon Blow 5000" sues them because the ISPs implementing the block are preventing them from accessing the site? Unless it's backed by a law saying that the spam is illegal (thereby making the block legal) I don't see this as holding up in court. Obviously people *do* buy these stupid products, so this is ripe for a lawsuit from the spammers.

Re:Code of practice not law... (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013985)

Right, and what happens when someone who really does want to purchase a year's supply of "Colon Blow 5000" sues them because the ISPs implementing the block are preventing them from accessing the site?

What happens is that the judge throws the suit out of court on the grounds that some idiot's desire to purchase "Colon Blow 5000" is irrelevant to the issue (which is that ColonBlow5000.com is in breach of contract). Ideally, the process involves a pee-pee whacking from the baliff.

Increase your Manhood with Microsoft! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013753)

Microsoft [microsoft.com] has a temendous new product [microsoft.com] guaranteed to increase your manhood [microsoft.com] by up to three full inches [microsoft.com] ! For a no-risk trial [microsoft.com] , simply click on the link below:

I want to increase my manhood with Microsoft [microsoft.com]

Hey, a guy can try...

Re:Increase your Manhood with Microsoft! (2, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013958)

Microsoft [microsoft.com] has a temendous new product [microsoft.com] guaranteed to increase your manhood [microsoft.com] by up to three full inches! [microsoft.com] For a no-risk trial [microsoft.com] , simply click on the link below: I want to increase my manhood with Microsoft [microsoft.com]

Micro? Soft?

That's as inappropriate a name for a peni-spammer as you're likely to get.

This is a Very Good Thing (4, Insightful)

tao_of_biology (666898) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013770)

SPAM has become a total cancer on the internet. It's growing and sucking resources away from legitimate activities... it's discouraging use of email and costing ISPs and corporations way too much money.

This tumor is so rooted in the Internet, that there is no way to cut it all out without removing some healthy tissue. There is probably no perfect solution to this problem, but it HAS to be addressed.

I truly can't see people resorting to trying to advertise competitor's web sites via SPAM to get them shut down. They'd open themselves up to way too much liability if that actually happened.

IMHO: This solution does a pretty decent job of targetting the tumor without removing much healthy tissue. Again, no solution will perfectly home in on just spammers... innocents will always get caught up in the effort to remove this problem. The trick is to just come up with items and balance it's positive effects against its negative effects.

Not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013830)

No, theregister reported yesterday (morning for the US)! Slashdot is just getting lazy (er).

Sh1t! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013851)

This just in... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013868)

Michael is a diddy bag

8=============D in your ass

Wait, wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10013921)

...they've implemented the first step of my plan for a spam-free internet, but it's the *second* step! Where's the first step, UK? Where's the vicious ass-raping of Scott Richter and Alan Ralsky on a pay-per-view event on the scale of the World Cup?

You missed the best part, you limey bastards!!

So now I can Joe Job any .uk site right offline? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013929)

Any measures in place to prevent that?

What (if any) recourse does a site accused of spam-vertising have? Do the ISPs just refer to the vague "we can do whatever we want with your account and redefine what's acceptable as we see fit" language in the FAP to drop sites?

I've never seen spam redirect me to a .uk page, I dont know if spammers are just smart enough to keep geography in mind, or what..

How many spamvertised sites are in the UK? (5, Insightful)

EboMike (236714) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013980)

When I submit my daily dose of spam to Spamcop [spamcop.net] , I can see that 90% of all websites referred to by spam mails are hosted in China and Brazil, and I don't think either country will do a similar move anytime soon.

It is already common practice for spammers to use bullet-proof hosts (which is even mentioned in TFA).

So I don't think this move will change anything as far as spam goes, but the potential for abuse (see some of the previous comments) will increase, given that most sites hosted by UK ISPS are legitimate.

What's this going to do? (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 10 years ago | (#10013989)

So you shut down a spammer's porn site. They move it to a new host (outside the UK), and continue to spam. If they can kill or gain control of the domain name along with shutting down the site, perhaps this could work.

I hope it does.

I hope they punish more than just email spam, too. Usenet, IRC, and instant messengers need help, too.

new DOS ? (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 10 years ago | (#10014018)

great, now I just have to send SPAM for my competitor to this provider (with fake ads so that it is not a very intersting product), i blur the trace to me and the competitor loses market shares

might that happen ?
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