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A Day In The Life Of A Spammer

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the pay-it-forward dept.

Spam 313

kaip writes "Internetnews.com has a story of a spammer. The individual sends 60 million spam emails for four days worth of work and claims that one in 19 of AOL users clicks the links in his mortgage spam (this number should however be taken with a grain of salt, see rules 1 and 2). Maybe not everybody has heard of the Boulder Pledge... The article also tells how the CAN-SPAM Act, which legalises spamming, is turning the US into the spam haven of the world. Currently, 86 percent of the total spam volume is coming from the States."

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Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032536)

I thought everyone on Slashdot hated the RIAA, the MPAA, and Microsoft. Why do you keep hyping CDs, movies, and Windows games?
Big corporations are what they are. They sell us cool stuff with one hand and tighten the screws on our freedoms with the other. We hate them every morning and love them every afternoon, and vice versa. This is part of living in the modern world: you take your yin with your yang and try to figure out how to do what's right the best you can. If you think it has to be all one way or the other, that's cool, share your opinions, but don't expect everyone else to think the same.


In short, there are some advertiser communications that we don't welcome into our lives and call "spam", while there are other advertiser communications that we invite into our lives when we go through the Sunday Newspaper looking for the ad circular from our favorite store so we can see what's on sale without having to go there.

Wording a rule set so that spam gets shut down but ads we want to see still get through is quite a tough task to do on a one-viewer basis. It becomes even more difficult to do that on a comminity basis. Some of us want to know what's on sale this week at Best Buy, others couldn't care less.

I just don't see a solution that pleases everybody being possible in this area. It'll always be a game of new regulations constantly going up, but only being effective until somebody finds a way to work around them. We can hate spammers as scum, but that seems like the worst we can do to them at times.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (5, Insightful)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032556)

we go through the Sunday Newspaper looking for the ad circular from our favorite store so we can see what's on sale without having to go there.

That 'looking for' is the key. If I don't want to, I don't have to read the ad section.

Plus, everybody knows how fradulent these spam schemes are. Atleast, with the newspaper, if the frauds start creeping up, the newspaper company has to step up and tighten the noose.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (3, Insightful)

newandyh-r (724533) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032601)

No - the simple situation is that I don't need _any_ advertising through email. When I want to find out what's cheap at PCWorld I look at their web site. When I want to find to find the cheapest offer on flights to Europe I can search on Google or a more specialised site.

And I really don't need special offers on "Imitrex, Vioxx and Zoloft from Canada CHEAP!" - especially as I am not in the USA.

Opt in lists (3, Informative)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032755)

"the simple situation is that I don't need _any_ advertising through email"

That's a bit draconian. I would like to be notified when Blizzard is releasing a new game or the new Glen Cook book is being released. To get this info from the web sites, I would have to poll (check regularly) the web sites. I would rather receive a notification.

The key to this is opt in only lists. One way to do this is to make a server with your email provider that allows you to register an email as requested (bulk mail whitelist). Those can go through. Other bulk mail is prevented. There are other methods as well; that is just one example to handle both.

The real key is no *unsolicited* email advertising. If I request it, I want to be able to see it. Frankly, if a newspaper (to get back to that example) drops off their product unrequested, I would like to be able to prosecute them for littering. Further, a newspaper includes other things besides advertising. Spam does not.

Re:Opt in lists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032905)

But then opt in lists can be abused. You sign up for Emeril and the company hosting the list puts a clause in it that you're not just opting into that list, but those of their affiliates. Not so simple.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (4, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032720)

Here's the thing. I don't like paying to receive adverts, which is the current situation. Sending cost is a fraction of the delivery cost, which is mostly handled by the receiver.

Secondly, the scale of this is a massive problem. I get approximately 400 e-mails/day to my work account. About 250 of those are from two high-volume mailing lists, which get auto-sorted into folders, and I scan-read the subjects before deleting most of them.

About 5-10 of those are from people who are contacting me directly, and have a valid reason to do so...

The remaining 140 or so are spam. No, I'm not exageratting the numbers, I've got 6 more while I typed this, mostly trying to sell me Viagra, but with a couple for OEM software.

Marking what my spam filter (Thunderbird's built in one) misses is a significant effort. Then having to go through the spam folder and make sure all of these e-mails isn't actually from work is even more effort. Especially the ones that say "Meeting at 14:00 on thursday" or something.

Probably what gets to me most of that almost none of these apply to me. I don't want (or need) Viagra, I can't afford a house here, and the mortgage offers are for the USA only, I already have a university degree, I have reputable sources for OEM software, etc. etc. etc.

What's even worse is what doesn't get to me. I've had to two e-mail sacrifice accounts because they were getting too much spam (at around 200/day extra, each, for rarely used accounts). Of course, spammers will keep e-mailing those accounts - it's not like the bounces will ever get to them.

Another spam just arrived. Something about being 19 again.

One of those accounts was only ever given out to people on a face to face basis - but it was of the form @. The only way spammers could have found it would be by pouring thousands of e-mails into my work's domain, hoping that one of them would find a matching e-mail address. While I may not receive that e-mail, it's still pouring into work's servers. clogging them up and occupying our bandwidth.

Many other forms of advertising mean I get something for free (several TV channels here) or cheaper (magagzines/newspapers), and never cost me more, anyway (billboards, etc.).

In comparison, spam costs me money, and time, and adds a significant risk of e-mail loss. That is why I don't like spam.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (1)

littlem (807099) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032760)

Marking what my spam filter (Thunderbird's built in one) misses is a significant effort. Then having to go through the spam folder and make sure all of these e-mails isn't actually from work is even more effort. Especially the ones that say "Meeting at 14:00 on thursday" or something.

But isn't the point that a Bayesian spam filter simply beats spam in the long run - there's nothing the spammers can do? I bet when you've trained Thunderbird for six months, there just won't be any false positives, and you'll have half-a-dozen spams a day, which is a pain but manageable.

The problem lies with Outlook (surprise!) and internet email - if they'd provide Bayesian filters (and people were patient enough to train them), spammers would just go out of business. But most computer users are stupid, and M$ and online email companies have a vested interest in letting spam get through.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (2, Informative)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032890)

I use Mozilla and have been doing so since before they offered a filter. The filter hardly ever has a false positive, but it does miss about 30% of the spam I get - despite training.

Maybe 20 a day is not enough.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032805)

"The only way spammers could have found it would be by pouring thousands of e-mails into my work's domain, hoping that one of them would find a matching e-mail address."

A lot of small email domains are set up incorrectly and will allow spammers to collect lists of valid usernames (from which email addresses can be derived). Are you sure that your work email server does not do this?

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (1)

Jabes (238775) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032879)

We've recently changed the configuration on our server to reject invalid email addresses immediately. This does allow spammers to guess our email addresses.

But, what were they doing before? They were broadcasting messages to every name you could think of at our domain. Literally tens of thousands of them per hour. The sheer number of bounces that our server was trying to deliver was dragging our server to its knees.

Now the server utilisation is back to something sensible; the spammers know our addresses - but judging by the amount of deliveries before - they knew them anyway. We use the dns-based blacklisting services as well, but still thousands of spam messages get through.

So our users mostly use spambayes on their clients.

And our server breathes easy.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032954)

While I may not receive that e-mail, it's still pouring into work's servers. clogging them up and occupying our bandwidth.

Adapt this Simcity-style web activity display [wired.com] to SMTP: Spam would arrive in mobile homes, marked for the source spamhaus if possible. The giant foot that crushes them could be marked for the blocklist that got them, etc. The higher the load on mail servers, the more run-down their building would be. Clogged Internet connections would be streets with potholes...

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032975)

Well, setting your server to automatically bounce emails back to the source is problematic. Only about a dozen or so a day get past my filters of the thousand or so I actually receive. When I first set up my mail server a few years ago the volume of spam was substantially less, and bouncing the mail back to the sender wasn't a problem. Last week, however, I discovered that Comcast, as part of their new War on Spam, had disabled my SMTP access for 48 hours because I appeared to be a spammer!

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (2, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032721)

Oddly enough, many people on Slashdot tend to think laws and technology will never help the RIAA, MPAA, and the BSA stop online piracy. Guess what? It won't help stop spam either and while I agree with your premise, especially concerning print advertisements, I still think there is a way to fix uwanted e-mail.

I subscribe to a few sites newsletter, Apple and Amazon.comn being just two examples. Both occasionaly send me information about specials I might be interested in. In the case of Amazon.com, they recommend similar items I might like based on past purchases. Basically, an opt-in system would solve most unwanted advertisements. There will be a small percentage that will ignore ANY law put in place and these people should be prosecuted accordingly.

Now, I'm very careful to only give out my e-mail address to trusted sites. The only reason I seem to get even this spam is due to the fact that apsmmers datamined the whois database. I've since subscribed to an anonymizing service through my DNS provider so no more spammers can get my e-mail address. Luckily the e-mail address they do get is going to expire in December so my spam should drop to only 5-10 spams e-mails a week. Blocking this Whois hole would contribute to eliminating a lot of spam too. Why my private information needs to be made public just because I want to run a website with a personalized domain name is beyond me. I shouldn't have to pay to have this information made private, it shoudl be private by default.

However, there are many other types of spam that are not going to stop, phishing scams being one. These are by and large the largest kind I tend to get. Generally I don't get much spam at all, about 5-10 a day, 15-20 if you include my hotmail account I use specifically for spam catching. What I do get tends to be autogenerated and contain nonsense "words", such as sjwiersa or fxtjkxxzzqw. These are immediately deleted and I go on to read the rest of my e-mail. I believe these spam e-mails were sent to my e-mail address grabbed off the Whois database prior to my actions to anonymize the information.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032794)

"Why my private information needs to be made public just because I want to run a website with a personalized domain name is beyond me."

To provide contact info for complaints. A domain name is governed by similar rules to a business. If you want to operate (the domain) in public, you need to make public your contact info.

For that matter, phone numbers are the same way. By default, your number, name, and address are public info. One must pay extra to get an unlisted number.

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032722)

It's not love/hate at all.

Most reputable businesses choose advertising channels where the advertiser bears the majority of the cost of the advertisement. These advertisements tend to have at least SOME downward pressure on the total number of advertisements a person will be forced to see. These advertisers are on the whole a little more truthful, because the money trail back to them is larger and clearer.

Less reputable businesses may choose advertising channels where the advertiser bears a very low percentage of the cost of their advertisement. Because they pay very little, and the overhead costs are small, it's easier to employ random and changing small-time "advertisers" and it's easier to generally obscure the money trail, allowing for less truthful advertisements. Because the cost of each ad impression is very very low, there's virtually no downward pressure on the number of ads a person may be forced to see. Because these "advertisers" are in the game for a quick buck, and their reputations won't suffer from any ill will, they don't care if they decrease the value of the targetted communications channel to nearly zero, to the point where people start considering abandoning it.

Mod parent way up! (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032925)

"The Tragedy of the Commons"

Why do we have to allow ANY unsolicitated commercial email?

And don't anyone go into "free speech" on this. You can say anything you want. But you can not use up my bandwidth.

The economics of email ads means that there is NOTHING preventing spammers from flooding your ENTIRE pipeline with ads.

LOSTCLUSTER = MULTIUSER ACCOUNT FAGGOT KARMAWHORE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032764)

MOD THIS FAGGOT DOWN!

Re:Our love-hate relationship with business-scum (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032770)

while there are other advertiser communications that we invite into our lives when we go through the Sunday Newspaper

The advertisers in the Sunday newspape are subsidising my purchase. Spammers are costing my ISP money, and eventually I'm going to pay for that.

Wording a rule set so that spam gets shut down but ads we want to see is quite a tough task

Trivial. Don't send any ads unless solicited/opt-ed in. Some fine aof a few dollars a mesage to make it stick, and give enforcemt authorities an income. Totally illegal to send such from a bogus or forged address.

I guess you're just playing Devil's Adviocate to get modded "interesting".

Finnaly (4, Funny)

Krunaldo (779385) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032541)

Finnaly, now i can track down this person and kill him as revange for all the porn mail I'm receivning. Wait, that i want... hmz pr0n&spam or no pr0n&no spam... Difficult decison

Kill them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032563)

Someone sends you porn... you have a serious desire to kill them.
Logical deduction: You find killing less bad, infact a cure, to pornography.
Do you also believe Janet Jackson bareing a nipple is less bad than songs, in the same performance, bragging about killing and mutilating? Americans are fucked up?

Re:Kill them? (4, Interesting)

miu (626917) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032667)

Someone sends you porn... you have a serious desire to kill them.

It is the same sort of rage that you feel at someone who cuts you off in traffic, or listens to their voice mail with the volume cranked up. Hatred is a common reaction to extreme rudeness and spam is rudeness taken to the nth degree.

The gut reaction of hatred caused by spam has very nothing to do with logic. When I think about spammers logically I think they should be fined to the point at which their business case is destroyed and in extreme cases (fraud, illegal merchandise) they should go to jail. When I waste 30 minutes filtering mail or miss an important mail because of spam then, just for a second, I'd like to bloody the nose of the assholes responsible for it.

Offtopic sig comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032784)

You sig is nerdiliciously funny. In a good way, of course :D

Spam, spam, glorious spam. (-1)

Uber Banker (655221) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032544)

I don't get it.

Hardly suprising (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032545)


in a country that wipes its ass with the consitition,geneva convention,kyoto,israel etc etc etc

anti-americansim is a rising trend globally and it isnt because we are jealous of your "freedom"

repeat? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032546)

Haven't we seen this hundreds of times before on slashdot?

I don't care what they do in their life as long as it doesn't involve them getting my E-mail address.

Re:repeat? (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032992)

I don't care what they do in their life as long as it doesn't involve them getting my E-mail address.

What the hell kind of an attitude is that. You probably also say "I don't care who terrorists blow up, as long as it isn't ME."

The problem is -- it DOES affect you. In terms of lost business, lost communications, increased prices for internet services, loss of freedom. You're simply too short sighted and selfish to see it.

Okay, our turn (2, Insightful)

Rii (777315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032551)

Hey, why don't they post his email? Is he afraid of spam?

sgalton@galtonhelm.com (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032612)

sgalton@galtonhelm.com

happy now?

You mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032703)

like [mailto] this [mailto] ?

Re:Okay, our turn (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032955)

C'mon we probably all already have 'his email address' just reply to the spam that you get everyday and I am sure he will read it.

*sigh* (4, Interesting)

bl1st3r (464353) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032552)

SPAM will continue to exist until people stop making spam profitable. It's a bad side effect to greed. People will do anything for a buck.

Legislation won't help. Technology hasn't been able to help that much yet. Basically, advertising is here to stay, and you can do one of two things, make yourself invisible so you can't be advertised to, or accept it.

Companies want you to be a consumer, so that they can keep being producers. There's too many companies, so they are going to fight hand over foot to get their product into your mind in whatever method they can.

-Eric

Re:*sigh* (4, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032677)

Ugh, will people give that up?
Spam will *always* be profitable as long as email is free. It's essentially free advertising, and therefore it will always be profitable to someone.

Re:*sigh* (5, Insightful)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032690)

SPAM will continue to exist until people stop making spam profitable.

SPAM will continue as long as spammers percieve that spam is profitable.

I have never read an article where a spammer actually gave solid documentation of how much money he or she made. I've always read that "for a successful campaign, I get between this much and that much on a sales rate of this much or that much on a click through rate of about this on a distribution of about that."

Sending spam is a get-rich-quick scheme, and the people participating lie about how much money they make, just like every other stooge in every other get-rich-quick scheme. Spam will continue to exist as long as shitheads who live in trailers with high-interest credit cards will agree to "spend money to make money" by buying scam email proxy servers and scam bulk email software.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032966)

Well, some spammers reportedly live in nice big houses in nice neighborhoods. That is solid documentation as far as I am concerned. At least some spammers seem to make it work for themselves.

Re:*sigh* (3, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032700)

Blockquoth the poster:

Legislation won't help. Technology hasn't been able to help that much yet. Basically, advertising is here to stay, and you can do one of two things, make yourself invisible so you can't be advertised to, or accept it.

That's unnecessarily defeatist. Spam will always exist as long as it's profitable, as you say. Laws and tech can both raise the cost of spam or, equivalently, decrease its effectiveness. Imagine if all email programs came with a default-on advanced spam filter, and you had to go through hoops and hurdles to turn it off. How many people would choose to receive spam, even among those who (in my opinion, assininely) click through on the spam they receive?

Re:*sigh* (1)

DocSnyder (10755) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032768)

SPAM will continue to exist until people stop making spam profitable.

That's why it is a really bad[TM] idea to order viagra, software and other spamvertised things for non-existant addresses or other spammers, using fake credit card informations. Soon after the campaign the spammer will get lots of retoured (undeliverable or rejected) packages and pay a lot of money for nothing.

Bullet-proof hosting is expensive, too, so think about the spammer's budget if you /.^H^H"visit" a spammer's site. ;-)

Re:*sigh* (2, Funny)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032852)

actually if it were easy and legal, scumbags would walk into your kitchen and plaster ads all over your fridge. they'd tattoo your children with messages of "increase your penile girth", and hook up a special radio that would play at random times during the middle of the night "buy me, buy me, (insert product plug here)"

spam has nothing to do with profitability. and everything to do with being easy and dirt fucking cheap.

face it. spammers are lazy fucking scum, and if it were made expensive/difficult to send email then they would move on to some other form of despised behavior.

Re:*sigh* (2, Insightful)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032920)

Technology would help the moment we replaced our antiquated mail delivery system (SMTP) with something that required trust and/or authorization from the receiver for the e-mail to even be accepted by the server. A method of tracking that was more closely tied to mail stores (with the goal being to make it impossible to forge an e-mail address) would also help a ton.

SMTP is far too trusting and allows far too much to be specified by the sender.

I'll let Hanover Fiste speak to this: (5, Funny)

drsmack1 (698392) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032554)

He's nothin' but a low-down, double-dealin', back-stabbin', larcenous, perverted worm!! Hangin's too good for him!! Burnin's too good for him!! He should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!!!

I Hate Email (2)

firefly2442 (686193) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032558)

Am I the only one who hates email? People send way too much of it for unimportant things and there is so much spam, you can't get anything done. It almost seems like instant messaging is better than email.

IM Isn't a Complete Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032874)

That's great for the geeks that refure to shut down their computers and leave themselves online with clever away messages like "ZZZzzzzz..." and "Me so tired", but many of us aren't online all the time and like having the ability to be contacted even then. Sometimes, the people at the other end also have lives and can't sit waiting in front of their computer for us to get online.

Isn't this completely obvious?

Re:I Hate Email (1)

ravingidiot (798346) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032914)

I, too, find it hard to use email for many of the same reasons. However spam really isn't one of the big reasons. It's more of an issue of pragmatism; I find email inefficient because I have faster and more interactive solutions when I want to communicate with my friends. My email really just exists because it has to; it's such a widely accepted standard that you need it to sign up for the most trivial things. Of course, if you've ever used ICQ or been in an AOL chatroom, you'd change your mind about there being no spam on it. It's too easy to get ahold of your UIN in ICQ and AOL chatrooms are lacking in assignment of permissions. The bad thing is AOL's attempts to stifle the spam just result in weirder bots. Now as far as email spam goes, garbage in, garbage out. There's massive profit to be made in selling contact information and email addresses are no exception. The best way to avoid spam is to stay away from disreputable sources.

Incomplete Schedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032559)

He left off the daily beating I give him.

Inaccurate article (0)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032561)

It didn't mention anything about the pulling wings off of insects, skinning kittens, drowning puppies or making little babies cry.

At least that's what I always assumed spammers do to warm up in the morning.

Con means anti-Pro, Congress is the anti-Progress (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032564)

There are some things the US Government is just plain contradictory on because, well, We the People are contradictory on the topic.

We shout out that we have the First Amendment rights anytime somebody tries to tell us not to speak, but then we strugle to find a way to make other people we don't want to hear shut up. The fact is, anywhere you create an unregulated communication medium, the smut, scum, and scam people will definitely show up to play. It's just the way things work.

Re:Con means anti-Pro, Congress is the anti-Progre (4, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032673)

Not american, but still... Yes, free speech. Everyone's entitled to free speech. Everyone's also entitled to not listening if they don't want to - and for me, this is where spam crosses the line. The mere fact that you have to go through so much pain to keep your e-mail box spam free is indicator of how annoying these people can get in order to FORCE you to read their advertisements.

Re:Con means anti-Pro, Congress is the anti-Progre (1)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032880)

Exactly. We need to find a way to enforce CAN-SPAM, and then everything else should be up to the user. Spam is free speech, but it's way too open to scamming without an enforced CAN-SPAM to at least give you an opt-out and a trail to follow back.

Re:Con means anti-Pro, Congress is the anti-Progre (1)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032942)

Spam is free speech, but it's way too open to scamming

Isn't this the argument Ashcroft, and Meese before him, use to limit porn? Porn is free speach, BUT... How about the flag burning hurrah a few years ago? Flag burning is free speach, BUT... Drop the but's, either you are in favor of free speach, with all it's benefits and hassles, or you're not.

CAN-SPAM Doesn't Legalize SPAM (1)

wbswbs (99099) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032582)

Can we get this straight please? "Spamming" wasn't "illegal" before CAN-SPAM so CAN-SPAM couldn't have "legalized" it. True, there were a number of state laws that RESTRICTED the practice (and even one that prohibited, but that law was never tested and was likely unconstitutional as a blanket prohibition on commercial speech via e-mail).

Re:CAN-SPAM Doesn't Legalize SPAM (1)

Kiyooka (738862) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032680)

True. It wasn't technically legal or illegal. People weren't quite sure. That kept some companies wary of conspicuously spamming. This act, in a sense, legitimizes spam, so companies don't have to be worried any more.

A truly classic political act: misleads and placates the masses while making the companies happy.

No, email spam was illeqal (0, Redundant)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032692)

Using the same simple test that makes unsolicited faxes illegal ( and us-mail spam legal ):

The recipient has to pay for the receipt of the unsolicited advertisements..

Re:CAN-SPAM Doesn't Legalize SPAM (0, Redundant)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032800)

in many states SPAM was illegal, and the laws were relatively well-written.

then they were all overiden by the CAN-SPAM piece of shit spewed from the mouths of the marketers, the fucking twats.

Re:CAN-SPAM Doesn't Legalize SPAM (1)

lunarscape (704562) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032919)

Not all of the state anti-junk-email laws were overridden by CAN-SPAM. Even though CAN-SPAM does say something to that effect, state laws that ban spam using misleading From: addresses and subject lines are still valid. I had used the Maryland law to sue spammers until CAN-SPAM came along. Just recently I discovered that the Maryland law is still valid, and now it's back to suing my inbox!

Make unsolicited e-mail cost... (2, Informative)

Numen (244707) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032583)

I think MS might have been onto something with Penny Black... if sending unsolicited e-mail (sending to an address that didn't have you on their contact sheet) cost a small micro-payment, it would quickly offset any profits to be made from spamming on the scale described in the article, and wouldn't be prohibitive to those who needed to send the occasional unsolicited e-mail.

It's either that or get into the murky waters of concrete identity, and of the two the former is the least opressive regime.

Re:Make unsolicited e-mail cost... (1)

mustangdavis (583344) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032706)



... if sending unsolicited e-mail (sending to an address that didn't have you on their contact sheet) cost a small micro-payment, it would quickly offset any profits to be made from spamming on the scale described in the article ...


This is a good idea ... sort of ...

As long as sending SPAM is cheaper than sending junk snail mail, there will be SPAM. This is where this idea starts getting interesting ... charging more than (or the same amount as) it would cost to send out a flyer via the postal service. This is when you'd see a HUGE decrease in SPAM. Only when it requires a legitimate investment to advertise and it costs about as much as other advertising medium will SPAM cease to suck up terrabytes of disk space (and bandwidth) on mail servers.

It is simple economics!!!!

Re:Make unsolicited e-mail cost... (2, Insightful)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032863)

"As long as sending SPAM is cheaper than sending junk snail mail, there will be SPAM."

Cheaper per sale. Spam has always been less effective than junk mail, but it didn't matter since it was much cheaper (i.e. a million spams to make one sale only costs a few dollars to send, where the ten junk mails that could have been sent for the same price won't net a single sale on average). If spam gets up to even a penny per email, it will probably be more economical to only use targetted snail mail lists or other more traditional advertising (radio, TV, etc.).

Re:Make unsolicited e-mail cost... (2, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032713)

While Penny Black, or something like it, would certainly help make spamming less economical there are a couple of major problems with it that need resolving. Firstly, it will penalise legitimate mailing lists like the LKML and so on. Sure, you can implement a whitelist mechanism to waive the charge, but it only takes so many users to overlook this, either through ignorance or forgetfullness, and the costs start to add up. You could possibly build this waiving into the sign-up process - "click here to confirm your subscription and waive all Penny Black costs". The trick is doing so in a manner that could not be automatically invoked by a spammer, because if they figure that out then they've not only validated your email address but they've got carte blanche to spam you for free. Needless to say, this was not part of the Penny Black proposal and nor would I trust Microsoft to come up with a secure implementation of such as mechanism.

Secondly, and this is the show-stopper at the moment, it relies on there being an effective micropayment system that can be easily integrated into SMTP, so far there isn't really a viable micropayment system, let alone one that works with SMTP. Hopefully the likes of iTunes etc. will change that, but Penny Black would need to handle several orders of magnitude more transactions than iTunes, which might pose problems. The vast majority of spammers also don't care much for the law, so the payment system would need to be proof against stolen credit card numbers, abuse of compromised PCs, faked domain names...

It's a nice idea, and I might even use it if it were to happen, but somehow I just can't see something like Penny Black ever getting off the ground.

Re:Make unsolicited e-mail cost... (1)

droleary (47999) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032759)

I think MS might have been onto something with Penny Black...

You'd be wrong. I mean, 90% of the spam I'm seeing comes from spam zombies (i.e., exploited Windows boxes turned into mass mailers). Do you think Microsoft of all companies is actually going to push for something that further dings people who buy their crap OS? Nothing would get people off MS faster than the threat of a bill for $10,000 because some asshat can take your machine over and go joy-riding over inboxes across the Internet.

Re:Make unsolicited e-mail cost... (1)

the pickle (261584) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032980)

Until M$ can fix their own fucking mail clients not to send viruses to every goddamn e-mail address in the address book (or even in any file on the entire hard drive), I'd rather people with Windoze machines NOT add my address to their address books, thankyouverymuch.

And I refuse to pay money to send e-mail to those people. Either I pay to send them e-mail, or I pay by spending my time deleting all their viruses. No fucking way.

Next proposal, please.

p

SPAM has killed email for me (2, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032592)

Thank god for Instant Message applications, otherwise I'd be lost.

Actually, one of my accounts only gets one or two spams a day, but my main business address gets 1000 - 3000 a day now (after spamassassin, however I need to enable some blacklists, sod the customers that get accidentally blocked) - earlier this year it was 100 - 300, and last year 10 - 50. So in my experience, volumes of bandwidth wasting time wasting productivity wasting SPAM has gone up ONE HUNDRED TIMES in a year or so. Where will it be in 3 years time? It will be unmanageable, enough is sent from compromised machines these days and it will only get worse.

The USA needs to sort out its spam problems, and soon.

I hope they never find out (1)

Mike Hock (249988) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032593)

my secret [mailto] email address
sgalton@galtonhelm.com

sgalton@galtonhelm.com

sgalton@galtonhelm.com

CAN-SPAM (4, Insightful)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032597)

This is more proof of why Spamhaus called CAN-SPAM the "National Right to Spam Act."

Blech. Shoot 'em all.

Re:CAN-SPAM (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032715)

Blockquoth the poster:

This is more proof of why Spamhaus called CAN-SPAM the "National Right to Spam Act."


No, no, no. The act is surprisingly honestly named. Now, you CAN spam (in the sense of, are able to), and it's protected. :)

Only 1 in 19 (-1, Troll)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032600)

one in 19 of AOL users clicks the links

I would have thought that 18 out of 19 AOLosers users would click the links. Hell, they click everything else that comes up, including viruses in email.

It's to the point that if somebody wants me to work on their computer and they're an AOL user, I refuse and tell them why. It's not just because of AOL; it's just that anybody stupid enough to use AOL would let all kinds of crap (spyware, etc.) get installed on their systems. And if you uninstall anything, they scream and say, "I needed that!"

I don't get CAN-SPAM (4, Interesting)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032605)

I just don't get it. I mean, Congress bending over backwards to legitimize obnoxious behaviour by big corporations I can understand; that's pretty much what it's for, these days.

But spammers? They're not particularly organized, as far as I know. It's not as if the Viagra-and-penis-extension lobby is a major campaign contributor. So what gives? Are Congresscritters really so consistently stupid right across the board, AND their staff, AND all the IT and telecoms industry lobbyists who must have had something to say?

Or were they worried about the effect of (useful) legislation on political direct-email campaigns? Maybe. But I can't see how that would benefit one party more than the other, so why care?

Re:I don't get CAN-SPAM (2, Informative)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032973)

But spammers? They're not particularly organized, as far as I know.

I would guess it's mainly the direct marketing association [the-dma.org] that lobbies for weaker spam regulation. They are opposing a national do-not-spam list [washingtonpost.com] , and they're the main reason why the do-not-call list has no power.

Now, they're not that big, but there's not really anyone lobbying against them. At least, not in the ways it counts, through money and people actually in congress talking with congressmen day in day out.

DIEEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032607)

I say we force feed him 30 million pounds of real spam and see how he likes it!!

Double standards? (5, Insightful)

IceFreak2000 (564869) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032609)

On page one of the article:

"Richard Cunningham" more than likely isn't his real name; he won't say one way or another

And on page two:

"They are nothing more than kooky Net trolls out to profit and glorify themselves off a so-called problem more so than actually attempting to fix the so-called problem," he said. "They do not scare me, and the likes of them are cowards hiding behind a computer screen."

If he ain't scared, why hide behind a false name?

Rule 4 is defective... (0, Redundant)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032615)

Rule #4: The natural course of a spamming business is to go bankrupt.

The natural course of any process is towards entropy. All schedules of organization, including a business, will naturally fall apart if its owners don't work hard to keep it together.

Any business is on a natural course towards bankruptcy, it isn't limited to just spammers. People get born, and eventually they die. Businesses come into life when they get incorperated, and eventually die when they declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and can have near-death experiences as they file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.]

We all wish spammers will just go bankrupt, but the truth is that all businesses will eventually. It's only a matter of time.

My spamproofing (5, Informative)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032631)

I use postfix, but sendmail can do the same:
  1. reject_unknown_client is on. This means that a connecting client MUST have a reverse-dns lookup for its IP, and the resulting name MUST resolve back into that IP. This alone blocks most spammers before their client can even begin to send a message.
  2. I use xbl.spamhaus.org. This is a wonderful thing. This blocks not only any box known to spam, but also any box found to be infested by some virus, ie zombies. Once again, this stops them dead before the message even starts.
  3. In the unlikely event that they get past those hurdles, I have a homebrewed filter that watches for bogus HTML tags, since they like to intersperse bogus empty tags in the middle of words in order to foil content-based filters. This simple filter actually blocks 90% of anything that made it that far.
  4. Spamassassin. The few brave soldiers of spam that got this far rarely pass this. I leave this filter near the end because it's rather CPU intensive...
  5. Finally, a simple procmail rule: If my name isn't in the "To:" or "Cc:" line, file it as spam.
I haven't seen a spam message in, uh, maybe a year or two?

Re:My spamproofing (4, Insightful)

the pickle (261584) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032795)

That's all well and good, but do you have any idea how many false positives that system has generated over the last year or two? I'm curious, because it sounds like it would reject a lot of list mail and "cold" contacts from people asking for help with stuff (which is something I'm happy to answer when I have the time).

p

Re:My spamproofing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032806)

My biggest problem lately hasn't been spam, either I just don't get any or my free email providers do an excellent job of blocking them. My biggest problem has been virus-bearing email I receive from infected Windows users. I get at least a handful of these every day.

It's the mail you don't get that matters (3, Insightful)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032825)

While your techniques will all stop spam, they will also stop a great deal of legitimate mail (ham). Stopping spam is not the hard problem Stopping spam while letting ham through is the hard problem.

If businesses did what you did, most of them would go out-of-business.

Re:My spamproofing (1)

CowbertPrime (206514) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032986)

Great, so people who's servers have broken rdns cannot send email to you. (My smtp server has broken rdns, I do not have delegation of the zone from the ISP).

How to break spammer's identity secrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032636)

If you see a spammer stealing copyright or trademarks, work with the IP owner on an infringement suit.

You don't care about winning the suit:
You care about getting this guy's real name and other details. Call the press and have them meet you at the courthouse. Make a big stink in his hometown. Publicly embarrass him.

Just don't kill him or make him feel his life, property, or family is in danger. If you do, the judge will gag you and give him a pseudoname in court.

Saying CAN-SPAM causes spam seems like a stretch.. (3, Interesting)

MadAnthony02 (626886) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032641)

The article also tells how the CAN-SPAM Act, which legalises spamming, is turning the US into the spam haven of the world.

I think CANSPAM is an awful law. It overrides much better and stricter state laws, and it doesn't really do anything to reduce SPAM.

However, it seems like a stretch to say that CANSPAM is turing the U.S. into a SPAM haven. I think most spam recieved in the U.S. is tied to U.S. businesses, even if it's sent or bounced through servers abroad. Just because spam from US servers have increased doesn't mean CANSPAM is the cause - you can use logic like that to "prove" that pr0n is good for kids [techcentralstation.com] .

I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason for the increase is that there are more virus-laden compromised computers in the U.S. to relay spam off of.

Re:Saying CAN-SPAM causes spam seems like a stretc (1)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032956)

I agree that it is a big stretch to say that CAN-SPAM turns the US into a spamhaven. Unfortunately, Spamhaus showed that the US was the world's biggest spam haven before the CAN-SPAM, and I haven't seen any big changes.

CAN-SPAM seems, quite simply, to have been ineffective. It was a bad idea, just like everyone who had been involved in the spam problem for some time said.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen a spam that looked to be CAN-SPAM compliant. I suppose they are easy to filter and that I reject them at SMTP time. I guess that is a bit of an improvement, but I think it also means that the tagging approach isn't a good solution, only opt-in is.

Banks are the benefactors of mortage spams (3, Interesting)

GGardner (97375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032653)

It is amazing to me that the ultimate benefactors of mortgage spams are generally banks, one of the stodgy, conversative types of organizations around. (And rightfully so). Now, they need several layers of spam-laundering in order to hide themselves with plausible deniabilty from the spammers. But, it seems to me that an organized campaign to lobby and educate banks and other financial institutions ought to be able to eliminate mortgage spam.

They're driven to make money. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032732)

The only way to educate them is to stop replying to the mortgage spam. As long as they can buy leads, they will because it is profitable for them to do so.

Which is the case with ALL spam. As long as the price of sending the spam is lower than the profit of selling the "product", we will have spam.

1.2.3. Profit (2, Insightful)

Pidder (736678) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032712)

From the article

"As long as it makes me money, I'll continue to do it."

That's the key issue here. As long as spam is profitable people will continue doing it no matter how illegal it is. When 1 in 19 AOL users stop clicking on spam, Mr Cunningham and his friends will go away for good. Personally I haven't received any spam whatsoever since I moved away from Hotmail a few years ago. My university email is as clean as a baby's but and my yahoo.se is very clean (1-2 a week). Most likely because my univeristy has a very competent IT staff.

The further development of filters and smarter users are, imo, the things that will make spam go away... in a few hundred years or so...

TDMA (1)

cyberwave (695555) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032717)

TDMA replies to an unknown sender and asks to "kindly reply to prove that you are a human". The reply-to is a temporary address with a long serial number. Once added, the address is on white-list. This is 99.999 percent effective.

Re:TDMA (2, Informative)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032858)

TDMA replies to an unknown sender and asks to "kindly reply to prove that you are a human". The reply-to is a temporary address with a long serial number. Once added, the address is on white-list. This is 99.999 percent effective.

And when the TDMA user doesn't use SPF or something to block forged envelopes, they spam the world with their "did you send me some email" replies. And the reply template is customizable - so every TDMA spammer is unique. Also, while using a temporary envelope address for their own reply, the system does not work with other systems that use temporary envelope addresses like SRS or SES. The underlying design assumption is that TDMA is the only anti-SPAM measure worth using.

86% of Spam comes from US (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032741)


Does that mean that if they all would start to wear the patriotic hat all of a sudden, that they could paralyze the rest of the digital world?

A day in the life of a spammer (4, Funny)

inkswamp (233692) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032745)

8:30 AM: Wake up.

8:35 AM: Morning stretches and exercise.

8:55 AM: Pray for forgiveness for being a subhuman piece of filth, hoping to save already-rotten soul from the deepest pits of Hell.

9:00 AM: Shower.

...etc.

Re:A day in the life of a spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032924)

9:00 AM: Shower.

9:30 AM: Put on bullet-proof vest.

9:35 AM: Check the mailbox - using a long pole, just in case...

Holy crap... (3, Informative)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032756)

Take a look at http://www.specialham.com/ [specialham.com] . I had no idea spammers were being this open. For example, check this message [specialham.com] :

Anyone interested in an undetected socks 4 bot for computers that you have access to? Completely undetected and self-spreads via unique methods.

-Executable for sale only (no source)
-Updates
-CGI/PHP notification
-Random Ports or user defined port.
-EXE only

aim: ofno
"self-spreads via unique methods": Hello, I am selling MSDoom.VQY. Jesus Christ.

And they're sponsored by [specialham.com] our old friends, The Bulk Club [slashdot.org] . Can't we spread a rumour that Osama is actively funding spammers or something?

Re:Holy crap... (1)

jekewa (751500) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032963)

They're also supported by some top-notch fellas [totalfuckinglosers.com] ...

What really gets me... (4, Funny)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032771)

... about spam, is it just doesn't apply to me. You see, I have a degree in computer science. This means:

1. I don't want a degree from a prestigious non-accredited university.
2. My sex life is well beyond being helped by Viagra, or anything else in pill form.
3. Outsourcing means I can't afford a mortgage (okay, actually I'm employed, but work with my joke).

Just quarantine the US. (4, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032782)

No, seriously. If 80+% of spam originates in the USA, and the US congress is daft enough to pass laws like CAN-SPAM global ISPs should hold a "cut the link" week and block email traffic from the USA. Just imagine the chaos and media attention that would cause. And it would be media attention is something that makes politicians squirm. A question, though. Can anyone explain to me what would make US lawmakers vote in favour of this bill? It seems like the kind of thing that any semi-sentient 14 year-old would be able to critically dissect as narf idea in about 12 seconds.

Re:Just quarantine the US. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032900)

Can anyone explain to me what would make US lawmakers vote in favour of this bill?

Liquor.

Seriously, if you think ANY politician in Washington gives a shit about ANYTHING but
lining his pockets and getting elected again
so he can continue to line his pockets, you are
mistaken.

Therefore, even small "perks" get their attention.
Letters from their so-called 'constituents' go
into the garbage.

And you can be sure the 'perks' provided by the
Direct Marketing folks came in nice large bottles,
or little tiny bikinis. One or the other.

On behalf of the rest of the world... (1)

Turd Rippleton (558149) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032785)


FuC|

fail2ors (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032810)

minutes. At home, may also want show that FreeBSD I've never sse8 of the above by the politickers nearly two years milestones, telling

Re:fail2ors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032829)

You might want to turn off the encryption when posting.

As I always do when a spam story pops up... (5, Interesting)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032815)

...allow me to pimp two of my favorite projects. First up is the Unsolicited Commando [astrobastards.net] project. It's a little java app that spends its day quietly and merrily filling out forms on spamvertised websites with completely bogus - and yet totally real looking - data. It's especially effective against - surprise! - mortgage/refinance spammers, which seems to be the specialty of the dirtbag mentioned in the article. Go check it out, and the source code is available just in case you think something fishy is going on.
The second page I'd like to point you to is here [hillscapital.com] . It's a 'Lad Vampire' antispam page that also targets spamvertised websites, but in a different way. The page links to individual images on the sites and constantly reloads them without caching, thereby burning up the spammers' bandwidth and driving them out of business (or at least costing them some money and forcing them to sell their children on the black market). Be forewarned that the page has no help, no documentation, and *only* works in IE, so don't yell at me about that. The source code is available for that as well, so here's hoping someone can make it more usable in Moz, Opera, ThunderFireBunnyChicken, or whatever browser is your fave.

WeThe Spammer's Email Address (2, Funny)

p0 (740290) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032836)

According to the article
"Richard Cunningham" more than likely isn't his real name; he won't say one way or another. But that's the name that appears on the WHOIS record for Spamsoft.biz, a domain he owns.

Here is the WHOIS record [whois.net]
Email: ProMan@animail.net
Web: www.spamsoft.biz

Quickly! Slashdot his website! Send all your viagra, big tit/dick and Nigerian money to his email account!

Spam: born in the USA. Why? (2, Insightful)

dtio (134278) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032844)

Because spammers go where the bandwith is.

From an interesting article with some insights about the reason why most spam is US based:

http://www.compliancepipeline.com/28700163

"The United States is the origin of choice for spammers, said Alperovitch, because of the plentiful supply of cheap high-speed bandwidth. "Spammers need big pipes, and they don't want to pay much for it," he said.

That explains the low percentage of spam messages originating from overseas' IP addresses. The lack of cheap bandwidth outside the United States is stymieing spammers' attempts to scale up the volume of their mailings to U.S. sizes."

Re:Spam: born in the USA. Why? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032909)

The US probably has about 25% [internetworldstats.com] of the world's broadband subscribers (between 20% and 30% we'll say). The United States ranks 10th [washingtontimes.com] in the world in per-capita broadband subscriptions. "The United States also trails these countries in terms of the average speeds available over their broadband connections." (from the same article). Broadband is more expensive in the US than it is in Canada, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and possibly others.

I don't see how all this adds up to the US providing some obscene proportion of the world's spam.

Re:Spam: born in the USA. Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032915)

High-speed badnwidth is qidely availible and not too expensive in Sweden, yet I haven't received any spam from Sweden, as far as I can see. Of course, they can fake their identities but still... Most stuff is about American products for American citizens. Clearly something that doesn't concern me even if I was interested in the product itself.

I'm working on some hostile spam filtering (2, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 10 years ago | (#10032878)

I've been getting a deluge of spam since I rebuilt my main server and lost my TMDA filtering. Looking at the volume, I realized that I was spending a significant amount of space storing spam and a significant amount of bandwidth sending bounce messages.

I'm currently working on a new filtering solution. The first step is SPF record checking. If the sender forged the address of a site that publishes an SPF record, I reject the mail. The second step is all mail now goes through postgrey. Postgrey is a greylist that tells the sender to try again in a while. That actually seems to work pretty well, though it does delay my mail by about an hour. The third step, which I'm still working on, performs two checks. It checks to see if the sender's on a whitelist and if he is, it lets him through. If he's not, it checks to see if the mail's encrypted to my personal GPG key. If it's not, the mail gets rejected (At the MTA, so I don't have to send a bounce message.) I can always eliminate the second step if the spammers ever figure out how to deal with that. I'll be changing the GPG key on a regular basis to keep the target moving.

It's a pretty extreme solution, but all of about 3 people in the world send me legitimate E-Mail and I was getting 200K+ of spam a day. With that S/N ratio, I may as well just turn my E-Mail server off. This is the next best thing.

86% of spam - Darwin at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10032967)

It's a reasonable statistic, when combined with the one about how much spam is sent by zombies. It really just means the US has 86% of the world's Internet users who are stupid enough to run Windows unpatched (which is a large subset of those stupid enough to still be running Windows in the first place), and able to afford broadband.

And if the one about the AOL click thru rate is true, that's additional evidence (add another "stupid enough" clause above.) They're probably also sending tons of spam when they think they're downloading another interminable "update."
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