1997-05-14 - Re: Spam IS Free Speech

Header Data

From: “Ross Wright” <rwright@adnetsol.com>
To: Rick Osborne <osborne@gateway.grumman.com>
Message Hash: 6837aa0de2586d09be743a15c1ad790b143b637e769a0bc50c56cf36a813b26c
Message ID: <199705142339.QAA23731@adnetsol.adnetsol.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-14 23:50:31 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 07:50:31 +0800

Raw message

From: "Ross Wright" <rwright@adnetsol.com>
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 07:50:31 +0800
To: Rick Osborne <osborne@gateway.grumman.com>
Subject: Re: Spam IS Free Speech
Message-ID: <199705142339.QAA23731@adnetsol.adnetsol.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On or About 14 May 97 at 14:57, Rick Osborne wrote:

> Ross Wright wrote:
> >You can not retaliate against free speech, Rick.  That's a bad
> >thing, plain and simple, black and white.
> with him on this.  I've got only a minor problem with Sanford
> sending spam (it being unsolicited and all), I'm just saying that I
> should not be denied the right to spam him right back.

You can spam him back, but with just as many megs as he sends you.  
Match him meg for meg, not 10,000 megs for 1 meg.

I have a unique way of dealing with spammers.  I set up a list of the 
e-mail addresses of the spammers.  Each time a new spammer spams me, 
I send him a copy of the addresses, telling him "I am not interested 
in your product or service, but my associates will be. Here's their 
addresses."  Then I add him to the list, and so on.  This way the 
spammers are spamming each other.  Poetic Justice.  And no harm done.
> Do you see my point?  It's all in
> whether or not it's *solicited*.
>  Simply having an email address, to me, is *not* an invitation for
>  everyone
> in the world to send me mail to it.

Well, if you publish it on a website it *is* free game.
> >What's your problem with your 'delete' key?
> Nothing.  Like I said: I've got filters.  I'm just saying that I
> shouldn't have to use them (in a perfect world), as all "spam" I get
> should be solicited.

No perfect world here.  Hell the deep dark secret that everyone 
glosses over is the fact that advertisers are using years of 
behavioral analysis to better market to us.  That's the real 
> >By now, everyone knows that any of those things are as good as
> >giving away your e-mail address [...] it's an open invitation for
> >me to send you advertisements, just like the yellow pages.
> Nope, you're getting confused here.  Giving my email address is akin
> to the *white* pages, while asking for spam is the *yellow* pages. 

I agree that the gathering of e-mail address from usenet and from 
mailing lists is a bad thing.  *But*  if you have a web page, you 
have a yellowpages ad.

> If I were to put my phone number in the white pages of the local
> phone book (which I don't), it would be so that someone who has a
> *need* to contact me could. If I wanted people calling me for no
> reason, I'd put an ad in the yellow pages.  See what I'm saying?

Right, but you see what I am saying about a web page being a yellow 
pages ad, right?
> >You have the right to make some snotty reply, but no right
> >to intentionally harm.
> Aha!  There's the rub!  If I'm paying for my connect time, then spam
> *is* harmful.

Please, a few megs between cyber-clients?  No harm no foul.  You get 
more megs of crap just from this list!  I'd bet real money on that!
> >Rick, what if someone decided they did not like an opinion 
> >you expressed on this list and did the same thing to you?
> Did what?  Set up a robot to flame me?  I'd hope they at least had
> the guts to not do it anonymously, but I can't fault them for not
> liking me.

Set up a robot to send you megs and megs of crap, just for one 
e-mail, that's what I am saying.  You wouldn't like that very much!
> >You, nor anyone else, has a right to lash out at 
> >someone for something they say or some ad they send you.
> So why then do I not have the right to lash out at them in return?

You do.  One for one.  Mano a mano.  No more, no less.

 > >No one has a right to retaliate, get it?  First Amendment?  I
> >didn't read in there the right to get back at some poor
> >advertisers, did you?
> So you're saying that if I came along and dropped a few billion
> pamphlets for a campaign of mine on your house.
> *intentionally* cause the problems, I am in the clear?  Give me a
> break.

But, you see, they send the pamphlets to a few billion addresses, not 
just to your house.  Apples and oranges.
> >Free Speech : Good      Mail Bombs : Bad
> Spam = Mail Bomb = Arp attack.  No essential difference.  Why isn't
> a mail bomb or arp attack proctected by your idealized free speech?

Spam is not equal to an arp attack or a mail bomb.  One letter to one 
address is quite different than 10,000 letters to one address.

> >Are you a self centred ass, who's personal feelings are more
> >important that the Constitution?
> Yes, I am a self-centered ass. 

Me too, by the way.  An opinionated one, as well.

> No, my feelings are not more
> important than the Constitution, my feelings help *make* the
> Constitution, remember?  It's moot, anyway, as I'm not advocating
> removing free speech.

No you are advocating harming others who are speeking freely.

> >You could be doing so much more with your time.
> True.  And I could be doing *more* with my time if I didn't have to
> spend it setting up spam filters!
> >No war, no battles, no skirmishes, no need for "Anti-Spam Laws".
> I agree.  I'm not asking for any laws, just the right to annoy
> spammers just as much as they annoy me.  Why can't I do that?  If I
> decide to spam them, not our of retribution, but as an exercise of
> my right to free speech, then how is it any different?

Again, I say:  One Meg Per One Meg.  Equal and fair.
> >Just be nice, and everything will work out for the best.
> You're more optimistic than I. 

Well, I just hope that this dosen't get carried away, that's all.  
Match them meg for meg that you personally receive, and everything 
really will be OK.  And if we keep the government out of it.

> It must be nice to not be cynical.

It's just an act.  I am pretty jaded.

Ross Wright
King Media: Bulk Sales of Software Media and Duplication Services
Voice: (408) 259-2795