1998-02-18 - Re: Is spam really a problem?

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Message Hash: 6753bd6a1abbc9807a1f895b03d16a846b7803ba8cf92e2efa0ed373f01f7800
Message ID: <v03102813b1111cb7ced1@[]>
Reply To: <199802181733.SAA26244@basement.replay.com>
UTC Datetime: 1998-02-18 23:27:05 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 07:27:05 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 07:27:05 +0800
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Subject: Re: Is spam really a problem?
In-Reply-To: <199802181733.SAA26244@basement.replay.com>
Message-ID: <v03102813b1111cb7ced1@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 12:47 PM -0800 2/18/98, sunder wrote:
>Anonymous wrote:
>> I see discussion of spam here and everywhere on
>> the net. But who finds it a *real* problem, and
>> why?
>It eats up your valuable time.  You might not see it for what it is, but
>it is an interruption of normal service.  It's annoying as having your
>pager go off durring sex and having to call back your boss instead of
>ignoring it.  (Presume you can't shut off your pager.)  It takes away
>from the continuity of life.

But *many* things eat up our valuable time. Doesn't mean government action
is the answer.

>Further, some of us use ISDN to get their email and transferring the
>extra junk adds to the pay/minute connections.

If you use ISDN and pay minute charges to download an article from me, for
example, and you feel it was a waste of your valuable time, should my
article be illegal?

If someone sees your name somewhere and does the same thing (sends you a
letter), should this be illegal?

(I threw this last point in because some have argued that there is an
implicit agreement that mail on a mail exploder will not be objected to, as
it fits the charter, blah blah. So I removed this implicitness by speaking
of someone who writes a letter.)

If _content_ is not a criterion for spam, as Costner and others have noted,
then "wasting Ray's time" is even less of a criterion for what spam is.

Look, there's just not going to be a simple government answer to "unwanted
communications" that doesn't do serious damage to our liberties.

Technological/economic approaches are the only way to go.

--Tim May

Just Say No to "Big Brother Inside"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^3,021,377   | black markets, collapse of governments.