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

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Message Hash: d294b238df3d65de7f4044c400270e9b4a84e7cfd8882fb0b0911095ad66bf0e
Message ID: <v0310280eb110d37999a3@[]>
Reply To: <199802181733.SAA26244@basement.replay.com>
UTC Datetime: 1998-02-18 18:27:21 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 02:27:21 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 02:27:21 +0800
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Subject: Re: Is spam really a problem?
In-Reply-To: <199802181733.SAA26244@basement.replay.com>
Message-ID: <v0310280eb110d37999a3@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 9:33 AM -0800 2/18/98, Anonymous wrote:
>I see discussion of spam here and everywhere on
>the net. But who finds it a *real* problem, and

Indeed, discussion of "what to do about spam?" periodically consumes all of
the main lists I'm on. Discussion of spam is worse than the actual spam.

>Nevertheless, spam does not create a big problem
>for me. Perhaps 10-15% of my home email is spam,
>(much less at work) and I identify and kill it
>in less time than it takes me to sort out the
>junk from my snail mail.

Same for me. I can delete commercial advertisements ("spam") in seconds.

>Don't get me wrong; I don't *like* spam. But
>for me it's a minor problem, certainly not
>worthy of legal remedies. I'm willing to suffer
>a certain level of foolish annoyance gladly
>in return for liberty.

Well said. "Be careful what you ask for."

Anti-spam bills are already wending their way through Congressional
committees. If passed, an FCC-like authority over the Net will have been

(Though probably ineffectual, given the use of offshore sites, throwaway
accounts, etc. The real effect will probably be to usher in an era of
mandatory identification for account opening, which is pernicious, and
various other tracking and surveillance systems.)

The only  "spam" which really bothers me is/are _mail bombs_, where
hundreds or even thousands of messages fill my mailbox. I've been hit twice
with these attacks. And a friend of mine received 25,000 messages from one
sender...he sued and won a substantial settlement from the employer of the
guy who mail bombed him.

But such attacks will likely not be affected by anti-spam laws anyway.
Perps can use sites in other countries, beyond the reach of the laws. And
remailers. And so on.

"Be careful what you ask for."

--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.