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spam control again

On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 09:02:02 -0400 (EDT)
josephc at wrote:

> While I hate SPAM as much as the next person, I think laws restricting
> or banning it do more harm then good. While it's easy to support and
> agree with laws that stop SPAM and child pornography, we can't lose
> sight of the fact that this is censorship. Companies have come along
> in the last few years and begun to use the Internet for their own
> benefit, we must be careful not to allow government to do the same.
> Today, SPAM is outlawed "in the public interest". What next? Encrypted
> e-mails? e-mails criticizing the administration? e-mails destined to a
> person living in one the "axis of evil" countries?
> I'm not a paranoid anti-gov't Michigan millitia type person. But as of
> late, I have really started to appreciate the LACK of governement 
> influence on the Internet, and I think it would be a disaster if this 
> changed.
> SPAM is NOT so big a problem that we need the governemnt to step in
> and help. 
> I've had the same e-mail address for almost a decade, and have used it
> on usenet and the web alike. But with proper filterring the amount of
> SPAM in my e-mail box is comparable to the amount in the mailbox in
> front of my house.
> If you leave your front door wide open, then perhaps you should
> consider locking it before calling the police and complaining that
> people are stealing from you.
> SPAM can be fought successfully at the community level.
I think that you are very correct. I don't think our laws should outlaw
SPAM per se, but should provide a mechanism where legitimate email
(solicited or unsolicited commercial) could be differentiated from the
real junk. Again, I also think you are right about censorship. 
However, the volume of pure junk, is stressing the system to the point
where it is costing ISPs a significant amount of money. 

By legitimate, I mean legitimate businesses who advertise their products
through the mail (both Email and snail mail). The same thing goes for
telemarketers. One way SPAM is blocked today is to make sure that the
from address is legitimate, but SPAMers can figure out ways to avoid the

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix user group PGP key id:C5061EA9
PGP Key fingerprint:053C 73EC 3AC1 5C44 3E14 9245 FB00 3ED5 C506 1EA9
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