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Why antispam laws may make things worse

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Do you agree with Jonathan Yarden that antispam laws will be mostly ineffective? What do you think is the best method to stop junk e-mail? Share your comments about the potential of antispam laws, as discussed in the Nov. 10 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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Anti-spam legislation not based in reality

by steve.thornburg In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

I agree with Jonathan that anti-spam laws will be mostly ineffective.
Current planned anti-spam legislation is not based in reality. Of course, that is so often true with various "control" laws here in America.
The worst idea I've heard regarding anti-spam legislation is the "do not email" list. Every spammer is salivating at the very thought of it.
Anti-spam legislation, of all I've read about so far, seems to me to be very much akin to gun laws and drug laws. Neither of those areas are affected much by legislation, because only law-abiding people will follow the laws. And let's face it; it is NOT the law abiding people who are spamming. Most spam is fraud, has forged headers, and a huge percentage of it eminates from servers in countries where it is legal. Those countries will not do anything to help curb the problem.
I believe we need "smart" firmware that will weed out messages with forged data.
Soon, the government here in America will start taxing connection usage. Before many years pass, there will be layers of taxation that will impact all legitimate users - both corporate and personal - while leaving spammers untouched. It makes me angry that I will have to pay a tax on the bandwidth I use to manage spam. But unless a very large number of people apply political pressure in conjunction with financial stipends, our illustrious legislators will never get it right. They see only another cash cow here, and could not care less about the impact of spam.
One possible start would be to obtain and publicly post the email address of all members of congress and the senate, and have people make an effort to place those addresses in newsgroups for spammers to harvest. Maybe the ensuing flood will motivate them to seek advice from people close to the battle.

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only cost, not laws will stop it

by camjes In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

Start charging users for anything over x amount of emails per day sent, ( just like fax, sms or paper mail) and the drones will be forced to be patched, and the problem disappears or at least shrinks markedly almost overnight.
There will still be some advertisers prepared to pay, just like in your conventional mail box.

Yes the myriad internet access plans available get more complex and yes, cost more.
I for one would be happy to pay another couple of dollars/month for the problem to go away, but hey I only send 10-15 per day, and receive about 5 times that in spam. Many ISPs are now offering spam filters as an add on cost, so whats the difference.

And yes it means that newsletters such as Tech republic will probably no longer be able to be free.
Unless perhaps "subscribers" log into a site and download the newsletter content. Seems less hassle than scrolling through the spam in my spam filter every day just to check if there are any legitimate emails in there.

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AntiSpam laws definitely won't work.

by peteg In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

Jonathan,

I agree with you that they won't work mainly because most of the spammers aqre located outside the US where there ARE NO antispam laws. Right now about 98% of my email is spam and my antispam program blocks about 95% of THAT. My biggest gripe about spam is that WE have to pay money for software to block this crap! Also, I believe that the ISPs and Network providers should be the first line of defense. I think mail from KNOWN spammers should be blocked by them using the routers themselves. Then the US government should require fines for ISPs that DON'T block spam, especially if someone complains to them. Unfortunately there is too much money at stake.
Also, why can't the government use the existing drug and electronics laws to block the advertising of online pharmaceuticals and cable tv decoders?? I'll tell you why, because spammers are too low a priority!

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Anti Spam laws shout targe ISPs

by rjw In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

Agree. Anti Spam laws should be targeted toward ISPs who are to blame for all the junk that goes through their services without enforcing users comply with the service contracts.

If you mail abuse@att.com most likely nobody is on the other side

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Offshore accounts

by Oz_Media In reply to Anti Spam laws shout targ ...

Offshore ISP accounts will work around the ISP resposibility. In some country's there are NO restrictions regarding mail or sales delivery.
If a user wa to use this ISP for sending SPAM, you cannot really hold the ISP accountable if they haven't broken any laws.
Even if the SPAM into a given country is banned, the SPAMMER can just claim ignorance as an internet address (.com.org or W.H.Y.) could be anywhere in the world.

This would only cause negative financial impacts on the foreign countries that do not have restricting laws and would impact their economy, just because they are breaking OUR laws, doesn't mean they are breaking THAT country's laws. World war III?

If you have a decent set of well balanced Anti Spam tools that have multiple evaluation methods for each form of mail, it isn't a problem, as I've recently discovered.

You just need a better lock on the door than the piece of wool you are using now.

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ON TARGET

by rick In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

Your article is right on target. Hold the ISP's financially responsible for each piece of junk email. Spam and Porn (SPORN)? does no one any good with any shread of morality. Direct Marketing has absoultely no right to push there media upon people whom don't want it. Opt-out bogus promises to remove an email address never will work.

The end solution is to twart the SPORN at the source. The ISP's have the power to shut off the spiggot of anyone they choose. The trick is to make it more of a financial gain - or savings - for them. After all in an immoral society where evil cries and hides under the twisted 1st ammendment rights one must realize that evil thrives on the green back.

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Follow the $$$

by drmemory In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

The only practical enforcement vehicle available is through DNS. If you take away the reply channel, you take away the economic incentive. Policing the send side of the equation is intellectually competitive and not sufficiently expensive to be a deterrent. This shifts the whole effort to policing ISPs and not users, substantially narrowing the span of control required as well as creating a powerful economic incentive.

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ISP's Only Collect $$$$

by getsteppin In reply to Follow the $$$

The only real concern my ISP has is to unplugg ports to coral national virus disasters...there by shutting down the RPC..thus killing my auto updates from Syamnatech. The spam issue has to rest with them, too. As the end users can use CFS and scrubbers..i.e Benign and MailWasherPro to be reported into a data reporting pool, thus circumventing spam before it gets to your desk top, after viewed on the server...or let the data base sort it out for you and delete..Novel idea...plus it works like a champ..my spa it as does "FirstAlert"..new version of MailWasherPro by FireTrust.My spam has gone from 50% to 1%..the data base is catching up. Benign (.b9) handles the wacky domain and HTML embeds and endcoded changes then re-encodes...and MailWasherPro deletes..not bounce..BUT deletes..
So, ya, for the forseeable future, I have no compalints...unless the MS geeks turn the tables and turn my XP Home version into DOS only..then I would be in a world of hurt. The ISP's tho, have got to be the front line..why dont they plugg into the data bases of "known Spam"? Prehaps the ISP's would want a monthly "cleaning" bill attached to our internet bill, then, too...? Hmmmm!!! As a Tax..or Usage fee.../ I garontee if they could,,they would.

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I also say that adding a cost is the only solution - A Suggested Approach

by ChuckR314159 In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

Until all the spam-dimonium, I never thought I'd argue for adding a tax or cost to email, but I agree that it is the only solution, along with some kind of technology that tightens up how you send email.

First, I'd like to see some kind of "digital certificate" type setup where email can only be sent from an identifiable source. Nobody should be able to send email that looks like it comes from me, unless it is me.

Then, I suggest that *all* sent email have a nominal fee charged to the identifiable source. Use that money to manage this whole affair. If anything is left, apply credits to those who receive each email so that those who send few and receive many get a net gain for their troubles.

This would seem like a business opportunity for some major internet provider, or technology company, or perhaps a Verisign, to build such a "closed, secure" email environment that individuals and corporations opt-in to. As an individual, you announce to the world that you will only accept and send email through this "secure" environment. I would think then that it would then be easy to somehow filter out all email that doesn't route through the "security checkpoint".

Spam and viruses are gradually making email worthless. I think that something like this could work to save it, while still allowing reasonable e-commerce thru email.

Chuck

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I agree - it will be worse with the laws

by JimHM In reply to Why antispam laws may mak ...

These's laws will only be for American or some European countries. Others will still spill out the spam.

If someone could come up with a software to control 90% of SPAM they would be worth billions. Even selling it at $10 a copy.

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