Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2002)

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Subject: Re: large ISPs blocking mailing lists
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 18:56:43 -0700
To: kim brooks wei <kimi @ kimbwei . com>, <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <a05100302b90de065c843 @ [65 . 234 . 137 . 30]>
User-agent: Microsoft-Entourage/

On 5/19/02 4:33 PM, "kim brooks wei" <kimi @
 kimbwei .
 com> wrote:

> The other thing that troubles me, is that I don't know of any legal
> recourse I can invoke to get off spam mailing lists.

You don't have any yet.

> These matters are serious ones for me and they are handled in a
> serious manner. It is possible to discover the identity of callers
> and of course, of postal mail sender.

Is it? Not always. After all, we haven't found the people who posted the
anthrax letters. It is possible to discovery the identity of someone who
uses a postage bug (pre-printed postage license), but it's trivially easy to
get one in an untraceable identity. And if the person is willing to stick
stamps on mail, well, there's zero identity validation at all. There are, by
the way, high-volume stamp machines, too. Some organizations (especially
non-profits) use them because they feel the stamp reduces the "junk mail"
feel to the solicitations. So it's perfectly possible for me to spend a
little money and generate 10,000 untraceable, perfectly legal pieces of
paper mail and get them posted into the mail system.

> Well, spam isn't handled in this serious fashion. The legal steps for
> eliminating spam don't seem to be firmly established. The magic
> formula for getting my address of of spam lists doesn't appear to
> have been written yet.

Nope, because nobody's put through the regulations and laws to do that yet.
In the post office, you have the Postal Commission and ultimately the
Congress saying what you can and can't do with paper mail. With phones, you
have the FCC and the state regulatory commissions, and they're backed up at
times with state and federal laws.

At the same time, though, there are strict laws against fax-spam. We've
finally turned our fax off unless we're actively using it, because of the
fax spam we get here, and most of it ignores the laws regulating that (and,
FWIW, most of it seems to be generated by either people who've sucked my
data out of the domain registry info, or spiderbotted my web site. Which
merely is making me make my fax unlisted as I find it in public spaces).

There's a growing problem with telephone solicitors ignoring the laws about
"do not call" issues, and people who sell your phone numbers playing fast
and loose with these as well. Say you have a visa with Fred's Bank. Fred's
bank sells your phone number to a boilerworks in florida. You tell them to
no-call you. That data never gets back to fred's bank, who continues to sell
your number and that boilerhouse shuts down in 90 days, closes the business,
and sells the facility to a new company, that starts up a new boilerhouse.
They don't carry your no-call forward, of course, because they weren't the
ones who called you (if they even bothered recording it) -- that was their
brother's company (although he's VP of this one... Different corporation,

Given how the laws are being flouted in phone solicitations and junk-faxes,
and there are NO laws in spam, the chances that spam laws will be made and
effective are... Well... (grin, sort of).

> Ultimately, I think that PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP and collectively take
> serious action into their own hands. Such, as say, agree en masse to
> boycott sites which attract their sales through email spamming.

Do you know anyone who's bought anything from a spammer? Me neither. This
strategy is guaranteed to fail, for the same reason police departments still
have bunco departments chasing con artists who still pull off 50-year-old
scams. It's not *us* that make spammers money -- it's them. And "them" ain't
listening or paying attention. Just like they still get burnt thinking they
can make money on envelope stuffing schemes in the backs of magazines or can
"beat the system" by publishing their books through a vanity press.

People still fall for scams in the real (non-virtual world) constantly. If
we can't get society to be non-braindead enough to not do THAT, there's no
way you're going to get better results in the virtual world.

It's a wonderful, idealistic view, but it's not gonna happen. It hasn't
happened in the real world, and we've had a lot more time to try to educate
the masses there to stop falling for scams.....

Chuq Von Rospach, Architech
chuqui @
 plaidworks .
 com --

IMHO: Jargon. Acronym for In My Humble Opinion. Used to flag as an opinion
something that is clearly from context an opinion to everyone except the
mentally dense. Opinions flagged by IMHO are actually rarely humble. IMHO.
    (source: third unabridged dictionary of chuqui-isms).

Indexed By Date Previous: Re: e-postage again
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
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From: J C Lawrence <claw @ kanga . nu>
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From: kim brooks wei <kimi @ kimbwei . com>
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