(20th September 1998)
Well, time for a few random thoughts again. This time, I want to relieve my heart from the thought of spammers.
I guess most of you know them too well already: The ones who search the net for every mailaddress they can find, and then send you all these offers that's just what you need - not! I mean, why on earth would I be interested in cable descramblers, phonecards, or to know if the United Stated owes me money? Especially since I'm not living where these offers are valid anyway... And of course the classics: Offering a CD with millions of email adresses I can use to send spam myself, those who send repeated spam mail to offer their product which will target clients which will be interested. Ha! In that case, they should use their own product! Bull's Eye? Bullshit I'd say instead. (Pardon the language.)
You may choose to say "No, thank you" in a polite way to them at first. What happens? Well, you may discover that their mailadress is forged, or even worse: The spammers are encouraged by your answer and sends you even more spam!
Some may say that this isn't worse than the junkmail you get in your mailbox, but think again: What would you say if you got a bill with each junkmail you got? Or rather, that the amount was deducted automatically from your bank account? This is what many of us experience with the spam mail, as we pay for the time we spend on the phone - each second!
Also, as it's you who pay, not the spammer, why not send the whole junk again and again? It doesn't cost him anything - just you as the recipient! If you try to send the junk mail back, you may end up paying twice for the same mail - remember, spammers don't use their real address often, do they? They often use a fake address that don't exist, or they may use the address of an innocent person - maybe yours next time?
Which brings me to another thing I can't understand: Do spammers believe people trust them, when they are using fake adresses? Would you trust a doorsalesman, if his card said his office in the town was located in an address you know don't exist? Or if he say's he has office in the town, but his card gives an address in Russia (or another country if you're living in Russia)? I wouldn't, and can't understand others do, either. Maybe people just don't care about what address spammers say they have? There must be something at least, as this still is common practise among the spammers.
Now, there is a proposal for a new law in the US, which says that there should be a way to get in contact with the sender of "Unsolicited Commercial Email" (Spam): Physical address and phone number (if my memory serves me right) and a way to remove oneself from their mailing list. This is a step in the right direction, even if it's small. I'm not sure if it said something of what ways were acceptable to gather these addresses, but I think it mentioned something about when we ask for information from a company, they may use the mailaddress in future offers (until we ask to remove us from their list.)
Let's hope this will become the law, and that current practise is deemed illegal and may easily be by a big fine or something.
But - why did I start talking about this now? After all, I've got spammail for a very long time already. Well - I've got my own domain, with new mailadresses. I have not told anyone about my new mailadress, but it didn't take long before I got mail there anyway. Spam. And multiple copies of the same mail, too! That kind of behaviour makes me wish all bad and multiple bankrupties to those who litter my mailbox with that trash. They may claim in their mail they respect my privacy and all that, but their behaviour tells me otherwise.
abuse @ spammer's isp was notified - hope they lose their account!