It's no secret that a large percentage of spam that goes out these days is sent via home computers who have been infected with a trojan horse that secretly sends out spam from that machine. There's been a lot of buzz recently about how some company took that idea and used it as the basis for its "business model." Instead of sneaking their software onto peoples machines, they would pay gullible people $1/hour to knowingly send out spam from their machines. Wired News is looking into the company and, while they present themselves as legitimate non-spamming marketers, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. Beyond the obvious (what spamming company doesn't claim that they're perfectly legitimate, 100% opt-in email marketers?), there are some other big questions. The company wouldn't allowed Wired News to actually speak to anyone using their service - either a customer to send out spam or someone who had received money for spamming. The article also points out that most people who sign up for the service are very likely to get kicked off their ISP for spamming relatively quickly (though, perhaps not as fast as some would like). Not even mentioned is the fact that this could probably open up anyone who agrees to do this to legal liability for the spam they're sending out, since they're now agreeing to send out the spam - even if they don't know the contents of the messages they send. The whole thing sounds pretty sketchy, though, I'm sure some people will sign up. Whether they ever get any money - or just lose their internet access remains to be seen.
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