Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

No Spam List In Missouri

from the good-luck dept

The state of Missouri is trying to institute a "no spam list" which would work like current telemarketing "no call lists" except... that it wouldn't. Those who violate the list will be fined $5,000... if they were to be found, which they won't. It's unlikely your average spammer would care enough to check the Missouri list, or really expect to get caught. If anything, your average spammer might see the list as a good source of fresh email addresses.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2002 @ 9:25am


    the crux of the law seems to be:

    you shouldn't receive email, unless it was solicited by you, or originates from someone you know.

    isn't there a much easier technical (as opposed to legal) solution to this? i.e. the salon article you posted earlier?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    LittleW0lf, Nov 28th, 2002 @ 11:24am

    Re: spam


    However the problem with whitelists is that they must be updated periodically or email stops, and you cannot contribute or use mailing lists, as each message sent to the mailing list would be bounced unless you set up a whitelist entry for them.

    I've been using whitelists here for a while and absolutely dispise needing to use them. My personal email is unprotected (which keeps folks in touch with me), but my various support accounts are whitelisted...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    b0b, Nov 29th, 2002 @ 2:45pm


    Well, this is better than the current *nothing* that's being done about SPAM nowadays. Spammers DO get caught. They DO get sued. Something like a "do not email" list is a good idea. If it's harvested? Great. The FTC and various other government agencies can go after them.

    doing nothing about the problem is only letting it grow. How many articles have we seen recently about the spammer and their 7,000 sq foot homes? The current lack of legislation is letting them get away with this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    LittleW0lf, Nov 30th, 2002 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Umm

    Spammers DO get caught.

    How many spammers get caught? I've heard of half-a-dozen. If they use a foreign server (which most do,) and hide their email headers, they aren't likely to get caught (although the company listed in the SPAM will most likely be investigated.)

    "Do not email" lists only work if they are used, most spammers wouldn't take the time or have the initiative to check a list...after all, how many times have you received a spam which said you were "opted-in" to a mailing list when you don't remember "opting-in" to said mailing list. And how many times have you submitted a remove or visited a website to remove your email address from a spammers list, only to be re-added a month later. Spammers don't care, their business is to send the message out to as many people as possible, and the only deterant is a strict spam enforcement, either proactively or reactively, through legal (bans, arrests, etc.) or technological means (whitelists, blacklists, spam filters, etc..)

    The FTC and the other government agencies, for the most part, are clueless when it comes to tracking down spammers and prosecuting them. Those that do are rare, and usually have previous experience in dealing with computer fraud and computer trespassing.

    How many articles have we seen recently about the spammer and their 7,000 sq foot homes?

    I have yet to read an article about a spammer having a 7k sq ft home, most of the articles I've read state that the spammer is barely breaking even, though they don't have as much to do than most of us, and can spend much of their time doing other things, like a single mother taking care of her kids, etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    joeblow, Dec 1st, 2002 @ 11:06am

    Re: Umm

    fyi, i think this is the spammer making only $2000 a month Jason Heckel, this is the single mother Laura Betterly, and this is the millionaire with the 8k sq ft home, Mike Wendland

    There seems to be a big range in what a spammer can make. Sadly, the big money seems not to be in selling stuff through spam, but in selling the service of spamming people. So even if spammers don't make money, if there is a perception they do then guys like Wendland will be making lots of money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mary, Dec 1st, 2002 @ 2:07pm

    Money in spam


    There is a ton of money in spam (not just for those who send out the bulk messages). Tens of thousands a week.

    How do I know? I was approached by a former business associate that had been kicked off yet another network for spamming and was looking for a new provider. He was willing to spend a great deal of money to send out his spam messages because the return is extraordinarily good - and since he's been doing this for months he was able to back up his claims with proof. Sure - maybe only a small fraction respond - but when you send out millions of messages it adds up quickly.

    Yes, people are that stupid - and that's why spam is not about to go away anytime soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Steve, Dec 2nd, 2002 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Umm

    So what if the spammers send the mail from offshore servers or whatever, that really doesn't matter--there is always a company to contact who is paying for the spam "service." There has to be a way to contact the company to buy their thing or they wouldn't be doing it. Simple solution, make spam illegal and fine the company paying for it. Consumers should never ever do business with companies that use spam marketing and shame them into behaving morally. I really don't care, and it is completely irrelavent if they do work on .003% of people that adds up to being effective when multiplied by millions of victims.

    Spam steals my time and bandwidth--even though each individual email is only a small cost, there is in fact a real, measurable cost to me.

    And yes the spammers most certainly are making a lot of money, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. Think about it--the public stigma that they are willingly accept has to be contered by something--they wouldn't be doing it just to break even.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mike, Sep 8th, 2003 @ 8:10am

    Missouri Law is not a list.

    Just a note of clarification. The Missouri Law is not list based. It applies to ALL citizens of Missouri. I think that given the $$$ incentive people will be prosecuted. As for finding them, in order for a spamer to make money there must be a link or response that will lead back to them so they will receive the money. See the new AGO FAQ site at:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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