Waiting For Muris To Opt In

from the going-down-the-wrong-path? dept

Since the recent launch of the national "do not call" list, there has been more and more talk about a corresponding "do not spam" list. Now the Washington Post is taking up the issue, suggesting that it's all in the hands of the FTC chair who created the "do not call" list, and that he's receiving so much praise for that list, that he could push through a similar "do not spam" list. The problem, of course, is that he realizes, like so many of us do, that a "do not spam" list would not be even remotely effective, and could backfire. While most telemarketers, while often sneaky and slightly underhanded, have tried to be legit, spammers don't care at all. Also, it's much easier to track down a caller than a spammer. With spammers increasingly covering their tracks and moving offshore, a "do not spam" list would become more of a target list for spammers.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Bob Dole, 10 Jul 2003 @ 5:56am

    No Subject Given

    Muris is the FTC chairman, not an FCC commissioner. :)

    Also, a Do Not Spam list, as you mention, is the absolute dumbest idea anyone could possibly come up with. It's more like a Please Spam Me list.

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

    • identicon
      Oliver Wendell Jones, 10 Jul 2003 @ 8:16am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Actually, if we could get laws passed that require all spam to carry the 'ADV:' tag in the subject line, then ISPs could offer their own Do-Not-SPAM listing and apply a filter to all incoming e-mail - if the e-mail recipient is on the list AND the subject line contains ADV: then the message either bounced or dropped.

      There could even be a national Do-Not-SPAM registry, but the tricky part is how to make sure the only people who can access the list are ISP mail administrators. Maybe make it a 'black box' list that noone can see, but ISPs can run their list of known e-mail addresses through 'black box' and see what names fall out the other side and consider those e-mail addresses as not on the list... but I'm sure that SPAMmers would find some way to abuse that as well...

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 10 Jul 2003 @ 9:10am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Muris is the FTC chairman, not an FCC commissioner. :)

      Oops. Bad mistake. Fixed now. Sorry.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 10 Jul 2003 @ 8:48am

    Another idea

    I saw an article recently that had the top 10 web affiliate programs, and one of them was some viagra alternative. Surely these affiliate programs are responsible for a good portion of Spam. An idea would be to put restrictions on any affiliate programs that use U.S. servers to solicit customers. If you spam, you lose the right to have an affiliate program; and it would be enforced with fines. As I think through this, I can see some tactical issues with it... but it's a start!

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

  • identicon
    Chris Reuter, 10 Jul 2003 @ 10:04am

    Not necessarily

    With spammers increasingly covering their tracks and moving offshore, a "do not spam" list would become more of a target list for spammers.

    I'm fairly certain that cryptographically secure hashing could prevent that from happening. That is, it is possible to distribute the do-not-spam list in a way that lets spammers know if an address of theirs is on it but can't be used to extract the actual addresses.

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

    • identicon
      Asher Schweigart, 21 Oct 2005 @ 2:41am

      Re: Not necessarily

      however, they could make list of emails using common domains and some common words and names people use in thier email address, and compare that with the list to see if they were real emails. Now, i know thay could just send emails using the list they create, but think about it; create a HUGE list of possible emails (say 100 million), and yeah it takes a long time to compare all those to the do not spam list, but think about how long it would take to email all those emails! This way, the spammer only uses bandwith to send emails to real emails

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jul 2003 @ 1:25pm

    No Subject Given

    Hello!!! Think about it...

    The "Do Not Call" list targets the seller/telemarketer of the good and services and fines for violations will be assessed on the seller/telemarketer.

    All of the proposed "Do Not Spam/Anti-spam" legislation targets the spammer, not the seller of the goods and services. If anti-spam legistation targets the advertiser/seller, not the sender of the message, spamming will stop. The spammer can hide, etc. but the seller has to be identified in order to make the sale.

    If you applied the anti-spam logic to the Do-Not-Call list, they would be fining the phone company for letting the telemarketer call you.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.