Can-Spam Act Leads To More Spam

from the bottled-Spam-is-better dept

Back when President Bush made spam legal, we predicted the floodgates would open and actually increase spam. Now we've got some numbers to back up that prediction. According to anti-spam vendors, spam is on the rise and increasingly complies with the Can-Spam Act now; almost 10% of spam is legal up from 1% in January. And given that 7% of email users actually buy products from unsolicited email (ugh!), spam doesn't seem to be decreasing at all. So there don't appear to be any easy solutions to the spam problem, but if we're going to pass silly laws, maybe we need to pass a law against buying products promoted by spam.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Myria, Jun 3rd, 2004 @ 9:32pm

    No Subject Given

    President Bush made spam legal? That's a... Fascinating interpretation. Just for starters, here I was under the apparently misguided impression that it was congress that wrote and passed laws.

    Myria

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2004 @ 9:43pm

    No Subject Given

    Well, he did sign it into law.....

    Not that he's any more or less to blame than Congress.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2004 @ 10:59am

    Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    How incredibly idiotic and irresponsible for you to bash Bush in this article the way you did. Count me as a regular reader who won't be coming back.

    You fail to mention that the spam that is Can-Spam compliant is very easy to filter out.

    You fail to mention that Can-Spam has led to prosecutions.

    You fail to mention that before Can-Spam *all* spamming was legal (outside of whatever may be illegal in the messages themselves).

    And most importantly Can-Spam was a first step. Where we go from there with technology, law enforcement, and additional regulation is what will make the difference.

    It's just retarded to imply that Can-Spam *increased* spam or to bash Bush for it.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2004 @ 11:00am

    Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    How incredibly idiotic and irresponsible for you to bash Bush in this article the way you did. Count me as a regular reader who won't be coming back.
    You fail to mention that the spam that is Can-Spam compliant is very easy to filter out.
    You fail to mention that Can-Spam has led to prosecutions.
    You fail to mention that before Can-Spam *all* spamming was legal (outside of whatever may be illegal in the messages themselves).
    And most importantly Can-Spam was a first step. Where we go from there with technology, law enforcement, and additional regulation is what will make the difference.
    It's just retarded to imply that Can-Spam *increased* spam or to bash Bush for it.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    todd, Jun 4th, 2004 @ 11:09am

    correlation does not imply causation...

    mike, spam has increased every month, so can you actually attribute an increase in spam to the CAN-SPAM legislation? What would be the logic supporting this: people heard about the new law and decided to start spamming (moreso than usually start spamming every month)? Or spammers decided, hey this law really lets us spam more, so we'll do so? (aren't most spamming to the limits of their abilities already). I'm not sure I agree with your premise.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 4th, 2004 @ 11:18am

    Re: correlation does not imply causation...

    Don't blame me for it... I didn't post it.

    But, I think the issue is that there are more "legitimate spammers" now who feel comfortable spamming people.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    mhh5, Jun 4th, 2004 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    WHOA. Holy over-reaction!
    1) I don't think I was bashing Bush. You're reading a bit too much into things.
    2) Not ALL spam was legal before Can-Spam. Existing laws against fraud probably could have lead to prosecutions even before Can-Spam, if enforcement was made a priority.
    3) The problem is the law, not Bush, I did not mean to imply he in particular was stupid/whatever. Any politician probably would have signed the bill, but the law is still not effective. If you think the law is effective, and you're getting less spam, then I wish we could trade our spam or spam filters.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2004 @ 8:42pm

    Re: Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    "1) I don't think I was bashing Bush. You're reading a bit too much into things."

    Uh, like the first sentence, "Back when Bush made spam legal"?

    "2) Not ALL spam was legal before Can-Spam. Existing laws against fraud probably could have lead to prosecutions even before Can-Spam, if enforcement was made a priority. "

    Which is why I added the "outside of whatever may be illegal in the messages themselves" part...and that still applies!

    3) I believe the law was a minor step in the right direction. Certainly I see no evidence that it has led to more spam as your title indicates. I have seen some spammers prosecuted and I have seen other spammers go into compliance with the law. The spam that is in compliance is like a bazillion times easier to filter/block or retaliate against by other means.

    And by the way...where are your numbers that supposedly back up the prediction that "the floodgates would open and actually increase spam"? Spam was always on the rise, higher numbers don't mean a thing unless you can point to how they would've been lower without the law, which you fail to do in supporting your argument.

    Can-Spam was a baby first step in combating spam, but a necessary one. The fighting back and forth to get anything passed was just letting a problem grow and get much worse. At least now we have something to work with for additional legislation, enforcement and technology.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2004 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    PS: I'll be back after all. I respect your reading reader's comments, and responding back honestly.

    Cheers,
    A.C.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 4th, 2004 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    The problem is that the law was designed to please marketers - not to solve the problem of spam. It's not so hard to do a better job defining spam as *bulk* commercial email messages, and then requiring a double-opt-in for it.

    That would be a spam law I would approve.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    thecaptain, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 5:50am

    Re: Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    Other posters have replied to your points, so I won't add to those responses...there's just one of your points that I have a bone to pick with:

    You fail to mention that the spam that is Can-Spam compliant is very easy to filter out.

    What YOU fail to realize is that "easy to filter out" is quite a naive thing to believe. The law says they must identify their email as sexually explicit...but it does NOT legislate HOW they must do this (and if the law makers had given it some thought and specified a method, then it WOULD be easy to filter...but that wasn't the point of the law...it was just a feel good thing).

    I mean so far I've seen "compliant" spammers using:

    S3xually 3xplicit adlut orientd sexua11y excp1icit A D U L T M A T E RI A L SE X U A LL Y 3 X PL1C1T

    ...so you still have to spend most of your time writing up filters for each variation.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    alternatives, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Bye bye Techdirt, you've lost credibility

    You fail to mention that before Can-Spam *all* spamming was legal

    Really? On what basis do you make that claim?

    Oh, and don't let the door hit your @ss on the way out.

     

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


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