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AOL Sues Porn Spammers 136

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the make-boobs-fast dept.
MasterOfDisaster writes "c|net reports "that in a crackdown on spam, America Online is suing a company that owns and operates pornographic Web sites, accusing it of sending junk e-mail to AOL members." My favorite part is the comment from the accused, "We do not knowingly profit from unsolicited e-mail." Ah, blessed ignorance.
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AOL Sues Porn Spamers

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  • Cussing's bad, Mm'kay. You shouldn't cuss, cause if you cuss- you're bad, Mm'kay.
  • Ummm...do you think that USPO mail doesn't cost the taxpayer anything?
  • Oops. I see your point. Sorry 'bout that. I was still kind of out of it when I read your post (too much surfing, way too little sleep), so I was just focusing on the part about using the RBL, DUL, and ORBS. And I agree with you. Hell, if someone didn't want to run Linux, they could use something like Mercury Mail, which is free and runs on Windows. My personal pet peeve are the old Silicon Graphics machines with the broken Sendmail--the one that is not only open but also doesn't record the connecting IP in the headers. Most of these machines must have found their way to places like China and Korea, as that seems to be where they're getting abused, and good luck getting anyone there to fix them or even to respond to your relay report. My only consolation is that the machine will eventually end up on enough blacklists that one big spam run will cause it to choke to death on undeliverable mail. Then the administrator is forced to deal with it.
  • by catseye_95051 (102231) on Friday January 05, 2001 @03:01PM (#529084)
    It is disturbing to me that AOl picked out "Porn Spammers" to sue. Do I get Porn Spam. Sure. Do I get MLM spam? Yes. Do I get semi-illegal decoder baox Spam? Fairly regularly.

    Singling out Porn smacks of the deep thread of puritanism that still runs through America and gives me a 1st Ammendment chill.
  • I'm sorry, but i don't feel like leading legal mumbo-jumbo... :)

    What you're saying though, can't be true IMO, because why would Fedex offer 2 or 3 day delivery, and UPS offer 5 or 7 day ground delivery? That'd be breaking the law according to the rules you laid out.

  • Spamming is done by spammers. Not spaming by Spamers.

  • But then again, you could also first learn what you're talking about, so as not to show your ignorance, before you make a judgement.

    Hint1: 127.0.0.1 is IP for "this host which I'm currently (ab)using."
    Hint2: abuse is (nearly) a required email address on any mail server.

    Now picture in your mind a mail server that doubles as a webbrowser server. True, a very bad idea in the first place, but what is management for if not for the bad ideas?

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • by Nos. (179609)
    Real simple answer to this one. My firends and I all sit in N/A mode. I think I've gotten two or three spam messages in several years. We can still send each other messages, but no spam - ah its wonderful :)
  • It's very simple. The purpose of trademark law is to allow a way for a company, such as AOL, Red Hat, SuSE, IBM or whatever, to protect their name by preventing the name from being used in a way that would cause 'confusion' (that's a term of art in TM law) in the minds of consumers.

    Where a spammer runs afoul of trademark law in forging an e-mail header is this: by making it appear that an e-mail originated from an AOL server, the message allegedly meets the requirements of AOL's AUP and ToS, and is therefore, "approved" by AOL. (I know, I know ... , but that's the legal reasoning, and in a lawsuit, that's ALL that counts).

    As in ANY IP lawsuit, the infringer is liable for treble damages PLUS attorney's fees. I saw, in another thread, that AOL's spam volume could be as high as 30% of total mail handled. Given the cost of handling that mail, the damages for handling 550'd mail from people who have the capability to bounce mail coupled with the cost of handling the complaints to abuse@aol.com and postmaster@aol.com add up to a substantial amount of money.

    I hope AOL succeeds in this lawsuit and that they continue in this vein. The trademark infringement issue is a lay-down winner. I'd like to see hotmail (another prime victim of header forgery) adopt this tactic also.

    Spammers have been using "throw-down" ISP accounts for access and header spoofing for years. They don't care if they lose their account because they can always open another. Making it cost them money to forge headers and pass off the cost of 550's to someone else just might bring the practice to an end.

    Spamming exists because it allows the advertiser to transfer the cost of his advertising to the recipient. This is an evil practice. Battling spammers is something that is not for the faint of heart. One spam-fighter of whom I am aware has received death threats because of his activities. For all it's faults, AOL should be supported for it's apparently novel tactic.

    Regards,

    ninewands

  • >> reap the benefits of spam

    Benefits?

    ----
  • Also, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are on AOL, and you get e-mail from blah@aol.com (unless it's from a mailing list or something) then the address is most likely forged.

    To clarify: not all spam you get from AOL-based email addresses actually comes from AOL members. They're often forged. I have seen AOL in action, as it were, and since AOL-based email addresses are shown to AOL members without the domain, the presence of the domain in the source address proves more or less conclusively that spammers often forge their headers to fake an AOL source.

    You might think that spammers would realize they shouldn't spam AOL members with obviously faked AOL source addresses, but apparently they're not a bright lot.

    inigima
  • I love receiving AOL CDs because I know the money they wasted could have been used for more TV ads which I find more annoying...
  • by FFFish (7567) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @08:07PM (#529093) Homepage
    Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

    "But I've never had to pay for it!" you cry.

    Actually, you do. The Euro recipients know this right up front, because they get cold-cocked with per-second telephone access charges.

    Americans *should* know it, if they'd only just think for a moment. They get higher ISP charges and/or go over their transfer limits because of the spam email.

    Yes, yes. You only pay $35/month for your whizbang ADSL connection. But that $35/month *includes* the cost of spam. Your ISP is paying for the transfer, storage and processing of that spam EMail -- and you *know* that the costs are passed on to the consumer, with a few percent tacked on for good luck.

    You pay for the spam, sure as god/dog made little green apples.

    Ergo, no double standard.

    --
  • Damned spammers! They're taking up the bandwidth I need to download kernel 2.4! They're also costing AOL users money because money has to be spent to accomodate the traffic generated by junk mail on AOL. This may be a rather high number, but I'd say that AOL loses at least 3% of its bandwidth to spam, and probably more. In order to handle that bandwidth, they have to buy equipment for it - and high-end high-bandwidth equipment costs money (believe me, I purchase some). Perhaps if AOL can cut down on spam, they can buy more modems and cut back on busy signals :)

    OTOH, as said earlier, there is somewhat of a hypocracy in their user agreement...

    CAP THAT KARMA!
    Moderators: -1, nested, oldest first!


  • The UUNET spammers collective is still being allowed to operate -- one of them tried a stealth port25 probe today but hit our firewall:


    00:22:03 (EST) 04 January 2001: Port 25/smtp ACK/no_SYN connection DENIED from: 1Cust180.tnt38.det3.da.uu.net (63.44.201.180)

    Coincidentally no doubt, this was quickly followed by the Harvard dialup scanners collective checking our netbios availability:


    23:28:10 (EST) 04 January 2001: Port 137/netbios SYN connection DENIED from: sfp220-198.harvard.edu (128.103.220.198)

    Someone please tell me UUNET and Harvard are doing something to stop these guys.

  • bSMTP means "batched SMTP", not "bulk SMTP". And it is used for companies nad individuals who do not have a permanent internet connection and do not want a connection made for every single email they send.

    Stop using FUD.

    *plonk*

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • The more elegant solution for /. I already suggested: leave the mail address in your preferences empty. That should make it clear enough, that you do not want any email reactions to anything you post here. Without the chance of irritating the person responsible for handling abuse email when someone who is ignorant about 127.0.0.1 wants not to bother the whole of /. with their reaction to you.

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • If anyone installed AOL on my computer I'd be forced to kill them...
  • This dosn't mean "We are making money from spam we just fain ignorence" but "We never bothered to learn what spam is"

    That may be true for some real-world businesses who are taking their first dip on the web, but it's clearly not true in this case. All of the big players in online porn are fucking brilliantly net-savvy. They keep up with the bleeding edge of technology, and they know exactly what they're doing.

    If you read between the lines you'll see that Cyber Entertainment set up the anti-spam policy as a weasel dodge. As long as they don't do the actual spamming, and "don't ask don't tell" about spam sent by their licensees, the devilish contract stays intact. AOL is working hard to prove that even without direct orders to spam, their "wink wink nudge nudge" is bad enough.

    Personally, I'd love to see eBay shot down for the same exact thing. eBay knows damn well that their auctioneers spam the hell out of off-topic Usenet groups. Unfortunately, Usenet doesn't keep a pack of rabid lawyers on retainer...

  • I wasn't really going for funny as much as I was going for clever.
  • Isn't the junk mail (including AOL CDs) that comes to my real life mailbox just as annoying and using more resources than Spam? Why the double standard? Where is the clamor for ridding ourselves of *all* junk mail?

    Dancin Santa
  • I was in Wal-Mart (large variety chain for the non US'ers) last night, and what did i see just inside the entrance? A display with a sign that said "Get 750 free hours" and under it was a container full of about a thousand AOL gold cd's. Needless to say, it was creepy.
  • If these spammers go out of business, will I still be allowed to opt-in to their helpful pr0n newsletters?

    Dancin Santa
  • by tkdkid (266285)
    Set it so that it doesn't accept messages from users not on your contact list. Works for me.
  • by Wills (242929) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @08:25PM (#529105)

    In the UK you can opt out of paper junk mail by registering your name and address with the Mailing Preference Service. After I registered I got no more paper junk mail addressed to me. Occasionally I get junk mail sent to my address which have no name on them.

    • Mailing Preference Service

    • Freepost 22
      London
      W1E 7EZ

    I was wondering whether there is a similar service in other countries?

  • Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

    Isn't the price of a stamp in the US going up in a few days?

    Perhaps instead of charging people who have legit uses of mail, they should charge the junk mail people more. Every day someone wants to loan me $70000.
  • My friend has an aol account. I used it the other day and boy, spam doesn't get any worse than aol's own!

    Upon logging in, there were a total of 4 popup windows! Yes 4! The first one, you had to cancel before you were even let in to aol. If you didn't acknowledge it you'd be prevented from logging in.

    Then there's another one, the "welcome" screen, that you can't close. All you can do is minimize it.

    But of course, Aol doesn't tell you you can disable 3 out of 4 of these annoying popup windows. To get to it you have to dig real deep into aol's "personal preferences".

    Screw aol. They're the biggest hypocrites if I've ever seen one.
  • by packphour (257276) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @08:32PM (#529108) Homepage
    FADE IN:
    • INT. - STEVE CASE RESIDENCE - NIGHT
    We see a restless Steve Case logging into the internet. Signs as on his screen name, 'BigDaddyBlingBling6969'. Network busy error, reconnecting. Network busy error, disconnected.
    STEVE
    "Damn, AOL sucks."

    Trys connecting again, success.

    COMPUTER VOICE
    "You've got mail."

    Steve scrolls through his new messages, eagerly looking for:

    STEVE
    "Yes! My, She-Male E-mail Newsletter."

    Click-Click-Click. Viewing tonights new additions to the website, he hears a noise.

    MRS. CASE
    (shocked!)
    "STEVE!"

    STEVE
    (erect)
    "I can explain!"

    Quickly clicking OFF the porn.

    STEVE
    "It was those evil spammers honey. I thought I was getting a message from my mother, you know what a mamma's boy I am, and next thing I know that awful porn site pops up."

    Nervous, she's not completely buying the story- he takes it one step further.

    STEVE
    "But don't you worry, I will take care of this first thing tomorrow. I will sue those evil spammers until and rid our world of corruption."

    CLOSE face shot with intensity in his face.

    STEVE (continued)
    "Oh yes, they will pay."
    (makes a fist and shakes it at the camera.)
    MRS. CASE
    "Oh, honey."

    Kiss.

    CUT TO:

    • INT. - AOL HEADQUARTERS - STEVE'S OFFICE

    In front of the board, he announces.

    STEVE
    "Gentlemen, we are suing the porn spammers."

    BOARD MEMBERS
    (in unison)
    "Dammit Steve, you got caught again!"

    Grumbles and disgust everywhere.

    Articles and stories surface on C|Net, Slashdot, and other reputable news sources with better spelling skills.

    FADE TO BLACK:

  • There are plenty of fun things to do with all those CD's though. You can:
    -Use them as frisbees. They don't fly as well, but it can be fun nonetheless.
    -Simply throw them at the wall to see them shatter. Great stress reliever.
    -Use them to install AOL on friends computers when they aren't looking. A great practical joke to play on someone.
    -Mount them on the wall with the shiny side out. If placed right, it makes for some sweet lighting effects.

    Too bad you can't reformat the CD's, like you clould the floppies.
  • They try to, at least from my experiences. I've gotten dozens of screen names, if not the entire account canceled, but I honestly have no idea if that will do anything. Does AOL block addresses? In other words, if Joe Spammer at 1313 Jerk St., East Armpit, SC is a spammer who loses his AOL account, is anyone from that address banned, or can Joe just continue to buy new accounts?

    Also, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are on AOL, and you get e-mail from blah@aol.com (unless it's from a mailing list or something) then the address is most likely forged.

    Kierthos
    (Yeah, I use AOL... at least it's not MSN)
  • Are you suggesting that we create a violent new super-race of attack-nutria to sic on spammers? I'd go along with it, but as folks in Looserana have found, there's no market for nutria pelt. Surely spammer pelt is equally worthless.
  • Oh, I dunno... email? I'm reasonably certain that correcting timezones is off-topic to this conversation. As is this topic.
  • That is what your beef is about? What the hell is a "webbrowser server" anyway?
  • Sic some bounty hunters on the bastards!

    Imagine those spammers running with Boba Fett on their ass!

    Woo hoo!

    --

  • What the hell is a "webbrowser server" anyway?

    The server from which the users start their webbrowser.

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • Since AOL is suing spammers, we should then sue AOL because the users are much more affected than the ISP. Sure they suck down more bandwidth at the source, but it's the users' rights that are being violated and their time greatly wasted as well. If AOL scores a buck from spammers, then I want my share of that buck for being one of the end victims.
  • >Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

    I would argue that point. Many are pointing out that spam costs the end user because it inflates the IPS's operating costs which are then passed on to the end user. Get rid of spam, reduce the ISP's costs, reduce the end-user's monthly bill, right?

    Assuming that is the case, doesn't the same thing sort-of apply to the USPS? Did they not just raise rates again? [usps.com] Isn't it possible or even likely that some of the cost of building up USPS infrastructure to be able to handle all that junk mail ends up being passed on to consumers in the form of postage rate increases?

    Ok, maybe not that much. The junk mailers obviously have to pay postage, but I'm wondering if that bulk rate has gone up as much (proportionally) as 1st-class postage has over the years. Just a thought.

  • Well of *course* they raise the cost of your AOL subscription. So what?

    Coca Cola spends a fortune on marketing. If you purchase a Coke, you are implicitly choosing to pay Coke for its advertising.

    If you choose to purchase a Pepsi, you are *not* paying for Coke's advertising. Coke's advertising costs are born only by Coke, and you have chosen to not support those costs.

    Spam doesn't offer you that choice.

    No matter which ISP you subscribe to, you will be paying for the advertising of several hundred spam-using companies.

    You are *forced* to subsidize their marketing costs.


    --
  • 14 billion more to go...



  • Ok listen here, this is AMERICA. When we start to persecute those who like a little spam in their porn, who's next? The very framers of our hallowed constitution so many years ago?

    If we start with the little people, the men and women of otherwise fine moral upstanding nature who just happen to enjoy copulation with meat products in all its varied depravity, then who among us can truly claim to be an AMERICAN?

    Come on people, this is what /. is all about. It's Your Rights Online, it's your right to receive lewd ASCII art for FREE! Don't let evil companies like AOL take that away from you.

    I think it was Mark Twain that said "When you lose the freedom of expression, then you're just fucked." Weighty words indeed.
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @08:50PM (#529121) Journal
    I recall that some years ago some portions of the State of Louisiana had a pest problem. There was some sort of largish introduced animal that was tearing up the swamps and it was a ecological disaster. I think it was introduced from South America or something

    They had a horrible time getting rid of it, and were losing the battle, until they came up with a unique solution.

    Someone did some research, and figured out how to cook it, and promote it as a delicacy. The result was that suddenly you had a whole bunch of people hunting down the critter so they could cook it themselves, or sell it to a restaurant, or whatever.

    The population is now very nicely under control, and is no longer an ecological threat.

    So what has this got to do with spam?

    It is my contention that spam will continue to exist as a problem until we make it profitable to go after folks who are spammers. Then it becomes a business.

    that is why I have advocated a spam licensing program in the past, so that it would become legal for everyone to bill the spammers for traffic, etc. and business would pop up whose sole purpose in life would be to hunt spammers. The spam hunters would get a piece of the action, and send you a check.

    It has to become advantageous for someone to have a business billing spammers on a general basis. Everyone hates bill collectors. We could turn them on the spammers.

  • In Australia (or WA at least) you put a sign saying "No junk mail" on your letterbox and it's illegal to put any unaddressed mail into it.
  • Wrong. The time cost to me in sifting through snail spam everyday is probably similar relative to AOL's cost of storing and routing spam. This one instance of pr0n spam is probably negligible, and so is the one instance of AOL CD spam. But just like the spammers, AOL was still unsolicited, they wasted my time, they polute the front of my apartment visually, and they polute my mind with their branding techniques. They are just as bad as the spammers they are suing.

    LS
  • > What is it with Red Hat (l)users anyway?

    Don't you know?

    Installing Linux turned them into a 1337 455 h4x0r d00d.

    *sigh*

    -=-
  • >...wonderfully idiotic marketing morons don't seem to realize that they don't need to send 15 AOL CDs to someone who already has AOL.

    Heh, when we had AOL (my wife and kids) we got half a dozen CDs mailed to us every month. Since we've been off for a few years, it has dwindled down to next to nothing. Strange.

    I'm just worried that if AOL gets it's way and the FCC forces AT&T to unbundle Cable access from ISP service, we would get bombarded again with unwanted CDs.
  • Since you're most likely filtering against the IPs of dialup POPs, all that would really work is the DUL, and you have to bear in mind that it isn't really a blacklist, just a list of IPs that are dialups and that shouldn't have access to mail servers other than their own. This will help somewhat, but it still isn't a complete fix.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because, Santa, receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

    You really think this is true? Look here [zerojunkmail.com] and here [stopjunk.com]. I also like this quote from stopjunk.com:

    Junk mail causes the average American to waste 8 months of his or her life just sifting through mail solicitation

    Still think junk mail doesn't cost anything?

  • That was a wonderful, nearly-incoherent post. I think I've got the gist of what you're saying, though, and I regret to inform you that you're wrong.

    It isn't "really" another form of a company attempting to get your attention.

    It *really* is a way for a company to force you to subsidize their marketing costs, whether you purchase the product or not.

    In all other cases of advertising, you implicitly choose to suppose the costs of advertising when you choose to purchase the product.

    About fifteen years ago, an exactly analogous situation existed: spam fax. In those days, faxes were thermafax: they used special paper that was bloody expensive.

    Spam marketers had no problem using war-dialers to spread their marketing information to every fax machine they could. The costs to businesses were obvious, as their thermafax paper was rapidly consumed.

    Unsolicited faxes were made illegal. It was decided that no business should be able to force others to pay for its advertising costs.

    It's only because EMail costs are hidden, mainly unaccounted for and are new-tech, that the governments haven't stepped in to ban EMail spam.

    The legal and moral issues have already been determined, by the previous spam-fax ban.

    Your points re: porn advertising, AOL et al are irrelevent.

    --
  • The USPS rate raise is probably due to a lot of factors, I would guess that the rise in Oil prices are a big part of it. After all the UPS uses a lot of Gas/Diesel/Jet Fuel in getting your mail from here to there.

    Plus wasn't the most recent raise in 1st class postage $0.01?

    The cure of the ills of Democracy is more Democracy.

  • A lot of people seem to be under the impression that since their own personal download time for spam messages is next to nothing in comparison to regular browsing traffic, it can't be costing them much. As a sysadmin for an ISP, I'd have to disagree. Spam in general raises operating costs quite a bit, ad that's what a customer's bill pays for. What users aren't thinking about is that it isn't just a few users that get spammed. Let's say a mid-sized ISP, with maybe 40,000 customers, suffers a spam attack in which 50% of their customers receive a 5k e-mail. You're looking at almost 100 MB of traffic generated by just one spammer in a short period of time.

    What does it matter how many users you have? The useful traffic/spam ratio is still the same.
  • Actually it is quite common for domains to forward mail addressed to any part of the domain to the mail server, i.e. if I send mail to jupiter.math.uiuc.edu (one of the computers in the lab) it gets sent to math.uiuc.edu (the main mail server). Therefore if I go to the computer lab in the math building and send an email using Netscape to abuse@127.0.0.1, it will get read by sysadmin. Stefan is right.
  • by QuMa (19440)
    Possible, but you loose the functionality too... You're better off not allowing multi-recipient messages, that way you get much less spam, the spammers can't use the mirabilis/aol servers to amplify their traffic, and you always get their ip...
  • I wish that were the case here in USA. It doesn't matter what I put on the mailbox or tell the mail carrier, it is illegal for the post office to not deliver the mail, even when I clearly state I do not want it.

    Edward Burr
  • i don't pay per kilobyte or even by the megabyte i download. Those CD's do take an actual toll on the environment, especially consiering that every one they send me ends up unopened in the trash. Same with 99% of the junk mail i receive. Yeah, someone out there may need to pay for the bandwidth, and yeah, call me whatever you'd like, but i figure a few cents here and there is much better than the waste that real world junkmail does to our real world environment.

    Money comes and goes. We, and our world, don't.
  • by caskey (226047) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @10:25PM (#529135) Homepage
    Money comes and goes. We, and our world, don't.

    Bad news... you, me *and* our world come and go. Everything will be recycled eventually. What you're really worried about is the 'us' and frankly I doubt 'us' will be around long enough for the universe to take notice.

    Mother nature is my recycling bin.

  • >I don't *like* spam, and I don't think I should be *sent* spam, but the "time to download" argument doesn't hold water.

    Kinda...
    I'm affrade the "Americans pay for it too" argument isn't reasonable..
    UK has this small problem of a phone monopoly who is also an ISP and wanabe Internet monopoly.. (Not yet but not for lack of trying)

    But some Americans DO pay for time on-line or bandwith... charges for calling an ISP long distence mean spam costs money..

    Also we don't allways pay directly.. We all pay for spam in the form of disk space... Your ISP pays for disk space on the bulkload so the added spam dosn't need to be added in..
    Same for desktop users.. larg hard disk is used for e-mail, data files, porn, etc.. You really don't notice becouse the spam is really less noticable than the disk space used by your web browser cache. But when using a PCS or a Palm pilot your storage is considerably smaller. Spam could mean buying a unit with more memory or buying an upgrade to what you have.

    Also some of us use free services... my free e-mail accounts grant me 10 megs to 30 megs of disk space to store e-mail.

    Also spammers may seem rude but at least they try to matain a one time contact rule. Some spammers won't do that. The worst spam I got came from CyberPromo itself.. once every 30 min.. every day.. around the clock... That nonsence adds up..

    While thats not happening anymore... Spam means BBS sysops can't afford a Usenet feed (and most ISPs won't provide same)... the FidoNet gateway is (basicly) shut down... etc... We may not be paying in dollers but we most certenly pay in lossed connectivity.. lost time.. and lost posabilitys...
  • Well, you can't sue them because it didn't cost you anything. However, I don't mind getting AOL CD's anymore, they come in the DVD style cases now. Free CD cases for Charlie's CD-Rs!
  • The animal you're referring to is the Nutria, and they *tried* to get people to cook them, but no one did. Think about it. Would _you_ trap Nutria out of drainage canals and eat them? Finally some people started shooting them.
  • by SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @10:56PM (#529139)
    No, you're thinking of a bill that was introduced into Congress in 1998 by Sen. Frank Murkowski. It passed the Senate as a rider to S. 1618 but died in the House after organizations such as CAUCE and FREE mounted a huge phone-in campaign. They were against the bill because it was seen as pro-spam because it implied that spamming was fine as long as the spammer provided a way to get removed from his list. Aside from the obvious problems with an opt-out system, there were major loopholes. For example, there wasn't much to prevent a spammer from removing you from one list, then adding you to others later, since you'd have to somehow figure out that the same person had spammed you twice. There was also nothing to prevent your address to be sold or given to another spammer. So, Party A could spam you, get your remove request, remove you, then give your address to Party B, who is spamming on Party A's behalf, to spam you again. (There was no penalty for the person _sponsoring_ the spam, only for the one actively sending it at that moment, so each and every spammer could spam you until you asked for removal.) Finally, neither you nor your ISP could sue for damages if a spammer didn't remove you. All you could do was report the spammer to the Federal Trade Commission, who had sole authority to levy penalties. Aside from these issues, ISPs were afraid that the bill implied a right for their customers to spam if they followed certain guidelines, and the ISPs feared that they would lose the ability to enforce their AUPs. For example, what if a spammer obtained a Hotmail address to receive remove requests, and Hotmail closed the account. Could the spammer argue in court that Hotmail had no right to do this, since the spammer was using the account to perform a legally-required function, namely, to receive and honor remove requests, as required by law? Luckily, this monstrosity died before it became law.
  • by Felinoid (16872) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @10:58PM (#529140) Homepage Journal
    "We aren't knowingly making money off of spam"
    This dosn't mean "We are making money from spam we just fain ignorence" but "We never bothered to learn what spam is"

    Thats the problem with a lot of busnesses. Our luck that spam simply dosn't occure to most people when they first start doing busness on the net. When they try to addapt the old postal junk mail anolog they print up post cards and mail them out. I rember when TI did this.. The first postal junk mail I ever got reguarding the Internet,... I was kinda supprised... But it wasn't the last junk mail.

    Still when someone new to the Internet dose his homework often Spam supplyers strike.. They latch on and teach the ways of spam... "Ohh ignore those techno dweeb hippys... they aren't up with the cutting edge..." or some such nonsence... By the time they run accrost matereal against spam they think it's all nonsence and BS.
    Then they spam.. lost all credability.. lose money.. and drop off the face of the net never to return again...

    Then there is the other side of this...

    "Ignorence is bliss" the reply to the comment..
    We've come to expect Spammers to lie.. but for many spam hunters this has lead to a gult before innocents addatude..
    Just becouse a person says "We aren't knowingly proffiting from spam" dosn't mean "We fain ignorence and spam anyway" they could simply be saying "Look we aren't sending spam.. someone COULD be spamming in our name.. but it's not us" For someone new to spam it seems a reasonable assumption... "Fans" do all kinds of nutty things to premote someone they like.
    (Linux advocates are a good example.. some are really painfully annoying...)

    At times it's a matter of chilling out...
    For a while it was a spammers tactic to clame support (in some way) from a larger company. AoL and Microsoft got hit with this and for a long time (Becouse AoL and Microsoft are "Bad guys" in other areas) people belived it..
    But realisticly AoL and Microsoft have allways been against spam... AoL sued CyberPromo on occasion and was sued by CyberPromo... Bill Gates wrote an artical trashing spam as a total waist of time.

    So basicly when dealling with a potental spammer two rules apply.. Spammers lie convencingly and innocent victoms tell the truth unconvencingly...
    Some times it takes work to find the guilty party.. some times it just takes work confermming the person you have in your claws really is as gulty as you think he is...
    You can't use simple rules to base your judgment.. Spammers will just use this against you... They love it when you come down on an innocent victom... "See.. they just resisting change..." and they also love it when you pass over an gulty party.. "Encorcement..."

    In the end I don't believe in letting them go easy I also don't believe in being trigger happy...
  • I make use of some of them -
    usually I put the shiny side up to use them as beermats.

    Kiwaiti

  • I daresay that the cost of those AOL CDs raises the prices of AOL subscriptions for those who use AOL (like me, unfortunately). Also, they wonderfully idiotic marketing morons don't seem to realize that they don't need to send 15 AOL CDs to someone who already has AOL.

    I use the damn things as coasters.

    Kierthos
  • My favorite response is to fill return envelopes with junk and send them back to the companies. It's helped me....

    For instance, I started getting Geico mailers about 3-5 times per week, basically a steady stream, for about 2 months. I started throwing D-Cell batteries in the envelopes, not giving a return address, and dropping them in the mail box (such that the only address showing was the return address on their original envelope). Since then (about a year ago) I've only received about 3 Geico mailers.

    It's also helped with Credit Card mailings, too.

  • It is the top complaint from customers, and the complaints have reached 250,000 on a single day, the company said. While this is a small percentage of the 166 million emails sent every day through AOL, company representatives said one unhappy message is one too many.

    If one is too many, why did it take 250k complaints before AOheLl cracked down!? They've really got their fingers on the pulse.

  • "Time to Download" does perfectly hold water.

    If I browse with images enabled, I *choose* to. If I were paying exorbitant per-second connection charges -- and I was, back in the early 90's, using a slow modem and long-distance dial-in -- I would choose to browse with graphics disabled.

    I'm not offered that choice with EMail. I have no simple method for blocking spam at the server. I must, at the least, download the headers.

    Further, you're only considering the costs as an individual.

    There are ISPs with *millions* of users. So multiply your figures appropriately: it works out to gigabytes of information. It's a huge waste of resources, including "time to download."

    Get out of the "how does this impact me as an individual" box. The EMail servers must spend some amount of time to download the spam. It is significant.

    --

  • I would like to thank the asshole that modded me down and caused me to lose karma. Pointing out that an important message had been missed by the moderators isn't exactly off-topic. By moderating down people who are posting as non-anonymous you are promoting the type of anonymous-user bullshit that plagues slashdot.
  • $35/mo ISP cost, 3Gb xfer limit, ISP expects an average 20% use of xfer limit.

    Effectively, $35/60Mb xfer per month.

    Assume net profit of 10%. Actual cost of providing service, then, = $31.50. (Net profit includes *all* expenses of providing service, and is typically well below 15%, and usually gets down to less than 5%. I'm being very generous.)

    Cost of providing service = $31.50/60Mb = 0.05 cents per kilobyte.

    Average spam = 1k (HTML format these days, y'know). Average 20 spam received per day.

    Average 60s time spent dealing with spam per day. Average wage $10/hr. Population = 330 million for North America. Average 30% population uses EMail daily.

    Equals nearly 2 billion spams per day.

    Equals nearly 2 gigabytes of spam xferred per day.

    Equals $16.5 million dollars *per day* in wasted time.

    Equals nearly $1 million dollars *per day* in wasted ISP resources.

    Equals $64 **out of your pocket** every year, because those costs are ultimately paid for by you, the consumer of EMail services.

    And that's an optimistic figure.

    --
  • Then why, oh overwrought one, do you specify your email address on slashdot as it is? Do you get your jollies thinking about how now and again overworked and underpaid email server administrators get an email intended to you, but incomprehensible and not truly trackable to them?

    Have you even read my post? You certainly have not understood it! If you had it would be clear why I use the email address I do.

    I use abuse@127.0.0.1 for the very good reason that Junk emailers and mail-bombers, etc end up report themselves to their own Sysop.

    If you can suggest a more elegant solution, I'll be happy to consider it.

  • >The USPS rate raise is probably due to a lot of factors, I would guess that the rise in Oil prices are a big part of it

    Oh, I realize that. I wasn't trying to say that the rates went up because of Junk mail, only arguing the point that an AOL cd in your mailbox costs you nothing. But I guess even that is next to nothing.

    >Plus wasn't the most recent raise in 1st class postage $0.01?

    Yep. They say last year they handled 200 billion pieces of mail. That obviously wasn't all 1st class mail, but probably a good chunk of it was and one cent increase on some fraction of 200 billion is still a lot of money.

    Sure. $0.01 increase isn't a big deal for the dozen or so letters I mail each month. But dammit, I'm old enough to remember when it was a dime!
  • Could this link reveal the real reason for your opposition to junk email traps. www.xs4all.nl appear to offer a bulk emailer service. http://www.xs4all.nl/helpdesk/algemeen/faq/bsmtp_f aq.html
  • The real pests on AOL run automatic Instant Messaging spambots. If you go into a chat room, your AOL Id is then visible, even to those outside the room, and their bots then IM you with their crap. They use the chatroom approach rather than just looking through the AOL directory to see who's on because the name of the chatroom lets them target their stuff more precisely. It's infuriating to have to turn off IMing just to chat in peace, and interferes with IMing those you're chatting with. I don't want these jackals sued, I want them imprisoned and tortured.
  • reply what are you talking about? Theres still FedEx, UPS, and Airborn... Not to mention the numerous couriers in every city. I do believe anyone could try to compete against the post office, it's just that they're so entrechened it makes no sense to attempt to under cut them, but rather offer a faster more efficient service than they do...

    1st class postage costs so much more than bulk mail because even if it's 1st class bulk mail, it;s pre-sorted. And then if you send enough and can stand the fact that it'll arrive slower, you can opt for 3rd class. Direct mailers send so much that they have buying power in a sense. They pay so much more that anyone else does they deserve lower rates...

    Of course a year or two ago when the rates last increased.... it was 2nd (magazine) and 3rd (bulk) class mailers that got hit with the brunt of it. Should have read the DM News then to see some true rage!
  • The same thing exists in the US with the same name. It gets posted in popular columns like Dear Abby, Ann Landers, etc. all the time. IMO, people prefer to just bitch about it, as if it were no more changeable than the weather.
    http://www.unt.edu/legal/mail_preference_service.h tm [unt.edu]
  • it's been a few years since i worked for a mailer, but so far as i remember, the DMA does infact maintain a "not list" of sorts. You can put your name in there, and 90% of mailers will run their lists against that list to make sure they're not wasting printing or postage costs on someon whos sure not to respond.

    Yes, it's not 100% reliable. And yes, there's no recourse if someone decides to not run their list against the DMA's. But hey, that's free enterprize, right?
  • 'My favorite part is the comment from the accused "We do not knowingly profit from unsolicited emai". Ah blessed ignorance'

    The legal term for this kind of ignorance is called "plausible deniability." It is a clever way to escape guilt by claiming ignorance and surprisingly has worked for many people and companies.
  • receiving AOL CDs doesn't cost you a penny, whereas receiving spam EMail does cost you.

    and you *know* that the costs are passed on to the consumer

    Wouldn't the argument you make about the cost being passed to the consumer also cause postal rates to increase (effective Jan. 7 USPS is charging more [usps.gov])?

    -HobophobE
  • I know this goes into another touchy subject but...why not charge spammers to email? Make the people that send out large quantities of unsollicited email pay postage. This would generate some lost revenue for the Postal System and it would make some companies think twice before clicking on "spam" err i mean send.
  • This wouldn't work at all. First of all, in order to JUST charge "spammers", or "people that send out large quantities of unsolicited email", you would have to have some system of knowing if there were actually doing that, and also a system of actually making them pay. If they are using some other server without that server's permission to send this spam, as many of them do, then it would be impossible to charge them without finding out who did it. It's also difficult to have a system of knowing whether they are sending the email unsolicited. There just doesn't seem to be any feasible way to charge the spammers.

    The road to nowhere leads to me-Ozzy Osbourne

  • The only problem is the MPS (and the FAX & Phone version) do not work very well.

    We registered with MPS in Nov 98 because the amount of junk mail we where getting was becoming unreal, (~6-10 items a day).

    We still get a dozen items a week which we dilligently forward to MPS, only for them to make an excuse.

    We've complained to the DTI, and are seriously considering legal action.

    The MPS is self regulation by the people responsible for the problem in the first place. Self regulation never wins over the profit motive.

  • Storage and mail server meltdown may be issues, but the time spent downloading spam isn't. The banner ad at the top of the screen here was 10k. That's the equivalent of five moderately lengthy spam emails. A typical web mage has many images (adverts and non-adverts), and Joe User will surf through many pages in a day. Someone who never touches a web browser might see their charges rise due to spam, but anyone who browses even a little bit has a much, much bigger drain on their phone bill than spam would ever produce.

    The ISP, too, is processing image and other binary data as the bulk of its traffic. Spam does load down the mail server quite a bit, but not the pipe.

    I don't *like* spam, and I don't think I should be *sent* spam, but the "time to download" argument doesn't hold water.
  • Guys,

    We should call this stuff what it IS. This is Unsolicited commercial email / junk email it is not Spam or done by Spamer's.

    Spamer is my family surname (Try searching Google, you'll find hundred of us), and you can appreciate the unrestricted use of the expression Spamer, Spam, Spaming causes me (and my Brother who both work in IT/Internet industry) considerable problems. I've been flamed, mail bombed, had my machines attacked, this has become seriously unfunny!

    This is plea that everybody be responsible, use and encourage others to use, the most accurate term Unsolicited commercial email / junk email.

  • If you don't like AOL's policy, don't use AOL.


    --

  • Lately, I've been getting spammed from "sexyfun.net". Every time it comes from a different site with a STUPID ASSED sysadmin with his wide open for relaying mail server he probably never bothered to actually configure after initial installation.[*]

    If this is the case then IMHO the vendor/supplier is at fault. There is no good reason to supply an MTA configured to relay at all. i.e. the sysadmin should have to explicitally configure it to relay. (Especially since the primary reason for needing third party relays at all is to handle crippled software which won't work without one.)

    [*] Most of these sites are is asia, or some schmucks cablemodem/DSL conencted Red Hat box. What is it with Red Hat (l)users anyway?

    It's Red Hat who are at fault here. They put together a system with inappropriate defaults. If they were doing this 15 years ago they might have some excuse, but there has been no legitimate reason for supplying an MTA which is an open relay in its "out of the box" configuration for well over a decade, assuming there ever was a good reason in the first place. Since RFC821 allows for relaying to be refused with a 551 return code.
  • We should call this stuff what it IS.

    [SNIP]

    I've been flamed, mail bombed, had my machines attacked, this has become seriously unfunny!

    Then why, oh overwrought one, do you specify your email address on slashdot as it is? Do you get your jollies thinking about how now and again overworked and underpaid email server administrators get an email intended to you, but incomprehensible and not truly trackable to them?

    I think you need to think again and recalibrate your sense of humour. Hint: specifying an email address is not mandatory on Slashdot.

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • I get tons of porn spam from AOL accounts. Shouldn't they make sure their own house is in order?
  • by AcidMonkey (188562) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @07:26PM (#529169)
    I would e-mail AOL's legal department to show my support...

    ...but I'm afraid they'd sue me.

  • If not (and I doubt it), of what law has Cyber Entertainment run afoul? The C|Net article only mentioned (as far as I bothered to read) that Cyber Entertainment violated its own anti-spam policy.
  • In the UK you can opt out of paper junk mail
    I was wondering whether there is a similar service in other countries?

    You can do that to some extent in Norway too. You can tell the post office to not deliver "unadressed mail". That don't stop others (local shops etc.) from delivering junk themselves in densely populated areas. And it don't stop junk mail explicitly adressed to you. The latter can be stopped by calling/writing the sender and tell them to remove you from their database, something our database law require them to do. But there are many senders, and they will sometimes re-aquire your name when they buy an adress list from someone else. You can of course use the law and force them to reveal their source and tell the source to delete you from their list too, but who will bother with doing that all the time?

    Fortunately, the same law apply to telemarketing. I don't need to call them - they call me. And then I just say "please delete me from your database, you must according to the law. And then they don't call again. :-)

  • by SomeoneYouDontKnow (267893) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @10:21PM (#529189)
    Perhaps, but consider this. Some estimates have put the percentage of spam coming into AOL as high as 30% of e-mail traffic. Now how many terabytes of storage do you suppose AOL has for e-mail, not to mention how much bandwidth is needed to receive it? If you figure that 30% of that goes to spam, you can see that there is a real cost, one that the spammer isn't paying. If AOL is going to send out a million CDs, they have incremental costs associated with doing that, costs that _they_ must pay. Your garden variety spammer signs up for a dialup account with an ISP, then spams away like there's no tomorrow, until the ISP is alerted and pulls the plug. What does the originating ISP get? $19.95? Maybe, unless the spammer used a fake cc number or requests a chargeback, which credit card companies often give. And what costs has the ISP incurred? Well, the spammer used their bandwidth to send out his spam, and he costs their sysadmins time (translation: money), since they have to deal with the mess the spammer leaves behind, plus, he causes the billing/collections department time (translation: money) as they try to get some money out of him, and he might also cause legal fees to pile up if the ISP decides to sue. As a matter of fact, I sold dialup ISDN to a guy who I later found out wanted to spam. Let's look at what this one incident cost in terms of time. 20 minutes for me to explain the product set and sign him up.
    10 minutes to speak with someone in QA about his nasty e-mail she received telling us he wanted to cancel because he objected to our AUP.
    10 minutes discussing it with my supervisor.
    15 minutes for me, my supervisor, the QA representative, and the QA manager to discuss the situation.
    5 minutes for me and my supervisor to tell the manager of billing that the customer was definitely to be billed for the time he used, even though he stated in his message that he wouldn't pay.
    30 minutes for the manager of QA to speak to him and tell him that he was going to get charged, since he had asked and was told at the time of signup that we don't do refunds. It was at this time that his intention to spam was revealed.
    10 minutes for me to spaek with our sysadmin to find out if he had spammed while he was connected, which he hadn't, as far as we could tell at the time. Now you can add up the time above and get an idea of the cost. Keep in mind that you'll have to double, triple, or quadruple some numbers based on the number of people involved. And I don't even know if we ever got our money out of him. And don't forget the costs to another organization if the spammer hijacks a mail server to relay his junk. Sure, anyone running an open relay these days is asking for trouble, but there are times when closing them can be a huge pain, such as on an old mainframe running an old MTA and an outdated OS. There are some machines out there that are old enough that there just aren't any upgrades available, and the organizations that own them might not be able to justify replacing them solely for that reason. My point isn't to downplay the annoyance of regular junk mail, but spammers cost lots of people lots of money, and I didn't even get onto the subject of fraudulent spam, which most of it seems to be. IMHO, AOL is right to sue them. Hell, I wish they'd do this more often, and it'd be nice if other ISPs did the same. If these lowlifes want to use the resources of others to try to squeeze a buck out of some newbie, then they need to get their balls nailed to the wall for it.
  • I do believe anyone could try to compete against the post office, it's just that they're so entrechened it makes no sense to attempt to under cut them, but rather offer a faster more efficient service than they do...

    It's against the law to compete with the USPS. FedEx, UPS et al deliver things that the USPS either doesn't want to (packages) or generally can't (overnight). In fact, it's against the law to send something via an overnight service that doesn't actually have to be there overnight.

    The USPS is a federally guaranteed monopoly.

    Check this [emory.edu] out.
  • Another point for usenet spam is that your local news server must delete older, legitimate posts to make room for it. Instead of having a news server which holds a month of articles, you have one that holds only a few days with the rest being clogged up with "Make money FAST!" & "H*O_W_TO_A=T+T*RA-CT_W_O_M-E-N" shit, binary porn spam and the cancels of course. So the server wastes space and must spend a sizable percentage of its time just receiving and filing all the unwanted crap. This all leads to a slower and poorer news service.

    Short of blocking all binaries, limiting crossposting and honouring cancels (and hoping they arrive in a timely fashion), there's not much else a server can do.

  • Why is it that whenever I send -anyone- on AOL mail, I start getting spam for a few days after?

    I've long wondered whether AOL might be selling lists of external e-mail accounts to spammers.

  • by Bedemus (63252) on Friday January 05, 2001 @03:10AM (#529193) Homepage
    Hi all,

    A lot of people seem to be under the impression that since their own personal download time for spam messages is next to nothing in comparison to regular browsing traffic, it can't be costing them much.

    As a sysadmin for an ISP, I'd have to disagree. Spam in general raises operating costs quite a bit, ad that's what a customer's bill pays for. What users aren't thinking about is that it isn't just a few users that get spammed. Let's say a mid-sized ISP, with maybe 40,000 customers, suffers a spam attack in which 50% of their customers receive a 5k e-mail. You're looking at almost 100 MB of traffic generated by just one spammer in a short period of time.

    This isn't the worst of it, though. It used to be that spammers used lists of valid e-mail addresses to send their spam from... Now, going by what I've seen lately on our mail servers, spammers have taken up what I've coined as "shotgun spamming." They fire off e-mails alphabetically, from multiple sources simultaneously, choosing common last names and pairing them up with first initials, first names with last initials, etc, knowing full well that the bulk of their mail won't get anywhere, but be bounced back. During such an attack it is not uncommon for a server to get hammered with several thousand messages a minute assuming the hardware can handle it without deferring connections. By the time the attack is over, a server will have received somewhere along the lines of 100,000 to 200,000 messages.

    The problem that makes this sort of spamming worse: MTAs will attempt to send a bounce message back to the sender if an address doesn't exist on a given server. The spammers know this, and don't want to catch all that traffic themselves, so guess what? They use an address that doesn't exist as well, causing the attacking server to bounce the bounce message our victim server sends right back again. This is known as a double bounce, and once it occurs, the message does finally die... But let's look at what damage has been done:

    Using the hypothetical ISP outlined above, let's assume a fairly small attack of 100,000 5 kilobyte messages, of which 50% of the 40,000 customers end up receiving a mail... This results in the aforementioned 100 MB of traffic, and leaves us with 80,000 bounce messages to send. These bounces generally include the contents of the original message plus some additonal text describing the problem, so they'll be a little larger than 5k, but we'll ignore that.

    Now, we've got another 400MB of traffic in bounce messages to send, to which we'll get another 400MB of double-bounces in reply. This results in 900MB (that's bytes, not bits, for hose of you counting at home) of total traffic from one such salvo of spam, not counting the endless amount of resends on each side since both servers will likely be deferring acceptance of messages by about halfway through, causing a buildup in each server queue and wasting HD space to boot. This is a fairly tame example.

    I personally spent an entire week recently monitoring the mail queue of a mail server being shotgun spammed ("TURNKEY E-COMMERCE SOLUTIONS"), and shutting down acceptance of messages from their sources -- It was disgusting to see the Net's lowest life form next to child pornographers (spammers) sink to a new low in their tactics. Automated spam-blocking tools can't fully alleviate this problem, no matter how well designed. Heck, even non-automated attempts can't. As I was shutting down acceptance from one relaying machine, another would pop up and start spamming, taking the place of the one just blocked... It was like trying to fight a DDoS being done through SMTP!

    Anyway -- in short, spam will cost you, not matter who you are. I'd recommend http://www.cauce.org for more information on this issue.
    --
    NeoMail - Webmail that doesn't suck... as much.
  • They had a little turf battle back in 1997 [cnn.com] where bulk-mailer threatened to release five million AOL email addresses. It was all over the news at the time, because AOL was the big enemy on the horizon and it was fun to see them blackmailed. Now that I think of it, it still is. It takes something as evil as AOL to make spammers look nice by comparison.

    Remember back in 1995(?) or so when AOL changed its terms of service to allow AOL to profit from charging businesses for access to AOL's mailing lists? The hypocrisy is revolting.
  • As a side note, I was complaining to my aunt who worked for the post office about all the junk snail mail, and she laughed and told me how important it was. Junk snail mail pays for the US Post Office. Bulk mailings are what keep it afloat. When I thought about it, I realized that only a tiny percentage of my mail was anything I had intentionally wanted. I have three magazine subscriptions, and get 4-5 different bills per month, , and occassional cards at Christmas and my birthday (so not that much) yet I get lots of mail almost everyday. In the end it is an inefficient system, but it is worthwhile noting that it does keep this system in existence, and it is far more preferable to me than telemarketers!

    All the spamming and privacy issues just make it apparent to me that the US Postal service should take some sort of active role involved with email. It would be nice if it your email privacy was protected by federal law, and so forth.

    For anyone who hates telemarketers, and I think that includes everyone, including telemarketers, but most especially people who work at home, I would direct your attento to the Tom Mabe site [tommabe.com] which features the very funny Tom Mabe, who deals with telemarketers in a unique and hilarious way. You can even buy CD recordings of his interactions.

  • And there isn't a massive amount the spammers can do about it. I don't see a lot of spam these days, the occasional one gets through though.

    Basically, every time someone spams you, they give you information about themselves. You can use this information against the spammers.

    Give the spammers a bunch of nice juicy spam trap aliases to fill their mailing lists then just /dev/null anything which is addressed to the spamtrap account.

    It's documented here:
    http://www.yelm.freeserve.co.uk/spamido/

    Excuse the spelling.
  • There are loads of uses for them. Coffee mug coasters is number 1 and I've tiled my cubicle with them but I have a pal with a sideline in cheap wallclocks. I don't know where he'd be without a steady supply of CDs from AOL.

    Others think so too:

    http://www.wanderlist.com/aolsux

    http://www.networkboy.com/humor/aolcd.htm

    http://www.aolwatch.org/disks.htm

  • Sorry. One of my calculations is off by a factor of ten.

    20% of 3Gb is 600Mb.

    Cost/k is then 0.005 cents.

    ISPs lose only $100 000 *per day*.

    Which works out to still be over $60/year being stolen from your wallet.

    --
  • by Floody (153869) on Friday January 05, 2001 @04:59AM (#529210)
    My company does business with Cyber Entertainment.

    Specifically, we provide them with a fair number of email boxes.

    While I certainly cannot attest for their practices with regard to AOL, I have noticed that they appear to follow their AUP closely; at least when it comes to us.

    In every instance where a large number of complaints have come our way (generally because someone found one of the email boxes, discovered who the ISP was, and started hammering our abuse department), Cyber Entertainment has handled the issue quickly and professionaly, instantly terminating (or at least we never heard another word about it) their relationship with the offending spammer. In fact, we've seen numerous misplaced emails from former "webmaster affiliates" who are VERY upset that CE refuses to do further business from them.

    Logically, I think CE views the whole thing (until now) as quite a scam.

    Think about it: They get to have other individuals/companies spam for them, but once the spam is reported, CE can sever the relationship, not have to pay the spammer a dime, yet still reap the benefits of spam.
  • in the netherlands you just put a sticker on your postbox that says:

    NO, I don't want any unaddressed mail | No, I don't want any free local newspapers

    good thing is: its binding...the stickers are readily available for free.

    //rdj

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