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Spam Government The Almighty Buck The Courts News

Accused Spammer to Debate SpamCop Founder 187

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the high-volume-email-deployers dept.
Weezle writes "Wired News is reporting that OptInRealBig's Scott Richter is going to debate SpamCop's Julian Haight in public next month. Richter had the nerve to file a lawsuit against SpamCop recently claiming that the blacklist keeps his company from sending out 'marketing messages.' (in lay terms, spam) Not surprisingly, Richter himself is being sued for $20 million by NY Att. General Eliot Spitzer. Sounds like it's going to be a real nasty fight."
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Accused Spammer to Debate SpamCop Founder

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:35PM (#9211091)
    Sounds like it's going to be a real nasty fight.

    Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the referee stops this fight early. I'm expecting both of them to fight dirty... Julian Haight tries hard but often swings first and aims later, while Scott Richter says he plays by the rules but morals have never really stood in his way.

    There's no way they're gonna go the scheduled twelve rounds!
    • by Randolpho (628485) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:30PM (#9211360) Homepage Journal
      Tough fight? Nah, it'll be a quick knockdown. All Julian Haight has to do is interrupt Scott Richter whenever he tries to say something with a hearty "YOU TOO COULD HAVE A HUGE P ENIS!", or "100% LEGAL POT! GET HIGH LEGALLY!!!!!11!". Eventually Scott will get so pissed off he'll ask the debate moderator to silence Julian, and Julian will just have to say "I rest my case".
      • Tough fight? Nah, it'll be a quick knockdown. All Julian Haight has to do is interrupt Scott Richter whenever he tries to say something with a hearty "YOU TOO COULD HAVE A HUGE P ENIS!", or "100% LEGAL POT! GET HIGH LEGALLY!!!!!11!". Eventually Scott will get so pissed off he'll ask the debate moderator to silence Julian, and Julian will just have to say "I rest my case".

        oh my god.. if you had only posted this last week when i had a few (mod) points to unload. Somebody take care of this guy please!!

  • Opt-Out Real Quick (Score:4, Informative)

    by bendelo (737558) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:35PM (#9211092) Homepage
    For those who wish to opt out...

    OptInRealBig.com, LLC.
    (303) 464-8164
    info@optinbig.com

    1333 W 120th AVE
    Suite 101
    Westminster, CO 80234
    US
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:42PM (#9211128)
      I think we've covered before that's not the way CAN-SPAM requires them to operate an opt-out system...

      You have to do exactly what everybody tells you not to do, follow the instructions at the bottom at the bottom of the e-mail.

      True, most of the non-ethical spammers will just target you for more spam if you respond in that way, but CAN-SPAM requires a law-compliant spammer to honor that system, and Richter claims that's how his company works.
      • yes they have to take you off THAT list, but they can just add you to another list.

        you have unsubscribed from the Viagra News List.
        here is a message from the Viagra Info List...
        • by Aunty Spam (781706)

          Actually they can't. At least, not under the terms of CAN-SPAM:

          "(A) IN GENERAL.--If a recipient makes a request using a mechanism provided pursuant to paragraph (3) not to receive some or any commercial electronic mail messages from such sender, then it is unlawful--
          ...
          (iv) for the sender, or any other person who knows that the recipient has made such a request, to sell, lease, exchange, or otherwise transfer or release the electronic mail address of the recipient (including through any transaction o

      • by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:55PM (#9211558)
        Although the CAN-SPAM act basically defines how someone should spam, I can't understand why people are saying that it allows any type of activity that was previously not allowed. If it calls for a working unsubscribe link, that does not mean that my mail system must accept mail from someone who has met this requirement. If a spammer is blasting my server with dictionary attacks and/or underhanded tricks designed to get around a spam filter, there's nothing in this law that says I have to permit it. Richter of course does not have a leg to stand on in court, so I assume he filed this suit to try to intimidate anti-spam activists, as if it would make them go away.
        • by dubl-u (51156) *
          I can't understand why people are saying that it allows any type of activity that was previously not allowed.

          Perhaps because it overrode state antispam laws, which were more strict?
      • by heybo (667563)
        but CAN-SPAM requires a law-compliant spammer to honor that system, and Richter claims that's how his company works.

        Yea he says he's so law compliant then why does his spam server come knocking at the door of my mail server about 300 times a day. Funny how some of the bounces back to his server are from addresses that haven't been active for over four years. Isn't a nasty reject mail message enough to opt-out??

        I'll be happy to come with a dull knife to strip away his flesh 1 square inch at a time.

        You k

      • by Anonymous Coward
        http://www.optinbig.com/unsubscribe.htm says:

        "Unsubscribe from ALL lists on our system. Don't want any email at all from our network? No problem. Unsubscribe your email address using the box below. Please note that it can take up to five days to be completely removed from all lists in this fashion."

        Whether you actually want to do this is, of course, your decision.

    • free speech??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dmitrygr (736758) <dmitrygr@gmail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:51PM (#9211518) Homepage
      Free speech is garanteed, correct. But where does the constitution say anything about garanteeing an audience?? If you do not like a public debate, you leave. It follows that if you do not like spam, you leave the list, but no! If they want to compare it to real life, they should make it a real comparaison - including a "leave" option. Obviously this is not going to happen, as that's whan they loose all their "customers" (ahem, victims). However the comparaison to speech is not valid if one cannot plug his ears.
      • Re:free speech??? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bhamm (553532)

        Free speech is garanteed, correct. But where does the constitution say anything about garanteeing an audience?? If you do not like a public debate, you leave.

        exactly right.. and if they don't want to leave you alone, you get something similar to how i dealt with a street corner 'preacher' downtown one afternoon. Despite my initial 'leave me alone' stare, he felt he needed an audience with me.. surely to tell me that i was damned, or somesuch nonsense. Well, the crazy bastard kept on my heels for about a

    • I opted out quicker than that. Anything with "optin" anywhere in the headers goes directly down the virtual latrine, since I've never received a single piece of mail from them that didn't belong there.
  • by The I Shing (700142) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:37PM (#9211103) Journal
    OptInRealBig publicly debating SpamCop on the legality of spam is like Charles Manson publicly debating Vincent Bugliosi on the legality of committing mass murder.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:39PM (#9211112)
    Lawyers for both sides said they have agreed to allow the debate because they believe it will not focus on the lawsuit.

    Uhm... two guys suing each other in public and they're not going to talk about the legal alligations either has leveled about the other? Sounds like some lawyers won't be members of the Bar Association much longer.
  • PPV (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I would so pay $50 to watch this on pay per view
  • by FsG (648587) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:41PM (#9211122)
    ..and can I bring my baseball bat?
  • If by nasty (Score:3, Funny)

    by LOL WTF OMG!!!!!!!!! (768357) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:42PM (#9211130) Journal
    you mean Richer is going to get SERVED, then I agree, it's on!
  • Proof of Opt-In (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:42PM (#9211131) Homepage
    I believe it is still legal to send marketing spams as long as the recepients have given consent, no?

    How can we, the spam victims, prove that we NEVER gave consent to such-and-such website?
    • Re:Proof of Opt-In (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cbreaker (561297) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:01PM (#9211240) Journal
      You can't prove that you didn't opt in like that.

      I think the burdon should be on the spammer to prove that you DID opt-in, upon request.

      The thing is, even if this guy's business was 100% legit, which everyone know's isn't anyways, it's a moot point for the vast majority of us. We get so much spam, how are we supposed to know that one is opt-outable and other one will put you to the top of the spammer's list?
    • They're annoying, but they're not the problem. I used to get OptInRealBig messages. I clicked on the "unsubscribe" links a few times. They stopped coming.

      All of Richter's emails (at least that I've seen) come with contact information for the sending company and unsubscribe instructions as required by law. And as far as I've seen, the unsubscribe instructions work. If anybody here has unsubscribed from OIRB and still gotten mailings, that's different. But as far as I've seen, OIRB uses real reply-to's, real

    • Re:Proof of Opt-In (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sqlrob (173498)
      I believe it is still legal to send marketing spams as long as the recepients have given consent, no?

      Actually, that's impossible.

      If the recipients have given consent, it's not spam by definition.

      How can we, the spam victims, prove that we NEVER gave consent to such-and-such website?

      You can't prove a negative except by exhaustion. It should be up to them to prove you gave consent.
    • You cannot.

      Opt in does not nescessarily mean that you said to the spammer "Hey send me some info about my penis." It means you gave your e-mail address to a peice of software that said somewhere in it's agreements that it was free to do what it wanted with your e-mail address, (Or spyware). Which is legitimate.

      What isn't legit is when they track down your e-mail from a website and start spamming, (Or start spamming your blog/bbs which I am getting these days). This the government could easily crack down
    • Re:Proof of Opt-In (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Eivind (15695)
      You can't, and you shouldn't have to.

      Legsilation like that in Scandinavia, and being introduced inthe rest of the EU is ok.

      marketing-material sent to individually-adressable (such as sms, fax, email) electronical devices are only allowed if the recipient has given prior, informed consent, *or* if you have a running business-relationship with the customer.

      The burden of proof is on the one sending the marketing-material ofcourse. There's no way anyone could prove that they did *not* in any way give perm

  • by illuminata (668963) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:42PM (#9211132) Journal
    I don't think SpamCop is going to be winning this one, because OptInRealBig has all of those email addresses at their disposal. Just a few mass mailings is all it takes to get public opinion on their side.
  • Lemmee lone!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by malia8888 (646496) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:45PM (#9211142)
    "Spammers say they are protected by the right to free speech, but people also have the right to be free of speech," said Haight. "I think it's pretty clear that people have the right to be left alone."

    IMHO the debate between these two should end right there. This is like a "do not call" list. People are bombarded with advertising at every turn. We should have a right to be left alone.

    • "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
      I believe the saying goes. No prize for guessing which side of the debate i'm on. I just got my first penis enlargement spam! "Hahahha, Little Pe-nis U Have scup docket view" it said. After ~7 years online, I feel like a real internet user at last! ;)
    • Re:Lemmee lone!! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lp-habu (734825)
      Yes, we do have the right to be left alone.

      And that right includes not only the right to be left alone by spammers, but the right to be left alone by anyone else we do not wish to hear. A demonstrator's right to be heard does not trump my right to be left alone. Any attempt to speak to me when I do not wish to listen is not "the right of free speech", it is an assault on me, and I should be free to take appropriate action. You are free to say what you want to people who want to hear you; you are not enti

    • These guys give powerful insight into the problem of incursion of unwanted communications.

      "[Spammers] have come to court not because their freedom of speech is threatened but because their profits are; to dress up
      their complaints in First Amendment garb demeans the principles for which the First Amendment stands."
      -- US Federal Judge Stanley Sporkin

      "Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit. We
      categorically reject the argument that a vendo

  • by vyrus128 (747164) <gwillen@nerdnet.org> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:45PM (#9211145) Homepage
    Blacklist operators like to say they just provide a service to the sysadmins; it's the owners of the recipient servers who do the blocking. But by the same logic, credit reporting agencies just provide a service to merchants and lenders; it's those lenders who refuse your application. Yet Congress has seen fit to pass the Fair Credit Reporting Act to stop abuses by the credit bureaus; despite the fact that they don't actually deny you a loan, it is obvious the power they have over individuals and the ways they can abuse it, EVEN IF that power is granted to them indirectly by lenders. I would argue that the same could be said of blacklists; arguably, they could (and perhaps should) be regulated for the same reasons that credit bureaus are.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:02PM (#9211247)
      Credit Reporting services don't have any opinion about you. They don't judge you, they just keep track about facts about you which are reported by other credit-based companies you do business with. Basically, as an industry, credit-givers use this as a conversation point to share their experiences with colleagues so that they can know who is more likely to pay back loans and who is not.

      What the various federal and state laws about such companies do is require them to provide individuals with reports about themselves upon request, and follow a specific despute resolution process should you ever claim that something they are reporting about you is inaccurate.
      • But do the credit reporting agencies bother with the accuracy of the info they keep about you?

        NO

        They only start to "care" after you have filed a complaint about the accuracy of your "credit history"; and by then, the damage can already have been done.

        Imagine this: You applied for a car loan, you were approved. However, your credit wasn't "good enough" so your interest on your car loan is higher.

        You thought all was fine and dandy until 2 years later, you try to buy a house. Lending company turns you do
      • But that's exactly the point. Blacklisting services don't have any opinion about you. They don't judge you, they just keep track about facts about you which are reported by spamtraps, annoyed mailserver owners, and the like. Email-server administrators use this as a conversation point to share their experienced with colleages so they can know who is more likely to spam and who is not. Blacklists do typically provide you with a report about yourself on request, but there is no dispute-resolution process whi
    • EVEN IF that power is granted to them indirectly by lenders.

      Close... It's "granted" directly by the lenders, who are working within the agreement made between the lender and the borrower. It's indirect only to the borrower. It could be argued that the Fair Credit Reporting Act was needed probably because credit reporting agencies and loan institutions have probably been regulated in the US to the point where problems that would normally be fixed within the marketplace were no longer fixable.
  • OK Fine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nate nice (672391) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:46PM (#9211150) Journal
    As a marketer you have the right to send out ad's. As a consumer, I have the right to block your shit. Fuck off, excuse the language.

    • Re:OK Fine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:55PM (#9211196)
      You most defnitely have the right to block what they're sending.

      The problem is with over SpamCOP's public claim that Richter sends e-mails to people who have never opted-in.

      Richter claims that any recipient claiming that they never opted-in is wrong. He'd refute SpamCOP's claim, but SpamCOP refuses to turn over the e-mail addresses of the people complaining to them, so he can't check his records to find out how the address got there.

      You most definitely have a right to publish an opinion, but when you accuse somebody of something, it turns into a matter of fact. If you're publishing facts that aren't true, that's where libel starts...
      • The problem is with over SpamCOP's public claim that Richter sends e-mails to people who have never opted-in.

        Where is this public claim, I would like to read it.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It doesn't matter whether they opted in or not. Those people feel his spam is unwelcome, and somehow illegitimately obtained their email address.

        It doesn't matter what hoops he jumped through. All that matters as that in the eyes of consumers his company was in error, and cannot be trusted with what is normally benign personal information.

        Spam is a statement about the unwelcomness of the email, not whether someone might have left a "I hate puppies" checkbox unchecked. If the people recieving the mail s
    • Re:OK Fine (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ca1v1n (135902) <snook@[ ]notronic.com ['gua' in gap]> on Friday May 21, 2004 @12:26AM (#9211813)
      Indeed. The problem we run into is when spammers try to circumvent our filters, and then have the gall to claim first amendment protection. It's like poking every inch of a mile long fence to find a hole big enough to slip through, and then claiming it wasn't trespassing because you didn't climb over. This is exactly why "trespass to chattels" is a commonly-used and often successful claim in spam litigation.
  • Please...someone...tell me they are merging with SCO soon. I'd really rather focus all my angers at one company instead of two.
  • hrmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Naikrovek (667)
    sending out 'marketing messages.' (in lay terms, spam)

    marketing messages do not always equal spam. For example, Apple sends me marketing messages all the time, and they're not spam.

    also, in 'lay terms' (think you mean "layman's terms") 'spam' would be "sending you mail you don't ask for", and 'marketing messages' are not always 'spam'.

    i don't mean to get on a rant here, but also:

    if you have to explain 'marketing messages' also explain 'spamcop' and 'blacklist' and 'OptInRealBig'. explaining what mark
    • Re:hrmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by justforaday (560408)
      marketing messages do not always equal spam. For example, Apple sends me marketing messages all the time, and they're not spam.

      also, in 'lay terms' (think you mean "layman's terms") 'spam' would be "sending you mail you don't ask for", and 'marketing messages' are not always 'spam'.


      This can't be emphasized enough! I've seen plenty of people call emails from companies that they have a business relationship with "spam." Yet, these are the same people who don't bother to uncheck the "I do not wish to rece
    • by Tony (765)
      ... i should say that zealots have ZERO credibility because they are (by definition) fanatical and unreasoning.

      Doesn't mean they are wrong. Some zealots are quite correct.

      Credibility should be given to the message, not the messenger, and only after careful consideration. People are more often misled by people they trust than people they don't trust.
  • by MavEtJu (241979) <(gro.ujtevam) (ta) (todhsals)> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:49PM (#9211166) Homepage
    from sending out 'marketing messages.' (in lay terms, spam)

    That's called High Volume Email Deployment, not spam.

    And Julian Haight is not Anti High Volume Email Deployment, he's anti-spam.
  • How many people? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:50PM (#9211175) Homepage
    How many people will file lawsuits against Richter and serve him at the debate?

    I hope the line to serve him will not be too long.

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:52PM (#9211179) Homepage Journal
    There's an excellent explanation [legalaffairs.org] in Legal Affairs of the legal powers Spitzer wields. His primary tool is the Martin Act, which gives him frighteningly wide-ranging authority to go after a wide range of targets.

    • Good link ! Pity I'm out of mod points. I just forwarded it to a friend working on his MBA (he's one of the few I'd trust to wield the Martin Act).
  • I would be astonished if there was any civility at all at this event. Given the level of vitriol any spam story on /. generates, I just don't see it happening. Perhaps the pompous self-righteous guys from Spamhaus will be a good match for the ueberspammer. Just make sure they're tethered or there'll be blood. But that's what we want, hmmm?
    Can we mark this whole thread flamebait/flamewar?
  • by rune2 (547599) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @10:55PM (#9211201) Homepage
    It's been a whole 20 minutes and we don't have aerial photos of this guy's house and his home address for our snail-mail DDOS attack yet.
    • "It's been a whole 20 minutes and we don't have aerial photos of this guy's house and his home address for our snail-mail DDOS attack yet."

      Snailmail ? Loser. I have a cruise missile i bought in the army surplus store, and i'm going to use it to do some GOOD!
  • I was tempted to simply cut-n-paste the comment I made in the "71% of Spam Servers are Located in China" article earlier today, but I'll simply provide a link here to my Slashdot comment which got modded up as Funny. [slashdot.org]

    Lets just say those of you who are NRA members will appreciate it ... ;-)

  • by keraneuology (760918) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:32PM (#9211367) Journal
    Spam is not protected speech. One of the most relevant cases ever heard by the US Supreme Court (which is rarely, if ever, mentioned in spam debates) is Rowan v U.S. Post Office Dept, 397 U.S. 728 (1970)

    Appellants challenge the constitutionality of Title III of the Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967, 81 Stat. 645, 39 U.S.C. 4009 ( 1964 ed., Supp. IV), under which a person may require that a mailer remove his name from its mailing lists and stop all future mailings to the householder. The appellants are publishers, distributors, owners, and operators of mail order houses, mailing list brokers, and owners and operators of mail service organizations whose business activities are affected by the challenged statute.

    A new law had recently been passed whereby people could demand that unsolicited pr0n no longer be mailed to their houses. The homeowners didn't want free samples mailed to their kids. The pr0n magazines wanted to show everybody what they were missing and claimed absolute right to do so under the guise of the First Amendment. (Sound like a familiar battle?) The Supreme Court found against the postal spammers.

    Some very relevant passages from the decision:

    "the right of every person 'to be let alone' must be placed in the scales with the right of others to communicate."

    "In today's complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive."

    "Weighing the highly important right to communicate, but without trying to determine where it fits into constitutional imperatives, against the very basic right to be free from sights, sounds, and tangible matter we do not want, it seems to us that a mailer's [397 U.S. 728 , 737] right to communicate must stop at the mailbox of an unreceptive addressee.

    The Court has traditionally respected the right of a householder to bar, by order or notice, solicitors, hawkers, and peddlers from his property. See Martin v. City of Struthers, supra; cf. Hall v. Commonwealth, 188 Va. 72, 49 S.E.2d 369, appeal dismissed, 335 U.S. 875 (1948). In this case the mailer's right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

    To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail. The ancient concept that 'a man's home is his castle' into which 'not even the king may enter' has lost none of its vitality, and none of the recognized exceptions includes any right to communicate offensively with another. See Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967)."

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?c ourt=US&vol=397&invol=728

  • I looked at OptInBig's website, and it's very professional. It has an unsubscribe link on every page, that allows you to unsubscribe from *every* OptInBig message. Their leaders don't brag about how rich they are. As far as I can tell, they are better than most telemarketing customers.

    They also don't make and distribute spyware, as far as I know. Clicking a simple unsubscribe link is much better than deleting spyware.

    Plus, I always make sure to uncheck the special offers checkboxes. I'd say it's the web

    • I looked at OptInBig's website, and it's very professional. It has an unsubscribe link on every page, that allows you to unsubscribe from *every* OptInBig message.

      Their website may be painted by Michelangelo and their ads written by Shakespeare; what counts is whether they send unsolicited advertising or not. If that unsubscribe link is useful for anything besides unsubscribing from something you voluntarily and knowingly subscribed to, they are spammers. Do they have a corresponding subscribe link on ev

    • by erroneus (253617)
      We'll see just how ethical they are about their unsubscribe.

      Seconds before writing this response, I created an email alias called "optinbig@domainwitheld.com" and instructed optinbig.com to unsubscribe me from all.

      Mind you I JUST CREATED this address and it has never before been used for anything. If it starts getting spam, then it's clear they are using the information to send more spam.

      I expect to receive spam within the next hour personally...
      • by GQuon (643387)
        I created an email alias called "optinbig@*********.com" and instructed optinbig.com to unsubscribe me from all.

        You just posted that address to slashdot.
        Try the experiment with a new address, this time not posting it to an email harvest field.

        And, by the way: You could still get spam from address guessing spam programs.
        • by W2k (540424)
          You think he was stupid, but you're in fact the one who completely missed that the domain name he posted (and which you so conveniently blocked out of your response) is "domainwitheld.com". See those words, "domain witheld"? Meaning he did not disclose the real domain name he used to us, meaning he didn't post it to Slashdot, so it won't be harvested. Do think before you post, next time...
          • Hey! I _own_ domainwitheld.com. Thanks for the spam already... Geez...

            Use example.com next time allright? That one is reserved by IANA for crap like that. If you want to use an example domain, use example.com, don't make up your own.

            (I don't really own domainwitheld.com, but I was just trying to prove a point here).

            • by W2k (540424)
              Actually, I checked before posting just so I wouldn't make an ass of myself like the guy I replied to, and I found (much unsurprisingly) that domainwitheld.com is in fact not owned by anyone at this time.
          • D'oh! Aargh!

            You're right, of course. My brain must have throttled down when I posted.

            Open mouth. Insert foot.
        • Actually, no spam yet... interesting...
    • I don't care how the site looks, I am not putting my email address into a spammers unsubscribe link. Ever !
    • I looked at OptInBig's website, and it's very professional.

      So, how long have you been working for JBoss now?

  • by Felinoid (16872) on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:43PM (#9211440) Homepage Journal
    By the actions of Scott I'd say he actually believes his system is a true opt in system.
    However I've receaved spam from this guy and I know I never opted in.

    So the question is how come Scott believes his actions are lagit?
    Answer:
    I do get a lot of "Welcome" messages from marketting lists. Most of them say something like "Please click on the link below to conferm". Eather spammers are being creative and trying to trick me into opting in to stuff I don't have any intrest in or someone spammed my e-mail address to them.

    How dose ReallyBig work? Could a jerk spammer stuff the box?
    How dose Scott get a large opt in e-mail database?

    It would make sense that he would have some program set up where third partys do the opt in for him. If so is there any screening for "stuffing the box"?

    This presumes Scott isn't putting on a show. We can never forget that spammers are at least in part con artists. They take the PT Barnem school of marketting tactic. A sucker born every min and the real trick is to find em.

    However I'm reminded of some research done a while back. Someone said that most spammers are just looking for valid e-mail addresses and don't actually sell anything.
    Hence the mark isn't the spam targets but the spammers who actually try to sell stuff.
    Thies people buy e-mail addresses.

    And I just did conclude that this is probably where Scott got his marketting list.

    In short...
    Scott is this minuts sucker ...
    Or the modern PT Barnum.

    Sadly you can never know for sure.
    • By the actions of Scott I'd say he actually believes his system is a true opt in system. However I've receaved spam from this guy and I know I never opted in. So the question is how come Scott believes his actions are lagit? Answer: I do get a lot of "Welcome" messages from marketting lists. Most of them say something like "Please click on the link below to conferm". Eather spammers are being creative and trying to trick me into opting in to stuff I don't have any intrest in or someone spammed my e-mail a
    • Hence the mark isn't the spam targets but the spammers who actually try to sell stuff.

      And the number of spams I get trying to sell me address lists... I wonder if spammers get as pissed off with spam as the rest of us... ...Oh, and I also get a fair number of spams selling anti-spam software...
  • by realmolo (574068) * on Thursday May 20, 2004 @11:44PM (#9211447)
    They're not EVIL, but of all the big blacklists, SpamCop is the least regulated. The whole idea of letting people submit addresses/domains to a blacklist with little or no verification is crazy.

    I'd be happier if Spamhaus was doing this debate. They run things the right way.

    • I'd be happier if Spamhaus was doing this debate. They run things the right way.


      Amen. Having read a bunch of the Spamcop code, I can't imagine that its author will be able to make clear, coherent arguments against a professional smooth talker.
  • me to introduce Snotty Scotty to a little friend [barrettrifles.com].

  • I think it's kind of stupid for Richter to sue Spamcop. Scott Richter's "WholesaleBandwidth, Inc." is responsible for a ton of spamming, and he's being appropriately blocked for it. For example, look up 69.6.21.150 at OpenRBL [openrbl.org] to see just how fscked Richter is. You don't appear on 14 blocklists unless you are a spammer.
  • Honestly, I can't think of any reason to "debate" a spammer. These people don't care about anything save their pocketbooks. Whats next, are we going to debate murders and rapists?
  • "Wired News is reporting that OptInRealBig's Scott Richter is going to debate SpamCop's Julian Haight in public next month."

    It's a bad idea because Julian has nothing to gain, Richter has nothing to lose.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday May 21, 2004 @02:18AM (#9212454) Homepage
    The FBI now claims to be "investigating spam". [fbi.gov] But they've contracted with the Direct Marketing association for support, the project has been going on since at least August 2003, and they're vague about what resources are actually being devoted to the project.

    The "Notable early accomplishments" read very strangely. They seem to have been drafted for maximum deniability. "Developed ten primary subject packets developed and for referral to Law Enforcement" "We are already planning meetings to ensure that this initiative is on track, and to further define the scope and packaging of this activity are being planned." Doesn't sound like a major roundup of criminals is in the works.

    The FBI doesn't actually produce many arrests per hour expended. The FBI's Baltimore-based child porno operation produces about 1.6 arrests per agent year. They have 200 agents on that operation, or about 2% of their agent staff. (The FBI isn't that big. There are only about 12,000 agents. The NYPD is four times as large.) So to shut down 100 spammers per year, they'd probably have to devote about 75 agents to the operation, which is a big bite for them.

  • by MS (18681) on Friday May 21, 2004 @04:44AM (#9213013)
    Look at the following graph: 1 year Spamcop statistic [cesmail.net] of submitted spam-reports.

    There's a notable drop in reports on 28 april 2004. The exact day two US-spammers were arrested. (see eweek.com [eweek.com])

    A handful other spammers in jail, and the spam-rate will drop to below 5% of todays volume.

    :-)

  • Some spammer urls (Score:2, Informative)

    by Krafty Koder (697396)
    some targets for slashdotters out there - DoS or a wget loop would be appreciated:
    Chinese spammer [netvigator.com]
    And yet another one [china-pub.com]
    home loan spammer [ezwayhomeloan.com]
    junk health spammer [healthaction.biz]
  • Opportunity... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cally (10873) on Friday May 21, 2004 @06:44AM (#9213358) Homepage
    So this recidivist spammer, who still doesn't care that what he's doing is wrong, and who is responsible for billions if not tens of billions of useless messages... is going to be in a known place... at a known time... in the USA.

    Brave man! Not to mention, reckless...

  • by Tree131 (643930) on Friday May 21, 2004 @11:38AM (#9215842)
    Now that we know where Scott Richter's going to be - upcoming Email Technology Conference in San Francisco, we need action against that asshole that fills our emailboxes with spam.

    1. Go to your local supermarket
    2. Buy a can or two of SPAM or a cheaper generic substitute
    3. Conceal the can in a bag or coat
    4. Attend the conference and bring a digital camera with you.
    5. Get a nice seat closer to the front
    6. Wait until Richter is comfortable enough to let his guard down
    7. Open can of spam and place the contents in your hand
    8. Launch contents in your hand at Richter
    9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you're out of SPAM
    10. Take a picture or Richter covered with spam w/ a digital camera
    11. Post it on /.

    Oh yeah...
    12. ????
    13. Profit!!!

    You might need to do some more prep work as far as hurling SPAM at targets. Get a friend to help you, organize SPAM throwing practice sessions. Get all the participants to come with you to the debate.

    Alternative plan
    1. Go to your local sports store
    2. Buy a baseball bat.
    3. You know the rest...

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