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Spam Microsoft

MS Speaks Out Against New Zealand's Anti Spam Bill 334

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the the-only-good-spam-is-a-dead-spam dept.
out_sp0k1n writes "Ryan Hamlin, head of Microsoft's Technology Care and Safety Group spoke out against New Zealand's proposed anti-spam legislation, warning that it could impinge on 'the amazing vehicle of e-mail marketing'. He also suggests that CAN-SPAM has been effective in deterring spammers. From The Article: 'Though often criticized as too meek, US anti-spam legislation - which relies on people opting out of spam - has proved effective in supporting prosecutions and deterring spammers.' Anyone else think that one message doesn't count as spam?"
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MS Speaks Out Against New Zealand's Anti Spam Bill

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  • by omeomi (675045) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:57PM (#13374946) Homepage
    He also suggests that CAN-SPAM has been effective in deterring spammers.

    Oh, so that's why I don't get any spam any more...

    Well, off to clean my Inbox of spam.

    Tom
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:06PM (#13375012)
      > > He also suggests that CAN-SPAM has been effective in deterring spammers.
      >
      > Oh, so that's why I don't get any spam any more...
      >
      > Well, off to clean my Inbox of spam.

      That's not spam, those are amazing offers to which you just haven't opted out yet! Haven't you listened to Gator, uh, Claria, uh, the new Microsoft Secure Safety Technology that gives you access to the Amazing Vehicle of E-Mail Marketing?

      In other news today, Microsoft executives report that dipping your balls in sweet cream and squatting in a kitchen full of kittens may be hazardous to your health.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Microsoft, ya gotta wonder?
      I once signed up for a Hot Mail Account, years ago and never used it, never told a sole about it, never shared the email address with anyone, not one person or other... guess what? Within days my inbox was loaded full of Porn and other spam... my guess is that Microsoft fed them my email address and got paid for it.

      You can never trust Microsoft. Too greedy. Computers users to them are just cash machines and not private citizens.

  • Too meek... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nuclear Elephant (700938) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:57PM (#13374947) Homepage
    Though often criticized as too meek, US anti-spam legislation - which relies on people opting out of spam - has proved effective in supporting prosecutions and deterring spammers

    Well the first draft, which involved a carving knife and a band-aid, would have been more effective.
  • That's the idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hungrygrue (872970) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:58PM (#13374955) Homepage
    warning that it could impinge on 'the amazing vehicle of e-mail marketing'.
    So their warning is basically that it might work?
    • Re:That's the idea. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Monday August 22, 2005 @11:15PM (#13376689)
      Worse. They're concerned that it will cut into their profits on selling spam-filters, such as their patented and amazingly stupid SenderID concept, and that it will interfere with the bulk mailing list management tools they sell tightly integrated for use in Microsoft Outlook.

      Couple that with their need for your name and personal details with every product registration, and the default settings of those forms to permit them to advertise at you, and we're seeing a company geared up for bulk marketing under the excuse of "customer notices".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:58PM (#13374958)
    I never get how anyone can ever use the argument that some people might "want" spam. If you want to buy something, you can find it on the net. I NEVER want to be inundated with junk adverts.

    Mailinator [mailinator.com] lets me avoid getting spam in the first place. Good luck microsoft.
    • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig@hogger.gmail@com> on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:33PM (#13375169) Homepage Journal
      I never get how anyone can ever use the argument that some people might "want" spam. If you want to buy something, you can find it on the net. I NEVER want to be inundated with junk adverts.
      Marketer brains are totally out of whack with reality. They operate not only in a different universe, but in a totally orthogonal plane of reality. It is therefore not surprising that they cannot understand nor fathom the motivations of normal people who are sick and tired of advertising being plastered all over the available meatspace.
      • by Nasarius (593729) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:42PM (#13375221)
        It is therefore not surprising that they cannot understand nor fathom the motivations of normal people who are sick and tired of advertising being plastered all over the available meatspace.

        The cleverer ones do understand this, which is why they're trying to poison word-of-mouth recommendations as well (see: astroturfing).

    • People do this all the time. They sign up for something, and then checka bunch of bozes for what they are interested in and would like to get info about. People act like it is impossible that someone would sign up for more information about something. Sure, it oftentimes get sold to someone else and then you get lots of spam, but there is nothing unimaginable about people signing up to get email about products.
      • by jesterzog (189797) on Monday August 22, 2005 @11:28PM (#13376762) Homepage Journal

        I think one of the problems with this method at the moment is that most organisations don't provide clear information about exactly what someone can expect by checking the box. Often it's buried somewhere deep within the privacy policy, but it's not exactly obvious.

        Before I check such a box, I like to be confident that I understand basic things like:

        • How frequently I'm likely to receive mail.
        • What type of content it will contain. For me, there's a big difference between something like:
          • "Try our cheap trip to Hawaii", and
          • "We've reduced the cost for upgrading to business class. Would you like to do this for the trip that we have you on record as having booked a month ago?"
        • How easy it's going to be to get off the list. Ideally I want to know how to get off the list before signing up to it. I also want to have some clear contact information for someone who I can contact if their unsubscription system breaks.
        • Who's actually going to be mailing me. Often businesses like to be able to send emails for their "business partners", but I want to know what this means. If it means that they're going to send me any old spam that someone pays them to send me (which is often the case). Basically you go down in their book as an asset after ticking the box, because they can make money off other people by sending you email. I normally won't check the box if there's any doubt about it. But it might mean that every so often, there actually are things that they think I might find useful, and they might want to let me know because of that rather than because someone's paying them. If this is the case, and I trust them, then I might consider signing up.

        Most boxes don't actually do this. They just say inane things like "Click here to receive great deals from us and our partners in your email." I'd rather they said something like:

        "Click here and we'll keep you informed about deals we have in the future.

        "For examples of what you'll receive, check out [this list of some of our past deals]. We'll send about one email a week, and you stop us from sending them whenever you like. ([Click here for more info about how this works.]) We might also send you information from other businesses if we think it's of use to you, but we won't be give them your contact details (without specific permission), or accept money from them to forwarding it."

        I guess it's a bit more verbose, but to me it's a hell of a lot clearer and more trustworthy. Then again, I realise that most people don't seem to think/care about this type of thing as much as I do. I'm sure I'm not the main target of many marketing people... I just get annoyed as collateral damage.

    • Personally, I have a main gmail address, nobody gets this address except friends who I trust. Then I have another gmail address (they're easy to get now, and have huge inboxes) which is set up to automatically forward all mail to my main address. This 'spammy' address is the one I use to register for things and give out to people.

      Whenever (although this doesn't happen much tbh) the spammy address starts to get too much SPAM, or I don't want people who know this address contacting me anymore, or whatever, I
      • I do the same type of thing by having my own mail server. While it's not a solution for everyone (e.g. the parent poster on a 56k connection), it does control spam quite well.
        Whenever I give out my email address to a new company, I just create an allias of company_name@my_domain.net If one of those addresses become a source of spam, I simply remove the alias. All of the aliases point to the same inbox, so there is no mess of checking different boxes, and having a client side rule which filters email bas
      • by Freexe (717562) <serrkr@tznvy.pbz> on Monday August 22, 2005 @07:49PM (#13375669) Homepage
        you do realise that in google if you have the gmail user id no.spam.for.haydn that messages sent to n.o.s.p.a.m.f.o.r.h.a.y.d.n@gmail.com will get to your inbox, in fact you can add dots wherever you like, then if a dot combination gets too much spam you can put a filter on it. This way you don't have to cycle so many accounts.
    • Since people equate spam to junk mail. I use pizza coupons all time from junk mail. I guess that makes me a bad person for supporting junk mail.
  • Spam is spam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JesseL (107722) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:59PM (#13374960) Homepage Journal
    If it's unsolicited then it's spam. If you give spammers one freebie then they'll just form a new corporation every time they want to send a new batch of crap.

    I don't care if they send me 'just one' or a million, either way it is infintley more than I want.
    • Re:Spam is spam (Score:3, Insightful)

      I see a problem with this thinking, not for most Slashdotters, but the average user doesn't even know what he subscribes to as far as mailing lists go. When I get email I think about where I have bought stuff from recently, to make sure I didn't forget to opt out of something. I give that vendor the benefit of the doubt. Most users out there won't think twice and legitimate operations are going to come under fire. While they may not shut down, the costs to prove they are in the right is a waste of their tim
      • Re:Spam is spam (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JesseL (107722) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:21PM (#13375102) Homepage Journal
        Companies that don't want that hassle can make it very explicit when you sign up for their mailing list. They should make sure that the default option on their web forms is not to subscribe, and their email should be explicit about how you got opted in.

        Here's a big clue, IF YOU DON'T MAKE SPAMMING DIFFICULT IT WON'T STOP.
      • Re:Spam is spam (Score:3, Informative)

        by aero2600-5 (797736)
        "When I get email I think about where I have bought stuff from recently, to make sure I didn't forget to opt out of something."

        As someone else in this discussion mentioned, time is your most valuable resource. You can't get it back, end of story. Thinking about who you may have forgotten to opt out of takes a bit of time and is, generally speaking, irritating. Remove the thinking and use a website like sneakemail.com [sneakemail.com] and save yourself some time. By creating a new disposable e-mail address every time you
    • Re:Spam is spam (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UnrepentantHarlequin (766870) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @04:23AM (#13377712)
      Some numbers to scare yourself to sleep with:

      There are roughly 25 million businesses in the US alone. Let's say each of them sent just one spam per year. Let's also assume that your software automatically junks any further mail from someone who has spammed you already. That would be 68,493 emails hitting you per day.

      Let's say you could opt out at the rate of one every 5 seconds. That would be 12 per minute, 720 per hour, or 28,800 per 40-hour work week.

      Assuming you take a couple of weeks vacation a year, in 50 weeks you can deal with 1,440,000 out of the 25,000,000 spam emails you got this year.

      At that rate, it will take you 17.36 years to opt out of just the first year's spam.

      But wait! There's more! New businesses open up every year. Just pulling a number out of the air here, let's say that they are established (and send out their annual spam) at a rate of 1 million per year. So by the time you've cleaned out your first year's spam, you have 17,360,000 more to go.

      That's another 12 years of opting out ... at the end of which you have 12,055,555 more ... 8.37 more years ... another 5.8 years ... another 4 years ... another 2.8 years ... another 1.9 years ... another 1.35 years ... at the end of which, you're actually caught up.

      So, 53 years from the date every business in the USA sent you one single spam, you've finally opted out of all of their lists.

      You're still getting new ones, of course, at a rate of 2,740 per day, or 4,000 per working day. The first five and a half hours of every working day -- 70% of your workday -- you spend cleaning that day's spam out of your work email account. When you get home, you spend another 3.8 hours cleaning your home account.

      And that's assuming ONLY spam from US-based spammers, and ONLY one from each, and ALL of them honor opt-out instructions (which are, of course, usually just verification of a live address)

      53 years to opt out of all of it.

      If you start work at age 18, you'll be 71 ... past when most people retire ... by the time you're breaking even on the spam. (and still, remember, opting out for 5.5 hours a day, and 3.8 more at home)

      The Yes-You-Can-Spam act was a Bad Thing.

      I want to be able to use my emailbox for EMAIL. Not to provide free advertising services for companies I want nothing whatsoever to do with.
  • by dankelley (573611) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:59PM (#13374964)
    "He also suggests that CAN-SPAM has been effective in deterring spammers"

    Yeah, right. And there's this swamp land you might want to buy.

    • "Yeah, right. And there's this swamp land you might want to buy."

      Not that I disagree with you about the effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM Act, but Florida, which just so happens to be one giant fucking swamp, is supposedly the second hottest real-estate market in the United States.
  • Do Not Call List (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:59PM (#13374966)
    Gee, the proposed law seems to me to work very much like the do not call list of telemarketing. I.E. Do not call unless you've been asked. That works better than voluntary do not spam lists don't you think?
    • The problem is that much of the spam out there is sent illegally. There is no care for who wants in or not with these guys. Sending from a remote, infected machine takes care of sending from your own server and being identified. So, we don't get mail from mailserver.com, but we get mail from every infected computer on XO's broadband and other ISPs that don't seem to care about the spam out there.
      • " The problem is that much of the spam out there is sent illegally. There is no care for who wants in or not with these guys. Sending from a remote, infected machine takes care of sending from your own server and being identified. So, we don't get mail from mailserver.com, but we get mail from every infected computer on XO's broadband and other ISPs that don't seem to care about the spam out there."

        The main reason why spam is so persistent is because they're making money from it, even with the legislatio
    • Gee, the proposed law seems to me to work very much like the do not call list of telemarketing. I.E. Do not call unless you've been asked. That works better than voluntary do not spam lists don't you think

      Except it's not. DNC is opt-out, ie you get phone spam unless you join the list. And we sure as hell don't want email to have a centralized list, because that's basically going to be the uber spam list.

      The difference is that foreign phone spammers would incur pretty significant charges to phone spam, w

  • by tonyr60 (32153) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:00PM (#13374972)
    The proposed law draft, as it goes forward for consideration, does not reflect Microsoft's requirements. A single unsolicited email from an organisation touting their products will be considered SPAM.
    • So then when you purchase something, you'd have to "opt in" to a mailing list... meaning, if you check the box, fill in an e-mail address on a registration card for something other than warranty purposes, they can send you anything they like.

      Sale of their list(s) to other companies would be illegal unless you "opt in."

      "Unsolicited" e-mails about your product and possible defects do not count, as you expect the company to notify you of recalls, usability issues, etc.

      I, like an earlier poster, can't ima

  • warning that it could impinge on 'the amazing vehicle of e-mail marketing'.

    What follows is my train of thought:

    Impinge? Are they making things up now?

    Correction: Impinge is a cromulent word.

    Baring the sarcasm, I'm also concerned that laws outlawing murder will impinge (I'm learning new vocab!) on the amazing industry of selective human elimination services.

  • CAN-SPAM effective? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Elias Ross (1260) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:03PM (#13374984) Homepage

    Can anybody point to any research (or, frankly pundit or blogger) that has concluded that CAN-SPAM has had any effect at all? So far, it sounds like CAN-SPAM has bene "toothless", made "zero impact", etc.
    • by javaxman (705658) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:10PM (#13375038) Journal
      So far, it sounds like CAN-SPAM has bene "toothless", made "zero impact", etc.

      Are you sure it hasn't actually "made the problem worse" by giving spam an air of legitimacy?

      • giving spam an air of legitimacy
        And TV, Billboard, Radio , Film and Hommy Tilfiger Logos on cloths don't have exactly the same effect?

        I'm not saying I support spam, just that spam is another form of advertising. If other forms of advertising come unsolicited from companies.
        Why is spam any worse than someone wearing a krappa t-shirt, drinking a can of Koke and eating a MukDonalds, why is spam any worse than traditional junk mail?
        • Perhaps because I don't receive truck loads of junk mail at my house much to the enjoyment of my postal carrier.

          I filter spam for my entire organization, we get about 30,000 emails a day and about 25,000 of them are spam. Imagine receiving 25,000 coupons in your mail everyday, and ten times that twice a year.

          I agree with what I believe was your underlying point in that advertising in all forms has gotten way out of control. I would be curious about measuring the average television show to commericial rat

        • "giving spam an air of legitimacy
          And TV, Billboard, Radio , Film and Hommy Tilfiger Logos on cloths don't have exactly the same effect?

          I'm not saying I support spam, just that spam is another form of advertising. If other forms of advertising come unsolicited from companies. Why is spam any worse than someone wearing a krappa t-shirt, drinking a can of Koke and eating a MukDonalds, why is spam any worse than traditional junk mail?"


          Fundamentally, spam is the same as junk mail. It intrudes upon your p
  • by Nuclear Elephant (700938) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:03PM (#13374986) Homepage
    Ryan Hamlin, head of Microsoft's Technology Care and Safety Group

    Is it just me or does his title sound like the Microsoft equivalent of an airline stewardess? And how come everyone we hear from Microsoft is the head of something? Were they all promised head to come work at Microsoft?
  • by Swamii (594522) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:03PM (#13374989) Homepage
    Ryan Longfellow, head of Bigandlong's Technology Care and Safety Survey spoke out against New Rolex's proposed anti-spam legislation, warning that it could imflate on 'the amazing effects of Viagra'.

    He also suggests that his product has been effective in enlarging members from 100% to 200%.

    From The Article: 'Though often criticized as too meek, click here for a free IPod - which relies on people starting their own home business - has proved effective in supporting the former great king of Nimbabwatsu' through verification of you PayPal account.
  • Opt-in or out are crap anyway, but opt-in doesn't have the catch of unsubscribing.
  • Wonderful Spam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:05PM (#13375001) Homepage Journal
    When Microsoft gets CAN-SPAM, instead of the people of a country getting real spam protection, Microsoft gets to sue spammers on behalf of their customers for damages. Even after getting revenue from spammers, and selling antispamware that doesn't work so good. And buying Gator, the infamous spammer. Microsoft doesn't want the government protecting you or your privacy from spammers. Because Microsoft takes on the job, privatizing privacy, they get paid every which way. And we get spam out our pieholes.
  • We won't support it.

    The "support" services sector to "stop spam" is very lucrative, just as the "anti-piracy" services sector to "stop virii and worms" is very lucrative.

    If someone did something about spam, people might not buy the planned Microsoft Anti-Spyware product that's in beta now, when they'll be made to pay for it on release.

    And thus, MSFT can't support a bill that might harm their market share.

    Sigh.
  • As a kiwi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by simonharvey (605068) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:10PM (#13375035) Homepage
    As a New Zealander I am surprised that the government is showing this much common sense:

    "Mr Cunliffe says Microsoft's proposed "opt out" approach is too weak and has been rejected.
    "We decided it's going to be opt-in. End of story. Why should you have to opt out of spam?"


    And that common sense is prevailing over US law.
    *duck*

    Simon

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:12PM (#13375053)
    Here's one very basic, very common problem anti-spam legislation doesn't solve.

    1) Someone registers your email at ACME's web site.
    2) ACME wants to know if you are legit or not, so they send you a "please click on this link if you really requested this" email.
    3) You didn't request email from ACME, but now you have an "are you you?" email from ACME.

    Is the "please click on this link" email spam?

    If so, what should ACME do to verify you are you instead?

    If not, what's to stop a spammer from sending their advert along with the "click to confirm" email? (I know, they already do.)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't allow anything outside the "this is an e-mail verifying that you agreed to sign up to receive emails from ". if there is other content in there, e.g. saying

      "We are checking that you want to receive e-mail from , about their super product . For more info on , click here"

      would be spam.
      • That sounds like an RFC just begging to be written...
      • by Vancorps (746090) on Monday August 22, 2005 @07:00PM (#13375353)
        I recently ran into this issue with our mailing list which consists of about 55,000 people. This list is 100% opt-in but regardless, someone didn't like us, so they submitted spamcops trap email address to our list. We included them in our email blast and naturally received a complaint.

        When I followed up with SpamCop they weren't helpful at all, they would not tell me why it happened, who was involved or how I could stop it from happening again. They just labeled my company as one that bought an email list and said to hell with us.

        Naturally this wasn't acceptable to me so I moved to their parent company where I actually got some help. I explained to them exactly how we got the email addresses we used and that we understood there was some abuse of the system, so we asked them how to proceed without making the problem worse.

        The solution was to send out an email blast asking everyone to confirm their wish to be on the list. This would be the only thing we were allowed to ask in the email. No advertising, not even any logos, just a simple plain email with a link to our website. Yes this shrunk our list a little bit but the majority of people on it were customers of ours and wanted to be there.

        So yes, if I had mod points I'd mod you up. Its very important not promoting any products. That is the difference between spam and legitimate messaging.
    • If so, what should ACME do to verify you are you instead?
      They don't. They can't. That's precisely the idea: stop spamming dead on it's tracks. Once companies will be able to legally send a "first post" to anyone at all without prior approval, the slightest smidgeon of spamming will be illegal, and therefore prosecutable.

      The idea is to make companies scared to death of the concept of using e-mail for advertising.

    • If not, what's to stop a spammer from sending their advert along with the "click to confirm" email? (I know, they already do.)

      Having an ad would define it as SPAM.

      In my opinion, tt should be be ok to send confirmation emails. However, the legislation should specify that the email contain no ads, is limited to one per registration request, and include an opt-out from any future registration requests.
    • If it doesn't advertise something, then it's not really spam. So, if it's a subscription or account creation verification e-mail that doesn't include ads, and it's sent in good faith (meaning that somebody did put your e-mail address in their form, whether it was you or not, and they are actually and honestly trying to verify that you wanted an account or subscription), then nothing's wrong.

      If, on the other hand, they include advertisements or send e-mails claiming to be verification e-mails but that are r
  • by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:18PM (#13375090)
    There is a better idea, and here it is.

    Why not create legislation requiring all commercial e-mail to have HOW they got your e-mail address in the first place, under penalty of a huge fine. This would be in addition to any other laws in place. So if someone doesn't say, at the bottom of the e-mail, how or where your e-mail address was obtained, it would be illegal. Also, lying about where they got it would be illegal too.

    Or is this just a stupid idea?
    • Your post advocates a

      ( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

      approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

      ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
      ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
      (X) No one will be able to find th

  • impinge on 'the amazing vehicle of e-mail marketing'.

    I can live without this amazing invention -- especially because I'm not making any money from it -- just aggravation.

    Some people just truly don't have a clue.

  • Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:30PM (#13375153)
    Microsoft makes money by providing Spam filtering and by suing spammers under CAN-SPAM. Anybody that expects Microsoft to be in favor of anything that reduces one or more of their revenue streams is obviously delusional.
  • I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but this just doesn't make sense.

    What does Microsoft have to gain by crippling anti-spam regulation? They don't spam, and as far as I know they don't actively partner with those who do. Wouldn't it be in their own best interest to push for *more* aggressive anti spam tactics?

    It would be naive to assume a rational basis for most business decisions, but when an otherwise publicity-savvy company steps forward to fight for something which is not only stupid but also w
  • Including of course, those who were around for the original definition of the term, based on the endless repetition of "spam, spam, spam, spam..." in the MP sketch. From the start it was always the volume of messages that was the issue.

    This is in fact however an issue of much debate, with many people on both sides, sometimes called the UBE side and the UCE side. I'm on the UBE side (in fact I think the best and simplest definition for spam is 'bulk mail from a stranger') and there are many on that side.

    T
    • The truth is it's not hard to show mathematically that non-bulk mail, even of the most annoying kind, won't ever become a problem worth spending much worry on. Since we want to be sure we protect individual person to person mail from any collateral damage in the fight against spam, it seems misplaced to worry about more than bulk mail.

      Well, as someone who has some pages that show up in Chinese and Taiwanese and Hong Kong and Russian search engines, I can say that when you think of only 25 million people bei
  • What he's smoking! =)
  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Monday August 22, 2005 @06:41PM (#13375217)
    "Mr Hamlin says Microsoft would like to see the bill changed so that businesses could be confident they could continue to use databases that they had already compiled to send out e-mail."
    i.e. So that businesses could continue to SPAM.
    "He also wants definitions in the bill changed so that companies would be able to e-mail information about new products and services to customers, even if they had opted out of receiving e-mail about other services they had bought from the company in the past."
    So if I tell a company that I don't want their penis enlargement ads they can SPAM me with an ad for their latest p0rn and so on and so on and. . ."
    "Though often criticised as too meek, US anti-spam legislation - which relies on people opting out of spam - has proved effective in supporting prosecutions and deterring spammers, he says."
    Right, that's why my filters catch move SPAM every month than the previous. It's only the filtering technology that keeps email usable.

    Is Microsoft really serious about squashing SPAM or just in finding another cow to milk? What was this I heard about Microsoft wanting to buy the company that use to be called Gator? Seems to me that SPAM and AD ware go hand in hand.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday August 23, 2005 @04:04AM (#13377673) Journal
      It's especially that part about allowing them to send notifications for "new" stuff, regardless of whether you opted out before or not, that's especially worrying me. It's a free license to spam.

      Think about it. It doesn't say new _categories_, so it doesn't even have to mean they'd have drop penis enlargement pills once you've opted out. They can make you opt out of _one_ _product_ at a time, then rename it or call it a new version, and spam you some more.

      E.g., spam advertising porn, could spam you with a different combination of web site and category in each batch of mails, and opting out of one wouldn't prevent them from sending the next batch. They could just make a bogus "hosted site" for each batch, which just redirects to the main one, but hey, it's for a "new" service (site) you haven't yet opted out of. So they're allowed.

      In fact, it makes it worse than no opt-out at all. To actually unsubscribe from all that, you'd have to actually open the message and look for the unsubscribe link for that product, then email the spammer. From a spammer's perspective it's actually better: they made you open and read his spam instead of just looking at the message and deleting it.

      So seeing MS back such a license to spam with impunity, makes me really worry.
  • Of course, receiving one e-mail might not...

    but what if 10,000 companies send you ONLY ONE e-mail each?

    We have to be strict, gentlemen. ONE rat might not be a plague, but...
  • One message isn't spam. Microsoft is welcome to send one message to me. At least if that's all they do... send one message. To me.

    If they send one message to 100,000 people, that's not one message any more. That's 100,000 messages.

    If 100,000 people send one message back to Microsoft saying "take me off your list" that's still not one message, that's 100,000 messages.

    No, one message isn't spam. But I don't think that they really mean "one message". Do you?
  • by GlL (618007)
    I'm in favor of the Russian anti-Spam method for dealing with spammers. http://www.scmagazine.com/news/index.cfm?fuseactio n=newsDetails&newsUID=5eead5c2-50ca-40e5-9c59-a8da 453de038&newsType=Latest+News [scmagazine.com] I could even envision a new arcade smash hit: "Whack-a-Spammer" Sorry, I work for an ISP, and get to deal with the annoying results of these idiot spammers' actions. I couldn't resist
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday August 22, 2005 @07:30PM (#13375554) Homepage Journal
    I have NOT seen any decrease in spam since it was enacted.

    It has steadily increased, as it has been doing for years.
  • Conspiracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Monday August 22, 2005 @07:38PM (#13375605) Homepage
    Recently MS acquire Frontbridge a spam filtering company that was highly effective in its job of stopping virus and spams. You pay a monthly fee and all your mail goes through them before reaching your mail servers. I guess M$ see spam fighting as the next source of revenue for the company. With spam costing people billions of dollars in lost productivity, who wouldn't pay a few hundred millions to get rid of it. Of course, if the government stepped in and put a dent in the problem, that's just that much more lost revenue for M$'s new acquisitions. That would be communist/terrorists. We should leave all the problem solving to corporations... Right.
  • Opt Out (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2005 @07:53PM (#13375690)
    I think Ryan Hamlin needs a lesson in the limitations of opt-out systems. To teach him this lesson, all /. readers who happen to meet Mr. Hamlin should kick him in the nuts. Keep kicking him until he asks you to stop (e.g. opts out). There is often a delay in processing opt out requests, so it's OK to kick him a few times even after he opts out. After you've accepted and processed Mr. Hamlin opt out requst and have stopped kicking him in the nuts, feel free to begin kicking him in the ass. After all, just because he opted out of being kicked in the nuts, doesn't mean he also opted out of being kicked somewhere else.
  • by dennypayne (908203) on Monday August 22, 2005 @11:57PM (#13376863) Homepage
    I have hit upon a decent method for not having to wade through a ton of spam in my inbox.

    Tools Required:

    1. A domain that you administer mail accounts for
    2. The ability to define a catch-all account for mail

    The method:

    I have defined my "regular" email address as the catch-all. Whenever a website requests an email address, I use something unique to that site. The account does not exist, but mail from them will still get delivered to me via the catch-all account.

    Example:

    I sign up for email for my Hilton account with hilton@mydomain.com. The account is not defined but the catch-all will deliver the mail to me nonetheless.

    The benefit:

    If I start getting spam to that email address, I now have several options. First, I know who sold or gave out my address so I can hammer them if I choose. Second, I can simply begin filtering everything from that address into a "known spam folder" and never have to deal with it other than to delete the contents of that folder. Third, I can setup nasty autoresponders that mimic bounce messages or something on that account if I wish (I know, this may not be doing much good but it's fun).

    By doing this I keep the spam in my inbox down to 2 or 3 messages a day.

    Denny

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