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Spam is not a freedom of speech issue – it’s a theft issue.

Some people try to compare postal junk mail to UCE. Postal mail is paid for by advertisers and helps support the U.S. Post Office. It is illegal to place postal mail in a mailbox without postage. Spam is paid for in part by the unwilling recipient. In addition, it does not in any way help support the system, but instead seriously abuses it by overloading servers and causing the necessity of additional non-profit producing staff to deal with the problems caused. Ask the sysadmins of small ISPs who have to deal with spam-crashed servers how wonderful it is for small business.

TV and radio ads are also paid for by advertisers and support the service so that users may enjoy it for free. If we don’t want to see TV commercials, we can pay for cable. In the case of spam, the opposite situation exists. Because of the cost-shifting aspects of this practice, the more spam there is the more the end users will have to pay for their connection costs. Many ISPs right now (especially the small businesses who can’t absorb the added expense) are barely making it because of the added burden of spam. Do you wish to pay more for your service just so you can get more junk mail?

Magazines are also supported by advertisements. How much do you suppose a $3.00 magazine would cost you if ads were placed for free? How many fledgling entrepreneurs would be able to start a new magazine – that’s small business, folks – by footing all the start-up costs with no income from advertisers?

Spam also costs the unwilling recipient in lost time loading the gobs of it into their mail readers and wading through it to determine if any of it is solicited information or correspondence from friends and customers. And small business people working on a shoe-string budget normally are the chief cooks and bottle washers, without a staff to assist them. This lost time spent on dealing with spam can greatly impact the building of a small business. If you make your e-mail address public by placing ads and registering with search engines, you know I’m not talking about a couple of pieces of UCE a day – more like 50-100!

By Jer

 


Spammers cry about freedom of speech and point fingers at anti-spammers, whining that we are a small group of anti-commercial fanatics who wish to impose censorship on the poor small businessman just trying to make a living. What they don’t seem to understand is that their right to swing their fists ends before our noses begin. Every American has the right to speak up and express his own views without interference from the government (which is literally what freedom of speech is all about – the right to speak out against the government without the threat of being shipped to Siberia). However, NOBODY has the right to barge into my living room to give a shpiel on a vacuum cleaner without my invitation. One may also be prohibited from making a speech about fertilizer in a business meeting scheduled to discuss the company’s new personnel policy. And just try to yell Fire in a crowded movie theatre and see where your whining about freedom of speech gets you.

Censorship? Hardly. Let’s look at a highly controversial example – pornography. Granted, there are groups who would like to see porn banned from the internet. This certainly would be censorship, and is not in the least a part of any agenda item in the anti-spam movement. There are plenty of anti-spammers who enjoy pornography, as well as those of us who wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole. But as long as the advertisements are not sent UNSOLICITED into our e-mail, we could care less. This is not about censorship – it’s about protection of our private property, and OUR FREEDOM of choosing what we want to receive. As noted before, it doesn’t matter if it’s an invitation to a porn site or a Bible study class – if it’s unsolicited, THAT MEANS WE DON’T WANT IT!

As for being a small group of fanatics, there is plenty of proof to the contrary. Ask any ISP with a past record of even one spamming incident how many abuse reports they received. Surveys have shown that over 70% of all internet users do NOT want to receive spam. In my opinion, most of the other 30% are people who haven’t been online long enough to get any, and the rest are spammers themselves.

By: Jer

 


Phishing, pronounced just like the word ‘fishing’ is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established company in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

The email directs the user to visit a website that looks identical to the legitimate website, where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords, credit cards, social security and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The website, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. Once this information is recorded, the ‘phisher’ then uses this information to steal or manipulate the unsuspecting users accounts, sometimes causing major long-time financial damages.

According to online research and compiled data, the two most common companies that are targeted are Paypal.com and Ebay.com. 

2007 Jer

 


Email spoofing or ‘spoofing’ is email sent from someone pretending to be someone else is known as spoofing. Spoofing may take place in a number of ways. Common to all of them is that the actual sender’s name and the origin of the message are concealed or masked from the recipient. Many, if not most, instances of email fraud use at least minimal spoofing, as most frauds are clearly criminal acts. Criminals typically try to avoid easy traceability.

By:Jer

 


However, the real issue is not one of content. Even if all commercial e-mail was truly targeted and all e-mail marketers sold legitimate products, we would still be inundated with countless numbers of unsolicited advertisements. Right now, most ISPs have strong policies prohibiting their customers from spamming, and when they receive the hundreds (or thousands) of abuse reports that result from each incidence, they will either warn the spammer or immediately cancel his account. Imagine what would be happening right now if this were not so and UCE was an acceptable form of internet marketing.

If only 5,000 companies (a miniscule percentage of what’s out there) decided to try this form of free advertising and send out only 100,000 pieces a week, there would be 500 MILLION pieces of junk mail being pushed through the system each week. How long would you be prepared to wait to load 500+ pieces of spam into your mail reader every time you logged on? How many pieces of valid e-mail from friends and relatives would you be willing to bounce due to your mailbox being filled to capacity with junk mail? Will the request of just press delete be asking too much when you are doing it 1,000 times a day?

Oh, but if it was targeted e-mail from legitimate companies, you wouldn’t get that much of it, right? Well, let’s see. Do you use toothpaste, read books, wear clothes, write with pens, get colds, have pets, drive a car, use a telephone, watch TV, use a printer, play games, have children, shave, cook, eat food, go on vacations, listen to music, wash your hair, do laundry… are you starting to get the picture?

By Jeremy