Wave of the Future (Spam)

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Thu Jun 21 10:05:17 2001

plz see embedded comments below


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Foust" <jfoust_at_threedee.com>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 7:40 AM
Subject: Re: Wave of the Future (Spam)

> At 06:25 PM 6/19/01 -0600, Richard Erlacher wrote:
> >I'm not sure why this continues to be the problem that it is. I agree that
> >is terribly annoying, but can't comprehend why it can't be dealt with from
> >INSIDE, i.e. simply rewrite the SMTP/POP protocol rules such that mail only
> >allows a single addressee, and that any server that sees more than one
> >either in the "to" field or the CC field, it simply pitches it in the bit
> >bucket.
> >If I ever want to send several people the same email, which I've not yet
> >after about 10 years of internetting, I'd simply write a script to do that.
> And what about the 99.99% of Internet (read: Windows) users who
> liked that "send to two people" feature of Outlook? You expect
> them to write scripts? What about all the BCC: mail that gets
> sent that doesn't have N addresses in the headers? Gee, if we
> limited the size and number of e-mails you could send, that would
> help reduce bandwidth, too. Slower computers would be a great
> deterrent, too.
I'm not convinced any more than 1 part in 10E23 of the user of OUTLOOK/OUTLOOK
EXPRESS even know about that feature. However, if we're going to preseve the
bandwidth so we can have "free" internet for any more than a few more years,
we're going to have to give up something. Disposing of the mechanism that
allows SPAMmers to send a single email to a downstream server with the full
expectation that the server, outside his own domain, will distribute the mail at
no cost to him, will quickly quell the vast increase of unsolicited email.

I'm curious why you're taking a position favoring SPAMmers? I have nothing
against them. They're just using a facility that's avaiable to them. I view
their unpaid consumption of bandwidth as a theft of bandwidth from the users who
pay for what they waste with their SPAM, however, though they make their money
that way, so they don't see it as waste. Things that provide benefit to some
should be paid for by the ones who reap the benefit, and proportionally (but
perhaps not in linear proportion) to how much they use. Likewise, I think it's
unfair that users of passenger vehicles that don't wear the roadways much at all
pay more tax per pound of gross-vehicle-weight than the owners of the huge
semi-tractor-trailer rigs that permanently alter the roadway in only one pass
over it.

Likewise, as the folks in California will probably consider, the usage of MORE
electrical power should not be discounted. If you use what a small household
uses, you should get the minimal rate. If you use, 5x what the typical small
household uses, you should pay 5x what that household uses, i.e. 5x the amount
per kWH, and if you use 1000x kWH's, then you should pay 1000x the amount, per
kWH that the small household has to pay. It all gets passed to the end user of
the products and services that would be increased in cost. Maybe that would get
some folks to turn off the TV and air-conditioning once in a while.
> >THERE HAS GOT TO BE ACCOUNTABILITY on the internet. If your name, and home
> >address were in every message you send, you would probably not send
> >email.
> If such a rule were in place, I'm sure there are millions of companies
> who'd gladly send spam that conformed. In the paper world, it's called
> "junk mail" and it seems to be quite popular. In the e-mail world, at
> least half the junk I get does have reasonable attribution to the source.
> The "problem" with spam is that it apparently works for some scams,
> and that there's plenty of people willing to try it.
Junk mail is an annoyance we've all come to put up with in the snail mail. It's
not necessarily a bad thing, though nobody loves to get mail that doesn't do
anything for them. Of course, we do put up with bills, and we surely don't want
them. Addidionally, it's well to consider that while internet SPAM is unpaid
junk mail, the stuff in the snail mail is paid-for, though at a deeply
discounted rate. Ol' Ben Franklin made would have approved, though, as it does
promote commerce, and because he was a printer. What annoys me is that wasted
bandwidth, whether it's for sending cartoons to all your friends or sending
billions of ads for improved widgets, consumes bandwidth that will ultimately
result in the rest of us, who don't benefit from the advertising, having to pay
for mail by the bit. The choice of who should get the money that the
advertisers should pay is easy, though. It should go to the folks who receive,
and, ultimately, will have to pay for, the SPAM. Bulk mail should be tarriffed
at a rate on the order of $1 per item. If you send a SPAM to a billion
destinations, you should have to pay the billion bucks up front, just like the
junk-mail senders pay to the Post Office. You can bet the P.O. doesn't wait to
see whether the business survives before exacting its fee. Yup, it should be
the senders that pay for email, and since they consume bandwidth that,
ultimately, is paid for by the recipients, it should be paid to the recipients,
who, after all, support the system by paying for their access facility.
> - John
Received on Thu Jun 21 2001 - 10:05:17 BST

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