Wave of the Future (Spam)

From: John Foust <jfoust_at_threedee.com>
Date: Fri Jun 22 08:29:08 2001

At 11:15 PM 6/21/01 -0700, Mike Ford wrote:
>What allows spam to happen is that most users pay the costs of all incoming
>mail, and spammers pay little of the cost of sending it. Turn that around,
>so that the bulk of internet support costs come from charges related to
>bytes sent, and spam becomes MUCH less attractive.

Why blame e-mail?

If everyone is paying extra based on their outgoing traffic,
suddenly web servers cost more for the people hosting them.
Hosting already costs considerably more than one person's dial-up.

Or mailing lists, for that matter. What's the real difference
between a mailing list and a spammer? Content? Opt-in? Change the
economics of the net, it'll change the net, and not necessarily
the parts you want to change. Start ripping on traffic based
on its content, and next it'll be restrictions on that nasty porn
or those terrible violent videogames, or extra "sin" taxes on
tobacco, gun, or alcohol web sites.

A long time ago, A.C. Clarke predicted / hoped that in 2000,
all telephone calls would be ten cents, worldwide, and that
you could call anywhere for that flat price. For that matter,
flat one-shot pricing is what made local BBSes succeed.
Tinker carefully.

- John
Received on Fri Jun 22 2001 - 08:29:08 BST

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